For pet parents, their puppy’s first-ever professional grooming session is nearly as significant as taking their baby out for its first-ever haircut. This initial experience and the first impression will always have a lasting impact on a new puppy, whether it was really good or really bad. To help ensure it’s a positive one, here are some important dos and don’ts for your dog’s first puppy grooming session.

Do: Prepare Your Pup Well

The goal of an introductory grooming session is to acquaint your pup with the whole process. A puppy’s formative grooming experiences can shape how he reacts to grooming for his whole life. As such, it is critical to make the event as enjoyable as possible.

First, prep your dog to be held and handled in unfamiliar ways, particularly in some of the places the groomer will focus on. For instance, you might want to play with their feet and tickle between their little toes on a daily basis, as well as gently stroke their ears and rumps. Better grooming outcomes will result from pups that have been properly socialized and accustomed to being handled. By doing this, you can gain a headstart on overcoming the difficulties of their initial puppy grooming session.

Do: Slowly Introduce Your Puppy to the Groomer

When your puppy finally goes to the groomer’s for the big occasion, you should begin by gently introducing him to the groomer. The groomer should be speaking softly and soothingly while stroking, cuddling, and playing with your pooch. By earning their confidence, the groomer teaches your puppy that grooming can be a pleasant and enjoyable activity. Most of all, patience and perseverance will be required.

Don’t: Schedule a Full Groom for the First Session

Puppies will be terrified when initially introduced to strange machines and instruments like scissors, roaring blow-dryers, and tall grooming tables. Therefore, for the first few sessions, stick with just a bath, a light brushing, hair trimming, nail trimming, and ear cleaning. To prevent stressing out the puppy, groomers should keep to a short session rather than a full 2-hour groom. This allows the puppy to become comfortable with being groomed by a professional.

Remember, it’s imperative not to overdo it during the initial sessions since you only need your pup to get used to being touched. The first impression has to be a positive one, filled with affection and rewards. This should be their special retreat outside of the house. If you force them through a long procedure or restrain them, your puppy’s association with grooming will always be of fear and terror, and they may violently resist it well into adulthood.

Don’t: Schedule the First Grooming Session Too Late

Oftentimes, puppy parents end up making the blunder of not bringing their puppies in for grooming till they are six months old or even older. Puppy grooming should typically begin at no later than 16 weeks of age because younger puppies are far easier to acclimatize. Also note that prior to their first grooming, puppies must also have received all of their vaccinations. And again, the beginning grooming sessions must be kept brief and enjoyable.