How To Help Relieve Your Dog’s Anxiety Before Visiting Our Groomers
March 27, 2018
Your friendly, tail-wagging pup might be nothing but an extraverted ray of sunshine around the house and the dog park, but when it comes to staying still to get a proper grooming, well, that can be a different story entirely. Even if your dog does struggle with some pretty serious social anxiety around strangers, it’s still important to get a grooming every once and awhile. But is it worth the hassle of corralling them into our pet market and resort in Tampa? Call us a little biased on the matter, but we think so — there are actually a number of practical things that you, as the owner, can do to help your frazzled pup stay calm when visiting us for our pet grooming services. We’ll get to more on that below!
Royal Pets Market & Resort Takes Pet Grooming Seriously
Your dog won’t necessarily groom themselves…right? We’d be impressed if they did, but the reality is that dog owners or our pet grooming pros are the ones that must step up to the plate and tame that mane. If you don’t want to deal with the mess of hair in and around your home, don’t worry. Just bring your dog by our Tampa Bay pet resort and we’ll have your dog’s coat shining and shimmering in no time! Learn more about our grooming services here.
If your dog gets a little fussy or nervous when you take them out and about, then the below information should be very useful. Let’s take a look.
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Anxious?
It’s worth mentioning that not all dogs experience anxiety or show visible signs of apprehension about visiting a professional groomer. If anything, your dog may actually be excited to visit the groomer, because hey, like a human getting a nice haircut, the experience can actually feel pretty good.
If your dog is new to the groomer and you’re unsure about how they’ll react, these types of reactions typically indicate anxiety or nervousness:
•Excessive panting, even when staying still
•Trembling and shaking
•Becoming physically ill or vomiting
•An intense look of concern in their eyes
Interestingly enough, these signs of anxiety are really no different than how a human would express themselves. Could you imagine if we were groomed in the same way as our fellow canine cousins?
Start With The Car Ride
Even if you’re just going to the dog park instead of the vet, car rides can still provoke a great deal of unwanted anxiety in your dog. If they’re already stressed out about getting groomed, starting off on an anxious note from the car ride is only going to set your dog up for a bad time. Your dog’s negative association with car rides may be related to motion sickness, especially if they’re unsecured in the back of your SUV trying to hold on for dear life through those tight turns.
For some dogs, getting an anti-nausea medication (as approved by your vet) may be helpful. Ideally, you’ll want to condition your dog (from the puppy stages) to have positive associations with your car — things like giving them treats in your car (even when you’re not going anywhere) can help. Otherwise, try and keep the car rides short and positive. Those fast-moving windshield wipers are nothing to fear!
Your Dog Should Get Used To Being Handled
As strange as that sounds, it’s true — especially in the context of grooming. Generally speaking, grooming usually involves handling sensitive areas including the muzzle, eyes, ears, paws, tail, rear, and groin. Naturally, that’s pretty invasive and not fun for dogs who tend to be more particular about who handles them.
Training your dog to be more comfortable with who’s touching them will almost certainly help them remain calm at the groomer. A good way to do this is to say something like “paws!” out loud and then follow up by actually touching their paw. Then, provide them with a small treat to associate positive emotions with you touching them in certain areas. Try to not be too excessive with your treat-giving, however, as this will reinforce your dog’s constant expectation of receiving a reward!
Make The Groomer’s Area A Fun Place To Be
Setting up positive associations with the physical area that your dog will be groomed in (we’re friendly as it is, we promise!) can also work wonders in mitigating your pup’s anxiety. Visiting just to do a training visit without any actually grooming being done is an effective way to familiarize your dog to this environment, including getting to know the various sounds and sounds that are characteristic of a grooming practice.
Your dog is bound to be less intimidated by the snipping of clippers and the buzzing of a trimmer when they’re already familiar with those sounds. Remember to positively reward them with treats, pets, and plenty of love and wholesome verbal feedback!
Great Creative With Your Solutions
If your dog has expressed specific concerns in the past about various aspects of the grooming process, our pet groomers in Tampa Bay can work with you to find custom solutions. Not a fan of jumping up onto the table? A ramp or stairs can help. If the slippery surface of the table is no good, an anti-slip mat is a great solution. Whatever your needs are, we can help accommodate them!
Visit Royal Pets Market & Resort To Learn More!
As always, our pet resort in Tampa Bay is happy to help out our fellow pet owners. Contact us today to get started!