So you just got a German Shepherd puppy, congrats! The two of you are going to have a lot of fun together. We know your German Shepherd puppy is as cute as a button, buuuuuttt we also know they can sometimes smell like a skunk. We’re sure by now you’ve heard horror stories of dog bathes turning into a major splash zone and that’s why we’ve decided to show you the how to bathe a German Shepherd puppy!
Some dog owners skip the bath and just do a quick spray down with the hose outside, but this won’t work for your German Shepherd puppy. Why not? Well, your puppy is still little, so giving them a pressure wash can hurt their skin or scare them all together. Once your dog gets bigger and can handle rougher things a little bit you can start giving them a spray down with the hose.
The Do’s of How to Bathe a German Shepherd Puppy
When it comes to how to bathe a German Shepherd puppy there are a few things you need to do to make sure all goes smoothly. First, you’ll want to prepare the area (and yourself mentally) for the mess that’s about to happen. Move away anything your dog might eat that’s already in the shower (like soap) and anything that could possibly break. Once that’s done, follow this checklist of Do’s for bathing your German Shepherd.
DO: Make it a fun time
Your German Shepherd isn’t just going to want to sit there while you scrub them. They’re a puppy. They want to play. Make bath time fun by bringing in your puppy’s favorite toys that are water friendly, or even buy some special bath time toys!
If none of your puppy’s toys can get wet, you can grab a KONG Wet Wubba Dog toy for less than $10! It’s a fast drying toy that your puppy can play with in and out of the bathtub.
Warning: too much fun in the bath may cause serious splashing!
DO: Let them get used to the water
Don’t just push them in the deep end! Let them get used to water by filling up the tub with water that covers their paws. Your puppy will only need a few inches of warm water for their bath. Too much water and you’re just asking to get soaked.
DO: Prepare to get wet
Unless your puppy sits perfectly still, you’re going to end up getting splashed. When you give your German Shepherd a bath be sure you’re wearing some lounging clothes. You don’t want to ruin any of your decent clothes. Wear the shirt that’s been shoved to the back of the dresser and has that big wine stain on it and you’re set!
DO: Get a cushion for your knees
This is less about cleaning your puppy and more about how to bathe a German Shepherd puppy without your knees feeling like they’re about to explode. Rolling up a towel next to the bath tub can help with this (and help with clean up afterwards).
But if you have bad knees, or just want a good cushion you’ll want to find a nice, thick, foam pad. If you’re having a hard time finding one you can use InSassy’s Kneeler Pad.
The Don’ts of How to Bathe a German Shepherd Puppy
When you think of how to bathe a German Shepherd puppy you don’t think of the things you shouldn’t do! The don’ts of bathing a German Shepherd are just as important as the do’s. The don’ts will teach you tips and tricks to make bath time easier for you and your puppy!
DON’T: Use Your Shampoo
Have you walked down the shampoo aisle recently? There are tons of different brands, variations, and smells when you walk down that aisle and each one serves a unique purpose. Because of all the chemicals that are included in human hair shampoo, using it on a dog, and especially a puppy, can cause skin irritation.
You’ll need to be sure to purchase a special puppy shampoo for your German Shepherd. Make sure you buy a shampoo for your German Shepherd puppy that helps any conditions they may face. For instance, if your puppy has itchy skin be sure to get a moisturizing shampoo that will help hydrate and nourish the skin. If you’re not sure what shampoo to use check out our article on the best shampoo for German Shepherd puppies.
DON’T: Use Soap on Their Face
Unless your puppy has a skin infection on their face and needs medicinal soap applied, you won’t need to put soap on your puppy’s face. If your puppy is a little dirty get a wash cloth wet and rub their face with that. By applying shampoo or other soap to their face you risk getting it in their eyes, nose, or ears which can cause irritation and sometimes infections.
DON’T: Leave the Door Open!
This is a rookie mistake that happens to the best of us, but do NOT leave the bathroom door open! If your puppy decides to jump out, you’ll have a wet dog running around your house making everything wet! Wait until they are completely dry before opening the door, otherwise they’ll shake to dry off and get that nasty wet dog smell all over your furniture (good luck getting that smell out!).
DON’T: Wash Your Puppy Every Day
Dogs aren’t like us, they don’t need to shower every single day, or even every other day for that matter! Typically, your German Shepherd will need a bath at most every other month. Now, if there’s an emergency like they just rolled around in the cat’s litter box or rolled around in an unidentifiable substance, then yes give them a bath and do it as soon as possible!
If your puppy runs around in the mud one day you don’t have to give them a full bath, wiping them down with a wet cloth will work just fine. Now if your puppy rolls around in mud and has a new 2-inch coat of mud, you’ll want a full bath. But if your German Shepherd puppy is generally calm and clean and stays out of the cat box every other month should do just fine.
Now that you’ve learned how to bathe a German Shepherd puppy in a way that’s comfortable for your dog and you you’ll never have to worry about what to do with a dirty dog, unless that dirty dog runs through the house before you can get him. Remember to never put soap on your puppy’s face, let them get used to the water first, and make bath time fun and comfortable for both of you! Do you have bath time tricks? Let us know what they are in the comments below!