5 Tips for Stress-Free Dog Grooming
Dogs love to play and romp around outside, which can mean getting dirty. A dusty, muddy dog may be cute, but it’s not a healthy or happy look to maintain long-term. If your dog balks at the idea of a bath, check out these squeaky-clean grooming tips.
Make it a treat
Anyone who’s ever sat through a time-share lecture for a free breakfast knows the value of a treat outweighs some discomfort. Your dog is the same, so set aside special bath-day-only treats to incentivize the grooming process.
Dogs are really good at associating words with specific feelings. If they know that you saying “bath” means they’re going to endure the dreaded bathing process, they’re more likely to run away when you say it. Instead of announcing your intention, calmly lead your dog to the grooming space without saying the B-word.
Become fluent in body language
Because they can’t speak to us, dogs are constantly communicating their feelings with their body. If at any point during grooming your dog displays aggressive body language like snarling or growling, take a break and try to calm her. She could be reacting this way because she’s hurt or extremely stressed.
Another important grooming habit is regular brushing. Dogs may be leery of brushes and combs initially. Think about it, brushes literally have parts called “teeth.” Before brushing, allow your dog a few minutes to sniff, look at the brush closely or even lick it. This will help make him more comfortable with the brush when it actually makes contact.
One of the most stressful parts of grooming, whether at home or at a professional parlor, is getting dried with a force dryer, the canine equivalent of a blow dryer. This machine can be loud and jarring to your pet, so it’s best to make the process as painless as possible. A compression hood is an air dryer accessory that covers a dog’s ears while he’s being dried, and it can really make a difference.
Following these tips can make grooming easier for everyone and can even result in some good, clean fun. If you need more help with grooming, check out our Happy Spots map for groomers near you.
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