How often should I get my dog groomed

How Often Should You Visit the Dog Groomer?

Dog groomers are asked almost every day how often a dog should come back for their next visit. The short answer is: it depends. It depends on your dog’s coat, their behavior, the hair style you want, and how much maintenance you do at home. We’ll get into that in a minute, but a good, baseline starting point for how often your dog should be groomed is about every 6 weeks or so.

Whether you get your dog groomed every 2 weeks or every 12 weeks, though, keeping your dog on a regular schedule that’s appropriate for their specific needs is important for their overall well-being. And it helps make the process easier on you, your dog, and their dog groomer!

Why Are Regular Appointments Important?

For the Dog

Regular appointments help your dog stay familiar and comfortable with the whole grooming process. It allows them to build a bond with their dog groomer, and ensures that their coat and nails are well-maintained.

In turn, all of this can lessen their stress response during their visit. And, yes, visiting the salon often is a stressful experience for your dog.

No matter how gentle and relaxed the environment, the disruption to their normal routine, the car ride, even your anxieties about trusting them to someone else, et cetera, all contribute to some level of stress in your dog. However, just like visiting the veterinarian for an annual checkup is often a stressful experience, that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary for their health and well-being.

For the Dog Groomer

Probably one of the more important benefits for the dog groomer is that regular appointments help reduce the wear and tear on their bodies. A well-behaved, well-maintained dog is infinitely more pleasant (and safe) to groom than a matted, unruly dog who fights and wrestles you every step of the way.

While it’s not always the case if they aren’t also addressed at home or with a professional trainer, regular appointments can also help alleviate behavioral issues as your dog learns what to expect, what’s expected of them, and builds trust in their groomer. If a dog only ever visits the groomer when they’re overgrown and matted, it’s no wonder that they don’t want to be there!

Additionally, when a dog groomer sees your dog regularly, they’re more likely to notice if your dog is behaving unusually, or if they’ve developed a new lump, pain, or other issues that might warrant a trip to their veterinarian. You’d be surprised how often a dog groomer is the first one to notice something that ends up being serious!

For You

It goes without saying that having a well-maintained dog is a benefit all on its own. Your dog will never have to go through the discomfort and stress of serious matting or overgrown nails. And they’ll look great because you and your dog groomer will be able to fine tune the style you love and keep it looking awesome!

Finally, regularly scheduled appointments ensure that you aren’t scrambling to get your dog in for grooming when they need a haircut now, and then having to wait several more weeks for your salon’s first available appointment because most established salons have full, often already overbooked, schedules.

Okay, but really, how often?

To put it very simply, the longer you want your dog’s hair to be, the more often you’re going to have to visit the dog groomer to keep it that way. That doesn’t necessarily mean they need to get a haircut every visit, though. For example, you can absolutely alternate between a bath and tidy one appointment, and a full haircut the next. Your dog groomer will be happy to help figure out what works best for all of you.

On the other hand, the shorter your dog’s haircut is, the longer you can stretch out the time between their appointments, as long as you keep in mind everything else I’ve gone over above. Dog grooming isn’t just about the haircut. Nail care is also important, but so is the routine and relationship your dog has with their dog groomer.

When I’m asked how often a dog should be groomed at work, I like to say that 4-6 weeks is a good starting point. If the dog comes back after 5 weeks and they’re in pretty good condition, great! We can stick to a 5 week schedule, or even consider pushing it out to 6 weeks.

However, if the dog comes back in matted after 5 weeks, it’s been too long, and rebooking 4 weeks (or less) might work better for that particular dog. Sorting through some trial and error to figure out what works best for you and your dog is completely normal.

Other Considerations

All of this advice is being given with a well-behaved, adult dog in mind. There are some special considerations for puppies, seniors, and dogs with serious behavioral issues that deserve their own separate spotlight, but I’ll touch on them here.


Everyone loves puppies. They’re adorable! But they’re also all over the place, dramatic, and have absolutely no idea what the dog groomer is all about yet. Combine all that with vibrating clippers and sharp objects, and it can be a nerve-wracking experience for even the most seasoned groomer to try giving a puppy their first haircuts.

For the love of dog, start bringing your puppy in for puppy intros as soon as your dog groomer will allow them. Some require them to have all their shots, so around 12 weeks. Some, especially those that work one-on-one, will start working with them even earlier. Consider scheduling puppy appointments before you even bring your puppy home!

It’s not fair to the puppy or the dog groomer to bring them in for the first time at 6+ months old and expect a full, beautiful haircut. Especially if you haven’t been working with the puppy at home. Start them early, and it will set them up for success for the rest of their lives.


As your dog ages, they don’t deal with stress as well as they once could. Sometimes their mind starts to go. Sometimes their eyesight or hearing, too. They deal with the pain of arthritis. They get cranky, disoriented, and less tolerant of the process. All dog groomers understand this.

What we don’t understand is when someone with a senior dog keeps expecting them to look perfect. Stop it. Your dog has more than earned an easy, comfortable groom with no bells or whistles. A shorter haircut and spreading out their appointments works well for a lot of senior dogs if they’re starting to show their age.

Additionally, if you know your dog is coming to its last days, don’t bring them in for one last spa day. They don’t want to be with us, they want to be with you.

‘Bad’ Dogs

Many dog groomers won’t take on dogs with serious issues for a variety of reasons that largely boil down to safety concerns. If you find one who will, and there are some out there who find working with these dogs very rewarding, cherish them. Seriously.

If you have a dog with aggression issues or severe anxiety, you know it. Always, always, always tell your dog groomer. While many can’t accommodate serious aggression issues, most dog groomers are willing to try working with your anxious or fearful dog before deciding whether they can continue doing so in the future if you’re honest about it up front.

Finally, manage your expectations. There’s a tongue-in-cheek saying amongst dog groomers that bad dogs get bad haircuts. While that’s not necessarily true all of the time, it’s better for your dog to have a good experience than a perfect haircut.

Depending on your dog’s issues, more regular appointments could be helpful to acclimate them to the process. Alternatively finding a short haircut that works well to spread out the appointments for a dog that’s particularly anxious at the salon might be better.

Whatever the case, your groomer should be happy to discuss your options with you.