Grooming Anxiety: 5 Grooming Tips For Nervous Dogs

how to calm a dog for grooming

According to the American Kennel Club, you should groom your dog once a month.

Professional groomers make sure your four-legged friend is clean and healthy. But if you have a dog that is anxious, going to the groomer can become a stressful chore.

Read below to discover how to calm a dog for grooming.

Handle Your Dog

The dog grooming process involves touching in sensitive areas. The best way to prepare your dog for this process is to get them used to a human handling these areas.

Before a grooming trip, take time to touch around your dog’s paws, eyes, muzzle, ears, tail, and rear area. Pair the touching with treats and words of encouragement.

After your dog gets accustomed to these touches, use grooming tools. Familiarize your dog with brushes, nail trimmers, and hair clippers. These tools can cause anxiety if they are first introduced by an unfamiliar groomer. You don’t have to actually use these tools on your dogs, familiarize them with the sight and sound of them.

Start Grooming Early

The best tip to calm dog grooming anxiety is to get started early. Puppies are a lot easier to acclimate to new situations than older dogs.

Most younger dogs find it easy to establish relationships with their groomer. Older dogs will be apprehensive and wary of a new person handling them.

If you do have an older dog, make sure to let your groomer know that it’s their first visit.

Try Mobile Pet Grooming

With some dogs, the act of getting in a car and traveling to an unknown location causes anxiety. Mobile pet grooming offers a convenient and safe option.

An equipped van will travel to your home or office. Here, your dog will receive a full appointment in around 75 minutes. Your dog won’t have to sit around in a cage surrounded by other animals until their appointment.

Many animals who suffer grooming anxiety are comfortable with mobile grooming services.

Use a Muzzle

If you’re wondering how to groom an aggressive dog, try using a muzzle. A muzzle prevents your dog from biting and ensures a safe grooming trip.

Make sure you muzzle train your dog to ensure the process isn’t traumatizing. First, use the muzzle in a comfortable and familiar environment. Use spreadable treats, like peanut butter, inside the muzzle for a positive experience.

Consider a Sedative

Some dogs can’t handle the grooming process without anxiety. When you’ve tried all the other tricks in the book, consider a sedative.

Here are a few options for you to research and consider:

  • Melatonin
  • Acepromazine
  • Benadryl
  • Diazepam

Be sure to consult with a veterinarian before administering any type of sedative. You should only use sedatives in the dog grooming process as the last resort.

Beyond How To Calm A Dog For Grooming

Once you figure out how to calm a dog for grooming, it’s important to remember why grooming is beneficial.

Grooming your dog has a variety of benefits including:

  • Preventing matting and overgrown nails
  • Avoiding ear infections
  • Providing good oral hygiene including teeth brushing
  • Early detection of health problems

Contact us to schedule your next dog grooming appointment in the Torrance area.

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