Having a dog is, in a way, precisely the same as having a child. Just like our little ones need a dose of daily care and love, our pups need that too! If you consider your dog a crucial part of the family, chances are, you want only the best for it.
This means that, at some point, you’ll want to consider hiring a groomer, especially if, thus far, you’ve been the one responsible for handling the not-so-successful grooming process. When you make that decision, you must help your dog adjust to a new groomer.
But how can you get your puppy to actually enjoy visiting the salon when each time you try trimming its fur, it ends up traumatized? Is there a way to help it get used to the whole ordeal or perhaps, even start feeling good during it? The answer is YES!
Helping a dog adjust to grooming sessions requires some time and patience but is, indeed, possible. It’s worth noting that, before taking your ball of fur to meet its latest groomer, you’ll need to prepare it for the process by following specific tips and tricks at home.
This way, the actual meet with a foreign person in a strange place is bound to go down a lot smoother.
The process of helping a dog adjust to a new groomer starts at home
Experienced groomers suggest owners do a whole set of various activities before bringing their pup in. No matter whether your doggy has already had its fur-trimmed or is a first-comer, visiting a brand new professional fur stylist is going to impact its life immensely.
While undergoing home training, but before making the actual appointment at the salon, make sure that the one you’ve opted for is genuinely reliable!
There are many grooming salons in LA, and there are plenty of reviews for you to go through to help you make the ultimate decision.
Proper bathtubs, grooming tables, and clippers are all necessary for the session to be successful.
Get your dog used to the idea of grooming as early as possible
Training a puppy, in general, is always easier than training an older dog. Pretty much the same thing applies to getting it used to the idea of oh-so-dreadful trims.
When young, dogs pick up things faster and are far easier to handle than their grown-up counterparts.
While not entirely unachievable, helping your old boy adjust to being handled by others is definitely trickier.
It might have developed some bad habits that are difficult to break, so the adjustment period could end up significantly longer.
Let the pup explore the scene before the session
It doesn’t matter if you are just home training your pooch for future trimming sessions with the new groomer or actually taking it to one, before the actual grooming, it’s essential to let it explore the area on its own terms. The whole process is almost always performed in a place that your furry friend is probably not familiar with. Therefore, allowing it to walk around it and get used to the smells and sounds could be beneficial.
In case you’ve decided to start taking your doggo for regular trims at the salon, take it there just for a visit first! Heck, maybe even a couple of visits! This will allow it to get comfortable with the space. The more comfortable the dog becomes, the less traumatized it will be once it’s had its fur taken care of.
Exhaust your dog through play
Only coat trimming professionals know how hard handling a hyperactive dog is! The overly-energetic canines cannot stay in one spot for long, and even if you happen to restrain them, they will soon start kicking and wiggling all over the place. This kind of behavior makes a groomer’s job close to impossible to finish.
For pain-free grooming, before going through with it, exhaust the dog as much as you can! This way, it won’t have the energy necessary to start the full-on rebellion while getting a hair-do.
Familiarize yourself with the right course of action
If training your pup at home, don’t even attempt dealing with its fur until you’ve adequately informed yourself about the right course of action. The grooming process consists not only of coat trimming but rather of a larger specter of services. These include, but are not limited to:
- Towel drying or blow-drying
- Hair brushing
- Hair trimming
- Nail clipping
- Teeth & ear canals cleaning.
Help your dog prepare for a new groomer by investing in proper equipment
To bring the grooming atmosphere to your home, you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the tools required for the job to be done. Think about investing in some, as having them at your disposal could curb your dog’s anxiety by letting it get used to them.
You can even consider getting a grooming table. Since all salons are equipped with one, making a purchase could help your pooch get adjusted to being on it faster. In addition, you could also benefit from having one, as it allows people to deal with all issues that grooming has caused them, such as scooching induced back pain.
Once you’ve prepared everything, you can finally start getting the dog physically and psychologically ready for the process.
Start with bathing and brushing
Just like your new groomer would do, slowly begin preparing your ball of fluff by giving it a soothing bath. The water should be neither too hot nor cold.
Some dogs enjoy being bathed. However, others aren’t really fans of the experience. Either way, make sure you give your pup plenty of love and talk to it in a calming voice. Canines are notorious for being able to sense people’s emotions, so shouting can only make them feel more anxious.
If your doggo isn’t keen on getting bathed, make sure you give it treats while in the tub. Rewards will help it associate the experience with positive emotions, in this case, the satisfaction of being fed.
Pat dry it with a towel and try using a hairdryer. But don’t use it on the dog at first, but rather, turn it on at a lower setting when in close proximity to your pet. Follow this with a treat, and the pup should, after a while, get used to the sound it makes.
Once the fluffy guy is fully dry, start brushing its fur gently. Daily brushing is essential because it helps eliminate the dead hair and prevents the coat from getting matted. A matted coat can bring a whole lot of problems to the dog that neither you nor it would want to deal with.
Since most professional groomers, in addition to offering fur caring services, also deal with nail clippings, you’ll want to get the pooch ready for that, too. You can do so by showing it a pair of nail clippers, letting it sniff them for a bit, and then giving a treat. However, leave the actual act of nail trimming to the new groomer as doing it yourself could do more harm than good.
Reward your dog with treats when attempting to home train it for a visit with a new groomer.
Incorporate massage into the cleaning routine
Once you take your dog to the grooming salon, it will be met with employees eager to touch it all over the body. Naturally, for any dog, especially the one who has never had the experience of being tended to, this could be quite overwhelming.
In order to prepare the dog for this encounter, you should start getting it used to the sensation of being touched. You can do so by incorporating massage into the routine. For example, before engaging in a daily session of brushing, gently massage the areas you know a groomer will end up putting their hands on.
Make the whole process of massaging seem like a play. Pat your dog all over the body, from the head and all the way down to the tail. Make sure to carefully go over any sensitive areas such as the stomach, groins, and bottom.
Taking them out to some of the pet-friendly places in Los Angeles is also a good idea, once you realize that your pet is becoming more comfortable with the touching and petting. Playing with them while surrounded with other people and animals can help it learn to be more comfortable in various situations. Luckily, LA offers many places dogs enjoy, so you won’t have trouble finding a new and positive environment to further train your fur baby.
Use aromatherapy to help your dog adjust to a new groomer faster
For the majority of places that offer pet grooming services, aromatherapy is an irreplaceable part of the treatment. By using products enriched with essential oils, experts ensure that dogs they are tending to will stay as calm as possible during the process. The overall peace of mind can be accomplished by using essential oils that are safe to canines, such as chamomile, bergamot, and lavender.
Including aromatherapy in the life of your pup is something you can do at home, too. For example, instead of using the regular shampoo while bathing, switch to the one containing one of the ingredients that induce tranquility.
Now that you have familiarized yourself with things you can do to help your precious furball get used to the idea of being handled by others, it’s time to call a new groomer and schedule the appointment. However, bear in mind that the things mentioned here might not work for your dog. Some dogs could have no issues with grooming whatsoever, while others could require more time and patience during the adjusting process. Either way, once the doggy has finally overcome its fears, all the effort you have made in helping it adjust to a new groomer will be worth it!