Whether you have a young puppy or an older dog you have always groomed yourself, the first time you take it to a professional groomer can be a bit traumatic. Even dogs that are well-adapted socially and used to being groomed at home can be scared and act out when left with a strange person who wants to touch, prod, and work closely with them. As the owner of the animal, it is your responsibility to do everything possible to make the grooming session easy and safe for the groomer and to keep your dog from feeling traumatized. Here are a few tips that should help.
Visit the Salon
Before making an appointment, take your dog and visit the salon. While there, watch how they work with the animals if possible – most places will have a window you can watch through. Allow your pet to smell the place and become a bit familiar with the room and people. You should also talk to someone there and explain that it will be your dog's first time at a groomer's; make sure that there is someone there experienced with first grooms.
Touch Your Pet
Starting about a week before the grooming appointment, start touching your dog the way you would to groom it. Pick up its paws and play with its nails, brush its fur, and paly with its ears. You may also want to have a friend come over and do this too, someone the dog knows but who would not normally touch it in this manner.
Stay Until the Groomer Takes the Dog
Try to arrive at the salon as close to appointment time as possible. Once there, sit in the lobby with your pet until the groomer is ready to take it to the table. You want to avoid having to put the dog into a kennel if possible, however, you do not want it to know you are there while it is being worked on as this may make it skittish and unruly. Leave the building once it is being groomed, but be sure to ask how long it will take and be there as soon as the grooming is done.
It may take a few visits, but eventually your dog will become accustomed to going to the salon and will not give you or the groomer any trouble. Be sure to always praise and reward your pet when you pick it up. Perhaps a special treat reserved only for grooming days or a trip to the park. Contact a groomer, such as at All Creatures Inn, for more help.