Grooming is an essential part of your dog’s overall wellbeing. It keeps them looking and smelling clean and helps maintain their health by preventing matting, parasites, and skin issues. 

However, for some dogs and their pet parents, a trip to the groomer can be a daunting experience. With some preparation and understanding, you can make grooming visits a stress-free and enjoyable experience for you and your furry family member.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to prepare your dog for their grooming visits and ensure a positive experience at the groomer.

1. Start Early

To ensure a relaxed grooming experience, it’s essential to familiarise your dog with grooming practices while they are still young. Puppies tend to be more receptive and flexible to new experiences. 

Start by gently touching your puppy’s paws, ears, and tail to ease handling in these delicate areas. Additionally, you can begin brushing or combing their fur, initially for brief periods and gradually extending the time as they grow more accustomed to it.

2. Familiarise Them with Grooming Tools

Before their first visit to the groomer, let your dog sniff and inspect grooming tools such as brushes, combs, and nail clippers. 

You can also gently touch the tools to their coat, paws, and other areas to help them become familiar with the sensation. The more acquainted they are with the tools, the less anxious they will be when the groomer uses these.

3. Create Positive Associations

To help your dog feel more at ease during grooming visits, create positive associations with the grooming process. Offer treats and praise when you brush or comb their coat, clip their nails, or clean their ears. This will teach them that good things happen during grooming sessions, and they are more likely to be relaxed during their appointments.

4. Practice Handling

Groomers need to handle your dog in various ways to perform their job effectively. Get your dog used to being handled by lifting their paws, touching their ears, and holding their tail. 

You can also teach them to stand still on a non-slip surface, often required during grooming appointments. Be sure to use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to encourage your dog to be cooperative during handling.

5. Desensitise to Noise

Grooming salons can be pretty noisy environments, with the sounds of clippers, dryers, and other dogs barking. 

Expose your dog to these sounds at home by playing recordings of grooming noises at a low volume and gradually increasing the volume over time. Reward your dog with treats and praise for remaining calm around these sounds.

6. Teach Basic Commands

Simple obedience instructions like “sit,” “stay,” and “down” can be helpful during grooming, ensuring a more seamless and relaxed experience for both your dog and the groomer. 

If your dog still needs to learn these commands, consider signing them up for an obedience course or collaborating with a dog trainer.

7. Schedule a Meet and Greet

Before their first grooming appointment, schedule a meet and greet with the groomer. This allows your dog to familiarise themselves with the grooming environment and the groomer. 

Discuss your dog’s temperament, fears or anxieties, and grooming preferences during the meet and greet. A professional groomer can offer advice and techniques to make your dog’s grooming process as stress-free as possible.

8. Exercise Before the Appointment

A tired dog is more likely to be calm and relaxed during their grooming appointment. Take your dog for a walk or have a play session before heading to the groomer to help burn off excess energy.


Preparing your dog for grooming visits is essential to ensure a stress-free and positive experience for you and your furry friend. By introducing grooming early and following the simple tips, you’ll have a well-adjusted dog ready for their grooming sessions. Remember, a well-groomed dog is a beautiful and clean companion and a healthier and happier one.

For safe and reliable dog grooming in Riverhills, we can help you. At Pup PlayDates, we’re open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays! We’re happy to watch over your beloved dogs, groom them, and more! We have packages that can suit all dog parents. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your pup!