Puppy grooming tips: everything you need to know

A mini Yorkshire Terrier being groomed at Dolly's Dog Grooming Salon and Spa in Ipswich

Dolly's Dog Grooming Salon and Spa in Ipswich offers de-sensitisation sessions for puppies to help make grooming an enjoyable experience - Credit: CandyDash Images

Bringing a puppy into your life can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

As well as providing them with a healthy diet, giving them plenty of exercise and socialising them with the outside world, regular grooming is a key part of your new dog's training and wellbeing.  

We chat to Clare Homes, owner of Ipswich Dog Day-Care Creche and Dolly’s Dog Grooming, who answers some commonly asked questions about puppy grooming and tells us what you can expect from their luxury salon and spa. 

Q: Why should I take my dog for grooming at an early age? 

Clare Holmes, owner of Ipswich Dog Day-Care Creche and Dolly's Grooming Salon and Spa

Clare Holmes, owner of Ipswich Dog Day-Care Creche and Dolly's Grooming Salon and Spa, says it's crucial to take your puppy to be groomed at an early age - Credit: Ipswich Dog Day-Care Creche

A: It’s important that all puppies are groomed as part of their development and overall wellbeing. Not only does it help them get used to being handled by other people, it also introduces them to the sights, sounds and smells of a salon. Grooming can be a traumatic experience for nervous dogs (and their owners), especially if they are brought in at a later stage in their development.

We offer de-sensitisation sessions to get puppies used to all the equipment used in the salon (clippers, combs etc.) as well as the smells and sounds, such as hairdryers. If you don’t educate your puppy from an early age it can be quite scary for them.

Q: What age should I take my puppy to the groomers? 

A: The ideal age to start grooming is around 12 weeks. We offer a puppy grooming package for their first session up to six months, where they can come in and have half an hour with the groomer and get used to being in the salon. This can then be followed by other de-sensitisation sessions up until their adult coat has grown in at around six months. Puppy fur shouldn’t be cut but they will still need a brush, comb and bath – getting them used to this early on is vital.

Most Read

Q: What are the benefits of grooming?  

A: Not only does grooming mean that your new puppy is clean and smells fresh, but it can also help to maintain the health of their skin and fur. Our groomers will perform a welfare check on your dog and look out for things like allergies, skin irritation, bruises or cuts, as well as making sure their ears, eyes and paws are healthy.

Matted and unkempt fur can cause the skin to become tight and sore, which is why it’s so important for owners to regularly comb and brush the coat in-between grooms. Pay particular attention to behind the elbows, where the harness goes and the chin area, which can become easily matted when dipped in water.

Q: How often should dogs go to the groomers?  

Wet in shampoo brown Cavapoo puppy in woman hands takes a bath

Dog breeds with curly coats such as Cavapoos and Cockapoos need to be groomed every six to eight weeks - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A: It’s crucial as an owner that you are aware of how often your dog needs grooming when you are considering which breed to buy. Most dogs, especially breeds with curly coats such as Cockapoos, Miniature Poodles and Cavapoos, require grooming every six to eight weeks. Even dogs with short fur such as French Bulldogs and Labradors will need frequent brushing, washing and a general spruce up.

Leaving it for longer than eight weeks will make it more difficult for groomers to brush and trim the coat, especially for dogs with long fur. 

Q: What can I do to help my puppy if they are nervous when being groomed? 

A: Getting your puppy used to being handled and being around water, scissors and hairdryers can help to make the grooming session a lot easier and less stressful. Our groomers have extensive experience and are skilled at soothing puppies and easing them into their spa experience, so you can rest assured they are in good hands.

The welfare of your dog is our top priority, which is why we use force-free grooming. This means we will only do as much as the dog will allow us to do and if they show any signs of distress we’ll stop.  

Q: What services does Dolly’s Dog Grooming Salon and Spa offer? 

A: We offer various packages to meet different needs, from a quick tidy up and refresh to a complete grooming service. Pet owners don’t have to be a client at our dog day-care creche to use the salon and spa – everyone is welcome. We also offer puppy training and socialisation classes.

Our main grooming services include:  

  • ‘Dolly Dash’ - a refreshing bath, dry, brush and cologne spritz. 
  • ‘Dolly Express’ - a bath, brush, tidying of pads, face, hygiene areas and a nail trim. 
  • ‘Full Dolly Experience’ - all of the above treatments as well as a full coat trim and styling and/or de-shedding. 
  • Individual services - nail clipping, ear trimming, shampoo upgrades (flea or medication) and a paw wax balm.   

Dolly’s Dog Grooming is currently offering a 25 per cent discount for first grooming sessions when you mention Ipswich Star. Call the team to discuss your needs on 01473 743737 or visit ipswichdogdaycarecreche.co.uk/dollys-spa for more information. 

You can also find them at Unit 7, The Sterling Complex, Farthing Road. Ind.Est, Sproughton, Suffolk , IP1 5AP.