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Grooming a Senior Dog

May 15, 2021

Is your dog now an adorable, furry retiree? You’ll need to make some minor adjustments to your canine buddy’s care regimen as he ages. This also applies to his beauty routine! In this article, an Anderson, IN vet discusses grooming an older dog.

Prevent Slipping

Slips and falls are just as painful and dangerous for older dogs as they are for people. If you’re bathing Fido in a tub, put a non slip mat down first.

Paws For Thought

Dogs’ nails thicken as they grow older. This can become quite uncomfortable. Fido may adjust his stride to compensate, which would be bad for his bones and joints. Long nails also tend to snag and tear on things, and can make it hard for pups to get good traction on slippery surfaces. Keep your furry friend’s claws trimmed!


Keep drying time in mind when scheduling doggy bathtime. Pups with thick coats take longer to dry than those with thin fur. If it’s going to get chilly later, wait for a warmer day. You can also use a blow dryer on low, as long as Fido doesn’t mind.

Brush First

Before bathing Fido, brush him thoroughly, and get as much dead fur and dander out of his coat as you can. This will not only make bathtime easier, you’ll also have less fur to clean out of your tub later. (Tip: A drain cover can help keep your pet’s fur out of your pipes.)


Doggy bathtime is a great chance to inspect your canine pal. Look for bumps, bruises, lesions, hot spots, sore spots, and/or swelling. Contact your vet ASAP if you notice anything unusual.

Choose The Right Spot

Choose a spot that’s easy for Fido to access. A walk-in shower is great! If you don’t have one, you may be able to find a carwash with a pet-washing station. If you have a yard, bathe your pup outdoors when it’s warm enough.

Consider A Groomer

Older dogs can be very stiff and sore. It’s easy to accidentally hurt them when handling or manipulating them. Be very gentle! If you have difficulty bathing Fido, consider using a groomer. They have the equipment, training, and facilities specifically for doggy beauty sessions. This option may also be easier for both you and your pet!

As your Anderson, IN veterinary clinic, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime!