“How often should I take my dog to the groomers?” That’s one of the most common questions that pet parents search for, and it’s easy to understand why: it depends. The American Kennel Club recommends that most breeds be groomed once a month and receive at-home care, like teeth and hair brushing, in between appointments.
However, the classic ‘once a month’ recommendation isn’t a universal solution. Short-haired Dobermans need to be groomed far less often than a double-coated shiba inu! Above all, it’s important to follow your local dog groomer’s advice and adjust to your dog’s unique needs:
Grooming Tips for Short-Haired Dogs
Your pup fits the short-haired category if their coat is straight and less than one inch long, like Labrador retrievers, bull terriers, pugs, greyhounds, chihuahuas, dalmatians, and rottweilers. The groomer (likely) won’t ever need to give them a haircut, and drying them off with a force dryer only takes a second.
Yes – their fur is short, but brushing is still an important weekly task, especially before baths. Give them a feel-good massage with a flexible wire brush or silicone glove to remove loose hair and invigorate their skin.
Short-haired dog breeds can usually go up to six weeks between appointments, but many owners prefer weekly baths at home to keep highly active dogs clean. Just keep in mind that bathing too often might dry out sensitive skin and cause irritation. Moisture-rich dog shampoos and conditioners are a great way to repair and protect natural oils.
Grooming Schedule for Long-Haired Dogs
If you own a long-haired dog, you need to invest in a high-quality grooming comb! Daily brushing and combing through their fur is the best way to prevent knots, tangles, and matting. Maintaining long hair takes a little more work, but it’s a great way to bond with your pup and show them a little extra love every day.
Time between grooming haircuts can vary widely, even within the long-haired category. If you want the hair to grow out and stay long, make sure that it’s never covering their eyes or collecting dirt and debris near the ground. Most groomers recommend alternating appointments by scheduling a bath every 4-6 weeks and a full groom haircut every 8-12 weeks.
How Often Should You Groom Curly Dogs?
Watch out for matting, tangles, and lingering dirt! Poodles, bichon frises, and other curly-haired breeds typically shed less than most, but they also require consistent upkeep. Use a slicker brush to gently work through wavy fur and brush away from the skin. Groomers recommend brushing at least three times a week to keep the coat in great condition between appointments.
Most curly-haired dogs need a full grooming appointment, including a bath and haircut, every 3-4 weeks.
Wire-Coated Dog Breed Grooming Tips
Wire-coated dogs typically don’t shed, but regular brushing during the week can remove loose hair and prevent uncomfortable matting. Their wiry, bristly hair may require a light trim on the face and paws every 4-6 weeks if it grows out.
What About Grooming for Silky Dogs?
‘Silky’ breeds, like the afghan hound and irish setter, tend to have oilier skin than most. Without an undercoat to balance and absorb skin oils, you’ll probably need to take them to the groomer for a bath every 3-4 weeks.
How Often to Groom a Double-Coated Dog
Dog breeds with double coats typically require less professional grooming help and more frequent upkeep at home. Double coats regulate temperature and protect sensitive skin, so it should never be shaved down. We recommend asking about proactive deshedding services to remove lingering dead hair, or you can blow it out at home with a dog grooming pet dryer.
Long double coats require monthly bathing because they tend to be thinner. If your dog has a short, dense double coat, it won’t need to be washed as frequently. Did you know that most huskies only go to the groomers two or three times a year?
Even if your dog’s grooming needs are simple and infrequent, remember that you can always ask a local pet groomer for help.
+ Don’t Forget Regular Checkups:
Grooming for All Dog Breeds
Professional pet grooming is about so much more than just looking good and cleaning up their style. Do you need a little help maintaining doggy hygiene? Ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and nail trimming are super important, but not all pet parents are comfortable doing it on their own at home.
A local groomer can also help your dog live a long, healthy life. Get your dog checked out by a trained professional who can offer second opinions and help spot health issues. You may not notice early signs of infection during everyday walks and play, but groomers take a closer look. If they notice any lumps, bumps, or rashes, the groomer will most likely point them out to you at the end of the appointment.
+ Extra Dog Nail Appointments:
When You Need Them
How quickly do your dog’s nails grow? You might need to schedule an extra pet grooming visit to grind and shape nails back down to a healthy length. Ask your dog groomer about staggered scheduling options, so that you can pop in for a quick nail trim between full appointments. Even if it’s not time for a haircut, your groomer can help with nails.
If you hear a ‘clicking’ sound when they walk on the pavement, it’s time to clip your dog’s nails. You might also see the nails curling and extending past the level of his paw toward the floor. Don’t wait! Over time, you and your dog groomer will be able to build a healthy schedule and maintain the right length.
Not every dog grooming appointment has to be a full-service experience, and it’s okay to ask your groomer for advice about upkeep. Above all, remember that most professional groomers make a powerful promise: this salon will never hurt a pet to please a person.
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