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Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

Seven Puppy Grooming Tips for Your Furry Friend

By: Kelli Rascoe

Puppy gets washed in the sink by her owner

Pet grooming may be front of mind right now. In the midst of your home quarantine, you may realize your puppy desperately needs a bath or is in need of a haircut.

And although some may not consider pet grooming an essential business, when you have a house full of pets nothing rings more true. In fact, grooming is an important part of your puppy’s overall wellness.

While you learn to navigate this new normal with your puppy, you may find that your busy schedule leaves you little time to groom your furry friend. In your puppy’s first year they grow and develop quickly. This also includes your puppy’s coat, skin, and nails which may leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Fortunately, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Caroline Wilde to learn more about some puppy grooming tips to help keep your puppy happy, healthy, and clean until their next spa day!

Seven puppy grooming tips for the wellness for your best friend

A brown puppy snoozes with his paws sticking out

Whether you’re a new puppy owner or an established multi-dog owner, every pet may take to grooming differently. You may find while one puppy loves a bath, while the next may seem scared or intimidated. For this reason, Wilde breaks down some puppy grooming tips to consider before the big day.

Puppy grooming tips

1.Get your puppy used to having their paws touched early. Gently touch their feet and toes and provide treats for positive reinforcement.

2. Start slowly and gradually introduce your puppy to grooming tools.

3. If your puppy is resistant to grooming, don’t force it. Start with short sessions and use positive reinforcement techniques.

4. There is no set frequency for how often your puppy should be groomed. The important thing is to get them accustomed to grooming, like brushing or touching their feet and ears.

5. Ask your veterinarian for advice on your specific breed. Each breed may have different requirements to maintain their coats, like whether that involves brushing or trimming their fur, cleaning their ears, or trimming their nails.

6. Trim your puppy’s nails a small amount at a time.

7. Artificial tear lubricant can help prevent getting shampoo in the eye. Ask your veterinarian or veterinary medical professional to demonstrate the application to avoid injury to the eyes.

The importance of keeping your puppy groomed

Naturally, you don’t want your puppy’s fur to become matted due to a lack of grooming. It may take time for you and your puppy to become accustomed to this new activity.

It’s new to both of you so start small and take your time. Chances are the more you groom them, the more comfortable they may become.

Wilde weighs in on the importance of puppy grooming and insight into the mess ahead.

“Puppies love to get messy, and often may need baths after playtime. Also, regular brushing can help reduce shedding and help maintain a shiny coat. Ask your veterinarian for their recommendations on cleaning your puppy’s ears. Most dog’s ears don’t need regular cleaning and over-cleansing can actually increase the risk of inflammation and infection. Every pet has unique needs. Further, it’s important to start daily home dental care with puppies.”

If you have any concerns in regards to your pet’s grooming regime or when to start incorporating other tools, talk to your veterinarian. They can recommend the best course of action that is personalized to your pet’s condition. Proper grooming may help prevent skin and infections, as well as matted fur.

The benefits of grooming your puppy

Your puppy’s health is important as they grow and develop. The last thing you want is a puppy that has an infection because of dirty ears or unkempt skin or fur. Every puppy is unique and may need a different grooming regime unique to its breed, gender, or age.

For instance, a Great Pyrenees puppy may have different grooming requirements than a Border Collie, Pit Bull, or a Chihuahua. The expertise of your veterinarian can point out any key tips to consider when you start grooming your puppy.

Also, “it’s important to create good grooming habits when they’re young so that your adult dog allows grooming. Most importantly, grooming your puppy will keep them clean and fresh smelling,” says Wilde.

Small puppy with curly black fur in owners hand

Puppy grooming tips to help keep your best friend healthy

As your puppy grows, you may need to change or switch up your grooming routine. But, by starting young, consulting with your veterinarian, and taking your time, you and your puppy will be grooming pro’s in no time at all.

To learn more about puppy tips, subscribe to our New Puppy Newsletter Series!

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We’re the official blog of Trupanion—chosen by veterinarians as the #1 pet insurance in America. Here you’ll find useful dog and cat care tips, interesting veterinary insights, and fun pet topics galore.

While you’re browsing our pet blog, please note that the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Trupanion. Our articles are reviewed by veterinarians for accuracy, but they are not a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Always consult with your own pet’s veterinarian for advice.

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