Have you recently welcomed a new furry friend into your home? Is this friend EXTRA furry? If you answered yes to these questions, then congratulations, you’re in the right place to learn more about your puppy’s first groom!

Here at Rutland Veterinary Clinic & Surgical Center, we consider grooming to be an essential part of maintaining an animal’s health. While every animal can benefit from routine visits to the grooming shop, it is especially important for pets with longer fur and fluffier coats. Lack of grooming can lead to matting, skin issues, and can cause your pet a lot of pain.

It’s important to start grooming from a young age. We recommend bringing them in shortly after they’ve received their full series of vaccinations. This is usually around 12 weeks of age. Even if your pet isn’t ready for a trim, it’s important for them to get used to the grooming room. We are always happy to schedule a bath and a meet ‘n’ greet. For many animals, our groomer should be seeing them every 6-8 weeks for their whole lives! It’s very important to begin building a good relationship right from the start.

We recently had a pet come in for his first groom, and were able to capture the whole experience. Let’s walk through what a first groom looks like here at the clinic!


Meet Dutch – Dutch is an 8 month old Wheaten Terrier (a very uncommon breed these days!). He has a lot of energy, and sustained a leg injury that forced his owners to postpone his first groom. As soon as he was given the veterinary OK, his owners scheduled him with our groomer Candy.

When Dutch first arrived, Candy made sure to get him comfortable with both her and the clinic. She walked him around, introduced him to staff, made sure he got some treats, and made sure he got used to her touching him.

Getting used to clippers

Then it was time for the initial trim down! Not every pet will need a pre-shave, but Dutch certainly did. Before beginning, Candy took time to get him used to the sound of the clippers, and held them against him without the blades so he could adjust to the feeling. Once she felt comfortable, she was able to begin the grooming process. Thankfully, Dutch was a great pup and seemed to enjoy this part of the process!

Puppy's first bath time

After the first trim comes bath time. Just like with the clippers, it’s important to take the time to let each animal get used to the water running near them, and then on them. Once he gave us the okay, it was time to rinse, wash, rinse, and towel dry. It’s a messy process for everyone, but usually much needed! Then it was off to the kennels to be blow dried.

First groom complete

Once he was sufficiently dry, it was time for the final trim. This is where it all starts to come together. Candy will trim and shape the coat, cut nails, clean out the ears, and if necessary, express anal glands and pluck ear hair. In this case, the owners wanted what’s called a ‘pet clip’ instead of the usual Wheaten Terrier cut. When Dutch was done, Candy gave him a Rutland Veterinary Clinic & Surgical Center bandana, and sent him home to his family.

We offer grooming four days a week, and require all pets to have up-to-date rabies and distemper vaccines. If you have a pet in need of a groom, please call us at (802) 773-2779 to schedule today with one of our amazing groomers. Like us on Facebook for up-to date clinic information, and follow us on Instagram for cute pup-dates!