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Grooming your dog can be a very stressful task for dogs and their owners. No one enjoys it, but it is just one of those tasks that must be done.
Some dogs are extremely anxious about being groomed, which is why you might have to change up how you approach grooming your dog. The good thing is that there are many ways that you can make grooming much less scary and stressful for everyone involved.
How to Groom Your Dog With Minimal Stress
If you have an easily stressed dog, then you might struggle when it comes time to groom them. This is a common complaint amongst dog owners, so it isn’t just you or your furry friend.
Dogs often don’t enjoy the process of being groomed, and some downright hate or fear it! If you have a dog that hates that time of the month, here are some tips to help you put them at ease:
Groom After Playtime
It is a great idea to groom your dog after you have played with them a bit. This is helpful because it will get their excess energy out and leave them feeling more sleepy and calm. It will also make them feel much less stressed out about being groomed. You might even be able to make them feel like this is still bonding time together!
Try running around outside or playing a game of fetch before taking your dog inside for a grooming session.
Whether we understand it or not, calming music has been shown to have positive effects on animals. It might be able to decrease their stress and anxiety just like it does for humans.
It is a good idea to play some soothing music as you groom your dog to decrease their stress. It might also help to mask the sound of grooming instruments that might otherwise be scary to pets.
Having soft music playing can also help you to feel more relaxed, which will also affect your dog’s behavior.
Treats are an excellent way of bringing the mood up when you are grooming your dog. Not only are they positive reinforcements, but they also make grooming something to look forward to.
Try using your dog’s favorite treats or special human food (make sure it’s safe first!) that they don’t often get to try. This will help them to see grooming as something that comes with a reward.
You can also give them treats throughout the grooming process to keep their mind busy and their behavior under control. This is a great option for dogs that want to bolt for the door since it gives them an incentive to stick around.
Because you might have to give them many treats during grooming, it is a good idea to use a healthier option of treat. Like a piece of fruit or veggie instead of processed meats or dog treats. Just make sure that the food is safe for dogs to consume first.
Your demeanor can also have a huge effect when you are grooming your dog. If you are stressed out and nervous, they will most likely feel the same way.
Dogs are very good at reading their owner’s emotions, so you want to try to give off feelings of calm to help your dog to relax.
If grooming is stressful for you just think how much more stressful it is for your dog – especially if they feel that you are also anxious about the process.
You might need to set aside some time to give your dog a break while grooming. This is especially important for older dogs, anxious dogs, or energetic puppies.
If you can sense that your dog is becoming more and more stressed or fidgety, you might need to take a quick break. Give them a treat and a few moments of loving. This can clear the air and prepare them for the rest of their grooming session.
Many dogs can easily become overwhelmed by the process of grooming, and breaks can help them to relax more and not feel so nervous. It might make the process longer, but it will make it much more pleasant for you and your dog.
Know When to Stop
There will be times where grooming just becomes too much for your dog. Maybe they are fidgety and just can’t settle down or they are overwhelmed with stress.
There are several reasons why it is best to just stop grooming while you’re ahead sometimes. If necessary, you could even come back to finish the job the next day.
Your dog’s wellbeing must take precedence over getting their grooming done. If it is stressing them out too much, you just need to give in and let the rest and relax.
Grooming can be very scary and stressful for many dogs, and it is important for their owners to understand that.
If you push them too hard, they are only going to dread it more the next time. The last thing that you want to do is give them a bad experience to remember. That will only enhance their fear the next time that they need to be groomed.
Avoid Loud Clippers
Some dogs are mainly stressed out by the sound of the clippers cutting through their hair. This is understandable as many are quite loud and ominous.
If your dog is very scared by loud noises, you might need to try to find clippers that are quieter. If that still doesn’t work, you might also need to consider just trimming their hair with scissors.
This isn’t an ideal solution as it takes more time and will not give an even or close cut. But it might be the best option for a very anxious dog.
It will help to remove the loud noises that can make grooming time so scary.
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