Puppy Perfection – an introduction to dog grooming for your new best friend

by Kris Rollo

 

At Doggy Styling, we offer a professional, thought-out puppy grooming intro package, suitable for your new arrival’s first ever groom! 

While that’s exciting enough in itself, we’ve got some tips on how to prepare your pup for their visit to the groomers.

As with most dogs, they either really love something (cue insane tail wagging), or really don’t. While we always aim for the former, we get that not every furry friend understands why a stranger is washing them in the bath or trying to trim their nails. 

To be honest, we can see where they are coming from.

When people first get a puppy, their initial reaction is to focus on teaching them to sit, lie down or maybe a quick trick. But thinking ahead, it’s important to plan and prepare your pup to be ready for grooming. 

Especially if you have a dog breed which needs a lot more attention.

Do puppies even need grooming?

In short, yes. Dogs in general need regular grooming to make sure they are healthy and remain clean. The same goes for puppies who need their fur checked for mats and tangles or their ears checked for excessive hair growth, followed by a good scrub with our eucalyptus ear solution, which helps prevent infections. 

The benefits of grooming your puppy include maintaining good physical health, checking for lumps or unusual marks and to help your dog feel it’s best.

That’s a core part of Doggy Styling’s philosophy. We put canine care and wellbeing as our main priority.  

When to take your puppy for their first groom

A lot of pet experts advise to take your puppy to the groomers before 16 weeks old. It’s a good idea to get them accustomed to grooming as soon as you can. Often, people don’t take their new dog to the salon as they don’t think they need it, or they decide to do it themselves. Waiting until the dog is older could mean that a trip to the groomers becomes a stressful occasion. 

It’s also important to prepare your puppy before you go. We’re not saying you need to study the ins and outs of dog grooming, but things like getting your dog used to being gently brushed can really help.

Luca the puppy having his fur brushed

Photo: Luca enjoying his first grooming experience at Doggy Styling

Before you get to the groomers

Taking your puppy to the groomers for the first time can be daunting. That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare them for their first trip. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Get them used to being touched and building the association between human hands and good feelings. Naturally, you will pet your new dog, so start off slowly and then move on to other areas, such as your puppy’s face, once it is comfortable
  • Try to get your puppy to enjoy being held and moved around gently. It’s likely you will be doing this anyway, but the key thing here is to simulate being held while being groomed, and getting the puppy to stay in one place
  • One of the most important things is to familiarise your puppy with the idea of grooming. 
  • We’d recommend at least getting your puppy happy with the bath environment at home, as this will get them used to the mix of hands and water. 
  • Introduce equipment such as a brush or comb. It’s understood that you won’t have professional tools like the groomers. However, investing in a comb and making that positive association can go a long way. Allow your puppy to see the equipment, smell it and realise that it’s not a threat.
  • Brushes are also wise if you have a long-haired breed, for regular maintenance which is vital for your dog’s health and wellbeing

Doggy Styling groomers are City and Guilds trained, so we know what to look for in long-haired breeds. Longer coats will need more attention and we’ll also check your puppy’s underbelly to make sure everything is in order.

Luca puppy smelling scissors

Photo: It's a good idea to let puppies get used to the equipment. Here, Luca smells the scissors before our groomer gives him a trim

What treatments are available to puppies?

Bathing

As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to get your puppy happy with water, even if that doesn’t involve a full bath. You will need to make sure they don't think it's a game, but comfort them at the same time to ensure a safe bath. At Doggy Styling, we use our specialist shampoo coupled with our puppy specific shower head, when washing their face.

Hair combing

This is for both long haired and short haired breeds, to ensure prevention of coat matting but also for the shorter breeds to remove dead undercoat, which would subsequently make them overheat and uncomfortable. We use tailored dog brushes and combs in order to reduce stress for your pet. Ask us if you’re unsure what brush to use for your dog. 

Nail clipping

We pride ourselves on maintaining our equipment, so it remains at the highest standard, ready to use on your dog. That includes our nail clippers. Dogs often take a while to get used to this, but through positive reinforcement and confident energy, our groomers will help your puppy relax.

Teeth cleaning

You may think puppy teeth don’t need to be cleaned, but it’s wise to establish this early. We use meat flavoured toothpaste and specialist dog tooth brushes. Just like us humans require teeth cleaning daily, so too does your dog to avoid gum disease and tooth loss.


Puppies laying on the grass

How often should your puppy visit the groomers?

As for the frequency of visits, there is no hard and fast rule. Long-haired dogs will require more frequent sessions than short-haired dogs. 

When it comes to puppies, grooming sessions should be shorter than a full groom, yet frequent. Initial sessions may be focused on getting the puppy used to the salon and the groomer, building them up to get the full works.

Looking to book your puppy's first trip to Doggy Styling? Find out more about our Puppy Grooming Intro Package or call us on 0208 255 5050 to book an appointment.


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