Written by Josephine Lategan
Got so much matted hair you can no longer see your pooch? Getting ready to go see granny and need a gorgeous doggy makeover? Whatever your reason for taking Rover to the groomer, you can make it easier on all involved with a bit of prep.
There’s a lot you can do at home to make the professional grooming process less stressful for your pooch. Regular brushing, ear checks, toenail clipping at home all help a hound deal better at the salon.
Many, many dogs don’t like having their paws touched unexpectedly. Especially not by somebody who also tugs their ears, washes them and – the worst – clips their toenails. Train your pup to adjust to having his paws handled from early on. This will help both dog and groomer in session.
The more grooming you can do for your pooch at home, the more the dog groomer can do professionally at the parlour. If you want the full Monty so that Rover comes back looking like a hair shampoo model, you can even extend the prep practise to include toenails. Some dogs’ nails grow very fast and very thick, and need regular clipping, especially if they spend a lot of time on soft ground that does not wear them down. It’s important to do it correctly and not injure the dog (by mistakenly cutting into the live part of the nail). Making this mistake could have the reverse effect and make the experience worse for the professional groomer and your doggie. We have a guide for home grooming here.
You can make the full Monty easier on Rover by giving treats when he cooperates with your grooming at home. Remember to work towards rewarding the behaviour you want rather than rewarding the dog for merely putting up with the process (and possibly not cooperating very much during it). It may take some time and slow advances. And patience!
Dogs sense your emotions, so plug the anxiety and keep goodbye short. “A little pat on the head and a “See you soon!” will do just fine,” suggests The Honest Kitchen.
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