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  • Writer's pictureChristina Hale

Start Your Pup Right: Essential Tips for Early Dog Grooming

Updated: Apr 17

How to start your new puppy off right with the grooming experience, your dog and your groomer will thank you!

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting and heartwarming experience. As you embark on this journey of companionship, it's important to establish healthy habits early on, including grooming. Starting your puppy's grooming routine from an early age not only ensures they look and feel their best but also sets the foundation for a lifetime of positive grooming experiences. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of early grooming, essential grooming practices, and tips for making the process enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. You aren't in this alone, if you are struggling teaching your puppy you can find a wonderful professional groomer to help you get started in the best way!

dog getting a bath at the dog groomer

Benefits of Early Grooming

Builds Trust:

  • Introducing grooming activities early helps your puppy become familiar with being handled, touched, and brushed. This builds trust between you and your pup, making future grooming sessions more pleasant.

Prevents Fear and Anxiety:

  • Early exposure to grooming tools, such as brushes, clippers, and nail trimmers, helps prevent fear and anxiety associated with these activities. A positive grooming experience in puppyhood can significantly reduce stress in adulthood.

Maintains Health and Hygiene:

  • Regular grooming is essential for your puppy's health and hygiene. Brushing their coat removes loose fur, prevents matting, and promotes a healthy skin and coat. Nail trims, ear cleaning, and dental care are also crucial components of a well-rounded grooming routine.

puppy after their first dog grooming

Essential Puppy Grooming Practices


  • Start by gently brushing your puppy's coat with a soft brush. Short sessions are key, gradually increasing the time as your puppy becomes more comfortable. Regular brushing not only prevents matting but also helps your pup get used to the sensation.

Nail Trimming:

  • Get your puppy accustomed to having their paws touched and nails trimmed early on. Use a small, puppy-friendly nail clipper and trim just the tips of the nails. Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, can make the experience more enjoyable.

Ear Cleaning:

  • Check and clean your puppy's ears regularly to prevent infections. Use a dog-friendly ear cleaner and a soft cloth or cotton ball. Be gentle and reward your pup for good behavior during the process.


  • Introduce your puppy to baths in a positive and calm environment. Use a mild, puppy-safe shampoo and ensure the water temperature is comfortable. Positive reinforcement and treats can help create a positive association with bath time.

Dental Care:

  • Start a dental care routine early by introducing your puppy to a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Regular brushing helps prevent dental issues and keeps your pup's breath fresh.

dog at the dog groomer

Tips for a Positive Grooming Experience

Start Slow:

  • Gradually introduce grooming activities in short, positive sessions. Allow your puppy to investigate grooming tools before using them, and always reward good behavior.

Use Positive Reinforcement:

  • Reward your puppy with treats, praise, and affection during and after grooming sessions. Positive reinforcement creates a positive association with grooming activities.

Be Patient:

  • Grooming takes time, especially with a puppy who may be unfamiliar with the process. Stay patient and calm, and take breaks if needed. Consistency is key to building a positive grooming routine.

Make it Fun:

  • Turn grooming into a fun and bonding experience. Play with your puppy before and after grooming, and incorporate treats and toys to make the process enjoyable.

Starting early with puppy grooming is an investment in your dog's overall well-being and happiness. By introducing grooming activities in a positive and gentle manner, you'll not only maintain their health and hygiene but also build a strong foundation of trust and comfort. Embrace the journey of grooming your puppy, and watch as it becomes a pawsitively perfect part of your shared adventures.

Ask us your grooming questions in the comments!


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