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While your puppy’s first grooming session sounds like a fun bonding moment, the truth is it must happen at the right time. Puppies are basically furry babies for the first few months of their life, so a full haircut might be a little too much to ask of them. This guide will discuss when pet owners should take their puppy to their first puppy grooming appointment and what they can expect to happen during it.
So How Old Do They Need to Be?
Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is that puppies shouldn’t have their hair cut until they are at least eight weeks old. This is a general rule because it varies based on breed and specific dogs. While one puppy of one breed might be more mature than another, that doesn’t mean all dogs at that age can be brought to a professional groomer. It depends on individual animals and how they deal with being handled by strangers.
What you want to think about it is as if your puppy is a child – would you like to bring your one-year-old baby to the movies? Of course not – the loud noises and sensory overload would probably terrify them more than anything. And just because some movie theaters might permit such behavior doesn’t make it okay. If you find a groomer that says it’s okay to bring your freshly-born puppy in for an entire two-hour grooming session, find another groomer!
Can I Get My Puppy Groomed At All?
Yes, you can! It’s recommended that you first bring your puppy to the groomer early – say between eight and 12 weeks old. If this sounds contradictory, it isn’t. You can get your puppy groomed – i.e., bathed, a nail clipping, a good brushing, etc. – but you just don’t want to have them sit for a full puppy cut, as that can take a long time.
Puppies aren’t known for their ability to stay still for too long, which is why you don’t want to give them a full haircut. However, it is important that you bring them to professional groomers reasonably early in life so they become accustomed to being handled by strangers. Even a puppy four months old can be much more challenging to handle if it’s their first time being groomed, so bring them in early.
Why Cut Puppy Hair in the First Place?
Trimming the hair of a long-haired breed comes with a few different benefits for your pet. First off, it makes the hair less prone to matting. This means less discomfort for your dog and a cleaner puppy coat. Regular grooming can also come in handy by lessening the amount of shedding a dog does and reducing the effect of their dander on anyone with allergies in your home. So, trimming their fur can be good for them and you.
Dog hair serves several important purposes for your little furballs. It keeps them warm in the winter and helps protect their skin from scratches, cuts, and sunburns. It can also make them less susceptible to parasites like ticks and fleas. So, if you decide to get your dog a haircut, ensure you don’t get the full shave. It’ll be doing more harm than good in the long run.
Ways to Calm Down Your Dog At the Groomer’s
Your puppy’s first time at the groomer will likely be a stressful experience for them. However, there are ways to lessen the anxiety that they might be feeling, and a good groomer will employ all kinds of tricks to make your pup feel more comfortable. These include utilizing treats, toys, anxiety vests, and more. Let your dog sniff out the environment first so they can become accustomed to the place before being handled by a stranger (or multiple strangers!).
If your dog isn’t socialized particularly well yet, you might want to call ahead to find out if your groomer has open slots where other dogs won’t be present. It can be quite enough for any young pup to deal with being groomed by a roomful of strangers. You don’t want them juggling that anxiety with the stress that comes from being treated in front of an audience. Another trick that can help them become accustomed to the space is to have your groomer play familiar music or sounds that can soothe your dog’s anxieties. Any piece of music or audio that they might like can help. You can also ask ahead if it’s alright if you stay with your dog during the grooming process. While this isn’t usually necessary, it can help reduce both your dog’s stress and your stress, so why not give it a go?
Good Luck At Your First Grooming Session!
If you have a long-haired pup like a golden retriever, a cocker spaniel, or a Yorkshire terrier, you will want to get them used to the groomers early in life. After all, your puppy’s first grooming session is the start of establishing a healthy lifestyle! We hope it’s a good experience, but don’t be discouraged if they struggle to behave. Most dog groomers have accredited professionals with years of experience handling all kinds of dogs. Make sure you go through the trouble of finding a dog groomer with good reviews and a long list of satisfied clients.
There are a lot of groomers out there who might not be the best, so make sure you do some research on whoever you end up going with. Even the most difficult dogs have ways of being calmed down. Don’t be scared of bringing your dog to the groomers – they will do much more good than harm in the long run!
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