Nail clippers seem harmless- so does the bathtub and bottle of all natural dog shampoo. However, most dogs think otherwise and upon getting close to the bathtub or clippers, will try to run away, growl, or even attempt to bite.
How can you stop your furry friend from reacting so badly to basic grooming? Here are a few tips on how to calm a dog before grooming.
Desensitize his sensitive areas.
Grooming, especially nail clipping, often includes the touching and handling of ticklish, sensitive areas. Most dogs hate their feet being touched, making nail clipping a challenge.
If you can get your pet used to having his feet touched before the sharp nail clippers are anywhere near the area, you’ll have a better chance of grooming success. Do this by frequently touching your pet’s feet.
Offer a treat.
It’s no surprise that dogs, like children, are more likely to cooperate when there is the promise of a tasty treat as a reward for good behaviour.
If your dog panics at the groomer’s or at home when you try to bathe him, consider giving him a treat or two to keep him calm and entice him to continue his good behaviour.
Provide a non-slip surface.
A pet who is anxious about getting into the bathtub in the first place, doesn’t need any further reason to be scared of it. This means that any slipping or sliding that may occur once your pet gets in will solidify his fear.
To remedy this, cover the bottom of the bathtub with a towel or non-slip matt so your pet won’t slide and will feel secure.
Schedule a training visit.
If you’re taking a nervous dog to a professional groomer, see if the groomer will allow you to bring your pet into the facility for a training visit.
This means that your pet won’t be groomed, but will have some time to walk around and adjust to the noises of the grooming salon. With any luck, an easy introduction will result in your pet being calmer when it comes to the actual grooming.
Visit a mobile grooming salon.
Some cities offer mobile grooming services. The mobile dog groomers is essentially a professional dog grooming service that is able to travel. Some mobile groomers’ will even travel to your home if you make an appointment.
Since car rides to the groomers often make pets anxious, visiting a mobile grooming salon eliminates the car ride entirely, potentially reducing your dog’s anxiety.
Stay with your pet.
If bringing your pet to a professional causes him or her anxiety, be it generalized or separation, ask the groomer if you’re able to stay with your pet. If yes, be sure to stay near your pet and pet him gently.
Talk to your dog in a soothing voice and reward him/her when he/she sits still and calm. Keep in mind, however, that not all groomers will allow you to stay.
This usually depends on the size of the shop and how many employees are working, as small spaces can get crowded easily.
It may also depend on whether any of the other dogs in the shop are unfriendly.
And those are our top tips for today! Wondering how often you should get your dog groomed? Click on through to our next blog!