Skip to main content

Because all puppies are adorable, many new parents forget that they still need regular grooming to stay clean and healthy. Starting while they’re young helps build their confidence by familiarizing them with the whole grooming process. 

So with that in mind, here are some important puppy grooming tips to help ensure their coat, skin, teeth, nails, and ears are always looking their best. This is super important because puppies are so mischievous.

Start Teaching Your Puppy Early

While most puppies should be ready for their first grooming by the time they’re 10 weeks old, you should start establishing grooming routines much earlier. Get him used to be handled by gently massaging all over, paying close attention to the sensitive areas like ears, face, paws, and tummy. To ensure the whole experience is as enjoyable as possible when the grooming eventually becomes real, you should reward your puppy with some delicious treats.

Because dogs are habitual creatures, start by teaching them which area will be used just for grooming, such as inside the laundry tub or on top of the washing machine lid. Once your puppy starts associating this place with grooming, he will react positively every time you bring him there. 

By preparing your puppy from a young age, they will be easier to control and much more likely to learn and remember how to behave. Especially if your puppy starts associating the grooming process with lots of extra affection and yummy treats.   

First Time Grooming Your Puppy

Start bathing your puppy before three months old by filling the laundry tub with a small amount of lukewarm water without cleaning products. Simply rub a lukewarm rag all over your puppy’s coat so that they learn to enjoy all of the sensations involved with grooming. Once your puppy is older than three months, you can then add some specially formulated puppy shampoo into her bath time.

Start by gently and sparingly rubbing the shampoo into your puppy’s coat while trying to keep the soap suds away from the ears, eyes, and nose areas. Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed off all the shampoo, repeat the process again using some specially formulated conditioner to ensure your puppy has healthy skin with a smooth and shiny coat of fur.

Trimming Your Puppy’s Coat

While trimming may not be needed when puppies are still young, it’s still a good idea to get your puppy used to everything that’s involved with having a haircut. 

So, start getting your pup used to the sound and sensations involved by pulling at the fur and pretending to cut it with scissors. Then take the blade off from the dog clippers and while holding it at a distance, turn it on before pretending to use it on your puppy.

Frequent trims will eventually be a necessity, especially for puppies with thick or long coats. Remember that the best time for trimming your puppy is after a bath when the fur is nice and clean and slightly damp to touch. 

You should only trim a small amount at a time until you know you’re completely comfortable with judging how much fur you’re cutting. Starting from the back of the neck, you should work along one side down to the rear leg, and repeat the process again on the other side.

Looking After Your Puppy’s Teeth

Most dogs don’t enjoy anything being probed around inside their mouth. That’s why you should start gently massaging your puppy’s teeth and gums with your fingers during quiet time to get them used to the sensation of brushing their teeth. Make sure to check your dog’s gums as they can be a sign of different health problems, from issues such as stress or pain to more complex issues. 

Through doing this you will be able to begin a weekly brushing routine with dog toothpaste when your puppy eventually grows some adult teeth.

Feeding your puppy a diet of healthy fresh food will also ensure their teeth are in top shape. 

Clipping Your Puppy’s Nails

Many owners decide to get their puppy’s nails trimmed by a professional groomer rather than learning how to do it themselves. But there are special clippers available which make the whole process much easier. 

Start by letting your puppy see and sniff the clippers, and provide them with a rewarding treat. Only a small amount from each nail while being careful when cutting your puppy’s nails not to cut too close to the pink area that’s closest to the paw. By teaching them how to enjoy the grooming process, your puppy will grow up ready for as much mischievous fun as possible. 


photo credit:

Love our content? Share it with a friend or link it to social media. Like short clips of cute household pets? Training tips? Follow us on instagram @nydognanny or on YouTube at nydognanny.  Have some news you needs to get to dog and cat parents stat?  Email with your article pitch.

Skip to content