How To Soothe An Anxious Pet For Grooming

September 07, 2018 in Pet Grooming By Gregg Docktor

Some dogs aren’t fans of the groomers and will put up a fight if they’re taken to be washed or have their nails clipped. Many owners may think of giving up trying to bring them to you, but it’s essential that they get good grooming. When they’re groomed, dogs are actually healthier and will feel better in themselves. What can you do if a dog isn’t happy about seeing you? Here are some tips.

Work Together With The Dog’s Owner

dog groomingPreparing a dog for a visit to the salon starts at home. The owner can help prepare their dog by acclimatising them to being touched. You’ll need to touch sensitive areas of the dog’s body, such as their ears or paws. Their owners can get them used to this by touching them gently, then offering a treat if the dog allows them to do this. The sooner they can do this, the better.

Also, they can help associate the groomer’s salon with happy experiences. One good way of doing this is to bring the dog to the groomer, then play catch in the parking lot, or another fun activity that the dog enjoys.

Bring The Dog In When They’re Young

Puppies love new experiences, and they love being handled in a positive manner. That’s why it’s so important to bring them to the groomer first when they’re young. Encourage owners to bring their puppies to you for a first grooming session. You can get the dog used to you and the equipment you use, so you can get them used to being groomed from an early age.

Try Specialist Dog Treats

If you’ve been to a dog grooming school, you’ll know just how important treats are to encouraging dogs to come to you. Give a dog a treat when they’ve displayed a good behavior, and you’ll be able to do anything you need to with that dog.

Did you know that there are specialist treats designed to help calm dogs? These contain natural ingredients that help soothe and relax dogs, making them happier to be groomed. When an anxious dog comes to you, keep these treats on hand and give them one whenever needed. This will help you relax that dog and give them the grooming they need.

Consider A Muzzle

Some dogs will bite when they’re upset, putting you in danger. If they’re amenable to it, a muzzle can go a long way to keeping you both safe. Ask the owner if they’ve ever used a muzzle before. If they have, and the dog is ok with them being used, then you can slip one on before you get to work. If they’ve never used one before and the owner is happy for you to try, you can encourage the dog to use one by smearing some peanut butter on the inside. Basket muzzles are favored by groomers as they allow you to keep giving treats to the dog as they wear it.

Modify Your Grooming Area

dog grooming schoolSome dogs have specific anxieties about going to the groomer. For some, they don’t like the noise of the clippers. Others don’t like the way they slide about in the shower, and others still don’t like getting water in their ears. When you come across a dog with a specific dislike, you can do your best to help them. When you attend dog grooming classes, you will be taught some of these tactics to help the dogs in your care.

For example, if the dog doesn’t like sliding around, a towel or mat in the bottom of the shower can help them stay standing as they’re being washed. If they don’t like being lifted onto the table, you can invest in stairs that let them walk up on their own. Specially designed ear muffs or even blinds can decrease stimuli for dogs, making the grooming process much less stressful.

As you can see, there are lots of ways you can make getting groomed easier for anxious dogs. Work together with the owners, and help them encourage your dog to enjoy getting groomed. When they’re fully groomed, they’ll look and feel better, so it’s worth putting in the time to help them.