Can a Female Dog Be Bathed When She's Nursing?

by Melodie Anne Coffman Google
Clean her up with just a warm wet sponge.

Clean her up with just a warm wet sponge.

Three Lions/Valueline/Getty Images

You might be tempted to give your furry new mom a good lather shortly after her delivery, but you should wait for several days. She can have a bath while she’s nursing; it’s just not a good idea to give her a bath shortly after birth.

Keeping Her Away

A new mom needs to be with her pups 24/7. You’ll probably have a hard time just getting her to leave for a few minutes to go outside to potty. Clearly taking the time to hose her off for a bath is just too long for her to be away from her pups. If need be, just wipe off her nipples and rear end with a warm wet cloth until your vet says it’s okay to give her a full bath.

The Chill Factor

One issue with bathing a nursing mom is that if she’s not completely dry, she can get her puppies wet in the whelping box. They’ll get cold, start shaking and get sick if their body temperature drops.

Unfamiliar Scent

Newborn puppies are born completely blind -- sometimes it takes a couple weeks for their eyes to open up. They rely heavily on the draw of mom’s scent to lure them in during mealtimes. If you wash that scent away, they may be less able to recognize her when she returns.

Photo Credits

  • Three Lions/Valueline/Getty Images

About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

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