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Top 10 Tips for Helping Your New Puppy Get Comfortable with Grooming

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and happy time, but it also comes with responsibilities – including grooming. While some puppies may take to grooming naturally, most need a bit of extra encouragement to feel comfortable with the process. To help your furry friend adjust to grooming routines with ease, we've compiled a list of ten helpful tips:

1. Brush Frequently: Get your puppy accustomed to being brushed by gently grooming them on a regular basis. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the duration as they become more comfortable. Make sure you don’t just brush their back, but also chest, belly, legs, head, tail and muzzle area. 

2. Hold Their Feet: Handling your puppy's paws regularly will help them get used to nail trims and paw grooming. Practice holding their feet gently and reward them with treats to create positive associations.

3. Hold Their Face: Gently hold and stroke your puppy's face to help them feel comfortable with having their muzzle and ears touched during grooming sessions. Your groomer will need them to hold their head still for a few minutes at a time in order to safely trim around the eyes and muzzle. 

4. Lift Their Tail: Lift your puppy's tail occasionally to help them get used to having their bum tidied! 

5. Stand on an Elevated Surface: Encourage your puppy to stand on an elevated surface, such as a grooming table or sturdy bench, to get them used to being groomed at a comfortable height. You might be chasing them round with a brush to get it done, but your groomer certainly won’t be doing that! We also need them to stand still for safety - there’s no dog more difficult to groom than one who is constantly trying to jump off or spinning around.

6. Book Them for a Puppy Introduction Groom: Many professional groomers offer puppy introduction grooming sessions designed to familiarise young dogs with grooming tools and procedures in a safe and positive environment. We recommend you book as many of these sessions as your budget allows between 12-18 weeks. 

7. Practice Leaving Them for Short Periods: Gradually accustom your puppy to being separated from you for short periods of time, as grooming requires them to be apart from their favourite human. This will also help you have a well-rounded dog who fits into your family’s lifestyle.

8. Use Your Hairdryer on a Cool Setting: Introduce your puppy to the sound and sensation of a hairdryer by using it on a cool setting while they are nearby. Reward them with treats and praise for remaining calm. Even having them in the room quietly distracted with a toy while you dry your hair will help immensely!

9. Use a Spoon around Their Eyes: Sounds strange, but gently use a spoon around your puppy's eyes will simulate the sensation of scissors without the risk of injury. This can help them become accustomed to the feeling before actual grooming sessions.

10. Introduce Them to Grooming Tools Gradually: Start by allowing your puppy to sniff and investigate grooming tools such as brushes, combs, and clippers before using them. This will help them feel more comfortable with the tools and reduce anxiety during grooming sessions.

Bonus Tip: Reward Positive Behaviour: Throughout the grooming process, remember to praise and reward your puppy for good behaviour with treats, cuddles, and verbal praise. Positive reinforcement will help them associate grooming with positive experiences and build trust with you as their grooming partner.

By following these ten tips (plus our bonus tip!), you can help your puppy feel more relaxed and confident during grooming sessions, setting them up for a lifetime of happy and stress-free grooming experiences. After all, a well-groomed puppy is a happy and healthy puppy!

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