Have you just welcomed a puppy into your family?
Then you probably have plenty of questions about grooming, hygiene and how to get rid of those smelly puppy odours!
Luckily, we’ve got all the info you need right here. We sought advice from some of NZ’s top dog grooming experts for all your puppy grooming questions. Here’s what they had to say:
Puppy Grooming And Odour Neutralising- The What, When and How
The Importance Of Puppy Grooming
Puppy grooming is important for several reasons:
- Health: Regular grooming helps keep your puppy's coat and skin healthy. Brushing and combing help to remove dirt, debris, and dead hair, which can cause skin irritation and infection if left unattended. Grooming also allows you to inspect your puppy's skin for any abnormalities, such as cuts or rashes, which can be treated promptly.
- Training: Puppies need to be handled regularly, and grooming is a great way to get them used to being touched and handled. It also helps build trust between your puppy and humans.
- Comfort: Regular grooming can help keep your puppy comfortable. Long hair can get tangled and matted, which can be painful for your puppy. Grooming helps to prevent matting and keeps your puppy's coat clean and well-maintained.
- Socialisation: Grooming provides an opportunity for your puppy to become accustomed to new experiences, such as being groomed by a professional groomer. This can help your puppy become more socialised and better able to handle new situations as they grow older.
When Should I Groom My Puppy For The First Time?
When your puppy constantly looks like a ball of fluff and fuzz, when should you tame it?
Angela Anderson, from the National Dog Grooming Association says "Ideally, the puppies first visit should be as soon as possible, an ideal time is two weeks after the second vaccination (or as directed by your vet). Having a puppy introduced to their groomer at an early age means that they will have a great experience – even if they only come in for a cuddle – and will know the groomer as part of their extended professional family."
How Should I Introduce My Puppy To Grooming?
Angela from the National Dog Grooming Association believes you should "Introduce your puppy to grooming at home, use treats and quiet time to brush your pup, gently and in small increments. Gently run your hand over all parts of the puppy so they get used to being touched and held, especially around the feet and face. Never force your puppy, and don’t let them play chew games with the brush. They should know that brushing is a serious but calm experience and enjoy their quiet time with you."
Tips To Prepare For your Puppies First Groom?
Part of making sure grooming is a positive experience for your puppy is choosing the right groomer. Here are some tips from Carol Redondo, Master Groomer at ShowDogsNz:
- Let your puppy get used to their surroundings at your chosen grooming salon. This can be done by letting them walk freely around, allowing them to smell everything and get to know the people that work there. That way they will feel comfortable before any grooming work takes place. A calm pup makes grooming easier for everyone!
- Ensure your groomer is gentle and patient, and that they keep your dog under supervision the whole time. This will help prevent stress and anxiety for the pup, ensuring they have a positive experience. The process must be done calmly, without rushing, so that the puppy gets used to the noise and movements involved.
- It is always recommended that the first grooming visit is right after the end of the vaccine cycle and only a Tidy Up (mini Groom) is done. This is a faster procedure for the puppy, as it only involves trimming the front of the eyes, around the booty, belly and pawpads.
- At the end, the puppy should be rewarded with lots of praise and affection so that they associate the grooming salon with a pleasant experience. It is important to continue to bring the puppy in regularly so that it can get used to the routine and is always clean and well cared for.
How Often Does My Puppy Need A Groom?
The frequency of puppy grooming will depend on the breed of your dog. Erin from TransFURmations says, “fluffy puppies will be groomed usually every 6 weeks for their entire lives, so the earlier they get a good start the better!”
In general, puppies should be groomed regularly to maintain hygiene and appearance, here are some guidelines:
- Bathing: Puppies should be bathed when they are dirty or smelly. Depending on the breed and activity level, this could be once a month or every few months. Be careful to avoid over-bathing as it can strip the natural oils from their skin and coat, leading to dryness and irritation. An odour neutralising spray could be all they need in between baths.
- Brushing: Puppies should be brushed at least once a week to prevent matting and tangles. Breeds with longer hair or thicker coats may require daily brushing.
- Nail Trimming: Puppies should have their nails trimmed every 2-3 weeks to prevent overgrowth and discomfort.
- Ear Cleaning: Puppies with floppy ears or hair around their ears should have their ears cleaned once a week to prevent wax buildup and infections.
- Haircuts: Puppies with hair that grows continuously, such as Poodles or Shih Tzus, will require regular haircuts every 4-6 weeks to maintain their coat length and shape.
Consulting with a professional groomer will help you to determine the best grooming schedule based on your puppy's breed, coat type, and individual needs.
Groom Style For Your Pup
Obviously, you don’t want to be disappointed with the end result, so you should know what kind of groom is possible for your pup.
Erin Gundensen, certified Master Groomer & Grooming Academy Tutor at TransFURmations says, “if you have a photo of what you expect to see after your puppy has been groomed that can be a huge help to your groomer. Also, researching what is possible with your puppy is a great start. Ask your groomer to show you photos of pets they have groomed and see which of those styles you like. Remember not all styles are possible with different coat types.”
Knowing these things can help to avoid disappointment and will make sure you get the groom you are hoping for.
In Between Puppy Grooms
Your pup is likely to get into plenty of mischief in between grooms, so they will need regular attention in the hygiene department!
Sometimes a bath will be the solution. Make sure you use specialised pet shampoo for the job. We recommend our Deodorising Pet Shampoo which is specially formulated to clean, nourish and eliminate smelly pet coats.
At other times, you can use our Dog Deodoriser spray. This is perfect for in-between washes or if you are out and about. You can also use our Animal Odour Eliminator to permanently neutralise the odour from urine, faeces, anal gland secretion, vomit or general dog odours on surfaces at home. It is particularly handy when puppy toilet training!