If you have just bought a cockapoo puppy home for the first time you may be wondering when he needs his first bath?
And how often you should bath your puppy after that?
The answer is you only need to bath him when he needs bathing.
Why is this?
Although cockapoo fur does vary between short poodle-like fur and longer cocker-style hair, your puppy will have a thick fur coat. And within a few months, this soft puppy coat is replaced by an adult fur coat.
The Adult Fur Coat
When the adult fur comes it will have the added benefit of being very water proof.
The natural grease and oils that a dog secretes, coat each strand of their hair. You may have noticed a greasy smearing on a white pillow or wall if your dog has come into contact with it.
Bathing your cockapoo regularly will wash the natural grease and oils from his coat. Not only will the coat loose its natural lustre, when your puppy gets wet he will be more cold and take longer to dry.
Of course, if your puppy roles in something smelly he will need a bath, but for minor mishaps and dirty paws try using wet wipes to clean him up.
If it’s essential to bath him then don’t reach for a human shampoo. The chemicals it contains are not designed for a puppy’s sensitive skin. It may lead to skin complaints.
A baby shampoo can be used but a puppy shampoo is ideal.
Where to bath your Cockapoo puppy
Most puppies are quite intimidated by a big white bath tub and it can cause your puppy to panic.
Pick a place where your cockapoo knows he is safe like the kitchen sink.
For very small puppies a plastic tub on the kitchen floor would be ideal.
It’s bath time – be prepared
Until your little cockapoo has got used to the bathing routine I recommend having two people doing the job. A wet wriggling puppy can be hard to manage.
Make sure you are using warm water and have a plastic cup for rinsing. You will also need several hand towels.
Favourite treats are always a good idea to reward your puppy for calm compliant behaviour.
Washing your puppy
Take your time wetting your puppy slowly using the plastic cup while using your best soothing, reassuring voice. You will notice because his fur is water proof it takes some time to get them thoroughly wet.
Take a good amount of the puppy shampoo and spread it down your puppy’s spine massaging gently. With slow deliberate strokes start working your hands into the fur coat. Then gently do each leg in turn. Lastly do his tummy and bottom.
The face should not be washed with shampoo unless absolutely necessary. Again wet wipes are usually fine. And always remember to keep the soap away from your puppy’s eyes.
Once your puppy’s fur coat has been thoroughly washed with the shampoo change the water in the bowl. With fresh warmish water you can then begin to rinse him off with the plastic cup.
Don’t forget to be generous with treats. This will help your puppy remember bath time isn’t a bad experience!
When he’s done
If you do have a helper it’s a good idea that one washes and one dries. Once you have rinsed all the shampoo from the fur scoop him up and place him in your helpers lap. They should have a hand towel on their lap and another one to dry.
Now comes the fun part for your cockapoo puppy as they love getting dry!
You will find no matter how good a job you do towelling him off as soon as you put him down he will want to shake himself.
Finally, leave him to air dry in a warm part of the house and leave a towel out for him to play with and roll dry. You may want this to be away from your living room as the wet dog smell is inevitable 😉
If you’re going to use a hairdryer try and get your puppy used to the noise first. Remember to set it on low heat as it can get hot fast on his sensitive skin. Try and dry the fur through your fingers so you can make sure his delicate puppy skin is not getting too hot.
Wrapping it Up
A false start with bathing because you’re upset or stressed your puppy is messy can cause your cockapoo to be apprehensive about bath time.
Like every aspect of socializing your puppy, try and make it fun and enjoyable so they are relaxed about the routine next time.