How To Make Your Puppy’s First Bath Stress-Free For Both Of You

Are you watching that furry little ball of energy (AKA your puppy) sprint around your house and wondering “How on earth am I going to give that thing a bath”? If so, these steps for bathing your Yorkie will make it stress-free for both of you.

Preparation is the key to success (and less stress) 

Before bathing your Yorkie, use a slicker to brush their coat to remove any tangles and mats being sure to brush all the way to the skin. This is important because hair swells when wet which will make any existing knots tighter and more difficult to remove later (trust me on this – I learned the hard way).

Gather everything you will need and put it within your arm’s reach so you don’t have to walk away from your puppy once they’re in the sink.

Be sure to read the directions for your shampoo and conditioner bottles. Some are concentrates that will need to be diluted before use.

To avoid slips put a non-skid mat in the sink (I have 2 and use one in the sink and the other for the pup to stand on while I’m drying them).

If you are bathing your pup in the kitchen sink, be sure to cover the garbage disposal if you have one to prevent injury in case it accidentally gets switched on.  

How To Bathe Your Yorkie Pup


1 – Wet the coat 

Yorkies are sensitive to extreme temperatures so use warm water for their baths.

The most common mistake people make when bathing their dogs is not thoroughly wetting their hair at the beginning. The purpose of water is to distribute shampoo so be sure not to miss any areas. 


2 – Shampoo  

Squirt a small amount of shampoo into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together then work into the coat from the head to the tail. Pay extra attention to the feet and tush but try not to scrub! Scrubbing doesn’t make the hair cleaner, it just tangles it and makes more work for you later.

Bathing isn’t just about having a clean dog. You can learn so much by running your hands over every inch of them when they are soapy and wet. You can feel lumps, bumps, soreness, stiffness, see hair loss, and monitor sensitivities to touch in certain areas. It is also easier to see bruises and external parasites (like fleas and ticks) when your Yorkie is wet so take your time with this step. 


3 – Rinse 

Again, DO NOT SCRUB! Let the water do most of the work for you, being sure to cover the puppy’s ears so no water gets inside and to shield their eyes from the soap. If your pups’ eyes get irritated easily you can use eye drops to protect them. 


When you think all of the shampoo is out, rinse more. Shampoo residue can irritate the skin causing your dog to scratch which irritates the skin even more and creates knots in their hair, so you want to be sure to get it all out.  


4 – Conditioner  

Put a small amount of conditioner in your hands, rub your hands together, and apply starting at the ends of the hair and working up to the roots. Again, be careful not to tangle the hair. 


5 – Rinse thoroughly!!!  

I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but … DO NOT SCRUB! Don’t forget to protect the eyes and ears and let the water do the work. 


6 – Dry

Using a towel dry your pup by squeezing and patting to remove the extra moisture from their coat. A microfiber hair towel works great for this.

Next, set your dryer to a low temperature (but not cold and definitely not hot!!!) and a low speed. I love this hands-free dryer but any blow dryer will work too. 


7 – One more quick brushing and you’re done!

A full list of all of the grooming supplies I use for my Yorkies is on the blog.


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