Are you the proud new owner of a fluffy puppy? Congratulations! Bringing a new puppy into your home is a big responsibility, but it’s also a lot of fun. One of the most important things you'll need to do is groom your puppy. Grooming your puppy is essential for their health and well-being, and it’s also a great way to bond with your new furry friend. So, when is the best time to start grooming your puppy?
Introducing Your Puppy to a Professional Groomer
The best time to start grooming your puppy is when he’s young. In fact, most puppies should start getting groomed at 8 to 12 weeks old - and nail trimming as early as 2 weeks for both puppies and kittens. This is when they’re most comfortable being handled and when their coat is easiest to groom. The very first grooming appointment is an introduction to the puppy and the owner to the world of grooming.
Your puppy will be given their first bath, blowout, nail trim, and minor trimming. The first time a puppy is groomed, we do not advise getting a thorough haircut. This is because you are making the puppy stay still and be handled for one and a half hours. For a puppy, this is a lot to ask. Just like small children, puppies are much too busy to sit, stand, or lie down for grooming. Because of this, we merely perform the bare minimum when grooming a puppy. They are bathed, slowly dried, have their nails cut, and the fur around their eyes, pads, and private parts trimmed. The younger they are the easier it is for them to habituate to the grooming process. Training your pet to love the groomer is much easier when you start early, preparing the for a lifetime of more extensive grooming.
How Can You Help at Home?
At home grooming practice is extremely essential to having a puppy become used to grooming, and to enjoy their experience at the groomer. As soon as you bring your puppy home, you should start preparing it for salon grooming appointments.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Touch Conditioning - It will be easier for your puppy to understand that being touched won’t hurt and they won't be scared if you gradually expose it to body contact, such as stroking their legs, massaging their ears and paws, and gently holding their head.
- Brush Often - Our groomers are very willing to answer questions and show you tools that are appropriate for your puppy. Gentle brushing weekly can really help prep your puppy for the grooming experience.
- Noise Conditioning - If you have a blow dryer at home, slowly introduce them to it by letting your puppy see and hear it.
- Play with their Paws - Playing with your puppy's paws will prepare them for the groomer's handling. You can also gently tap your puppy's toenails with a metal spoon or file to acclimate them to the pressure and touch that comes with nail trimming. Another tip is to touch their nail for a moment and slowly work up to squeezing your dog's nail gently to imitate the pressure applied.
- Socialize - Socializing your puppy with strangers will also make your furbaby feel more at ease around a groomer.
- Drop-Off Time - The first time you leave your puppy with a groomer, try to keep the anxiety and thrill of lengthy goodbyes at bay. So that your dog doesn't feel abandoned and scared when you leave, give your pup to the groomer in a cool, composed manner.
Important Tip: Always reward your puppy with a high value treat when you are practicing at home!
Keep Up Good Habits
After a puppy’s appointment, the grooming process doesn’t end. Our groomers will always offer advice on how to maintain your puppy’s appearance between visits and will be pleased to respond to inquiries about brushing, caring for their teeth, or performing other at-home maintenance tasks in between grooming sessions. The more grooming activities and behaviors your puppy is exposed to, the less stressful and more comfortable each visit to the groomer will be. As far as the frequency of grooming appointments for your puppy our groomers recommend once every 4-6 weeks. Of course, each dog is an individual, and we will treat them as such. So, reach out to your Barkery groomer and ask them any questions, and get scheduled for your first puppy cut today!