How do I get my pet used to grooming?

It is the moment you have been waiting for! You just brought home your new little puppy and it is all snuggles, playing, and little wet puppy kisses! But a couple weeks later your cute little pup is starting to look more like a Scruffy than a Fluffy, what do you do now? Well it is off to see the groomer! For many dogs, grooming is something that they will have to go through every 4-8 weeks for the rest of their life so we want it to be an enjoyable experience for them each and every time. Dogs are not born understanding that they must be groomed or how to behave while being groomed, for their own safety and for the groomer's safety. This means that it is important for them to be exposed to grooming and what it entails starting at a young age. Here is a list of different techniques that can be used at home to teach your new addition that grooming can not only be tolerable, but an enjoyable experience!


'Bear' Leonberger puppy

'Bear' Leonberger puppy

1. Play daily with your dogs feet.    

Touch the pads, between their toes, tug lightly on nails. This gets them used to having nail trims and pads shaved.

2. Use a metal comb to groom your dog daily.

We do not suggest a brush as it will only surface brush your dog and will not get down to the skin where mats/knots form.

3. Start combing your dog from the bottom first.

Start at the point where the tail meets back and work your way forward towards the head so that you are not pulling knots all the way through the coat and causing the dog pain. Start at the toes and work your way up the leg. Be sure to get the belly and armpit area as well. Remove the collar to comb out neck and chest area and behind the ears. Pay close attention to the ears, tails, feet, and armpits. These are common areas for matting.

4. Working with the dogs face.

It is very important that your dog become accustom  to having it’s face held in order to groom safely around the eyes and mouth. We suggest that you use your index finger and thumb on the chin/beard area of face, and using a healthy treat get your dog to focus and sit still. Start with 10 seconds and work up from that everyday. If done on a regular basis we should be able to have your dog be still for face trimming.

'Bella' Maltese/Yorkie Puppy

'Bella' Maltese/Yorkie Puppy

5. Teaching your dog to stand still on a hard surface such as a washing machine or dryer (if size permits).

This is sometimes the hardest thing to teach your dog and takes a lot of patience by you the owner. Start out slowly and work up to 5- 10 minutes. Then when they come in to be groomed they are comfortable with standing in one spot.

6. Please DO NOT FEED your dog prior to grooming.

Many dogs have stress diarrhea and then must be re-bathed which tends to stress them out more. Missing their breakfast or lunch by a few hours will not harm them or throw them off their schedule. It also gives the dog something to look forward to once they get home.

'Hank' Catahoula Leopard Dog puppy

'Hank' Catahoula Leopard Dog puppy

7. It is also very important for you to use flea and tick prevention.

If your dog has fleas please inform us when making your appointment. As we must isolate your pet from the other animals in the shop to prevent an epidemic within the salon. Also please be aware that a flea bath will kill existing fleas but it will NOT prevent the fleas from coming back.

We recommend Frontline, a topical preventative for both cats and dogs, but there are other products that work just as well. We do offer to apply it at StylaPet for an added fee. Otherwise, please purchase it from your vet because if you buy it elsewhere then

it will not be guaranteed (there are many counterfeit products on the market) It must be applied monthly to your pet to keep them safe from fleas and ticks.


Your groomer is your dogs advocate for life, and we ask that you inform us of any changes in your dog's health or behavior. Groomers are often the first to find changes in your dog's behavior or health. We are also usually the first to find the beginnings of ear infections, growths, sores or other issues. We have our hands on your pet more often than a vet. And we will always inform you of any changes we find.

Here at StylaPet Day Spa, we strive to make your pets grooming experience a good one. With your help we can achieve that goal. We want your pet to leave not only clean and looking nice, but to have had a stress-free spa day!


Posted on March 20, 2013 .