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Puppy Grooming: How to Introduce Puppies to Professional Grooming

Working with puppies can be both rewarding and challenging. Grooming these young, energetic furballs requires special care, attention, and techniques to ensure a positive experience for both the puppy and the groomer.

Getting into the spirit of National Puppy Day, we asked the MoeGo Community for essential tips and best practices for grooming puppies, providing valuable insights for anyone looking to master the art of puppy grooming.

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Start Early

“I start all puppies on a 2-week schedule starting at 12 weeks old. They get a bath, FFF & desensitization sessions for the first few times until they are ready for a full groom.” – Melanie Eldridge

Early exposure to grooming is crucial for puppies to become comfortable with the process. Encourage pet owners to bring their puppies in for grooming sessions as soon as they are old enough, typically around 8-12 weeks of age. This helps puppies acclimate to the grooming environment and reduces anxiety as they grow older.


Establishing Trust and Building Positive Associations

“They’re smart enough to ‘escape’ the groom, so we play as much as we work.” – Michaela Sotta

Building trust with puppies is key to successful grooming sessions. Start by introducing puppies to grooming tools and equipment gradually, allowing them to sniff, explore, and become familiar with the grooming environment. Positive reinforcement, such as praise and treats, can help puppies associate grooming with a positive experience, fostering trust and cooperation.

Gentle Handling and Patience

“The grooms should looked at as training sessions and not grooms. Usually, the first 3 sessions would use this approach.” – Erin Caputo

Puppies have delicate skin and coat, requiring gentle handling and patience during grooming. Use soft, non-intimidating gestures when approaching and handling puppies, and be mindful of their comfort throughout the grooming session.

It’s okay if a full haircut does not happen on the first groom. Take breaks as needed to prevent overwhelming the puppy and maintain a calm, reassuring demeanor to alleviate any grooming-related stress or anxiety.

Introducing Basic Grooming Techniques

“I don’t do full haircuts on a first groom. The first couple times are mostly to get them used to sounds, routine, equipment, proper handling and table manners.” – Sirrah Haras

Introducing puppies to basic grooming techniques early on can set the stage for a lifetime of positive grooming experiences. From brushing and combing to nail trimming and ear cleaning, gradual exposure to these grooming essentials can help puppies acclimate to the grooming routine and develop positive associations with each grooming task.

Educating Pet Parents on Puppy Grooming Care

“They are often afraid of the bath, blow dryer, and trimmers. I give the families homework to work on at home.” - Shally Braseiro

In addition to providing professional grooming services, dog groomers play a vital role in educating pet parents on proper puppy grooming care. Offering guidance on at-home grooming prep work, coat maintenance, and the importance of regular grooming appointments can empower pet parents to contribute to their puppy's overall well-being and hygiene.

Grooming puppies requires a blend of patience, expertise, and a genuine love for these adorable creatures. Your compassionate approach and dedication to nurturing young pups through grooming play a pivotal role in shaping their lifelong attitude toward grooming and maintenance, ultimately contributing to their overall health and happiness.


Questions? Contact your MoeGo Customer Success Representative via email or phone, or leave us a message at We’re always here to help.


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