Dog Grooming

Safety and First Aid Tips for Dog Owners

Being a responsible dog owner involves staying on top of all aspects of pet care. This includes your pet’s physical health, dog grooming, obedience training, exercise, and more. When your dog is well taken care of, you will enjoy time spent together and help them live the fullest life possible.

While regular trips for dog grooming and vet care are important to support your dog’s health, so too is keeping your pet safe and being ready to help your pet if something should go wrong:

  • Reduce Dangers at Home: Prevention is key to avoiding some types of dangerous scenarios for your dog. Be mindful of items in your home that may not be safe for your furry friend. This may include items that can cause injuries, choking, or accidental poisoning. Please review this list of household products that are harmful to pets.
  • Wellness Care: Regular visits to the vet and your dog groomer will help you take care of your dog’s well-being. Missed dog grooming appointments can result in matting, overgrown nails, or skin irritations. Over time, these issues can lead to more serious concerns that may require veterinary intervention.
  • Stock a First Aid Kit: You can buy a pre-made pet first aid kit, but if you’re looking to build your own, common materials for these include gauze pads, adhesive tape, cotton balls/swabs, an ice pack, disposable gloves, blunt-end scissors, and tweezers. The care items your dog needs may differ from what we need as humans. Be sure to have a first aid kit for your pet stocked and easy to access. If you already have a kit, be sure to ensure it is up to date with what your dog needs. It is also important to know how to use the items in your kit so that you can quickly help your pet in the event of an emergency. You can ask your vet for official literature on how to best use your kit.
  • In Case of Injury: Keep your dog warm and prevent them from moving as much as possible. Call your vet and let them know what has happened so they are ready for you when you arrive with your dog. A pet carrier is a good option for safely transporting a smaller dog. For a larger dog, a homemade stretcher may work best. In both cases, we recommend you ask your vet first about how they suggest moving your dog. They may have more specific instructions depending on the nature of the injury. You may also want to get help when moving your dog so you can keep your pet steady and stable as you move them.

Support Your Dog’s Health with Pet Grooming Near You 

Our team at Smoochie Pooch recognizes the many factors that contribute to your dog’s health and well-being. We also recognize that you want the best care for your pet. That is why you can rely on us for trusted, quality care when it comes to dog grooming near you for your furry friend. We also offer skin therapy treatments and other a la carte services.

Connect with us to learn more or to make an appointment.

Dog Grooming

When to Bring Your Puppy for Dog Grooming and How to Prepare

As a new puppy owner, there are some important steps you can take to ensure your puppy’s first grooming experience is a positive one.

Let us look at when you should take your puppies for their first visit and what steps you should take to prepare them for that first visit.

At What Age Should Your Pet Begin Visiting a Dog Grooming Salon?

We recommend that your puppy’s first grooming session should be when they are around eight weeks old. However, we do not recommend giving the puppy a haircut until they are at least six months old. During this span of time, we will focus on getting your puppy accustomed to the noises and commotion of the salon as well as introduce them to the bathing procedures.

Moving forward your dog’s grooming frequency will depend on the dog’s breed or your preference. Our team recommends a routine session every four to eight weeks. For more information about grooming frequency once your pup transitions to an adult dog, please reference this blog.

How Can You Prepare for Your Puppy’s First Visit?

Here are some tips you can use to set the stage for a positive first puppy grooming experience:

