5 Ways to Prepare Your Puppy for Grooming
Guest Writer: Jenny Nolan
Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or have experience in helping care for puppies in the past, preparing your puppy for their first grooming session is an experience that all pet owners can relate to. Obviously, no two dogs are the same, but it is almost universally accepted that doing everything you can to prepare your puppy for grooming and to familiarize them with the process will help everything run a lot more smoothly.
This quick guide will offer 5 pro tips on how you can make your puppy feel more calm and comfortable when it comes to grooming. Whether you’re looking to bathe your pup, brush their coat or trim their nails, we hope the five points below will offer you some much-needed advice.
Whether you take your dog to be professionally groomed or want to carry out the process at home, it is important to prepare your puppy in the right way. Not only will this allow your pet to feel more relaxed when being groomed but will also have a number of other benefits which include improving their social skills and training them to be less nervous.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Puppy for Grooming
1. Slowly Introduce Them to Busy and Noisy Environments
This is a process that all puppies will have to go through at some time or another but it is important to do so slowly. If you intend to take your pet to a groomer, then it is likely that not only will you have to get your puppy there, which may involve challenges in itself ,but the grooming shop is likely to be busy with a loud atmosphere which can be an awful place for a puppy if they’re not used to it.
2. Ease Separation Anxiety
This point follows directly on from the first and is a process that should take place slowly as well. Although we’re sure all dog owners would love to spend every hour of each day with their pet, with work and other requirements this just isn’t going to always be the case.
Separation anxiety is something to bear in mind with puppies and you should attempt to ease any anxiety in your puppy by making sure they are happy and content to be left alone. A great trick is if you have an older dog as well, book them both for grooming at the same time first time around so your young puppy has some familiar comforts and friends around them.
3. Improve Your Puppy’s Attention Span
Now, this is a lot easier said than done! Puppies are distracted by anything that moves, and even stuff that doesn’t, so training them to be patient and to hold their attention can be a whole challenge in itself. This is particularly tricky if you have a social puppy who just loves attention, in which case you have definitely got a job on your hands. But if you train your puppy effectively you will definitely notice benefits further down the line.
One way to prepare your puppy for grooming is to work on commands from an early age. You can then gradually introduce distractions and continue to work on your puppy’s attention span and hopefully you will notice improvements over time.
4. Introduce Them to Water at Their Own Pace
Like the other tips so far in the guide, this very much centers around a gradual process that offers your puppy time to adapt. This tip would see you slowly introduce your dog to water rather than rush to bathe them or cover them in water too quickly.
A great way to do this is to introduce your dog to a very shallow amount of water, seeing how they react at first, and the gradually beginning to bathe them gently and increasing your dog’s comfort levels around bath time.
5. Use a Practice Grooming Object
This tip attempts to familiarize your puppy with the process of being groomed, such as being brushed or clipped, by holding them still and running a practicing object (anything that isn’t sharp and won’t harm your dog) close to their skin and face. Obviously you don’t want to act as if you’re threatening your puppy. Instead, you’re just preparing them for an action that is going to take place when they are being groomed and helping your puppy to feel comfortable, knowing they have been through the event before and that they weren’t harmed.
Hopefully, you find one or two of the points above beneficially (or all, ideally) and that you can begin to familiarize your puppy with the process of being groomed. Obviously, it is not your intention to put your young dog in to a state of distress, but keeping your puppy well-groomed has a number of health benefits which is why it is so important that you can ensure your dog enjoys being groomed and feels comfortable in new surroundings.
The name of the game, really, is taking things slow and if you can introduce your puppy to some of these tips early on, will really notice the difference when it comes to actually grooming your pet.
“5 Ways to Prepare Your Puppy for Grooming”
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