Dog Grooming and Vaccination Requirements – What To Know (2024)

A cute Doodle dog getting a trim by a female groomer.

Regular grooming helps keep your pet looking well kempt and clean, and it’s an important part of their care routine.

However, some safety precautions need to be taken before getting your dog groomed, like vaccinations. Is this just good advice or a mandatory requirement? Let’s find out.

Can dogs get groomed without vaccinations? In most cases, proof of vaccination is required by professional groomers. This requirement is designed to reduce the risk of disease transmission and maintain a healthy environment for all visiting dogs. For dogs not up to date on shots, having a friend with experience groom the dog is an option.

Find out how to avoid last-minute hang-ups when you bring your dogs for their first grooming visit. 

Vaccination Requirements for Grooming – What To Know

Before your dog’s first visit to the groomer, call ahead to learn of important grooming policies like the vaccination requirements.

Checking beforehand ensures your pet will have a smooth grooming experience.

What Vaccinations Are Required for Grooming?

Here are the usual vaccinations required before heading in for dog grooming. For the most part, these required dog vaccines for grooming will follow a set schedule.


Rabies is an incredibly dangerous virus that may affect both pets and humans. Because it’s so deadly, rabies vaccinations are required in all states for grooming.

It’s the basic vaccination requirement for dogs. Your dog should get vaccinated against rabies at three months old and receive a booster a year later. 

Parvovirus and Distemper

Canine parvovirus and distemper are both contagious, often fatal, viral infections. Almost every state recommends parvovirus vaccinations for puppies.

Vaccines against both are usually administered together in a DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo) shot.

It’s a core dog vaccine that should be given to dogs approximately at six, eight, and 12 weeks of age. Until they receive those three shots, your dog will still be vulnerable to the virus.

Puppies may also need a booster shot after one year of completing the series and a booster every three years. 

Canine Influenza

Canine influenza, also called the dog flu, is an incredibly contagious viral infection.

It can be transmitted between infected dogs in close contact with other dogs, such as in places like daycare facilities and groomers.

Hence, most grooming facilities will require an up-to-date canine influenza shot for your dog. 

Puppies usually get the first dose of the vaccine between six to eight weeks of age and another dose after two to four weeks.

Meanwhile, dogs over 16 weeks will need two doses around two to four weeks apart.


Bordetella, also well-known as kennel cough, is highly contagious. The bacteria become airborne through sneezing and coughing.

Hence, Bordetella vaccinations are one of the common shots required by groomers. 

Bordetella vaccines should be given to dogs in contact with large groups annually, although some facilities may require a booster shot within the last six months. 

The Reason Behind the Laws

A dog being held by his owner while a vet gives a rabies shot.

Up-to-date core vaccinations for dogs are required to ensure that your dog and other dogs are protected against deadly diseases that they may encounter while at the groomer. 

Do Any States Not Require Vaccinations?

Two states (Ohio and Hawaii) have no statewide vaccinations laws.

Meanwhile, eight states (Idaho, Montana, North & South Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, Utah, and Georgia) only require rabies vaccination for imported dogs.

Sixteen other states (Oregon, Nevada, California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida, Maine) require rabies vaccination but allow exceptions. 

The remaining states require rabies vaccination for pets, no exception. 

Can a Puppy Be Groomed Before Vaccinations?

Even if you find a grooming salon that doesn’t require shots for your dog, it puts your pet at risk for all potentially deadly viruses and infections.

Your groomer will likely require you to present proof of a rabies vaccination, at the very least, before grooming. 

Can I Get My Puppy Groomed Without a Rabies Shot?

Most grooming facilities will not accept dogs who haven’t had their rabies shot. That’s because the groomer will be at risk if the dog were to bite them. 

Do Dogs Need Kennel Cough Vaccine To Get Groomed? 

While a non-core vaccine for dogs, the kennel cough vaccine is one of the commonly required shots when bringing your dog to the groomer.

This is because while dogs are usually kept separate from other dogs, they could still be at risk from germs in the environment.

Dog Grooming Without Vaccinations

While you can find groomers that won’t require vaccinations, they are rare and not the best option when it comes to your pet’s safety.

Other alternatives are to learn how to groom your dog yourself or have a friend with grooming experience do it for you. 

What Shots Does My Dog Need To Get Groomed at PetSmart?

If your dog is groomed at PetSmart, they have to be current on their rabies vaccinations. They also require your pet to wait 48 hours after vaccination to get groomed.

This way, you and the groomer can rest assured that your dog isn’t still sore or is having an allergic reaction from their vaccination. 

However, PetSmart in individual cities, like New York City and Iowa, may have additional requirements. 

What Shots Does My Dog Need To Get Groomed at Petco?

Petco requires does require dog vaccinations before grooming. These include rabies and bordetella vaccines and DAPP booster vaccination.

The DAPP vaccine protects dogs against parvovirus, distemper virus, canine parainfluenza, and two types of adenovirus. 

Related Questions: 

Can a Dog Get Kennel Cough From a Groomer?

Kennel cough can be transmitted between dogs, and your pup may pick it up anywhere he is exposed to an infected dog, like the grooming salon and boarding facilities. 

Can Dogs Get Skin Infections From a Groomer?

Contracting a skin infection at the groomer is not likely, although dogs can get skin infections after grooming.

Dogs with particularly sensitive skin may develop brush or razor burns or become irritated due to harsh shampoos or cutting their hair too short. 


If your puppy is visiting a grooming salon for the first time, be sure that their vaccinations are up to date. It will protect your pet from potentially fatal diseases and infections.