  • Visit a Grooming Salon Near You. No appointment is necessary. Take this time to let your puppy smell around and get comfortable with the salon environment. Let your puppy meet your groomer so that they get to know each other. Your groomer will offer you additional recommendations on preparing your puppy for their first official groom. Make sure you give the puppy a little treat at the salon so that they start linking the positive experience to a reward. Some things to look for during this site visit are:
    • Are employees friendly and knowledgeable?
    • Do employees listen to your concerns and provide suggestions?
    • Is the salon clean?
    • Does the salon smell good?
    • Is the business well-lit?
    • Can you purchase healthy pet products?
  • Daily Routine: These tasks should be done every day leading up to your first appointment. Be sure to offer rewards after the puppy completes these tasks. Your groomer will be handling your puppy in many ways during their appointment. Completing these simple tasks gets your puppy familiar with these steps thus reducing their anxiety.
    • Play with their toenails. Wiggle and massage those nails. Make a game out of it.
    • Gently hold your puppy’s tail. Get them used to the tail being held and encourage them to stand still while you do this.
    • Handle their ears, nose, mouth, and face. Touch them near their eyes. Now is a good time to teach them peek-a-boo. They should be comfortable having their face touched. Give them a gentle massage. They will love it.
    • Run your hands over your puppy. Especially up and down their legs. And under their bellies.
    • Gently brush your puppy. Start at the head and work towards the rear. Body, legs, face, and underbelly. Encourage them to stand still while you do this. Ask your groomer during your first visit which type of brush you should use.
    • Speak to them while performing the above steps. Tell them in a soft voice how good a boy or girl they are.
  • Tabletop Work: It is a good idea to do the above steps on a sturdy table. This gets them used to being up in the air. They will be placed on a grooming table in the dog grooming salon. So, it is key to get them familiar with being off the ground.
  • Car Rides: Get them comfortable getting in and out of a car. Now is a good time to start getting them used to command phrases like “get in the car” and “get out of the car.”  Make a game out of it. They should enjoy having a car ride with you. This is a wonderful time to bond one on one with your puppy.
  • Love and Patience: Through everything show them how much you care. Show them love and be patient. Some puppies pick up these tasks quickly. Others are slower. Do not get stressed if they do not pick up these tasks quickly. Just keep working at them and reward your puppy throughout the process.
  • Give Your Puppy a Bath: You can help get your puppy accustomed to the grooming experience by bathing them at home first. Be sure to use warm water and provide reassurance. But be sure to use shampoo and conditioner that is designed specifically for dogs. Human shampoos and conditioners have a different PH balance that can be harmful to a dog’s skin and hair. Please see our blog on skin care for more information regarding which shampoos to use. Or ask your groomer during your first visit. Do not rush it. If they are not comfortable with the bath, then do not push it.
  • Introduce Grooming Tools: Familiarize your puppy with dog grooming tools such as a slicker brush, rake, pin brush, bristle brush, comb, and nail clippers that are designed for dogs. This will help them become familiar with what to expect when they visit the salon and keep certain essential parts of the process from being a surprise for them. You should use these tools between grooming appointments to keep your puppy in tip-top shape.

Now it is time for that first appointment. There are a couple of important steps that we need to remember.

  • Say goodbye to your pet by saying something like, “See you later, (NAME), goodbye.” Do not make the goodbye emotional. Part of this training should be done at home. Do not make the exit and entrance emotional when entering or leaving your house. Do not pet your puppy until they are calm both at home and at the grooming salon. We do not want to encourage bad behaviors such as jumping up on you. And puppies can get super excited and pee on you.
  • Be specific with your groomer. Have pictures of specific haircuts you would like that you can show your groomer. Please note that we do not shave double-coated dogs. Some salons will. However, shaving a double-coated dog will ruin its “feathers.” Their feathers will never grow back. See our Let your groomer know which treats you use so that they can align their treats with your puppy’s dietary needs. Be sure to inform your groomer if your puppy is super sensitive in certain areas. This will help reduce the risk of being bitten and reduce the stress on your puppy.

Your Grooming Salon Near You 

At Smoochie Pooch, we are ready to welcome your new puppy for a positive first grooming experience. Please stop by and introduce yourself and your puppy to one of our certified groomers. They love making new puppy friends. We can help start the process of getting your puppy ready for their grooming experience.

Connect with us to make an appointment at one of our convenient locations or arrange for mobile grooming if you live in the designated area.

Dog Grooming

Getting Started with Puppy Training

Smoochie Pooch has experience with grooming a wide range of puppies. This includes puppies with different temperaments. And they have knowledge of the best practices to groom puppies of various breeds.

Most pet owners wait until their puppy has had its second round of shots before booking their first grooming appointment. We specifically recommend bringing them in around four to six months.

Grooming will be a brand-new experience for your puppy. There are steps you can take to prepare your puppy for its first grooming. Getting started with basic puppy training is one of them. You will be able to begin setting expectations and reinforcing simple commands from an early age. This can help make time spent with your puppy at the groomer and around other people and animals more enjoyable for everyone.

How to Start Training Your New Puppy

Puppies have a short attention span. You can begin basic obedience training at home around the eight-week mark. Here are some tips on how to get started:

  • Keep training sessions short and fun. Aim for approximately 15 minutes of training per day. If you find your dog is losing focus, consider breaking your 15 minutes into smaller sessions throughout the day.
  • As your dog notices new commands such as “sit” and “stay,” practice the commands in various locations, such as at the dog grooming salon, or at the park and around different people. This will help to reinforce what they have learned.
  • Whether you reward positive behavior with praise or a treat, ensure all members of your family react in the same way for consistency in your training.
  • Be patient. It will take time for your new puppy to notice commands and positive behavior. If you find that either of you is getting distracted or frustrated, end the session, and pick it up again later.

Looking for Professional Support with Your Puppy?

If you are looking to sign up your puppy for obedience classes, your local salon or your vet may be able to offer trainer recommendations. It is important to select classes that are age-appropriate for your pup and are offered by qualified instructors.

You will also want to ensure your new dog is set up with a groomer you can trust. At Smoochie Pooch, you can rely on our friendly team to help your puppy get used to the grooming experience. Whether you choose to come into the salon or book a mobile puppy grooming appointment, you and your pet will have the best experience possible.

To learn more and book an appointment for puppy grooming, contact us today.