Washing Pup

If you’re going to wash your pup at regular intervals it’s wise to start them off as puppies. It’s like anything else, pups need to get used to the experience. Washing pup can actually become a pleasurable experience for pup.

Because I’m going to be pretty detailed about how I wash pup, I thought it best to provide you with a video that details suggestions about when to start washing puppies. It’s pretty good.

If you don’t have a shampoo please consider EARTHBATH EXTRA GENTLE SHAMPOO before you buy.

Now let’s explore why we wash pup. Many dogs, especially those that roam, never get washed their entire life and never smell. Yes, I know, that’s the exception. At the other end of the spectrum are pups who love to roll around in the dirt and mud every chance they get. Puppies also are low to the ground so they get their belly dirtier than adult dogs.

If your pup has bad odor frequently it might be from what you’re feeding pup……like table scraps. Or it could simply be that your pup gets a case of the stink quicker than most pups. I’m sure you know some people like that. No different.

Your main concern is not to hurt your pup inadvertently with water that is too hot, too cold, or sprayed on them with too much force. If you intend to dry pup with a hair dryer make sure the dryer isn’t blowing too hot. Pups have very sensitive skin. Dogs secrete natural oils that helps prevent rashes and dry skin. Interfering with these oils with a harsh shampoo is dangerous to pups.

Never use human shampoos. They are too harsh for pup’s skin. There are shampoos made especially for puppies. Some even have a conditioner built into them. Good choice. For pup’s head I do use a baby shampoo because if it gets in pup’s eyes, it won’t burn.

Earthbath Puppy Shampoo Earthbath Puppy ShampooEarthbath Puppy Shampoo

I always brush my pup before washing. It removes “stuff”, and allows you to get out any knots or tangles. I’ve found it a good pre-wash practice. Now, I personally don’t bathe pup. I prefer to shower pup. Our bathtub has sliding glass doors.

Here are some of the tools I use when washing pup:

  • Brush, as part of the pre-wash ritual
  • Rubber tub mat, so pup doesn’t slide around
  • Puppy or adult dog shampoo, depending on the pup
  • Cotton balls, to prevent water and soap getting in pup’s ears
  • Towel(s)
  • Bathing Tether – I don’t use one because of where I wash pup but you might

Here are the washing steps I use:

  • Place rubber mat in the tub
  • Brush pup to remove “stuff” and get out knots/tangles
  • Remove pup’s collar or vest
  • Place cotton balls in pup’s ears to help prevent water and soap from entering
  • Connect shower head with hose to tub faucet
  • Turn water on and test the temperature and pressure
  • If you can’t use a shower, use a plastic pitcher of water
  • Wet pup down thoroughly in a head to tail fashion
  • Make sure to keep water out of pup’s ears and eyes
  • Apply shampoo, lathering up from shoulders to tail
  • Shampoo pup’s head last being careful to keep shampoo out of ears and eyes
  • Don’t forget behind pup’s ears, pup’s underbelly, legs and between toes
  • Check temperature and pressure of water once again
  • Rinse pup from head to tail being sure to remove all soap
  • Up around pup‘s head  I use one hand to cover pup’s eyes for additional protection
  • Now I let the water fully drain, then close the tubs sliding door
  • Now I let pup shake, shake, shake
  • Last I towel dry pup
  • If necessary, I will use a dryer on low setting, keeping my hand between pup and the dryer
  • Last step…….remove the cotton balls

There you have it. Washing pup is all done until the next time. Washing frequency will vary. Personally, I wash pup more frequently in the summer than the winter. That’s a personal choice. If my pup was long haired, I would do the shower routine more often.

In service to pups everywhere,

Tom (TR) Ryan

ps: it’s wise to seek the advice of a vet for your pup.

Click here if you want to learn all about Brushing Pup





Brushing Pup

Brushing your pup is good on many fronts. First, it allows you to inspect your pup for cuts, ticks and any abnormalities while you’re brushing pup. Second, brushing is also good for pup’s coat and skin. Third, it provides pup with additional time with you and you should do your best to make this a pleasurable experience for pup.

