DOG GROOMING: LUXURY OR NECESSITY?
Dog grooming salons are the equivalent of beauty salons for our furry friends. At the salon, specialists take care of your dog's hygiene: bathing, teeth brushing, haircutting, nail trimming, etc. While some of this care can be done at home or the vet, professional dog grooming has many benefits. Why should I take my dog to a groomer? How can I help my dog not to be afraid? See our answers to your questions below.
Dog Grooming: What is it for?
Domesticated animals like dogs live much longer than their wild counterparts. In fact, as members of our families, they face very little danger and enjoy an excellent lifestyle. This should include but is not limited to, a high-quality, balanced diet, regular medical check-ups, appropriate preventive and curative care, and, of course, a flawless dog grooming routine. You must also make sure to regularly take care of your dog's personal and dental hygiene.
Animals who share our indoor living space bring in a lot of chemical pollution from outdoors. 80% of this pollution is found within 30cm of the ground. So, a clean dog is a healthy dog who poses no danger to you or your children.
It's, of course, possible to wash your dog yourself at home, if you prefer. Just ensure that you use specific products which are not harmful to your four-legged friend. However, other facets of dog grooming such as teeth brushing, nail trimming, and haircutting are much more delicate affairs. You may need to cut your dog's hair more often during periods of hot weather or after a flea infestation, for example. The eyes and ears are also tricky areas to maintain, which require special delicacy and precision.
We don't recommend clipping your dog's nails yourself. You risk cutting the root of the nail, which can be very painful and dangerous for your furry friend. This is a service that your vet can offer you, so don't hesitate to ask!
At any good dog grooming salon, you will find various professional service options:
Shearing (with electric clippers)
Haircutting (with scissors)
Manicure (nail trimming)
Paw pad maintenance
Dog groomers are people who are passionate about animals, have undergone specialised training, and are equipped with all the products and equipment necessary for meticulous pet maintenance. Some licensed dog grooming salons even specialise in caring for specific dog breeds. Enquire directly for dog groomers in your area.
If your dog suffers from skin problems, you will need to take them to a dog groomer regularly to get them washed properly without harming their cutaneous barrier.
If your dog is in good health, one visit per year to a professional dog groomer will be sufficient.
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What Can I Do if My Dog is Afraid of Being Groomed?
Just like going to the vet, your pooch may be nervous about being taken to a dog grooming salon. Although you're doing it for their benefit, dog grooming can be very stressful for your dog, even when you do it at home. Additionally, your loyal friend might be scared just at the thought of being transported in a carrier or going in the car or—even worse—they might be scared of water.
To help combat this, here are several solutions that may come in handy in certain different situations!
👉 Get Your Dog Used to Their Carry Case
A dog carrier should not seem like a torture instrument. Make sure you use it for enjoyable experiences as well as chores like dog grooming so that your dog doesn't get distressed just at the sight of it. To do this, leave it out on show in the house from time to time and regularly invite your dog to play in it. A dog carrier or travel crate will be essential if you wish to travel with your dog, so they should get used to it as soon as possible! If your little furball is not used to being on a lead, try using it for normal day to day situations, and not just traumatic episodes.
👉 Reward Them
Whether at home or the dog grooming salon, always praise your pooch for good behaviour. Don't reward them when they're anxious, as this can lead them to believe they were right to worry. The advantage of having your dog groomed by professionals is that they know how to handle anxious dogs who struggle to keep still. In extreme cases, there's no point in insisting - you could end up traumatising your dog and you may not ever be able to get them to a dog grooming salon. Remember, you can always use natural products made from essential oils or Bach flower remedies to help calm your dog calm down.
👉 Get Your Dog Used to the Bath
There are different techniques for bathing a dog who is afraid of water.
If you adopt a puppy, introduce them to the bath as soon as possible to make them less likely to be afraid of it.
If you start by bathing your dog at home, take it slowly. First, give them short rinsing baths. Never fill the tub: the water must always be able to keep flowing.
Finally, make it a playful moment: take some toys with you, pet your dog, and make a fuss of them. They'll be all the more reassured if you're gentle and caring.
If your dog is afraid of the bathtub, there are other techniques you can try to reassure them. For example, place an empty basin in the living room. As the days go by, gradually start filling the basin with water. The more you associate the traumatic object with a game, the more your dog will begin to trust you.
PUBLISHED 18.12.2020 - HECTOR KITCHEN, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
By the Hector Kitchen medical and scientific team
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