Dog grooming tips are useful, no matter what age your pet may be. One of the best tips is to take the time to make sure your puppy has a great first visit to the groomer.
Keeping your pup’s hair, nails, and skin groomed will help keep your pet looking and feeling great. A refreshing bath will rinse off the dirt and debris from your pup’s coat – and will also help protect your dog’s health.
Here’s some information on what you should do – and what you shouldn’t do – when it comes to taking your new puppy to the groomer.
Getting Ready For Your Puppy’s First Visit To The Groomer
There are a few simple steps you should take before taking your pet to the groomer for the first time.
DO – Practice At Home
This is one of the most important dog grooming tips. You don’t want to take your young pet to the groomer without them having at least a little bit of experience with bathing.
Don’t worry that you don’t have tools such as dog clippers, a slicker brush, a pin brush, or a nail grinder or nail trimmers. You only need a tub filled with lukewarm water (too hot can cause dry skin or burn your pet), a dog brush, and some dog shampoo. For short-haired dogs, a metal comb will do. After you shampoo, remember to rinse and dry thoroughly to avoid skin irritation.
Giving your pet a couple of quick baths before your first visit to the groomer will help reduce any potential anxiety. Touch your pet everywhere the groomer will, including the dog’s nails, and paw pads.1
DO – Research Nearby Groomers
If you haven’t taken a dog to a groomer before, you want to do some research. Talk to friends and family members who are pet owners to see who they recommend. Check out the salon yourself to make sure it’s clean, and to also make sure you’ll be comfortable dropping off your beloved pet.
DO – Make The Goodbye Short And Sweet
It’s understandable if you’re hesitant to leave your pet at the groomers for a haircut. But you don’t want to make your puppy any more nervous than they might already be.
Give your pup a quick pat on the head, some reassuring words, and leave it at that. You want this experience to be as positive as possible for your pet.
What Not To Do
As good as a pet parent’s intentions may be, there are a few common mistakes they make when taking their puppy to the groomer.
DON’T be late (or early) picking up your puppy – Your groomer isn’t a pet sitter. There are other dogs who need to be groomed. Also, your puppy will probably want to go home as quickly as possible. Likewise, you don’t want to show up to your appointment too early, either. Having to wait around might make your puppy anxious.
DON’T forget to provide detailed instructions – Your groomer can’t read your mind on how to take care of your pet’s hair or nails. Be as detailed as possible as to what you want.
DON’T look for medical advice – Your groomer is not a veterinarian. If your pet is having a health issue, talk to your vet.2
Dog Grooming Tips At Home Between Visits To The Groomer
There are a few things you can do to help keep your pet groomed during the time between visits to a professional.
Brushing your dog’s hair is very important, especially if your puppy has a lot of fur. It removes dead hair from your dog’s body and keeps the undercoat healthy.
If you don’t brush the hair on a regular basis, a dog’s fur can easily become matted. Hair mats can pull on your dog’s skin, making them quite uncomfortable. Brush every couple of days if possible. Dogs with short coat types don’t need to be brushed as often. Once a week should be fine.
Ear cleaning must be performed on a regular basis if your pet has long, floppy ears. Yeast and dirt can easily build up inside the ear canal due to humidity, leading to a potentially painful infection. You can find an effective ear cleaner at your local pet store.
Talk to your vet about how to do this in the safest way possible.3
Don’t Forget About Your Dog’s Teeth And Gums
Grooming is a great time to also check your dog’s teeth. Clean teeth and gums are important to your dog’s health. Dental problems can lead to major health issues, so brush and rinse your dog’s teeth as recommended by your vet.4
You can find pet toothpaste at your local pet store, or you could make your own using baking soda and water.5 Just remember to talk to your vet first to make sure you not only brush effectively but also safely.
Why Go To A Professional Groomer?
A professional has the experience and tools needed to keep your dog’s coat healthy and beautiful.
They’ll know exactly what kind of clipper blades are best for your dog’s breed, and they can spot any potential issues during the grooming process, like ear problems.
An expert also knows the right shampoo and conditioner that will help protect the natural oils in your dog’s skin, keeping it from becoming dry. If your pet has sensitive skin, a professional groomer will know how to remove loose hair without causing irritation.
Groomers also know where fleas like to hide on a dog’s body – areas a pet parent might overlook. It can be nerve-wracking to leave your young puppy at a groomer for the first time. But just remember that a clean pup, one whose hair is free of dirt and other debris, is a happy pup in tip-top shape.