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Grooming Puppies: When & How to Do It

Grooming your puppy can be quite a challenging task. Starting from when to begin, what equipment to use, and how to ensure your puppy is groomed correctly, there are many aspects to consider. However, you can always rely on the expert advice of our Crossroads Veterinary Hospital vets who can answer all your queries and help you groom your puppy.

When should a puppy be groomed for the first time?

If you've recently welcomed a new puppy into your home and they have had a few weeks to adjust to their surroundings, it's time to start thinking about their first at-home grooming session. Ideally, you should start introducing your puppy to grooming around 10-12 weeks old. To prepare your puppy for grooming, you'll want to get them used to touch gently. You can do this by lifting their paws and massaging the pads and tips of their toes. 

You may also want to reward your puppy with small treats such as chicken or cheese during this time. This will help them associate grooming time with positive experiences and they will be more likely to enjoy the grooming ritual when the time comes. 

When it's time to groom your puppy, it's best to do it right after playtime. If your puppy is tired, it will settle down quickly and be more accessible to handle. Playtime can also be a bonus for your puppy as they get used to the grooming routine.

What You Need

Depending on your puppy, there are a few different things you will need for an at-home grooming session. The type of brush you need will depend on the thickness of your puppy’s coat.

If your puppy has a thin coat, using a fine-toothed comb is best. On the other hand, if your puppy has a thick coat, a wide-toothed comb is more suitable.

If you're unsure about your puppy's coat type, you can opt for a slicker brush, a versatile tool that works well on most dog hair types, or ask a veterinarian or professional dog groomer for advice.

A brush isn't the only thing you will need when grooming your puppy at home. You should have a starter supply of:

  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog toothpaste
  • Dog toothbrush
  • Toenail clippers
  • Towels for drying
  • Electric clippers
  • Cotton balls (for cleaning out its ears)

What Needs to be Done

Four important things need to be done when grooming your puppy;

Dental Care: Brushing your puppy's teeth may not be an easy task initially, as the puppy may try to nibble on the toothbrush and your hands. However, it is vital for your puppy's oral health, and daily brushing can help prevent cavities and gingivitis. Keep in mind that your puppy may not like you sticking your hands into their mouth, but regular brushing is important.

Bathing: There are times you’ll need to bathe your dog, such as when they smell terrible. However, refrain from overbathing them as this removes oils that are necessary for your puppy's coat. When bathing your puppy treat them like an infant and make sure to test the water. If it is too warm for you, it's too warm for your puppy. 

Nail Care: You must make your dog comfortable during this process. Letting them lick peanut butter as a treat the first few times might be easy to get them excited about grooming. When trimming their nails you want to be very careful not to cut too close to the quick. This can be very painful for your puppy. If your puppy has brown or black nails, it could be hard to locate quick of the nail, so try taking off little bits at once.

Trimming the Coat: The best time to cut your puppy’s coat iswhen their fur is damp, which usually happens after a bath. Puppies generally do not require frequent trimmings, but as they get older, they may need more, especially if they have thick fur. When you are trimming your puppy's coat, you should start from the back of their neck and work your way down to their legs. Taking small amounts off at a time is advisable, so you do not end up over-trimming your puppy's coat.

Make a Routine

It's important to add grooming into your puppy's schedule as early as possible to make sure they get used to it. If you wait too long, this can be a stressful experience for your puppy. If you remember that your dog is a creature of habit, and when you're doing the grooming bring your dog to the same spot each time so they know how to react. For example, if you clean your dog in the kitchen make sure it continues to do so.

Getting your puppy to sit still and allow you to brush their fur and teeth more than once a week can be difficult but as long as you keep up with it, there shouldn't be any issues.

When should I take my puppy to the groomer?

Taking your puppy to the groomer is essential to their overall health and well-being. Regular grooming helps maintain their coat, skin, and nails and can also be a bonding experience.

You should schedule your puppy’s first grooming visit around 12 weeks of age or after it has received its initial vaccinations.

Early professional grooming experiences are vital in helping your puppy get accustomed to the grooming process, which can include bathing, brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning.

The initial visit should be a gentle introduction, focusing on making the experience positive and stress-free.

How often should a puppy be groomed? 

Many new and experienced dog owners find it challenging to maintain a consistent grooming schedule for their pets. All dogs require monthly nail trims and daily tooth brushing. However, the frequency of grooming appointments for haircuts depends on the breed of your dog.

Dogs with short hair are relatively low maintenance and require fewer trips to the groomer compared to long-haired dogs. They rarely need grooming with clippers or trimmers and should be bathed on a four- to six-week schedule. Minimal brushing is necessary to keep their coat healthy.

Dogs with double coats usually shed their undercoat seasonally. Because these dogs have thicker coats than short-haired breeds, their fur can become tangled if grooming is not done regularly. It's recommended to brush these breeds at least one to three times per week and take them to the groomer every two to three months.

Dog Grooming for Dogs near Gilbert

Are you considering taking your puppy to a grooming session? We offer professional grooming services for your pet once a week. Our team would be delighted to meet your dog, evaluate their requirements, and ensure that they look and feel amazing.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your puppy due for a grooming session? Contact our vets at Crossroads Veterinary Hospital  today to book your cat or dog's appointment.

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Contact us today to book your first appointment and find out the difference that caring, compassionate and knowledgeable veterinary service makes in your pet's health and happiness. 

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