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Drop the Clippers: Study Reveals Pro Grooming is 5x Better than DIY

December 01, 2022
4 minute read
Drop the Clippers: Study Reveals Pro Grooming is 5x Better than DIY - Whistle

Booking a professional grooming appointment isn’t just for looks, and Teddy helped to prove it. 

From the “fresh from the salon” smell to those big puppy eyes, there is nothing cuter than a freshly groomed pup, but professional grooming is not just for looks (and smells!) Grooming with a pro also helps reduce licking and scratching. And the pros do it best.

We studied Teddy, an itchy scratchy Cavalier King Charles, and nearly 200 other pups, via their Whistle Insights devices and the data is loud and clear: pro grooming is 5x better for your pet than DIY.

It started with Teddy

Teddy, a happy puppy wearing a Whistle Health smart device for dogs

Like many Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Teddy’s favorite place in the world is with his mom, GM of Whistle, Kate Balingit. While he follows her activities from room to room, she follows him through the Whistle device on his collar.

“Since I became a human parent as well as a pet parent, I haven’t been able to pay as close attention to Teddy’s grooming needs,” said Kate, “Teddy’s Whistle device helps me to get a better idea of what’s going on under all of that fur.”

Using the data and tools from Whistle, Kate was made aware of an issue that she may not have noticed otherwise.

“Teddy didn’t appear to need a groom yet, but his Whistle Health reported elevated licking and scratching levels,” Kate explained, “After I took him to his favorite stylist to thin out his big fluffy ears, the device showed his scratching and licking levels went down significantly."

Whistle smart device for dog tracking licking and scratching

Armed with a hunch and Teddy’s data, Kate took her theory to work.

So, what did we uncover?

Kate approached the Pet Insight Project, a team of veterinary and research professionals who study the connections between pet behavior and health. After showing them Teddy’s data, the team put Kate’s theory to the test.

“We powered the analysis by finding Pet Insight Project participants with recent grooming events, looking to validate Kate’s anecdote that grooming could impact a pet’s scratching and licking levels,” explained David Allen, Manager of Product at Pet Insight.

The team compared the activity data of 193 dogs a week before and after grooming appointments and found that:

  • Licking and scratching was reduced by 25% in dogs who received solely professional grooming services.
  • Licking and scratching was reduced by 10% in dogs receiving a mix of pro and home grooming
  • Licking and scratching was only reduced 4% in dogs receiving only home grooms

In other words, professional grooming yields 5x better results for your pup - reducing their licking and scratching — and importantly, improving their comfort and happiness!

Why Professional Grooming Scratches the Itch

Digging into why professional grooming is so beneficial, Aletha Carson, a Veterinarian and Senior Manager of Data and Clinical Studies at Pet Insight suggested the following factors:

Attention: From ear cleanings to anal gland expression, a professional groomer takes special care and attention to every part of their canine clients from nose to tail.

Skill: With years of training and experience, a professional groomer can identify and help address issues like ear infections and skin issues.

Products & Equipment: With an arsenal of professional-grade tools like clippers, shears and dryers to have pups looking their best, professional groomers know when and where specialty products should be applied to achieve the best results.

Going Pro with GoodFriend


Teddy’s experience proved what many pet parents experience when their pups get the post groom zoomies — grooming with a professional makes them look AND feel better!

If your Whistle device alerts you to elevated licking and scratching, a professional groom may be just what your pup needs. To find a professional groomer, check out Whistle’s sister brand GoodFriend. With a network of qualified pet care professionals, you can find and book a groomer who understands the specific needs of your pup. Less itching and scratching, more happy pups.

Sign up for GoodFriend to book your first appointment!

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