Bathing & Grooming Basics

Make sure to watch our bathing videos at the bottom of page


When your puppy leaves here they usually have their first bath two days earlier. So this is something they will have to get use to, but if properly done they will look forward to their bath time. Keeping them on a weekly schedule helps them know the routine.

First thing to do is to protect their eyes. The best product on the market is called Safe Eye. We sell it if you can’t find it. Put a couple of drops in each eye so the shampoo doesn’t get in their eyes and cause damage over the years. Also coats them so the shampoo can’t sting them.

Then run the water till it’s warm. Test it yourself never want it hot. Better to be cool than hot. Depending on the size of your puppy you can use a bowl or just your sink. Fill to make the top of your puppy legs to be covered, then turn water off and set puppy in water. (The sound of water running when they are in it can cause fear till they are used to their bath time).

Use a cup to wet them completely. Once wet pour shampoo in your hands and start massaging through their fur starting with the top of head working down to the tail and paws. Rinse with the cup and later again. This time make absolutely sure all shampoo is out as it will dry out their skin.   So use some fresh water for this rinse.

Then take a baby wash cloth and clean their face. Now at this point is when most dogs shake all the water out. But if you squeeze softy the water from the ears tail and paws then move to a towel and immediately put part of the towel over their head and start drying the sides of the face moving back toward the tail. If done correctly they should not shake out any water. Take extra time using the towel so hair dryer is done quicker.


I have two techniques for blow drying my pups.

  1. I put them on my lap and I massage them at the same time they are drying, moving the dryer as to not burn them. (My dryer has a cool button on it that I switch back and forth.)
  2. I drain the water from the sink put a towel in it and place puppy back in.  I then get another towel and start drying immediately starting with the face moving toward the tail. Then I start with the bowl dryer, moving constantly and switching back and forth with a cool button if you have one. Massage their body as you are blowing as this is calming to them and feels really good.

Either technique you use make sure if floppy, the hair on the ears of the pup is completely dry so no moisture causes ear infections.  Always use the massage technique for bath and drying, making this a relaxing time for your puppy. If done correctly this can be a fun time for both of you each week!

Grooming & Hygiene Basics

These are the items to properly address when weekly grooming you puppy:

  1. Cut hair before it goes into their eyes.
  2. Hygiene cut is important
  3. Hair trimmed on paws
  4. Nails clipped or filed
  5. Pluck hair from ears
  6. Clean out ears
  7. Brush teeth

Not to worry.  All these techniques I am happy go over with you in person.

Your puppy has been used to being groomed since two weeks old on this weekly basis till they go to their forever home. This makes it easier for you to give them the best care possible. I will be more than happy to show you how to do any of these before you leave with your bundle of joy.

1. Hair around the eyes.

You want to trim the hair around the eyes so it does not go into the eye. Not doing this can cause the eye to drain. (No different from something in our eyes) So keeping the hair from the eyes helps to keep them from draining. Also if you are not pulling the hair up in bows you need to trim a very thin portion above the eye so it does not fall down in the eye.

Of course you need to have a safe pair of scissors so not to hit the eye. Then when cutting the hair pull it up and come from the side of the face under the eye to not scare them. If they see it coming head on they try to jump from it. At first you may need someone to help you. But once your use to it you can do it by yourself. Your puppy comes to know this is safe.

2.  Hygiene Cut

You want to keep the hair trimmed short around the rectum so feces do not stick to it. If you ever see your puppy straining and unable to eliminate, check immediately as they may have had fecal matter stuck to their hair that then became matted and molded it to them when they sat down. If this happens it is a messy job to clean, but blue dawn helps loosen it. Better to do the preventive weekly that only takes a few seconds to do, than the clean up that can be 30 minutes. If a boy, trim some on the tummy around the penis so urine scent does not soak them.

3.  Hair trimmed on paws

You should always be able to see the pads on the bottom of your puppy paws. This is really simple to do you clip the hair by slowly going across the bottom of the paw. This helps them to be comfortable when walking. The hair grows and gets bulky making them unbalance and when they are outside the dirt and moisture sticks to the hair. If the hair on the paw starts to look too long just go along the side and front to shape it till time for the groomer.

4. Nails clipped or filed

My favorite is using petty paws file but if you let them go over a week, you may have to clip them first then follow up with the file to smooth them for holding your baby.

Be careful not to go pass the quick, just as yours would bleed so will theirs. Another reason I love using the file.

If you take them for walks on concrete it usually does a good job filing the nails for you.

5.  Pluck hair from ears

This may be a hard one for you and if you are taking them to be groomed every 6-8 weeks you can have the groomer do this.

If you’re up to the challenge you can pluck the hair using your fingers or using a instrument called a forceps (using the tool be careful not to grab the ear itself).

6.  Clean out the ears

This is important to do. They have solutions you can buy.  Put a little in their ears and massage in, then clean with a cotton ball, but never a Q-tip. Q-tips can damage your dog’s ears. Now if your dog’s ears are constantly clean, then this can be done at groomers. Some dogs are just more prone to dirty ears because of going outside and dirt getting in them. Or floppy ears that can cause moisture and dirt to build up. Dirty ears cause odor so keeping the ears clean is important for everyone!

7.  Brush teeth

Clean teeth are very important as it contributes to the health of your dog.  Never use human toothpaste as their enzymes are different from ours so only use doggie toothpaste.

Apples and carrots are great training treats that help keep clean breath for your little pup.

I hope all this is helpful as you help your baby to stay fresh and clean.

Take him or her to the groomer about every 6-8 weeks unless you want really long hair.

TLC Grooming Services

If you live close to us and do not have groomer yet just know we groom puppies for $45   (If really matted it can be as much as $15 extra as this is time consuming.) Remember brushing once a day for a few minutes prevents mat and tangles, or at least every other day.

We never tie them up but work with them as moving freely makes for a nicer experience.  We also offer a puppy cologne for between grooming appointments to help your pup smell fresh and clean when on your lap or with company coming over.

Now enjoy grooming time with your puppy!




  1. Liz Petros says:

    Good tips

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: