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Grooming an Elderly Pet

Before you bring your pet to the Groomer some things to look for:

Is he in pain? A pet in pain is more likely to bite.


Is he coughing? Coughing may be indicative of heart failure.



Are the gums sticky? Tacky gums could be a sign of dehydration.

Should I take my dog to the groomer if they have Diarrhea? No, diarrhea can mean a lot of things it can also be a sign of stress please take to the vet.

Are the gums paler than normal? If I see paler gums, my recommendation is to go directly to the veterinarian’s office, as blood is not pumping properly. In addition, senior pets have a harder time regulating their body temperatures. They can overheat or chill quickly. I may even recommend that this pet’s needs are better served by grooming in a veterinarian’s office. 

Senior pet’s things can happen during the groom:

I may not be able to finish the groom – I do what I can and what the pet will tolerate.


Pets may pass away during my care- (which I hope NEVER happens) always good to have your pet checked by a veterinarian.


If a pet is having accidents - peeing a lot & or diarrhea that is usually a sign of Stress. The groom will be stopped & the pet will be sent home.



I do hands on drying with a high-velocity (HV) dryer, some older pets have been known to go into a dryer-induced seizure. For these pets, this is as far as the groom goes. If I cannot dry them, they will be wet shaved. They are toweled off well & shaved down wet. The groom will be as good as it can be.


Some senior dogs you may not be able to have that groom you always had – they will be bathed, wet shaved I may skip the dryer or drying is to a min.

Finish Work on the Older Pet:

What is the pet’s comfort level at this stage? Is the pet exhausted? These are the questions I ask myself before I reach for my shears. When working with elderly pets, sometimes I settle for “good enough.”

Shelly's Little Dog Grooming

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