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  • Writer's pictureMary Puppins

Top Grooming Tips For Older Small Breed Dogs

Updated: Feb 22

Older dog being groomed

As your dog gracefully ages and mellows

their grooming routine demands a thoughtful re-evaluation. Small breed dogs in their golden years undergo shifts in their skin, coat, teeth, and claws, warranting heightened care and consideration. Elevate the indulgence with our expert advice on grooming practices tailored for senior dogs.

Bathing Your Little Lovely

Your cherished canine's coat doesn't require frequent washing, but when you do, bear in mind that their aging skin becomes more delicate and susceptible to irritation from grooming products. Opt for a mild, natural shampoo devoid of harsh chemicals that might agitate and dehydrate their skin.

Exercise caution when lifting them in and out of the bath, as seniors, like humans, might experience a bit of stiffness when stationary for extended periods.


“As well as professional grooming, there are also things you can do at home between visits to the salon: Your dog’s coat and skin can get thinner with age, so you might need to change the brushes you use. Ones with softer bristles are usually best, and it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right brush for their coat.” - Pets At Home


Gentle Brushing

Transition to a softer brush as your dog's coat naturally coarsens with age. Senior dogs tend to shed more, necessitating more frequent brushing sessions. Why not establish a routine brushing ritual? It's an excellent bonding activity that benefits both you and your faithful friend.

Nurturing Moisture

A dog's paws and nose are particularly susceptible to drying out. Counter this by regularly applying a soothing balm or moisturiser.

Caring for Teeth

Just like their human counterparts, a dog's teeth become more vulnerable with age. Thus, consistent at-home brushing and grooming treatments are essential. Regular dental check-ups are equally vital. Tooth decay can lead to costly and painful issues, making preventive care crucial.

A professional cleaning by a veterinarian can be pivotal in circumventing hefty dental bills.

Nail Maintenance

Typically, dogs' nails naturally wear down through walking on pavements or roads. However, advancing age might reduce your older dog's activity levels, causing their nails to grow longer. Keep a watchful eye and arrange for professional trimming by a groomer or veterinarian. Preventing discomfort is crucial, as overgrown nails could lead to limping and further complications in their legs. Elevate your senior dog's quality of life through attentive dog grooming, reflecting the dedication that Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding extends to every cherished guest.

What are the top grooming tips for dog mummies of older small breed dogs? 

Regular grooming is vital for your dog’s comfort and welfare.

It enhances the relationship between you and your dog, keeps the coat healthy with natural oils, is mat-free and promotes new hair growth.

Additionally, it enables you to examine your dog for any overlooked anomalies or skin issues.

How to groom your older small breed dog? 

Grooming is essential for senior dogs.

Regular grooming can help address issues like tangled fur and allow you to check for age-related health problems.

Before grooming your dog:

  1. Set up an environment that’s comfortable for your dog.

  2. Groom your dog slowly to avoid hurting it.

  3. While grooming, watch for any changes in your dog’s skin.

What are the best grooming products for older small breed dogs? 

For most dog breeds, a metal comb, bristle brush and finishing cloth will be sufficient to groom a dog.

Some top picks for grooming products include Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo, Dog by Dr Lisa Slicker Brush, Boshel Dog Nail Clippers, and Happy Hoodie.

How does the grooming routine change for small breed dogs as they age?

As dogs get older, they’re more prone to skin problems. They also have difficulty cleaning their fur on their own.

Therefore, you will need to groom your dog more often. Groom your dog multiple times a week instead of just once a week or once every couple of weeks.

What are the common grooming issues in older small breed dogs?

Many owners need help with grooming their dogs.

The whole process can be quite a headache, from bathing, brushing, and mats to managing the dog’s behaviour.

Common concerns about pet grooming include bathing, brushing, removing mats, and managing dog behaviour.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

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Mary Puppins dog boarding Cheshire

Mary Puppins, dog grooming tips, small breed dogs

mary puppins expert small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.



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