Taking your pet to a professional grooming parlour every month is a good option, but can become expensive and require planning. As an alternative, consider home grooming as an option as well. Start early, be consistent, and definitely exercise patience!
Take Your Time
Nature has made pets self-sufficient. Their nails, teeth, and fur all serve a purpose in the wild. When your pet becomes anxious seeing a scissor or clipper, respect his nervousness for you are triggering his primal instinct to protect himself. Keep treats and comfort toys handy as an incentive for cooperation. Remember, your familiar voice will help your companion feel safe and less threatened so keep telling him how well-behaved and cooperative he is.
Create Positive Memories
Choose a location which allows your pet to feel emotionally neutral. Don’t sit in pathways which may distract him. His sudden, jerky movements to watch the door may disrupt your routine or even hurt him. Choose a room that he’s neither attached to nor threatened by. If the grooming session has ended with your pet being hurt, ensure you change the location the next time around to avoid the association between grooming and injury.
Bring In the Comfort Factor
If you are thinking of leashing your pet, forget it. Restricting a pet to one place makes him anxious and may panic him. Try coaxing him to lie down or use his favourite song to calm him while you begin grooming. Not only will he be quiet, but he may also be surprisingly cooperative. If you’ve trained him to enjoy the grooming process, you can be assured he will enjoy it every time!
Tired but Calm
If your pet is hyper and full of energy, it is wise to wear him down before you begin the grooming session. Using up all the pent up energy can calm him, making for a compliant companion. Use a series of games to condition him for a post exercise grooming session. Prepare your pet with a routine that he can expect. Consider activities such as a running, frisbee time, and catching a ball in the garden. Pets who know their routine are likely to be obedient and cooperative during grooming, reducing the chances of accidents.
Home grooming is all about a routine, your gentle voice, proper planning and patience. Get it right, and your pet will soon be looking forward to these sessions!