Some dogs and cats adore the extra attention that comes with being groomed, but others can become downright cranky when the brush and clippers come out. But just because your dog or cat doesn’t love grooming doesn’t mean they get to skip it. Animals need to be cleaned and trimmed regularly, so it’s important to get them to a comfortable place so the grooming process is more pleasant pastime than crisis.
Use soothing tones, but don’t coddle.
Your pet should see you as the leader, so while it’s good to use gentle tones and pet them while you groom, you shouldn’t coddle them as if they’re being hurt. Your attitude should demonstrate that grooming is supposed to be pleasant, not teach the animal that grooming is a near death experience you are there to sooth them through. Be cool, be resolved, and be gentle, but don’t act like it’s the end of the world.
Anxious animals need a little extra TLC, so don’t lose your cool when grooming or you will only stress them further. If you’re already tense from a long day, it might be best to wait until you’re relaxed before you begin a grooming session. Animals are sensitive to our moods, so if you start to feel overwhelmed or frustrated, take a break. Every grooming experience should be as positive as possible.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Start slowly when grooming your pet. When hanging out on the couch, massage their paws to get them used to being touched and desensitize any ticklish spots. Gradually work up to clipping a few nails at a time, and so on and so forth. Grooming in simple, short sessions instead of going for a half-day marathon will help your animal ease into the feeling of being groomed.
Hire a professional.
Sometimes it’s just better to hire a pro. Professional animal groomers are trained to handle all sorts of animals and can get Fido or Fluffy spic and span in no time. Visit groomers by yourself before your bring your pet to scope them out. Is the groomer personable and professional? Does the facility look and smell clean? Are animals there happy or clawing to escape? For more tips on choosing a great groomer, check out this helpful article, courtesy of Dogtime.com.
To watch helpful videos that outline how to groom your dog and cat at home, check out Dr. Hunter’s animal grooming series. Or, for an in-person tutorial, come by for a visit at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals in Frisco!