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The 6 Most Common Grooming Accidents And How To Prevent Them

Taking care of your dog’s grooming needs is an important part of dog ownership. 

While many dog owners opt to take their dog to a professional dog groomer there are also those that choose to groom their dog’s from the comforts of their own home. 

This is great especially when you have all the grooming tools at your disposal and an area that you can designate for grooming. 

I’ve always groomed my Newfies at home and over the years I’ve been able to create the perfect grooming area for them.  (Sure, I had to patiently wait for my husband’s pool table to lose a leg so I could replace it with 2 grooming tables, but it was worth the wait:)

However, grooming your dog at home is definitely easy, especially if you’ve never done it before. 

Grooming any dog has a learning curve and takes practice, confidence and basic grooming knowledge. 

Today will go over some of the most popular grooming accidents seen with Newfoundlands and how you can try and prevent them. 

most common dog grooming accidents and how to prevent them


The Most Common At Home Grooming Accidents

  • Brush burn
  • Razor or clipper burn
  • Bleeding nails
  • Nicks and scrapes
  • Overheating

Brush Burn

Did you know that brush burn is really a thing? 

It is and it happens a lot!

Brush burn is normally due to overbrushing and/or using the wrong brush for a dog’s coat type. 

It can often be seen in breeds with a double coat like the Newfie when the wrong slicker brush is used or used too often. 

In other breeds with shorter coats brush burn can happen when a dog is brushed while blow-drying after a bath. 

Dogs that have sensitive skin are also more prone to brush burn.

Brush burn normally doesn’t show right away and most owners won’t notice it until their dog starts to lick or chew at the area. 

How to avoid brush burn

To avoid brush burn make sure to comb or brush your dog regularly and avoid brushing the same area over and over again. 

Make sure that you’re using the correct brush or comb for your dog’s coat and try to keep mats from forming. 

Razor Burn

Razor burn is similar to brush burn but happens when an area of the dog is shaved too close.

This can happen when using the wrong blade on the clippers, using a dull blade or using the blade while it’s hot. 

Common areas on a dog that razor burn is seen are on the underneath of the paws between the webbing, under the tail, the skin under the armpits, the skin in the groin area and the vulva area on a female dog. 

Again, these types of skin irritations aren’t often noticed at first.

How To Avoid Razor Burn

To avoid razor burn make sure that you’re using the correct blade on the clippers. ( the shorter the blade, the greater risk of clipper burn)

Always make sure to be checking the blade to see if it’s getting warm by touching it to your forearm. 

Try to minimalize the amount of times you run the clippers over the same area.

When clipping sensitive areas of the dog, be gentle. 

Always make sure to clean your clippers after each use.

Bleeding Nails

Trimming your dog’s nails should be part of your grooming routine and hitting the quick causing the nail to bleed is one of the most common grooming accidents there is.

Cutting a nail too short can cause them to bleed due to a blood vessel stored inside each nail.

Bleeding nails happen and it’ll be ok. 

how to cut black dog nail

How to prevent bleeding nails

The best way to prevent bleeding nails is to find where your dog’s quick is, trim their nails regularly and use the right nail trimmers

Nicks and Scrapes

If you’re trimming your dog with scissors, knicks can happen especially if you’re not paying attention to where you’re trimming or if you have a dog that likes to wiggle.

Nicks also happen a lot when trimming mats because it’s hard to see the skin when the fur is matted. 

If a dog has hidden scabs, moles or even warts, they can also get nicked. 

How to avoid nicks and scrapes

If you’re uncomfortable trimming your dog with straight shears you can try using thinning shears. 

While thinning shears are still sharp, when used properly they can make trimming safer for you and your dog. 

If your dog has mats that are close to the skin, instead of using scissors you can use mat splitters or clippers. 

Make sure to do a body scan of your dog before using any type of trimming scissors so you can easily spot any scabs or moles. 

Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are common grooming accidents.

These accidents are often due to a dog not being properly restrained on a grooming table, not using the correct type of grooming table, and a slippery grooming table surface. 

common dog grooming accidents

How to prevent slips and falls

Make sure that your dog is properly hooked up to the grooming arm. (it’s there to keep your dog safe, not harm it)

If your dog likes to lay down on the grooming, make sure they are laying in the middle of the table. 

Sherman was napping on the grooming table once and he was leaning to the right. 

I was standing right there but he shifted and fell off the table. 

He seemed fine after his fall but a few days later he was having trouble breathing and x-rays revealed a pneumothorax. 

We’re not 100% sure if the fall caused it but that was the only “accident” he had. 

If your dog is standing on a grooming table, make sure to have have a non-slip surface on the table. 

They sell grooming mats for tables or you can use a yoga mat. 

And finally, never leave your dog unattended on the grooming table, not even for a second. 

newfoundland puppy laying on grooming table


The Newfie is a breed that requires a lot of grooming but that doesn’t mean it should all be done at once. 

If your Newfie is going to be up on the grooming table for long periods of time, it’s important to give them breaks. 

When Newfies are getting hot or tired they will often pant. 

Heavy panting is a sign that they need a break and you should give them one. 

Making a Newfoundland stand for hours on a grooming table will not only be exhausting for them but it can also be hard on their joints. 

Allow your dog time to rest during grooming and never use a heated cage dryer on a Newfie. 

How To Prevent Grooming Accidents At Home

Don’t worry, while grooming accidents happen to all of us, there are several steps that you can take to minimalize them.

First, if you’re new to doing at-home grooming on your dog make sure to do your homework on what types of grooming your breed needs. 

Ask For Guidance

Check out groomers in your area and ask if they can give you some grooming pointers. 

You can even see if there are any grooming seminars happening locally. 

Check with your local breed club. 

Many breed clubs will hold grooming seminars throughout the year which is the best way to learn. 

Look for a mentor. 

Hey, we all start somewhere!

I had several mentors that helped to teach me the ropes of a grooming a Newfoundland!

Use The Right Grooming Tools

First, if you’re new to doing at-home grooming on your dog make sure to do your homework on what types of grooming your breed needs. 

Make sure that you have all the required grooming tools and a devoted area to do your grooming. 

For Newfies, there’s a lot more grooming tools needed than just a comb and brush and I’m sure this is true for most dog breeds. 

Start Them Young

If you have a dog that requires a lot of grooming like the Newfie, it’s always best to introduce them to grooming at an early age. 

Introducing grooming tools, touching their paws and ears and getting them up on a grooming table will make grooming them in the years ahead much easier on the both of you. 

Even if you opt to take your dog to a professional dog groomer, they should still be comfortable with basic grooming!



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