Not every fur-baby is scared of going to the grooming salon, but for some it is their nightmare. Each fur-baby will have a different reaction, some may only have mild anxiety but others could have a full panic attack.
After receiving a lot of messages about fur-children being anxious about getting their groom. I hope to give pawrents some solutions to help their fur-children enjoy their time in the salon and overcome their anxiety.
Tip #1 - Bathing, brushing and massage:
Try to expose your furbaby to as many sensations of grooming as possible. You can recreate these experiences at home in baby steps. Try to give them a bath at home first, constantly brushing your furbaby will also help. Getting them used to as many sights and sounds as possible will really help a nervous furbaby. Try turning on a hairdryer or hold up a pair of nail clippers next to their paws without actually clipping and give them a treat. A massage can also help get your furbaby used to being groomed. Gently patting them from head to toe, playing with their paws and spreading their toes apart as well as playing with their ears and scratching their behind will help them get used with being handled. Doing this on a raised table is even better as this simulates the grooming environment more accurately. Remember to take baby steps if they're especially nervous. Using soothing language, treats, or a blanket will help this experience to be even more pleasant and productive
How to Brush Your Fur Children
Tip #2 - Making the groomer’s salon a happy place to visit:
Ask your groomer if it is possible to visit or if they provide doggy daycare. Take your fur children to their doggy daycare to help them get used to the environment. Having a good time with other fur-children will make them more excited to come back. For puppies, doggy daycare at a grooming salon will help them get used to the noise and sounds from the bath, blow dryer and clippers. This will help them to gain confidence around the grooming salon and get ready for their first grooming experience.
Puppy's Frist Grooming - Frequently Asked Questions
Tip #3 - Making sure they have plenty of exercise:
Exercise is a must for all fur babies. Making sure they are well exercised before coming into the salon will help them lose all of their pent-up energy so that they can stay calm and relaxed during their grooming visit.
Tip #4 - Taking the stress out of the Car Ride:
Car rides can induce stress in your fur baby for a number of reasons. It may be due to the ride itself or the anticipation of the destination. If your fur baby is susceptible to anxiety in car rides then counter conditioning can help to ease your fur babies fear and help to get them to enjoy the car ride rather than fear it. Car rides can also induce motion sickness so talking to your vet about anti-nausea medication may be helpful.
Tip #5 - Getting your fur-baby used to being handled:
Being groomed involves the furbaby being touched, a lot. Training can help them stay cool and calm with all types of touching. You can work with your dog at home to get them used to being handled before taking them to the grooming salon. If they are sensitive in areas such as their feet or ears, you can start by touching them in a less sensitive area and slowly moving towards the more sensitive area. Be sure to reward them with a treat during or right after the cue and handling the area. Continue training while your dog is calm and relaxed.
Thinking outside the box:
Acepromazine: This over the counter tranquilizer and nervous system depressant can be given to nervous fur babies. It is often used to prevent anxiety from loud noises such as thunderstorms and fireworks and also to calm them down for vet and grooming salon visits. Remember to consult your vet first and only use this if there is no other choice.
Mobile dog grooming: With elderly or rescue fur children that don’t like to be around other doggies. Mobile dog grooming provides fast grooming services that will help them feel safer as it is provided at your home environment.
Finding a groomer is like finding a babysitter. You will want to leave your fur babies in trusting and professional hands. We are more than happy to offer services towards nervous fur babies who need an accommodating and loving touch to ease their way into grooming. We offer a special package for anxious babies and for puppy’s first grooms.
Isabel’s Dog Grooming Platinum includes access to our limited customer doggy daycare. This outdoor daycare with activities and 30 minute walks will ensure they are in a good place that they will enjoy and help to secure their puppyhood while teaching them to love being groomed.