How To Keep A Dog Calm While Grooming? Do dogs hate Grooming?

Dogs can be bundles of joy, laziness, cuteness or a ball of anxiety any time the machine with the big scary sounds comes to town. It is common for dogs to get anxious or stressed when taken to the groomers, as usually both the sounds and the environment are foreign to the dog’s generally calm recognisable home. Dogs can react to this new experience welcomingly or in your case, with visible teeth and audible growls.

How To Keep A Dog Calm While Grooming?

So what do you do when your pup needs a haircut, but your pup is also a masterful temper-tantrum expert? We’ll tell you how to keep your dog calm like a bush(no, not that one).

Do Dogs Like Being Groomed?

Every dog will require grooming at regular intervals in their life, without any discriminations of size, breed, coat colour or anything else. Their hair will need washing, brushing, cutting or even shaving in the summers. So, it becomes your job to keep them smelling nice and looking fresh all the time.

But do dogs even like being groomed? You can never know for certain how a dog will react to seeing a clipper or hearing his first shaving machine. Most dogs will like soft brushing and petting, but this is not the same for everyone.
Stress from the sounds and anxiety at a new place may cause the dog to fear and throw fit-like outbursts if they’re scared.

Here’s a video explaining how you can train a dog for more comfortable grooming.

Where Do I Get My Dog Groomed?

Dog grooming is a tedious and tiring process that may even take up several hours, depending on the coat and temperament of the dog. This may be something you may not be confident or skilled enough to do on your own, which is why professional dog grooming parlours are a thing.

Where Do I Get My Dog Groomed

You may prefer to groom your dog yourself, at home and safe. If you’re confident about your grooming skills and your bond with your dog, it can be used as a cost-effective measure without exposing your dog to the harsh outside world. You can try some light grooming exercises a few times before you get down to the real thing, so as to ease the dog into the process. After all, your dog may prefer your hands rather than some unknown groomer

How To Groom A Scared Dog

In case you would rather have someone else do it, a professional groomer is always a good choice. They know what they’re doing and can help you learn more about your dog and his behavior as well. You can find some good groomers around you online, or look at places like veterinary clinics, pet-marts, or even dog-spas. A visit every 6-8 weeks will keep your pup looking their best throughout the year.

How To Groom A Scared Dog?

Some dogs are more scared of grooming processes than the others and it’s just the way it is. They may have different reasons for their anxious, stressed and hostile behavior. A defensive dog will let you know its discomfort in the form of growls and easily visible signs of tension.

Yet, that should not spell defeat for your grooming mission. Here are some tips you can use to calm down a scared dog while grooming!

If not that, you can go here to find out how to train a dog to enjoy grooming!

  • Familiarise Your Dog With The Products

Dog Grooming Instruments

It is generally a good idea to introduce a new setting gradually in steps, which can help your dog familiarise themselves with whatever may come next. You should allow them to sniff around the products you’re going to use. Let them see the tools that you will use and their noise. This way, they know what to expect and won’t freak out on the first sight of a clipper.

  • Choose The Right Time

Waking up to a haircut isn’t ideal for anyone, human or dog. Choosing a time when the dog is relaxed and calm will help you in a job that can be made difficult by an anxious energetic dog. You can schedule the grooming to be done after your dog is tired after a long day. Physical activities such as playing fetch or a long walk can tire a dog down, so that you can be more assured of a calm and still dog. This will help you avoid unnecessary drama at the dog parlor.

Is grooming stressful for dogs

  • Put On Some Music

Everyone loves some good music, even your dogs! I’m sure you may already have some playlists ready to put your dog to sleep or some specific music they enjoy. Why not use this tactic to help in calming them down? It has been noted that playing jazz or classical music while grooming can help in calming and relaxing dogs.

Afterall, even dogs deserve some Frank Sinatra with dim lighting.

  • Regular Breaks

Dogs with longer and thicker coats may find it harder to remain still for long stretches of time. It would be naive to expect them to sit through the sometimes hours-long processes without running off to chase butterflies. Grooming parlors may even spend the whole day while taking care of puppy hair to allow them to adjust to the whole process.

It is advised to take breaks from the grooming every 20-30 minutes so the dogs do not grow frustrated and snap mid-grooming. These breaks can serve as stress-busters and relieve the anxiety that dogs are exposed to while being groomed.

  • Understand Limits and Give Rewards

Nobody will understand your dog’s behavior better than you, and that can help you determine if it’s time to stop. Dogs do not have the same amount of patience we do and that means there exists a limit till which you can keep a dog still, calm and away from agitation.

Keep in mind, all this can be a stressful experience for your dog and they would expect their best bud to have their best interests in mind.
Their calmness and cooperation should also be rewarded with treats and affection in return for their behavior control. Making sure your dog understands the importance of stillness can go a long way in making these visits stress-free and easy. Giving them a treat to reinforce this behavior will help you both in a rewarding visit.

How To Sedate Your Dog?

Every dog is different, with different thresholds for patience and stress. If your dog gets ultra-anxious around the very sound of clippers, it is only fair to accept you’re gonna need something a little stronger than treats. Sedatives shouldn’t be used without a vet prescribing them, and should generally be used as the last way out such as in the case of dogs with severe anxiety.

Sedatives are generally administered by vets to carry out procedures where a mobile and active dog may prove a hindrance. Dogs can get especially hostile and the risk of defensive biting can increase while grooming. A stressed dog may respond in growls and aggressive behavior. While sedatives are effective, they also have potential side-effects, which is why you should refer a vet for administering them.

Do you bathe a dog before grooming

Sedatives for Dogs –

  • Benadryl

Vets usually don’t directly jump to using some harder drugs and thus recommend something lighter, like benadryl. Plain Benadryl is a drug used mainly for allergies and cough-fits and is readily available over-the-counter in most states. The drug is also prescribed for anxiety as it can cause lethargy and have sedative effects.

Since the drug has drowsy effects, it helps in calming the dogs down while they sit for the grooming to be over. The appropriate dosage for dogs is 0.5-2 mg per pound. However, it is to be noted that this is a lighter drug and may not help with hyper-restless dogs.

Since the drug has drowsy effects, it helps in calming the dogs down while they sit for the grooming to be over. The appropriate dosage for dogs is 0.5-2 mg per pound. However, it is to be noted that this is a lighter drug and may not help with hyper-restless dogs.

  • Melatonin

Melatonin is used for dogs who are diagnosed to have anxiety problems, such as noise anxiety, separation anxiety etc. This is another drug available over-the-counter due to its low potency. However, that also means it may not be a sedative strong enough to calm down hyper dogs. The dosage can depend on the size of the dog and the drug’s effectiveness on it.

  • General Anaesthesia

General Anaesthesia for Dogs

If the dog is especially irritable and uncontrollable, the dog may need to be administered with general anaesthesia for the grooming process. This will be done by a vet to a dog whose antics and sensitivity may force this to be the only option. Usually used to alleviate pain during surgical processes, it can be readily used to put the dogs in sleep mode while their grooming finishes.

We’re sure we did our best to help you and your puppy in the journey towards a better grooming experience, but if you think we missed out on something, we’d be happy to include it in our list. Here’s to calmer, much more groomed dogs!