The most common question new dog owners ask is how frequently they should have their dog groomed. The answer depends on what type of coat your dog has, how much they shed, and how much brushing you are willing to do at home.
Keeping in mind that all dogs, regardless of breed, should have their nails trimmed at least once a month, here are some general guidelines based on coat type.
- Short hair – Short-haired dogs only need occasional baths and minimal brushing. If they shed excessively, ask your groomer if they offer any low-shed services. It may be called carding, furminating, or something else entirely, but most groomers will offer a thorough brushing that should reduce your dog’s shedding. Keep in mind that nothing will stop shedding entirely, not even shaving your dog.
- Short-haired double-coated dogs – These dogs typically shed seasonally. Plan on grooming them four times a year to pull out the dead undercoat – before it winds up all over your floor.
- Double-coated long-haired dogs – These dogs tend to shed seasonally, but they also have long feathers on their feet, legs, bellies, butts, and ears that you might choose to have trimmed. The longer hair is prone to getting matted, especially the butt and behind the ears. If your dog develops mats, take them to a groomer to have them cut out. Don’t try to cut mats out yourself, as you’re liable to cut your dog!
- Dogs with thick undercoats – Some dogs have an exceptionally thick undercoat that must be removed seasonally or it can cause severe matting that must be shaved out. Shaving this type of coat can be very bad for your dog’s hair and can lead to sunburns. Groom these breeds at least every three months.
- Silky-coated dogs – These dog breeds have a single coat that grows continuously and must be trimmed periodically. Very short cuts can last two to three months, but any dog that leaves the groomer with more than an inch of hair left on its body should be groomed at least every four to six weeks to prevent severe matting.
- Terriers – With their wiry coats, terriers are less prone to matting. They can go two to three months between grooming appointments.
- Curly and wavy coats – These breeds are the most likely to mat. Any hair longer than half an inch should be brushed at least twice a week, and hair longer than an inch should be brushed daily. These dogs require grooming every four to six weeks to prevent severe matting.
Keep in mind that the shorter the haircut your dog gets, the longer they can go between appointments, and vice versa. Severe matting can cause many serious complications, so regular grooming is imperative.