How to prepare your puppy for its first grooming session

UK Home Improvement

How to Prepare Your Puppy For Its First Grooming Session

There are various reasons why you should consider getting your puppy professionally groomed. Not only does grooming help to keep their coat looking its best but it can help them to feel more comfortable and even help to identify any health issues such as skin infections or lumps and bumps.

However, before you take your puppy to the groomer for the first time, we recommend grooming them at home first. This can help to reduce their anxiety in a grooming salon, ensuring they feel much more relaxed throughout the process.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Jaycliffe Pets to provide you with these expert tips on how to prepare your puppy for it’s first grooming session.

Top tips for preparing your puppy for grooming

For many breeds of dogs, grooming is essential. Grooming is particularly important for long-haired breeds such as Afghans, Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese. These breeds require ongoing grooming to keep their coats in optimal condition. However, even short-haired puppies can benefit from grooming. Even though their coats are lower maintenance, they still need caring for. Keep reading to learn how to prepare your puppy for its first grooming session.

Wait until they are old enough

Some people start grooming their puppies early on, as soon as they’ve left their mother at eight weeks. However, many experts believe this is too soon and often recommend putting it off until they’re 12 weeks old. By delaying their first trip to the groomers until they’re slightly older, you have time to build a bond with them and familiarise them with key grooming processes such as brushing. This can help their first trip to the grooming salon go much more smoothly. 

Make sure they’re vaccinated 

Another benefit of waiting until 12 weeks to groom your puppy is that they will have had their vaccinations. You can expect your pup to spend time around other dogs at a grooming salon, putting them at risk of contracting diseases such as parvovirus and canine distemper. Fortunately, if they’ve had their vaccinations, they have protection against these illnesses and are unlikely to become sick. Puppies have their vaccinations at around eight to 10 weeks old in the UK, with a ‘booster’ vaccination due two to four weeks after.

Build up slowly

Taking your puppy to a grooming salon without first familiarising them with the techniques and equipment isn’t advisable. The experience can be very distressing if they’re not used to being brushed, bathed or hearing loud noises from hairdryers. 

Therefore, we recommend building up to the first session by introducing them to grooming at home. You should do this slowly, perhaps beginning by lightly touching them with a brush before rewarding them with a treat. On the next day, you could brush them for a few seconds, building up to a few minutes over several days. Gradually, you can start to show your pup that grooming is a fun experience that they shouldn’t be anxious about.

Handle your puppy’s feet

Since nail clipping is such a key part of grooming for dogs, it’s a good idea to get your pet used to their feet being handled. Gently play with their feet and spread their toes to get them used to the type of touch involved in nail clipping. Practice this a few times a day for a few minutes at a time. If you feel like you are forcing your puppy to let you do this, ease off. We recommend giving your puppy treats and verbal praise when they allow you to handle their feet. Positive reinforcement can help them to associate the activity with pleasant results.

Exercise your puppy 

Make sure your puppy has plenty of exercise before you take them to the groomer. Walking them or playing with them in the garden can help to tire them out and burn off excess energy before they get onto the grooming table. There are few things more difficult than grooming a dog that is excitable or agitated. In fact, not only can make grooming them hard but it can also be downright dangerous due to the sharp tools used such as scissors and clippers. Accidents can occur when grooming a puppy that’s bursting with pent-up energy, especially if the groomer doesn’t have much experience.

Choose an experienced dog groomer

When it comes to preparing your puppy for its first grooming session, make sure you take the time to choose an experienced groomer. The dog grooming industry remains unregulated at present, however, there are things you can do to ensure you’re hiring a groomer you can trust with your puppy. 

Firstly, check online reviews. Reading reviews of a grooming salon can allow you to see what others are saying about their service and find out what to expect if you hire them. Secondly, we strongly recommend visiting a grooming salon before you book your dog in for a session. Take a look around – is it clean and tidy and smells pleasant? They should be willing to offer you a tour of the whole salon to show that they have nothing to hide. Does their equipment look safe and up to date? 

Perhaps most importantly, groomers should be knowledgeable about your pet and its grooming needs. Talk to them about how you want your puppy to be groomed. If they seem unsure about grooming a puppy or sense that they don’t have a great deal of experience in doing so, it may be best to look elsewhere. Ultimately, whether you’re look for grooming in Dinnington, Doncaster or Dorset, You need to be sure that your pup will be in safe hands when being groomed for the first time. 


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