Do you find yourself as a first-time dog owner? You've likely already experienced some of the wonders of creating a bond with your dog. However, you know there are responsibilities that come with being a dog owner. One of those is dog grooming.
You might be apprehensive about the process of dog grooming if you are doing it for the very first time. It's important to know what to do and what not to do when you are grooming your dog for the first time. First-time dog grooming is an experience that will dictate the tone they have for the rest of their life. Therefore, you want to create a comfortable and safe experience to ensure your dog takes well to grooming. Keep reading for Dog ID Collar’s tips on dog grooming.
Tips For Dog Grooming:
1. Familiarize Your Dog With The Tools and Equipment
One of the things that can scare new puppies and older dogs is anything unfamiliar. Because of this, you will want to familiarize your pup with everything prior to beginning any sort of dog grooming process. Gather the tools and equipment that will be used in the grooming process and get your new fur friend familiar with them. The best way to familiarize your dog with the tools and equipment they will be exposed to is by introducing each tool one by one. For instance, you will want to get clippers that will be used to trim your dog's nails. Place the clippers in front of your dog and allow them to sniff it as much as they want.
Be sure to have treats available while they are looking at and examining the clippers. This will show your dog that good things come when the clippers come out. You will want to repeat this process with all of the tools and equipment that will be used ranging from brushes, clippers, shampoo, and anything else.
2. Get Your Dog Used To The Process
Another aspect that might frighten your pup is the introduction of new stimuli. Dog grooming requires that your dog be touched and handled a lot. So, it's a good idea to make sure that they tolerate you touching their head, back, tummy, legs, and paws without becoming anxious. By regularly handling your dog and getting them used to ways they will be handled during the grooming process, they will become much more comfortable. Therefore, you should be regularly touching, cleaning, and handling their ears and paws. Also, try massaging your dog's paws while cuddling together so that they are used to you touching them during relaxing times. By doing this as a puppy, they will learn that it is a normal process. Your pup won't be timid or frightened when the time comes to be groomed.
If your dog is older, the same process is necessary. However, it may take you a bit more time for them to adapt if they are not already used to being handled and groomed. The key is gaining your dog's trust and showing them that touching them on their ears or paws or any other part of their body will not hurt them. This will make the grooming process much less stressful on your dog and on you.
3. Get Your Puppy Used To Dental Care
Dental care is something a lot of dog owners forget. Having well-cared for teeth and gums can help to prevent your dog from experiencing health issues down the road. Because of this, you want to get them used to dental care and getting their mouth and teeth regularly touched.
Touch and get your hands inside your puppy's or dog's mouth, getting them used to the feeling. Begin to brush your puppy's teeth at an early age. Brushing your puppy’s teeth early helps them get used to the process and allows you to effectively brush your dog's teeth regularly without issue. Not sure where to begin? Check out our guide on dental care for dogs here.
4. Use It As A Bonding Experience
Don't make dog grooming a negative experience with your dog. Make the experience as positive as possible to relieve anxiousness and nervousness. Reframe how you view the grooming experience and don't look at dog grooming as a chore. Otherwise, you will likely treat it as one. Instead, you want to look at the dog grooming experience as a bonding experience. By using it as a chance to bond with your dog, you will be able to enjoy a much better relationship and it can help you showcase to your dog that grooming is something that brings positive energy to their life. Reward them each step along the way, and be sure to consistently praise your dog for allowing you to groom them. By the end, your dog will actually look forward to the grooming process.
5. Don't Bathe Too Often
Part of dog grooming is to bathe your dog as regularly as he or she needs it. Bathing too often can strip your dog's skin and coat of its natural oils. Bathe only when necessary either due to an unpleasant smell or because they are dirty. Be sure to utilize the same tips of introducing your dog to all of the elements and phases involved with the bathing process. Show them the equipment you will be using, have them practice standing on the mat you will be using or any tub you might be using, and turn on the water so they can see and hear it. Do not wait until you will actually be bathing them to do this. Otherwise, the extra stimuli they are exposed to during this process will likely frighten your dog.
6. Take Your Dog For A Walk
An important dog grooming tip is to exercise your dog thoroughly prior to attempting to perform any sort of grooming activity. If your dog is too energized, it is very likely to be a much more difficult experience. By exercising your dog beforehand, you can help them relax and get rid of all of their pent up energy.
7. Redirect Attention
Last, but not least, one of the best ways to ensure your puppy has a good experience during grooming is knowing how to redirect their attention. Distract your puppy or dog during the grooming process by giving them treats and by bringing along a toy they love to play with.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to make the grooming process much less stressful for both you and your dog. By making the experience as positive as possible, you are able to set your dog up to have pleasant dog grooming experiences throughout his or her life. Dog ID Collar has the perfect embroidered and personalized dog collars and leashes to gift your furry best friend after their dog grooming appointment! Check out our collections here, and happy dog grooming!