Comfort Grooms: For the Senior Pet

There may come a time in your pet’s life where grooming appointments are more complicated than they used to be, or maybe you’re already there.

Grooming appointments involve standing for long periods of time and balancing on three legs, which can be difficult for pets with mobility and joints issues. More than arthritis, elderly pets can develop sensitive skin, lumps and bumps, and a loss of awareness due to weakening senses and neurological ability. All of these things can effect a senior pet’s grooming experience.

Compassion and concern for your pets’ quality of life and comfort are our top priorities. When these natural inconveniences rear their ugly head, we’re prepared to adapt to your pet’s evolving needs. We call them “Comfort Grooms”.

What is a Comfort Groom?

These adapted appointments are determined by your pet’s comfort level and are different for every pet. A Comfort Groom can involve:

  • shorter haircuts or stylistic compromises
  • longer breaks or multiple sessions
  • pain or anxiety medication
  • less services in a single appointment
  • earlier pick-up times
  • more frequent appointments

Examples of Stylistic Changes:

Fluffy haircuts usually involve lots of clipper and scissor work and take longer to bathe and blow dry. For dogs that struggle with mobility, their grooming process needs to change for their comfort. To reduce their standing time and need to balance, your groomer may recommend multiple sessions and their paws may not be as tightly groomed. A sanitary patch might be a no-go, and we may need to scissor an area rather than use clippers.

If your pet has sensitive skin, our groomers may not be able to achieve a tight, short clip. Special shampoo, a teddy bear leg, or a groom that requires less brushing may be your groomer’s recommendation to prevent skin irritation.

Pets with blindness, deafness, or dementia tend to have higher levels of anxiety in the grooming spa. While our Zen Den offers a more relaxed experience, they may need to see us in shorter sessions or have an earlier pick-up time. Sometimes a pet’s stress is high enough to make grooming unsafe for our team or the pet. They may just need to go home and try again on good day. Just like people, pets can wake up on the wrong side of the bed and just not be up for it.

Pets with joint and hip pain can lay down for the majority of their groom.
Fannie can’t handle full grooms anymore, but she looks forward to getting pampered with a quick face trim every now and then.
We go slow and take baby steps with anxious pets. Sometimes that means multiple breaks or a follow-up appointment to complete a groom.


  1. Should my pet visit the groomer less often because of these issues?
    • Actually, no. Keeping their normal routine or increasing the number of visits is usually a healthier option. This minimizes how much needs to be done at each visit and keeps them accustomed to the process.
  2. My pet suffers from health issues and may require a Comfort Groom. What now?
    • Make an appointment as usual! Communicate your pet’s health issues when you schedule your appointment and with your groomer. We can work with you to make a game plan specifically for your pet’s needs.
  3. Is grooming my pet even worth it when it seems like such a hassle?
    • Yes! Grooming is an essential part of your pet’s wellness. Matting, tangles, bacteria, parasites, and general cleanliness are all detrimental to a senior pet’s health and quality of life. Your pet is worth the extra effort.

We all want what is best for your pet even when that means inconveniences. Comfort grooms are sometimes a group effort between groomer and pet owner that involves understanding, trust, and patience. Ask your groomer what comfort groom practices we can implement at your pet’s next grooming appointment!

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City Way Animal Clinics – Irvington

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