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Your Puppy’s First Visit to the Groomer

01/23/2013
White puppy

If your puppy needs to be groomed professionally, the best time to start is after they have had all their puppy shots. This is typically around 16 weeks of age. The sooner you familiarize it with being groomed, the happier your puppy will be. Introducing your puppy correctly to grooming at a young age can be both a positive and rewarding experience.

Here’s what one pet expert has to say about getting your puppy ready for grooming:

1. Start socializing early. Bring your puppy on car rides and take her to different places, such as parks and businesses, that are dog-friendly. Take her to the groomer and let her sniff around. Make these experiences as fun as possible with treats and lots of positive reinforcement.

2. Handle your puppy regularly. Make sure to play with him often, and while you do, touch different parts of his body. Make sure he is used to having his feet, tail, ears and face touched.

3. Get your puppy used to new noises. If you have a puppy that will need haircuts, turn on an electric toothbrush, or something similar, close to his body while you pet him and give him treats. This will help acclimate him to the sound of an electric shaver.

4. Start grooming early. The earlier you bring your puppy in, the better. This means within the first two months. She does not need a full grooming to start out, but you can get her bathed and brushed and have her nails clipped and ears cleaned. Make sure to get feedback from the groomer so that you know what you may need to work on at home.

5. Understand that the grooming process takes time. There are many factors to consider, and some of these are drying time, matting, and your puppy’s personality. On most adult dogs, groomers use a powerful hand-held dryer to help speed up the drying process, but this may be too stressful for a small puppy. Drying in a cage or air-drying can take up to two hours, or more in some cases, depending on the thickness of a dog’s coat. You may not realize it, but your puppy may have some mattes, and if she does, the process will take longer. Mattes can be caused from several things, and one that most people are not aware of is getting the hair wet and not combing all of the mattes out immediately. If there are any knots in your puppy’s hair when it is wet, from bathing, snow, or even wet grass, they will tighten as they dry, making them impossible to get out without shaving them off.

Additionally, there is no guarantee your puppy will be well-behaved at the groomer’s. No matter how friendly and submissive she is, she may not stand still for being clipped. Even though groomers are prepared for this, you should be aware that it plays into the amount of time it takes to finish your puppy.

It will help your puppy to be calm if you are calm, so work on socialization at home, do your research to find a well-recommended groomer, and relax. Take a break yourself, and when you go to pick him up, he will be soft and clean and very excited to see you.

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