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A trip to the dog groomers

Small dog on grooming table with comb in foreground and groomer trimming the dogs ears

Intervention: it's time to take your stinky pup to the groomer! No matter what kind of dog you have, short-haired or long, a trip to the groomer is well worth the investment. Not only are they given a thorough cleaning, most groomers will also offer nail clippings, a hair trim or shave, and skin exfoliation.

But before you whisk your furry friend away on that car-bound adventure, there's a few things you should know. Our team did a Q&A with a local expert and she answered some of our burning questions.

How often should you bring your pet to the groomers?

We recommend that you check into the groomers every 4-6 weeks. Of course, this will depend on how long you want your dog's hair to be and how much care you'd like to do at home. Breeds with shorter hair (like labs and terriers) can sometimes go even longer depending on how much they shed. Show dogs should be bathed and brushed out once or twice a week to keep their coat and skin in tip top shape!

How should I transport my dog to the groomers?

Always be sure to have your pet on a leash and collar or harness when visiting the groomer, even if you think your pet is friendly. Different sights, sounds and smells can trigger unusual behavior, especially if there are other animals in the area. Keep a good hold on your dog to make sure everyone stays safe, including your pup!

How do I prepare a nervous dog to behave well?

If you see signs of nerves, bring your pet to meet the groomer first! Yes, this makes a second trip, but it will often help since they'll be comfortable with the groomer before any work gets done. For more tips on soothing your dog's anxiety, check out this great source from Vet Street.

Do not use human shampoo to bathe your dogs – the acidity can upset the balance of their skin

How can I find a good groomer in my area?

The breeder you got your dog from might have great recommendations for a groomer since they're familiar with the territory. Veterinarians are also a good resource, as are your friends. Ask around and feel free to switch until you find someone you really like.

How specific should I be when describing what I want to the groomer?

It doesn't hurt to describe what you would like your pet to look like after all is done at the groomers, but make sure to remember that every dog's hair is different. What looks adorable on one dog may look strange on yours.

How can I maintain in between trips?

Most pets will require some maintenance in between trips to the groomers. If they're getting smelly or their fur has tangles, a bath is a great start! After brushing your pet, go through with a comb and make sure you've brushed all the way to the skin to avoid matting.

Remember, grooming isn't just about the hair! Groomers also have the awesome ability to find health hazards owners would otherwise be oblivious to. Ear infections, a lump or bump, skin irritation and even enlarged limp-nodes are all things your groomer can help diagnose, which will keep your pup happy and make your life easier.

Want more expert advice for your pets? Check out these blogs written just for you!

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