The basics of puppy grooming
It's a good idea to get puppies used to being handled from an early age. If a dog is carefully introduced to grooming from puppyhood, the experience will be less stressful for them, and calmer for you in the future, allowing for you to meet their care needs easily.
Used to loosen dead skin and hair from close-cropped coats
Works against the coat to loosen debris and strips excess hair from the undercoat. Great for grooming curly and coarse coats
Used to gently untangle knots or mats, which are particularly common in long or silky coats
Used to remove debris from a dog's coat after brushing
A more gentle tool that can be used on tails and paws
Used for stripping coarse-haired dogs four or five times a year. This tool is best used by a professional groomer
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
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
Nutrition and coat care
A dog's coat is a strong reflection of their diet. A shiny, soft coat and healthy skin is an indication that your puppy's food is enriched with Omega 3 and 6 amino acids. On the other hand, a diet lacking in the appropriate nutrition can result in a dull, limp coat. A tailored nutritional diet is the first step to caring for your puppy's coat.
How to care for your puppy's coat
Giving your puppy a bath
When to bathe a puppy
How to bathe a puppy
- Let your puppy become accustomed to the bath without any water, allow them to sniff the area and praise them as they do so
- Run the bath with lukewarm water to avoid any burns and gradually introduce the puppy again
- Wet the coat all over and apply the specialist puppy shampoo, making sure to be careful around the eyes
- Continue to praise and reassure your puppy through the whole process
- Rinse thoroughly with plenty of water, leaving the head until last to avoid shaking
How to dry a puppy's coat
After the bath, rub your puppy down vigorously with a towel and keep it in a warm room until it’s properly dry. In the summer, the alternative is patting a puppy down in the garden or taking it for a walk, as long as they don't like rolling in mud.
A hairdryer may be recommended with curly-coated dogs, but care should be taken not to burn the dog and the hair should be brushed at the same time to avoid tangles.
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.
How to clip your puppy's nails
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. Toenails should be trimmed carefully, as to avoid the blood vessels which exist in a puppy's nails. Trim the nail with specialist clippers, from the bottom up. This should preferably be done at 45 degree angle to the ground. The undercut should be smooth so that no cracks or cracks are formed on it.
If you are ever uncertain of when to trim your puppy's nails, or would like a demonstration, speak to your vet.
Essential items for your new puppy
Puppy Growth Program
Discover our ROYAL CANIN® Puppy Growth Program, a 4-stage feeding program created for all puppies until adulthood to feed their specific needs.