The basics of puppy grooming

Ensuring your puppy is used to being handled from a young age will make grooming easier for the rest of its life. Each dog breed has unique grooming needs and understanding that is key to maintaining your dogs healthy coat.

Rubber brush

Used to loosen dead skin and hair from close-cropped coats

Slicker brush

Works against the coat to loosen debris and strips excess hair from the undercoat. Great for grooming curly and coarse coats

Pin brush

Used to gently untangle knots or mats, which are particularly common in long or silky coats

Bristle brush

Used to remove debris from a dog's coat after brushing

Wide-tooth comb

A more gentle tool that can be used on tails and paws

Stripping knife

Used for stripping coarse-haired dogs four or five times a year. This tool is best used by a professional groomer

Nail clippers

Specialist nail clippers for dogs are designed to help you trim your puppy's nails without causing any harm

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Human toothpaste is not suitable for puppies or adult dogs, so it's best to use specially made dog toothpaste

Dog shampoo

Dogs have sensitive skin, and their pH balance is different to that of humans, so specialist dog shampoo is required for skin and coat health

How to care for your puppy's coat


No matter the coat length, your puppy will require a level of grooming to avoid skin irritations and prevent mats. Dogs can moult all year round, although moulting does generally increase in spring and autumn. Regular brushing and bathing helps remove dead hairs. The appropriate frequency and necessary tools will depend on the type of coat.

Giving your puppy a bath

If your puppy likes to swim, or often gets muddy on walks, they may require regular baths. Long-haired dogs may require more frequent bathing than others to be sure their coat is kept clean.

1. Cleaning your puppy's ears

Your vet will be able to recommend the most appropriate cleaning routine for your puppy's ears, based on type. Dogs have either dropped or pricked ears, and those with dropped may require more care than other breeds. If you are asked to clean your dog's ears at home, you should do so with a specially formulated solution. Carefully squeeze a few drops into your puppy's ear canal, then very gently massage the base of their ear for around 30 seconds. If there is any solution remaining, wipe the ear carefully with cotton wool.

2. Caring for your puppy's teeth

Puppies may start to suffer from plaque build-up when they start to eat solid food. If this is not removed, it can result in tartar and inflammation of the gums. The best way to care for your puppy's teeth is by brushing them several times a week with a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. Chewing bars may also slow down the formation of plaque and tartar. Ideally, a puppy should be given no more than two or three of these chewing bars a week to help prevent plaque and tartar build-up. It's important to make sure these are taken into account in the puppy's daily calories count to avoid excess weight gain Ask your vet which type might be best for your puppy.

3. How to clip your puppy's nails

Dogs have two types of nail - dewclaws and toenails. The dewclaw is often located on the side of their front legs, while the toenails are found on the paws. Your puppy's toenails should naturally wear down as they walk across hard surfaces, but if they grow too long you may need to clip them.

Our Puppy Ranges

Royal Canin puppy nutrition supports growth and development by providing all the nutrients essential to a their needs in the first year of life.