When a Large Dog Breed Visits the Groomer for the First Time

Owners of large dogs have probably heard it all before. Well-meaning people might say something like, "Are you taking your dog for a walk, or is it the other way around?" Or perhaps they might teasingly ask, "Is that a dog, or a horse?" Yes, you know your beloved pooch is large, and you have no doubt grown accustomed to the amount of exercise that such a dog needs, as well as the amount of food your dog consumes and the sometimes astonishingly large piles of mess your dog can leave on the lawn. Your dog's size needs to be taken into consideration when it's time to visit the dog grooming salon for the first time. You might have taken care of your dog's cleaning and general grooming yourself, but sometimes you just want to treat your fur baby to a professional grooming session (as well as sparing yourself the effort). And yet, the sheer size of your dog means that you will need to ask a few questions before choosing a groomer.

Size Matters (in Bathtubs)

Many groomers use an actual bathtub for the dog to stand calmly in (well, in theory anyway) as the groomer shampoos their fur. But while smaller and medium breeds can be comfortably accommodated in a standard dog grooming bathtub, will your dog actually fit? It's just a question of telling the groomer the breed and approximate dimensions of your pet and asking if their bathing facilities are appropriate. You want the full experience for your dog, so you'd probably prefer to find a groomer that can accommodate their size.

Double Coat, Double Time

A double coat of fur is reasonably common in dogs (labradors have it), and groomers know that such a coat takes extra time. Both coats need to be washed, and this can take up more time as the shampoo is fully massaged into your dog's fur so that both coats are penetrated. With large dogs, this additional required time might become considerable. It's not only the washing but the blowdrying that takes time, which means that several smaller dogs could have been washed and blowdried in the time it takes to groom your dog. The amount of additional time needed to groom a larger, double-coated dog can push the price of the grooming session up, so be sure to query about this when making the appointment.

Big and Strong

Part of the appeal of professional grooming is the fact that you don't have to do the work yourself. But will you need to offer assistance during the session? Part of this depends on your dog. When a groomer gently yet firmly grasps a chihuahua's paw to clip its nails, the paw stays grasped. When a large wolfhound or Great Dane attempts to pull their paw away, the groomer might not have any choice in the matter. Remember that you might need to be on hand to gently restrain your dog for their first few sessions, or at least until they get used to what they need to do while being groomed.

Large dogs have vastly more surface space to groom than a smaller dog, so it's important to take this into account when planning your big baby's first trip to the groomer.