3 Grooming Tips for Older Dogs

Cleaner Paws is a mother-daughter run blog. Together we have over 40+ years of professional pet grooming experience and we hope to pass some of that on to our readers throughout our in-depth and non-bias reviews and buyers guides.

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This review guide was updated in February 2019.

You will find a wealth of information online about how to groom puppies and younger pets. However, often overlooked is critical considerations for older dogs.

For a range of reasons, from being recently adopted to switching from a professional groomer to grooming your pets at home, it may be time for you to groom your dog for the first time and if they’re slightly older, there many factors to bear in mind.

Although the old cliche quote may be that ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ at Cleaner Paws we don’t believe this at all.

When it comes to pet grooming, regardless of the age of your dog if you prepare correctly and have the right grooming products at your disposable than grooming an older dog for the first time can be as easy as a dog that has grown used to being groomed.

However for this to be the case it is essential you do take extra care and by following the tips below you can ensure the procedure runs as smoothly as possible:

  • Prepare Thoroughly – This is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to grooming any pet.Ensuring you have the right products ready and that your dog is comfortable can make a huge difference as to how well the whole grooming process goes.

    As with anything, if your dog is taken by surprise than they’re more likely to react sensitively by becoming more anxious.

    If you prepare your dog for the grooming session, regardless of their age, they will have an easier time remaining calm.

  • Slow Your Approach – Following on the Tip 1, it is important to remain patient throughout the whole process.As with puppies, older dogs may not always be exactly sure what is going on and depending on their age they may not be as quick as they once were so it is essential you do not rush the process and allow your dog to go at their own pace.

    This may mean the first couple of bath times last slightly longer than expected but once your pet becomes used to the process, they will speed up in no time.

  • Reward Your Dog – No matter the age of your dog, one thing is sure and that is they still love treats!Reward your dog when they have behaved particularly well or have sat still for an extended period.

    This positive associate still works exceptionally well in older dogs and will ensure your pet begins to love grooming time as much as you like your fresh smelling dog afterward.


We hope this quick guide offers some valuable tips when it comes to grooming older dogs. If you have recently adopted an older dog or are looking to train your pet for the first time, this guide is excellent and complements the grooming tips laid out above.

Out of the three tips, allowing your dog to go at their own pace is the most important.

Depending on their overall health there may be issues which also mean certain parts of your dogs need more focus, such as creaky joints or sore paws for example and learning to groom your pet is one of the best ways to bond with them.

About the author

    Jenny Nolan

    Hey, I'm Jenny and along with Mom Sue the main contributor here at Cleaner Paws. As a mother-daughter partnership, we absolutely adore animals and together have over 40 plus years of pet grooming experience!

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