A Dirty, Discouraged Dog: When Your Pooch Hates Grooming

There's a wonderful sense of self-indulgence that you feel when you are groomed. It can be relaxing to sit back and have a skilled hairdresser snip away at your locks to create a new look (particularly if they throw in a scalp massage). Likewise, there's a sense of enjoyment as you relax and allow a professional to give you a manicure or pedicure. So why doesn't your dog appreciate it when you take him to be groomed? Like a child who tries to avoid bath time, your dog's discomfort can be rather obvious, and yet your dog needs to be washed. Many breeds also need to have their fur trimmed and their nails attended to on a regular basis. Is there any way that you can teach your dog to surrender to the pleasures of pet grooming?

DIY Grooming

For a dog that truly loathes grooming, you might want to take care of some of the requirements at home, to spare having your pooch battle a professional groomer. Bath time is a necessity, and it can be achieved quickly and easily at home with your garden hose and a bottle of dog shampoo. Sometimes the element of surprise can be beneficial, and your dog can be called to where you're waiting with the tools in hand. It can be a case of getting it over with as promptly as possible. Your dog will grudgingly stand there and allow you to rub shampoo into his coat, and while he might not be happy with his circumstances, at least he's going to be clean (perhaps until you release him and he rolls in the nearest patch of dirt). There are some aspects of grooming that can require professional assistance though.

Professional Grooming

Your dog might be reluctant to get out of the car once he recognises that you've arrived at your local pet grooming salon, but you should be able to (eventually) coax him out. While he might need to suffer through his discomfort (which is for the greater good), you don't want his reluctance to manifest itself as aggression. In some instances, a muzzle can be helpful. While your dog might not be inclined to be vicious towards the groomer, he might attempt a warning nip when he's truly uneasy. You need to balance the groomer's wellbeing with the fact that your dog's coat or nails need to be trimmed, and so sometimes a muzzle can be the best way to achieve this.

Mobile Grooming

What about mobile grooming? This could be something to experiment with. Some dogs might be even less inclined to welcome a groomer onto their territory, but other dogs might be more comfortable with allowing the groomer to work on them in a place where they feel at ease, and at home. You know your dog better than anyone else, so you'll know how territorial they can be and whether they will respond positively to having a groomer visit them.

While you might not be able to encourage your dog to truly love grooming, you can at least make the experience as smooth and painless as possible.

About Me

Veterinary and Self-Care Tips for New Pet Owners

When I had my first baby, I bought volumes of books on what to expect. However, that didn't happen when I got my first dog. When he became suddenly ill two weeks after I had adopted him, I was so in love already that I knew I would spend thousands to help him heal. Luckily, his bills weren't that expensive, and the vet was great. However, I realised I had a lot to learn about pet ownership, caring for them at home and using a vet. In this blog, I want to share posts on all of that and more. If you have a pet, I hope these posts help you. If they do, please share them with others.