How Long Does It Take To Groom A Dog?


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On average, a dog groom takes about two to three hours. However, generally, whether the grooming will be done by you at home or by professionals, how long it takes to groom a dog varies from dog to dog. It also depends on several things, which include but are not restricted to the coat, size, attitude, and health of the dog.


Sounds pretty straightforward right? Maybe not. Just before we look at those things affect how long it takes to groom a dog, let us get a quick run-through of what grooming a dog involves.


What’s In Grooming A Dog? – How Long Does It Take To Groom A Dog?

A dog is usually referred to as man’s best friend. So, it is no surprise that the way you take care of a dog is not different from the way we take care of our bodies, as humans. Grooming a dog involves many things, such as brushing, which should take place before the dog is bathed. Brushing your dog before a bath gets rid of a whole lot of dirt from the hair. Also, brushing make sit easier for the dog to be lathered with shampoo.






What Does Grooming A Dog Involve?

Dog grooming typically involves trimming the fur, clipping nails, and brushing the teeth.

Now, while it is okay for people to have a haircut with wet hair, your dog should only get a haircut when she’s clean and dry. This means that when your furry pet is all clean and dry from bathing, you can proceed with a trim or a shave, depending on what you want and your dog needs. 

Grooming your dog also involves trimming her nails with a nail clipper or nail grinder. Nail care is important to prevent infections and the pains that come when uncut nails pierce the paw pad. Also, when the dog’s nails grow very long and begin to curl, the dog will experience pain when walking as pressure will be placed on the nails.

Never forget the teeth. Just as your dental health is important to you, so should your dog’s. This one is no small feat because unlike most people, dogs do not like to have their teeth brushed.


(Find out other tools you’d be needing for your dog grooming. Click here to read our article: Dog Grooming Kit — All You Need To Know)

So, how long will all these take? We’ll get to that now.



What Determines The Duration? – How Long Does It Take To Groom A Dog?

First, dog grooming is a form of pampering your pet, and so proper care needs to be taken. This implies that you should never groom your dog in a hurry. Take your sweet time, so your dog finds the experience enjoyable. However, we don’t expect you to spend the whole day at it. 

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Let’s look at some of the things that determine how much time you spend grooming your dog.


The Coat Of The Dog

The coat of the dog is our first port of call for two reasons. The first is that most of the time spent grooming your dog will be spent on getting the coat clean and dry. Secondly, it is easily the most noticeable feature of your dog. 

The coat is the first thing people see to determine if your dog is well-groomed. It doesn’t have to be the most important determining factor, but it is the first noticeable one.


How Long Does It Take To Bathe A Dog?

Generally, one hour is sufficient to properly bathe and dry a dog. However, the state of your dog’s coat can either increase or reduce this time.



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What Are The Different Types Of Dog Coats?

Your dog is sure to have any of the following coats: a silky coat, wire coat, double coat, curly or wool coat, and a smooth or short coat.

Dogs with a silky coat include the Lhasa Apso, Tibetan Terrier, and Afghan Hound. This type of coat can easily get tangled. So, care must be given to regularly brush dogs with this coat. The longer and more tangled the coat, the more time taken to groom your dog.

A wiry coat is among the group of coats that are more difficult to groom. However, once groomed, the coat stays tidy for a good time. Dogs with a wiry coat include the Dachshund, Fox Terrier, and Scottish Terrier. It is important not to bathe dogs with this type of coat too often to prevent their coats from drying out.

A double-coated dog such as a Golden Retriever, Pug, Labrador, and German Shepherd has a lot of hair which increases the chances of having tangles and mats in the hair. Brushing a dog with this type of coat will require more care as there are different types of hair on the dog’s body. This intense care will require using several different brushes. 

If your dog is a Maltese, Bedlington Terrier, Labradoodle, or Poodle, then you have a dog with a curly or wool coat. And as with other hairy coats, a curly or wool coat can easily mat and tangle. However, dogs with this type of coat are non-shedding. 

Greyhounds, Pointers, Bulldogs, and Beagles have a smooth or short coat. This coat is the easiest coat to groom. For one thing, it has a naturally smooth finish. Also, this coat does not tangle.



