Just like babies, puppies have ultra sensitive skin which means you have to be very careful when choosing a shampoo to use on them when they need to be given a bath. Some breeds like the Bichon Frise with their gorgeous white coats can get a little grubby looking, especially if they are allowed to run about in the garden. They also tend to develop unsightly tear stains, so teaching them that bath time and having their faces washed is a nice experience is essential.
Shampoos need to have soothing properties and they need to be formulated for use on puppies and young dogs because they need to have the right PH balance. You should never attempt to use a “people” shampoo on your puppy because it could trigger a nasty skin allergy which would then be hard to clear up. On top of this, it might put your pup off being given a bath ever again!
Dog-specific shampoos are designed so they don't disrupt your pup's acid mantle, this is a very delicate barrier that's found all over their skin on the very outer layer and which offers protection from infections and irritations. The acid mantle found on our canine friends is a lot different to that of people and as such using a “human” formula on a little puppy could result in them suffering the following skin disorders:
There are many dog-specific dog shampoos on the market, but not all of them are suitable for use on puppies. The best formulas contain very soothing and moisturising ingredients which includes things like the following:
These are very moisturising ingredients that also have ultra soothing properties, so if your puppy has any sort of irritation on their skin, they will help calm things down. If you can get away with not bathing your pet, all the better and instead use a plant-based cleanser, ideally one that's sulphate-free. This will gently wash away all the dirt, but without stripping the valuable oils found in your puppy's skin. Another option is to buy hypo-allergenic dog shampoos which are typically fragrance and dye-free. Using this type of shampoo cuts out the risk of them developing any sort of skin irritation. It goes without saying that all shampoos need to have “tear-free” properties so that if any gets in their eyes, it won't hurt them!
Needless to say the last thing you want is for puppy to get any fleas which can cause a real health issue for young dogs. This can include them becoming anaemic and having to put up with very itchy and sore skin! There are some very good dog-specific flea shampoos on the market, but you need to purchase big brand names and not be tempted to get anything that's too cheap and made by a company you have never heard of. You may well regret doing this because not knowing what the formula contains and if there is any sort of insecticide in the shampoo, it could prove very toxic to your little puppy especially if they are under 3 months old.
It's far better to buy a flea shampoo containing ingredients like peppermint and citrus oils which are all natural. There would be less chance of them triggering a nasty skin reaction. If you are at all concerned and need more advice on which shampoo to use on your puppy, you should seek advice from your vet.
As previously mentioned, puppies have very delicate skin which means it does not take much to trigger a nasty reaction. If you notice they have any itchy and red areas anywhere on their body, you need to get them along to see the vet so a correct diagnosis can be made followed by an effective treatment. You may find the vet recommends you use a veterinary shampoo in order to clear the problem up quickly or they may advise not bathing puppy at all, but to use prescribed creams and ointments instead.
Puppies are gorgeous little creatures and they usually smell so lovely too. However, when they do get dirty you may have no choice but to either give them a bath or to use dog-specific cleansing wipes on their coats to get them clean again. Like babies, puppies and young dogs have ultra sensitive skin so you need to make sure you use the right sort of shampoo or cleansing lotion on them or you could well end up triggering a nasty skin irritation which can often be notoriously difficult to clear up.