Just like humans, dog need to be groomed. Their grooming comes with trimming their fur, brushing their teeth, clipping their nails. Having them groomed can also mean that they are healthy. And for them to be properly groomed, you fur baby will of course need your help.
If you just brought home or you are about to bring home a new dog, it is a good idea to introduce them to grooming routines as early as possible. If you start too late, you might have some struggles. Your dog can be fearful and anxious of the grooming process. Your maintenance of his hygiene will then be stressful and hard for both for you and your fur baby.
If you are struggling to incorporate grooming with your fur baby, there are many ways on how you can fix that. So if you lost the chance to start grooming your dog at an early age and you are now engaged at fights and battles at the cost of getting your dog groomed, you might need to go back to the basic routines.
Here are some steps that you may follow and may help you when you try grooming your baby:
1. Let your fur baby explore the grooming equipment
For a dog that is not used to seeing grooming equipment, these tiny pieces of grooming materials may be scary for them. They may feel that the materials are quite unusual especially if they create sounds that are not familiar to them and they have never heard before. So if you have grooming appliances, make sure that you introduce these to them slowly and in a fun way.
If you have brush or clippers, hold it in front of them and let them sniff and touch them. Let them explore the materials and slowly introduce each item to them. Make this initial interaction a pleasant experience for them so they would not develop any fear towards these pieces of equipment.
2. Mimic the grooming action
Once you have introduced the grooming equipment to your baby. It is now time for you to familiarize your dog on how the equipment will be used, get him used to the motions of each material.
You can run back and forth the brush over his fur but do not use the bristles this early, just let him get used to the sensation and be comfortable with every stroke and movement of the brush on his body.
If you will be using clippers, run them over his back a few times without turning it on. Then you can turn the clippers on for him to hear the sound that it makes so he will be familiar with it. You can also let him touch or even sniff the clippers if it seems that they are confident enough being around and having contact with it.
When your dog looks fine with the clippers being around him, run the side for the clippers over his back for him to feel and get used to the vibrations.
If it looks like you fur baby is comfortable being around these equipment, you can start brushing or clipping him.
3. Groom your dog once he is settled
Always remember that you can only start grooming your fur baby once he is settled. If they are in the mood for playing or they are currently pacing around your house, never ever attempt to groom him.
If they are just lying on your sofa or on the floor, be the one to approach him then you can start grooming. Take his brush with you and gently glide the bristles over his fur. Use slow and gentle motions for you not to disturb them too much from their relaxed and comfortable state.
If you will be trimming his fur, use scissors and slowly and lightly trim away the fur that you can easily access. You need to get him to be comfortable and used to being touched this way without raising any anxiety or panic.
4. Stop when your dog seems agitated
If you can feel like your dog seems agitated in some way like he wants to try to bite the brush that you are using, it is time for you to stop the grooming session. If you have only managed to brush or groom him in one side or you only managed to clip two paws, that is okay; you can always try again after a few hours when he is once again calm and settled.
If you continue to groom him every time that he is not in the mood or he is agitated, he might associate that grooming is a negative experience. So it is important that you do the grooming sessions little by little until he gets comfortable the he will be able to build his trust in you regarding the grooming routine and he won’t associate it as a negative activity.
5. Reward your dog when he is calm and still
Prepare a handful of treats when you are grooming your dog. Brush or clip your dog for a few seconds then praise him and offer him treats for his actions. Practice your dog to be still and calm while he is being groom before he can get a treat from you.
Gradually increase the length of time when you brush your fur baby and when you reward him. When you offer your dog treats, you can instill to him good and positive things happened when he is calm and settled.
6. Make grooming a positive experience
It is important that you instill to your dog that your grooming sessions is a positive experience. Be gentle and calm while you are in doing this activity. You want them to look forward to his brushing time or the very least, make him be able to tolerate the process.
If in case you are frustrated with your dog or with anything, keep them to yourself. Your dog will be able to sense those emotions and they will respond to your stress level if you react to their behavior. Do not shout our get mad at him when he is not sitting still or cooperating. Your grooming sessions can be a stressful time for your fur baby when not handled properly.
Grooming does not stop in brushing or clipping, you should also take care of their teeth to avoid dental problems, as well as his ears to prevent infections.
I hope these tips will help you make grooming a joyous and wonderful experience for you and your fur baby!