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Grooming and Your New Puppy: Everything You Need to Know

A new puppy, how exciting! The sound of little paws is echoing through your house! There are about a million things on your mind right now, from potty training to choosing the right food, and we’re here to fill you in on everything grooming related with your new pup. This is an in depth look at what to expect when your puppy starts getting groomed.


Let’s start with the basics, how old should your puppy be when he or she gets their first groom? As soon as possible!! Your puppy should have received their first 2 sets of puppy shots (ask your vet for their recommendations for shots). A few days after those are administered, your puppy is ready to start exploring and experiencing the world.


You might be thinking, “But he’s just a baby!” Keep in mind, that your puppy is aging much quicker than humans do. At just 15 months old, most dogs are considered adults, even younger for small breeds. So, it is important that your puppy learns proper grooming behavior at a very young age to prepare them for a life of happy and safe grooming experiences!


At 8 weeks old (or even earlier), puppies enter a vital training stage where they should be taught the most important things, like playing, socializing, potty training and grooming. Grooming can be scary, especially to a puppy, but between 8 weeks old and 6 months your dog should know how it feels to be washed by someone other than you, blow dried, brushed and combed, and start experiencing the sound of clippers and scissors.


In the beginning, grooming should be experienced frequently so your puppy can easily become desensitized to anything that may make grooming difficult in the future. We recommend a puppy coming in 3 or 4 times (even just for a bath or a nail trim) within the first few months they begin getting groomed. We only get to see your puppy for a short while during their visit, so it is vital they learn that grooming can be fun and how to safely behave during the process.


Even though we want to see your puppy often during this period, we understand life gets busy and grooming can become expensive. A few tricks to help continue the positive grooming experience at home include calmly holding your puppy’s feet and legs, combing and brushing your puppy OFTEN (at least twice a week), letting your puppy listen to a blow dryer or better yet, blow drying your puppy if they aren’t too stressed, and baths. Anything new or potentially scary introduced to your new friend should always be approached with patience and lots of treats and rewards!


So, what can we expect to happen during our puppy’s groom?

Great question! We will wash your puppy with puppy safe shampoos. After they are squeaky clean, we wrap them in a towel and try to get as much water off as possible. The blow dryer comes next. This can be the scariest part, but we always use the lowest, quietest setting and slowly introduce this step. Next comes the brush! Working in small sections, we brush every inch of your pet to make sure there are no tangles. Then comes the haircut if that is what your puppy needs. The clippers and scissors feel unlike anything your puppy has felt before, so we do what your puppy is comfortable with! Nails will be trimmed, and ears will be cleaned during this process also.


Things to keep in mind for your puppy’s first experience:

· WE WORK AT YOUR PET’S PACE. Forcing a nervous or scared puppy through the grooming process is likely to have a negative impact on grooming for them. Remember, your dog is going to be groomed for the rest of their life!! It should be a good experience!

· We will keep you updated about what your puppy likes and doesn’t like, and what still needs to be worked on at home. This does NOT mean you are doing something wrong at all! We just want you to know how your puppy is doing with someone new and how they feel about what we do for grooming. During a typical grooming visit, we train your puppy to stand still, to listen to basic commands (like sit or down), and to become comfortable with new feelings or sensations. It is a process and liking or tolerating grooming may take some time.

· Please don’t expect perfection. More than likely, your puppy will spend the entire groom trying to run all over, wagging its tail, handing out kisses, and jumping on us for hugs. As much as we love this adorable puppy energy, this can be dangerous since we work with sharp tools. We will work within our standards for your dog’s safety and overall experience.

· Trust us. We have all worked with puppies before and know what to expect. We love all of our furry clients and can’t wait to build that trust and friendship with them.

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