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.
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.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.