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Size And Age Of The Dog

The size and age of a dog will also affect the time spent in grooming her. Grooming a puppy will require that you exercise more patience than when grooming a regular grown dog. For one thing, almost everything is new with your pup. In trying to be gentler and attentive to the responses of the puppy, you are going to spend a great deal of time. 

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Picture grooming two dogs: one a small-sized dog, and the other, a big dog. Consider the time it will take to get around each dog. The big dog will likely require that you spend more time brushing out its hair and bathing it. Mass does matter.

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Attitude Of The Dog

Irrespective of the coat, size, or age, a dog will have to cooperate with you to get the best grooming experience. This brings us to attitudes and behaviors as a determinant of how long a dog will stay on the grooming table. A well-behaved dog is more likely to allow you to groom her than a dog with attitudinal issues. A cranky dog may not be able to stay still and allow you to do as you please.

Depending on the behavior of the dog, dog grooming might take up more than the estimated time. A dog showing signs of stress will need to be calmed. A dog expressing strong-headedness may require that you repeat a particular process more than once. What this means is the better-behaved dog will spend less time getting groomed than the dog with a sour attitude.


Health Of The Dog

Can You Groom A Sick Dog?

How you will handle a strong dog will not be the same as how you handle a less strong one. If a dog is sick, extra tender loving care will be necessary when grooming her. Sometimes, putting off grooming your dog just because she is sick might not be the best for her. Why? Most times, it is the pampering that might help get your dog through his ill health. 

After staying indoors for a long time, a walk in the park might just be what will cause a breakthrough in one’s health. Likewise, your dog will need to be pampered. We already agree that grooming is a major way of pampering your dog. Getting all clean and relaxed will mean a lot to your dog.

However, due to the state of your dog’s health, you will need to go slow. What might take about two hours to accomplish with a healthy, active dog will require a greater number of hours with a dog that is under the weather.



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Last Words – How Long Does It Take To Groom A Dog?

Grooming a dog can take about two hours. It could be more or less. What determines if it is more or less includes the dog’s health, attitude, age, size, and coat. Regardless of the time spent in grooming a dog, the dog should be happier, cleaner, and safer after it.

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How Long Does It Take To Groom A Dog? — Related FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Groom A Dog At Petsmart?

At Petsmart, it takes roughly three to four hours to groom a dog. Of course, this would depend on a number of factors including your dog’s breed and the kind of service you’re requesting. However, if you need it done much faster, you can also request express service.


Is It Easier To Groom A Dog Wet Or Dry?

Dogs should always be groomed when they are clean and dry. So, what you want to do is to bathe your dog first, and then when your dog is dry, you can then proceed with grooming your dog.


How Do Groomers Keep Dogs Still?

There are a number of tricks professionals use to keep a dog still enough to be properly groomed.

  • Some put a wet cloth over the dog’s head and eyes.
  • They could also tether the dog around the waist and under one of the front legs.
  • Another thing some might do is to “bribe” the dog with treats.
  • Aromatherapy is another proven tip for stilling dogs during dog grooming.


Do Groomers Sedate Dogs?

Legally, dog groomers cannot sedate a dog. Even if you go to the vet and your dog needs to be sedated, it would usually be done by a licensed technician.

Again, if your vet does prescribe an oral medication to help calm your dog before grooming, you can give that to your dog about an hour before the grooming. Such drugs typically take about an hour to take effect. So, that’s a good time frame to work with.


What Dog Breeds Should Not Be Shaved?

Generally, double-coated dogs should not be shaved. Examples of double-coated dogs include:

  1. Northern breeds: Malamutes and Huskies.
  2. Herding breeds: Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Shelties, Aussie Shepherds, Bernese Mountains, and Newfoundlands.


How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

Dogs don’t need a daily bath like us humans. So, once a month should do for most dogs. However, if you think your dog is particularly smelly, then you can break schedule and give your dog a bath.

Here’s the thing about bathing your dog. You can over-bathe your dog. When you over-bathe your dog, you could cause your dog’s skin and fur to dry out which could, in turn, make your dog uncomfortable.

Dogs need some natural oils on their skin and fur for their coat to shine, be healthy, and for them to be comfortable.