top of page


Service dogs are allowed full and equal access to public places, this includes stores, hotels, government buildings, restaurants, and bars. Because you want to respect public institutions and surrounding patrons, as well as your dog, it is imperative to keep a service dog well-groomed, clean, and presentable at all times. Since the service dog is your right-hand companion in all public spaces, you will need to maintain a good grooming routine.

In this post, we will examine several reasons it is important to keep service dogs well-groomed and some tips to keep them looking good.

As mentioned earlier, service animals are granted access to public spaces. This being the case, it is crucial to keep your pooch clean while they're on the job. Think of it this way, you would most likely brush your hair, your teeth and change your clothes when you present yourself in public. A service animal should also be well-groomed, clean, and presentable while out by your side. Here are some reasons to keep a tidy canine:

  1. It is the appropriate and respectable way to present your service dog while in public, especially in restaurants and other places where food/drink is being served.

  2. It will keep them looking professional.

  3. They will look well cared for.

  4. It keeps them physically healthy and prevents pain and discomfort.

  5. It will leave patrons with a good impression of service animals and the service dog community.

  6. It keeps the service animal feeling good

Keep in mind that when out with your service dog, the dog is not only representing you but also the service dog community. With that, we will look at some grooming tips.


Keeping your service dog clean does not have to be expensive, although you may very well opt to take care of your pup grooming needs at a professional groomer. You can also keep a dog presentable at home at a minimal cost. Investing in some basic grooming tools is a good idea. You may even want to ask your veterinarian for some tips that suit your specific dog. 

Here are some tips to keep your service dog looking fresh while he or she is working by your side:

Bathe Them Regularly

Service dogs will need more bath time than other household dogs. Frequent baths will prevent your service animal from smelling “like a dog” and looking dirty. You can also use a dog shampoo and conditioner which will add some shine to the coat.

Brush Fur Daily

This is an important step as it helps keep down shedding and prevents matting. It will also keep the coat looking polished. Keep in mind that some breeds may need to be brushed more frequently than this.

Clean That Gunk

Dogs get build-up around their eyes, nose, and in their ears. This isn’t a pretty sight and inappropriate for being out in public. Keep these areas clean at all times.

Brush Their Teeth

Regularly brushing your service dog’s teeth will help control and prevent bad puppy breath.

Trim Their Nails

This step not only keeps the dog looking well taken care of, but it can also prevent pain and discomfort. You can save this one for a groomer, but you can definitely do it home too. Opt to buy the right clippers for your dog and perhaps even get a demonstration from a groomer or a vet.

Don’t Forget Their Gear

If your service animal is clean, but their gear is grungy, it's defeating the purpose. Make sure that any gear, leashes, harnesses, etc that you use while in public are also clean and free from stains, dirt, and grime.

Service dogs are an important part of your life. Make sure they get the grooming care they need and deserve. It won’t only keep them healthy, but it will ensure that they are presentable to the community and looked at in a favorable light.

Help save lives and donate to our cause!

New Life K9s places service dogs with veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to the veterans and first responders.


Grace, Kea. “Things Service Dogs in Public Should and Should Not Do” Anything Pawsable. 13 August 2019

“Is a Service Dog Right for Me?” Molli Dogs Training. 22 March 2018

“5 Grooming Tips for Your Service Dog{“  Nsarco. August 2020

24 views0 comments


bottom of page