puppy grooming

How to Ease Your Puppy or Kitten into a Grooming Routine


Even for playful puppies and curious kittens, that first grooming appointment can be a stressful experience. At The Tailored Groomer, we'll work with you to introduce your young pet to grooming in methodical, easy stages. We'll acclimate them to the process and make them feel at ease being groomed.

When should you start having your puppy or kitten groomed? When they reach 3 months old. By this time, they have weaned off their mother and they’re going into a rapid growth phase. Before 3 months, their fur does not typically get too matted, so it's fine to wait a bit. 

Once they are 3 months old, we find that the following sequence works best for grooming puppies and kittens:

First 3 Grooming Sessions for Puppies and Kittens

1. Get your pet acclimated.

During the first appointment, our goal is to gently introduce your pet to the grooming environment. We start by grooming only the "face, feet and fanny." 

For puppies, we use scissors to manually trim the fur. We don’t use the clippers to cut their fur yet because it can scare them. Instead, we turn on the clipper to get them used to the sound and we let them feel the vibration. We don't apply the cutting blade.  

Because kittens need to grow their fur out, we typically bathe and brush them during their first appointment with the groomer. We don't clip their fur at this age.

2. Test their comfort level.

On the second visit, we will try to groom your puppy using the clippers. If your puppy shows any signs of being scared, we will stop immediately.  

For kittens, we may cut their nails or clean their ears. If needed, we may provide a sanitary trim to their fanny or undercarriage.

We are aiming for a low stress experience for you and your pet. In our experience, a slow and steady approach works best.

3. Decide if the vet can help.

You will know at the third visit whether or not your pet is able to adapt to a full grooming treatment. If they are comfortable, we will treat them to our premium service. If they are still nervous, we may recommend taking your pet to a vet that has a groomer. They are better equipped with the medical material and equipment to sedate your pet safely in order to groom appropriately.  

We never recommend giving your puppy or kitten medicine to calm them for grooming. Leave dispensing medicine to the veterinary professionals. Otherwise, your pet might have a bad reaction, which will increase their stress levels even more. 

At Home Grooming Tips Before Your Pet Hits the 3 Month Mark

If your puppy gets dirty before it's time to bring them to us for their first grooming appointment, we recommend the following tips: 

1. Before you give your puppy or kitten a bath at home, do some research first so know what to expect and how to properly bathe your pet. Check out this video from Vet's Klinic TV:

How to bathe your puppy for the first time. ©Vet's Klinic | www.vetsklinic.co.uk | www.vetskitchen.co.uk

2. Try dry shampoo or use aloe vera wipes before washing them to make sure you remove bacteria or microscopic slime on your pet.

3. Use the correct shampoo and conditioner for your puppy's breed. For example, a Shih Tzu has different needs from a Lab. Although the video doesn't show this, we don't recommend wetting your dog's fur or applying shampoo directly to the fur. This will create a sludge that makes it harder to get them clean. Instead, we recommend mixing 1 part of shampoo with 15 parts water and then apply that solution to your pet's fur. It will result in a cleaner puppy!

Special Savings for New Puppy & Kitten Parents

We want you and your new pet to have good experiences at the groomer. To help you make your visits more affordable, we offer special grooming discounts for puppies and kittens 6 months and younger. Call us for details at 844-484-7666. We are here to help you with any grooming questions you have for your puppy or kitten.