When Do You Take a Puppy for the First Grooming?by Naomi Millburn
Coat care is important to this pair's health.
Welcoming a puppy into your home involves a lot of getting his ducks into a row, from housebreaking him to taking him in for his initial veterinarian visits. Professional grooming is an important aspect in the care of many dogs, especially those with long coats. The earlier your puppy gets used to grooming appointments the quicker he'll adjust to them, and that's not a bad thing.
If you get your puppy acquainted with the grooming salon at a tender age, it generally is easier on him in the long run. The strange sights and sounds of new places can be anxiety-inducing in doggies, and the younger they experience something, the better. Being professionally groomed entails a lot of contact with an unfamiliar person, and an early start can make it almost second nature in your pup. Just remember to reward your puppy with a yummy treat immediately after his appointment is through -- you want to establish that pleasant association, after all.
Before your little one ventures out into the world, make sure he's gotten all of his necessary puppy vaccinations, no exceptions. Consult with your veterinarian to make sure that your pet is A-OK in this department. If your puppy visits a grooming salon without having all of his vaccinations, it puts him at risk for all of the potential infections that could be floating around -- not good. Protect your precious pooch by not scheduling that appointment until he's gotten all of the appropriate shots, as his health is priceless. Puppies generally are through with all of their puppy shots by 6 months in age if not sooner. As soon as your puppy has received his third set of shots, start looking into grooming salons in your area.
The Right Grooming Salon
Since a puppy's first impression of grooming is so important, call the salons you're interested in and inquire about possibly getting a quick tour of the place. Do not book an appointment at any salon that doesn't leave you feeling completely confident and at ease. Glance around the salons, and take a whiff to judge whether they appear and smell fresh and hygienic. Look at the interactions between the groomers and their canine clientele, and note whether the dogs appear to be relaxed. Speak to the specific groomers who may service your dog. If he or she is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about giving you the information you want, you might just have a winner.
If your young pup isn't through with his vaccinations, it's still important for you to do some regular grooming of him by yourself at home -- primarily, brushing. This is especially helpful if your pet's coat looks a little unkempt: Say he got into something messy and now has a little pesky matting. Not only is brushing your puppy's coat a good way for you to bond with him, it can help set the stage for his later grooming appointments. If you have any questions regarding coat trimming, talk to a professional before you proceed.
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