Why Does Dog Grooming Take So Long

Why Does Dog Grooming Take So Long? (Is it REALLY hard?)

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Dog grooming is the hygienic care of a dog that entails cleaning and cutting the nails and hair of your dog. It results in sprucing up the look of the dog to a maintainable and appealing appearance. While grooming may appear to be an exercise in vanity, it is actually critical for the well being of the dog.

Dog grooming takes long because there are quite a number of processes to get through and sometimes the dog may not be very co-operative.

Most dog owners tend to fault professional groomers because of the amount of time they spend at the dog salon getting Fido cleaned and trimmed.

So Why Does Dog Grooming Take So Long?

Funny dog bath time

It is important to understand that if you frequently groom your dog, It will most likely spend much less time grooming compared to a dog that isn’t groomed regularly. Here are several reasons why dog grooming is a long process:

Dogs Molt

Grooming a dog may take long because dogs molt. And when they do the hair that comes off becomes entangled and forms a thick matte especially if you go for long periods without brushing them. Getting the hair untangled requires care and is a slow process to avoid hurting the dog.

Dog molting occurs twice a year. It is triggered in may when the dog sheds its winter coat and September when it sheds its summer coat. That is typically spring and autumn. And if the dog lives in a hot climate the shedding may be more pronounced.

Also, dogs with thick fur or long hair tend to shed more. In fact, their hair loss can be quite spectacular. Professional groomers understand the impact of high shedding so they dedicate a bit more time to trimming and brushing.

Preparation Time

Adorable dog with facial mask

Before the groomer begins to work on your dog, they will prepare your pet. This is a crucial step even if the dog is used to the grooming process. And it is even more important for new dogs experiencing grooming for the first time. The prep time takes care of the basics including: cutting nails, shaving the coat, brushing the fur out, and cleaning the teeth and ears.

Bath Time

You will notice that the groomer brushes the hair before bathing. That is to prevent any tangling and knots. Bath time can be quite intense so the groomer needs to take it at the pace of the dog’s comfort level. Some dogs are comfortable with the running water while others get spooked. And also, the thickness of the fur will determine how much shampooing and conditioning is required to keep it clean. The dog may also require de-shedding treatment which is applied during bath time.


The drying process will definitely increase the grooming time because the dog’s hair or fur must be completely dry. That is because wet hair is impossible to cut properly. So the groomer will make sure the coat is completely dry so that the hair stretches out to its full length. Cutting dry hair ensures that you get the right trim and look. Unfortunately, the dryer makes a sound that causes dogs to be nervous.

To scare the dog less, most groomers opt to towel dry the dog which takes a much longer time compared to the dryer. The drying time varies from one breed to another.

Trimming The Hair

This is another long process as the groomer has to work through the hair all over the dog. It is a very detailed process for the groomer as it entails working on delicate areas like the nose, ears, and in between toes.

How Do Groomers Keep Dogs Still?

Dog groomers have a few tricks that help them calm the dog down. They include:

  • Placing a towel over the dog’s eyes or head
  • A tether around the dog’s waist or one front leg
  • Using treats to reward cooperation (the treats are withdrawn when the dog acts up)
  • Aromatherapy with scents like lavender and cool soothing music. The groomer uses lavender candles and lavender shampoo to calm the dog’s senses.

Grooming Different Breeds

Woman grooming a long-haired white and grey dog

Grooming a furry dog requires lots of detangling to get rid of the small and painful tangles in the coat. The larger knots are typically cut out using scissors. The groomer will use long bristled brushes so that they can reach the undercoat. Double coated, furry breeds include the Akita and Siberian Husky.

Long-haired dogs are more likely to have tangles and knots compared to short-haired dogs. So, the groomer will first run their fingers through the hair to loosen the tangles. These breeds shed a lot so they need to be groomed, shaved, combed and de-matted every three months if not more frequently. Examples of long-haired breeds include the Shih Tzu, Afghan hounds, and the Bearded Collie.

Short-haired dogs are less prone to tangling and matting so they need fewer visits to the groomer. Grooming can be scheduled four times a year at the beginning of every season; winter, summer, spring and fall. And grooming for these breeds is as easy as using a curry comb and a rubber knobby grooming brush to effectively remove debris, dirt and dead skin. Short-haired breeds include basset hounds, Australian terriers and Affenpinschers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do groomers give dogs sedatives?

In some cases, the vet may recommend a safe sedative-like Bach flower essence or a prescription drug to help calm the dog. The groomer will suggest the option of sedatives but you must see a veterinarian for the most appropriate drug for your dog.

How many dogs can a groomer groom in a day?

When you have a team of professionals working together, it is possible to work on at least eight dogs per day. But there is no exact number of dogs expected per day because the needs of the dogs vary greatly from one to another. Professional groomers like to say that there are shades of gray in pet grooming and how many dogs you can groom in a day is one of these gray areas.

Some professionals can work on 16 dogs comfortably while others can work on as little as five per day. The best groomers do not focus on number more than they focus on quality work, safety and a thorough job.

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