Grooming Tips for Your New Puppy

When you bring your new family member home, getting that fluffy puppy coat groomed may not seem like a priority. But a proper introduction to grooming is an important part of raising a well-socialized and healthy dog. Whether you plan to manage grooming at home or take your pup to Pet Grooming Salon here are some tips to make sure grooming becomes a stress-free part of your puppy’s life.

Why Puppies Need Grooming

Keeping a dog well-groomed is extremely important in maintaining their long-term health. Routine grooming involves coat brushing, bathing nail trims and dental care. Long-haired dogs also need to be comfortable with having their hair trimmed, and long or floppy-eared dogs may benefit from routine ear cleaning. No matter the breed, try to create positive associations for your puppy with these procedures as early as possible. If they are up to date with their boostersaim to get your puppy to a professional groomer for the first time by 12 to 14 weeks of age. The ability to easily form positive associations with new experiences decreases dramatically after four months of age, so you do not want to wait until after the final vaccines Long-haired breeds like Maltese, Yorkies, and some spaniels, as well as curly-haired breeds like Poodles and Doodles, and Bichons, may need professional grooming even earlier to keep their hair from getting too long and matted. Pet parents who are comfortable with brushing, bathing, nail trimming, and teeth brushing are welcome to do most of these procedures at home. However, it’s still a great idea to involve a professional groomer in your puppy’s socialization, just in case they ever need to visit one as an adult.
No matter the breed, try to create positive associations for your puppy with these procedures as early as possible.

Benefits of Grooming Your New Puppy

Grooming is an important part of dog hygiene. The primary goal of grooming is to keep the skin, nails, and teeth healthy and clean. A pup’s coat that is not properly maintained can become matted, which can lead to skin infections and even loss of circulation. Good oral hygiene helps prevent certain kinds of heart and kidney damage. Nails that grow too long can painfully break, and may even grow back into a dog’s paw pads. There are emotional benefits to good grooming as well. When introduced properly, it can be a very calming activity for both you and your dog. Grooming in animals is a social activity. Grooming also allows you or your groomer to conduct a frequent, detailed inspection of parts of your dog that you may not otherwise closely examine. Groomers frequently find ear infections, bumps, scabs, or even parasites like fleas that you can then bring to your vet’s attention.
There are emotional benefits to good grooming as well. When introduced properly, it can be a very calming activity for both you and your dog. Grooming in animals is a social activity.

How Often Do Puppies Need to Be Groomed?

How often a puppy needs a professional grooming depends on several factors. More frequent trips (every two to three weeks) may be beneficial in young puppies (under 6 months of age) to establish positive routines, even if it is not strictly necessary for hygiene purposes. Don’t forget to take some photos of your puppy’s first grooming or that precious first puppy haircut! For the average adult dog, a routine of every four to six weeks for bathing, nail trims, and—if needed—a haircut is reasonable. Even short-haired dogs should be brushed at least weekly between grooming appointments. Dogs with long, flowing, or curly hair may require daily brushing to avoid matted hair. Your groomer should be able to help you determine a regimen that is right for your dog, based on breed and lifestyle.

Tips for Grooming Your New Puppy

Finding a Groomer

Just like finding a vet, it’s important to find a groomer who makes you feel comfortable because your puppy may be spending a lot of time with them. Reviews online and recommendations from friends, family, and your vet can be great places to start. Make sure the grooming facility has hours and locations that work for you. Visiting a facility before you make an appointment can be very helpful. Make sure it is clean and that work stations are well-maintained. It’s reasonable to ask to see where dogs are kept between appointments and pick-up time. Some groomers may even allow you to watch them work. If you are looking for breed-specific cuts, be sure to ask how familiar the groomer is with those standards. Having vaccination requirements (rabiesDHPP, and kennel cough) is a great sign that the groomer is invested in the well-being of dogs and their care.

Preparing for Grooming

Try to lay some groundwork with your puppy before dropping them off for their first appointment. Even if you aren’t comfortable using grooming tools, you can make sure that your puppy is comfortable being handled. Teach your puppy to accept handling of their nose, ears, belly, and feet. This training is best approached with frequent (multiple times per day) short (less than five- minute) sessions involving lots of praise and tasty treats. For the appointment itself, try not to make a big deal out of things. The more nervous you are for the appointment, the more nervous your puppy will be. Avoid long goodbyes and try your best not to be too excited when picking your puppy up from their appointment. If everyone acts like this is a boring, routine experience, your pup will be less likely to be anxious about it in the future. Advise your groomer if you have noticed anything that makes your pup nervous and be sure to ask how they did afterward. You may be able to help lay more groundwork at home for the next visit. If your puppy is still anxious about grooming, feel free to ask your vet for advice.