The best approach is to acquire some basic grooming skills and brushes in order to get started. There’s a short video below that will guide you through the process of selecting the right brush for your pup, as well as the best way to actually brush your pup’s fur.

I hope you enjoyed that. It was packed with good information on brushing pup.

Pups are creatures of habit or training as the case my be; so it’s good to start them off with a positive experience of brushing so it develops into a good habit. The way to begin is to always brush your pup in the same place and use a mat or small rug. Try to get pup to stand up while you do the brushing.

Have little treats to reward pup’s behavior. And don’t forget to use a friendly/excited tone of voice. Why? Because Your tone of voice, positive reinforcement and rewards will become your pup’s convincers that brushing pup is a fun thing, like going for a romp or playing with a ball.

A side benefit to your efforts is you are conducting the socialization of pup and preparing pup for professional grooming. Professional grooming is not the end all, but if you don’t have a short haired pup professional grooming is an option you should definitely explore.

The VIDEO makes reference to specific types of brushes. Below you’ll find links to these brushes.

Medium Slicker Wire Brush
Four Paws Ultimate Touch Medium Gentle Slicker Wire Brush Professional Non-Slip Grip (5" X 3" Brush Head)

Soft Slicker Wire Brush
Millers Forge Self-Cleaning Soft Slicker Dog Brush (Small; 6.75

Metal Comb With Sure Grip
JW Pet GripSoft Fine & Course Rotating Comfort Comb (8

In service to pups everywhere,

Tom (TR) Ryan

ps: it’s wise to seek the advice of a vet for your pup.

Click here if you want to learn all about Finding Puppies


One of the real non pleasures in life is Trimming Pups Nails. I haven’t found anyone yet who has this life experience on their bucket list.

Nail trimming is not on your list and guess what? Nail trimming is not on your pup’s list either. If anything, pup hates it more than you hate it. But guess what? It’s a service to pup you can’t ignore. I know because I ignored it with Dixie for a time. Oh I tried, but she pulled and whined so much it was easy for me to give in to aborting the effort.

With my wife’s help, the right tools, a little patience, and more than enough treats we got through that first episode of Trimming Pups Nails. I could go into detail about the process but I’m thinking since a picture is worth a thousand words a video right now is worth a whole bunch more.

The National Pet Pharmacy has Nail Clippers for all dog breeds.
Click here to visit the National Pet Pharmacy.

Dixie is a house pup. Add to that Dixie is lazy. When outside she basks in the sun and doesn’t run around. Dixie also doesn’t like having her nails trimmed. All that added up to a recipe for nail disaster.

Dixie’s nails got long and curved and eventually made it somewhat difficult for her to walk. Plus they kept getting caught on rugs etc in the house.

Successfully Trimming Pups Nails that first time was not pleasant for any of the parties concerned. It’s a good thing I had help from my wife because keeping Dixie from moving around and running off during trimming is important.

Trim tools are also important. I started with human nail clippers but that didn’t work well given the circumstances. After minimum research I ended up with Guillotine style clippers. I judged them to be the safest for Dixie. I also got some styptic powder just in case we ended up cutting the quick by accident ….. which only happened once! Applying the styptic powder and maintaining slight pressure stopped the bleeding after a half minute or so. Last is a file or emery board to get rid of the rough nail edges.

As luck would have it, Dixie has light colored nails making the quick easy to spot. It’s the pink line (really a vein) that runs down the center of the nail. Finding the quick is tougher with dark nails, but its generally where the nail begins to curve.

Well, there you have it. We now trim Dixie’s nails frequently because her nails do grow fast. The process is still not at the top of my nor Dixie’s bucket list, but Dixie is much better off day to day because we stay on top of this.

I trust my experience will help you.

In service to pups everywhere,

Tom (TR) Ryan

ps: it’s wise to seek the advice of a vet for your pup.