How to Bathe Newborn Puppies

Newborn puppies are just beginning to adapt to the outside world, so they tend to be quite sensitive to temperature and other extraneous variables. Typically within the first three to four weeks of their life, puppies are cared for by their mothers. However, sometimes the mothers become inattentive or a problem occurs while they are not around. In those instances, it is important for the dog owner to know how to care for the newborn -- particularly how to bathe it, which will also help to stimulate the puppy to urinate and defecate.

Step 1

Begin by gently picking up the puppy and holding her close to your chest to prevent chilling.

Step 2

Dip your washcloth or cotton ball into the warm water. Soap is not necessary and actually can be harmful to the newborn puppy.

Step 3

Use the moistened wash cloth or cotton ball to gently rub the body of the puppy. Pay special attention to the genital and anus areas to stimulate urination and defecation.

Step 4

Immediately use the soft towel to dry the puppy thoroughly.

Step 5

Hold the puppy within the towel for a few minutes to ensure warmth.


  • Rubbing of the genital and anus areas with the washcloth mimics the mother licking the puppy. This procedure should be done every four hours.

Items You Will Need

  • Washcloth or cotton ball
  • Warm water
  • Soft towel