Taking your puppy to the groomer for the first time can feel like an exciting adventure where your pup will get pampered and clean and come out looking like a million bucks. However, if you haven’t adequately prepared your pooch for its first groom then chances are Fido is going to have very different feelings about getting his first haircut. Without the right preparation your pup might feel anxious and even scared, which can make the groomer’s job much more difficult. Thankfully, it needn’t be that way.
Handling is the First Step
As soon as you bring your puppy home you both need to get into a routine of handling, every day. It’s not just about cuddles and petting, but about getting your puppy used to being checked all over. Set aside five minutes once a day to handle your pup’s paws, checking their nails and in between their paw pads. Make sure to also check their eyes and inside their ears. Your puppy might not like these checks at first, but with heaps of praise and the occasional treat for good behavior they will soon have no issues with being handled like this. Not only will this make your groomer’s job easier but vet trips will go smoothly too.
In addition to getting your puppy used to handling from an early age, get them used to being brushed and combed too. Chances are that a young and playful pup will see a brush as a toy and will struggle to ignore it, so it may be that for the first few tries you’ll only manage to brush your dog once or twice. Persevere by brushing your pup when he or she is calm, relaxed and even a bit sleepy, and you will end up with a dog that finds having a brush a relaxing and soothing experience.
Skip the Haircut
The day is finally here, and you’re taking your dog to get groomed. For their first experience in the grooming parlor, keep the sessions short and manageable to avoid your pup getting overwhelmed and anxious. Book them in for a bath, dry and brush, but skip the haircut this time. By making their first groom as enjoyable as possible, it allows your puppy to get used to the new surroundings and the groomer, so they are more likely to enjoy it next time.