3 Tips to Help Manage Your Dog’s Anxiety During Grooming Services:
Managing Your Dog’s Anxiety During Grooming Services
Groomers play a key role in maintaining your pet’s physical health and well-being, but for a few dogs and their owners, the grooming experience can be an anxious one. From waiting to being handled by strangers, there are plenty of potential triggers that can cause your dog to become distressed or overwhelmed at the groomer’s salon. The pandemic has made matters worse, as more dogs have been feeling anxious because of the changes in their routine. More and more people are working from home, which means your dogs are with you for most of their day. It can be worrisome for them when they are not in your company. Maybe the same goes for you, too. To help make grooming services less stressful for everyone involved, we want to share three tips you can use when managing anxiety with your pup during these visits.
1. Start them early:
Grooming your puppy while they are young can help create positive associations with the process and necessary grooming tools, such as brushing, nail trimming, bathing, and drying. It can also help minimize anxiety and stress, as the pup grows accustomed to registration, handling of the body, and different grooming tools in a kind environment. Grooming them at an early age reduces the chances of a pup developing a negative attitude towards groomers later on in life. We’ve seen significantly less fear and more trust when puppies are introduced to grooming while they are still impressionable.
It is important to note that while it’s important to introduce them to various aspects of grooming at home; it is still important to bring them in for grooming soon after their final set of puppy vaccines. We advise not to wait until after 6 months of age, as they become less trusting of strangers. If you’re looking to provide your puppy with the best start in life, consider making routine visits for their grooming needs sooner rather than later.
2. Establish a Routine:
Dogs thrive on routine, so make sure you have a consistent schedule for grooming visits. Adopting a routine schedule can go a long way in developing consistency and trust between pet and owner, as well as pet and groomer. Grooming visits should occur at least every two months (ideally every once a month) for the best results - this frequency allows the animal to become familiar with the groomer’s environment before it ever feels threatened or anxious, which helps minimize any stress or fear from future visits.
We have noted immense improvement when our clients shift to more frequent grooming routines; as they come to expect the grooming process, it significantly reduces their stress levels. Grooming routines are beneficial for both you and your pet - so make sure that yours is as consistent as possible!
3. Act naturally:
Dogs can sense their owner’s emotion and will feed off it, so it’s important to relax when dropping your pet off at the groomer. When you present yourself in a hectic rush or with an overwhelmed disposition, you may cause your pet to ask, “What is there to worry about?” To foster a positive grooming experience, maintain a cheerful demeanor until they’re out of sight. Leave swiftly instead of waiting for them to enter the grooming area. It may be difficult if they are pulled towards you or whine, but remaining confident and upbeat is essential for building trust and furthering their comfort during grooming appointments. Rewarding them with high-value treats when picking them up reinforces this behavior and encourages them to look forward to their next trip to the groomer!
Leaving your pup at the groomer's doesn’t have to be a stressful experience for either of you! With these 3 tips, you can ensure that both you and your pup have an enjoyable experience during their next visit with no added stress or anxiety on either end. Remember, just like us, humans need our pampering days every now and again; our furry friends need theirs too. So give your pup all the love they deserve before heading off for its next appointment with the groomer!
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