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.

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.



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, all clipper work is done before the bath. They are toweled off well left to dry. The groom will not only be as good as it can be.


Some senior dogs you may not be able to have that groom you always had – some times its best to shave them down before their bath so you can 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