How Often Should You Groom a Pet?

Grooming is an integral part of pet care. Keeping your animal buddies looking and feeling their best helps them stay in good shape. Plus, it’s also a great method to show them, love. But how often should you give your pet a good scrub? The answer depends on the type of pet you have. Read on to find out more.

What is involved in pet grooming?

Various pets require different levels of grooming. But here are the regular services included in a pet grooming procedure:

Brushing the Coat

Brushing helps remove dirt, debris, and dead hair from your pet’s coat. It also stimulates the natural oils in the skin to help keep it nourished and healthier. Brushing can also help prevent mats and tangles from developing while distributing natural oil over your dog’s layer for a gleaming shine. Doing it regularly will make it easier to spot any changes or irregularities on their skin that could indicate a health issue.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Brush in the direction of the hair, beginning at your pet’s head and working your way down.
  • Start with a soft brush and switch to a hard bristle brush or slicker brush if required.
  • Use long strokes and ensure you get right down to the skin.
  • You may use a shedding blade to help remove excess hair.


Regular baths help keep your pet’s skin and fur clean and free of dirt, debris, and excess oils that can cause irritation and other problems. Not to mention, it allows them to stay smelling fresh. When deciding on a shampoo for your pet, choose one specifically created for their fur type or skin condition. It’s also important to avoid using human shampoo as these items are usually too harsh for pets’ delicate layers.

Throughout the bath, use lukewarm water and carefully massage the soap from the tail to the head before washing thoroughly. Afterward, dry out your pet completely with a towel or blow dryer set on cool before allowing them outside again.

Nail Trimming

Trimming a pet’s nails is a vital part of grooming that helps prevent overgrowth or splitting. If you allow your pet’s nails to become too long, it can result in pain when they walk and put them in danger of infections. It’s best to have a qualified groomer execute the job if you are uncomfortable doing it alone.

Cleaning Ears and Eyes

Regularly cleaning your pet’s ears and eyes helps eliminate dirt and debris that can accumulate from playing outdoors. This will help protect against ear infections or eye irritation brought on by irritants like pollen, dust, or debris.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Gently clean your pet’s ears with a damp cloth.
  • If necessary, you can use an ear-cleaning solution to help take out any buildup.
  • To clean their eyes, use a cotton ball soaked in warm water and carefully wipe away from the corner of their eye.

Teeth Cleaning

Like humans, pets need to have their teeth brushed regularly to maintain a healthy mouth. This helps prevent tartar buildup, foul breath, and other dental problems if left unattended. Use pet-specific toothpaste when brushing your pet’s teeth, as human toothpaste can contain hazardous ingredients for animals. You also want to make sure you choose a soft brush primarily created for animal mouths.

Below are tips for safe teeth cleaning:

  • Start off by getting your dog used to having their mouth touched by gently massaging the area around its lips. Use a gauze wrapped around your finger or a finger cap scrubber designed for pet teeth cleaning.
  • Once they are comfortable, you can introduce the toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Brush in a circular motion on each side of your pet’s teeth for about two minutes. When finished, reward your dog with a treat or some extra love.

When searching for a veterinary clinic that offers pet grooming, it’s a good idea to review their grooming services online and determine which options are available for your pet’s well-being.

What is the ideal pet grooming schedule?

The frequency of grooming your pet depends upon its breed and size. Generally, small dogs need to be groomed every 4-8 weeks, and large breed pet dogs must have a grooming session every 6-8 weeks. Long-haired dogs need to be groomed every 8-12 weeks, while short-haired types can get away with just a few times yearly.

Below is a detailed guide:

  • Brushing of hair

In general, it is advisable to brush your pet’s fur once a week. But for best results, you can do it every 3 to 4 days for short-haired dogs and every 2 to 3 days for long-haired ones. If you need to brush them more than 2 to 3 times a week, use a soft-bristled brush as it won’t damage their coats.

  • Bathing

The rule of thumb is you should bathe your dog once a month unless they’re stinky or dirty. However, if you reside in an environment with moisture, you may need to wash them more often. For example, drop-coated breeds like Shi Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers may require a bath every three weeks because their hair tends to collect oil and debris.

  • Nail trimming

Nail trimming should be done every two weeks. But if you can hear them clicking against the floor when they walk, it’s time to trim them.

  • Cleaning of ears and eyes
    • You need to clean your pet’s eyes and ears once a week.
  • Teeth cleaning

Clean your dog’s teeth at least 2 to 3 times per week.

Note that your vet may propose a different schedule depending on your pet’s breed, size, and way of life. So, always ask a Stockton veterinary expert for advice.

Key Takeaways

Regular grooming is vital for preserving your pet’s health and good hygiene. The grooming schedule depends on the pet’s breed, size, and lifestyle. But generally, you may need to groom your small dog every 4 to 8 weeks. If you have a large-size breed pup, it may be done every 6 to 8 weeks. 

On top of that, you must groom your long-haired pets once every 8 to 12 weeks, while short-haired ones may need fewer sessions. However, your vet may recommend different schedules after assessing your dog’s needs.