A visit to the grooming salon can strike fear into the hearts of both dog and owner. Memories of mom cutting off your foot circulation while she trimmed your toenails, and the pain when she managed to cut one too short. Or your painstaking stillness while she scrubbed your dirty face between pinched cheeks.
With a proper attitude and preparation, though, your visit should be more about a day of luxurious doggy pampering, rather than stress. So set aside your fears, and start working on ways you can get your canine friend ready with this etiquette guide.
Before Your Visit
Bathe your dog. Regular bathing with the proper shampoo and conditioner for your dog’s breed will help maintain both a healthy skin and coat. If you’re not sure what products to use, consult your vet or groomer.
Do a body check regularly. Just as you don’t want your child’s classmate coming to school with lice; groomers don’t want your pet arriving with ticks or other types of infection. This exposes other animals in the salon. Make sure you do a thorough body check regularly. Be on the lookout for skin issues, the presence of ticks and any ear infections.
Brush your dog regularly. Just as you wouldn’t visit your salon with unbrushed and tangled hair and expect a miracle, don’t do this with your dog. Make sure to brush your dog’s coat at least three times a week. Improperly maintained coats will add a lot of stress to your appointment, and can even result in necessary shaving if the coat becomes too matted.
Prepare your dog with some manners. One of the most important things you can do for your animal is to prepare them for a lifetime of proper grooming.
- Teach your dog to be comfortable with every part of their body being touched from the tip of their ears to the end of the tail. And don’t forget their feet and nails. Do this by setting aside grooming time each day, preferably when they’re a little more groggy.
- Start by gently massaging their favorite areas, such as the belly and ears, and move to less comfortable spots. Be sure to gently praise them as you go.
- When your dog attempts to get up, place your hand on the side of their neck and firmly press the head to back to the floor. Be sure to tell them, “No.” Once they settle, praise them for listening.
- Once they acclimate to a hand massage, move to a brush.
- Never tolerate any growling. Reprimand with a sharp, firm response.
During Your Visit
Take your paperwork. Many groomers won’t take dogs that have not been properly vaccinated. This protects your dog as well as others in their care.
Relax. If you go to your appointment in a hectic rush or with a worried disposition, your dog will feed off your vibe.
Use a short leash. When you arrive at the grooming salon there will be other dogs present. These pets may be friendly, but in some cases they may not. To avoid any unpleasant interactions, enter with your dog on a short leash.
State your desires as clearly as possible. Just like you take a picture to the salon, be sure you either explicitly direct the groomer as to what you want or bring a picture. The more they understand what you’re looking for, the better they can serve you.
Your groomer is trained. And even with that picture, your groomer may have suggestions and ideas. After all, if you’ve selected a professional pet groomer, they are trained. Take the time to listen to any suggestions, as they typically have a better understanding of what will and won’t work for your furry friend.
As you set out for the pet salon, remember to relax and be patient. Your dog won’t be able to sit quite as perfectly as you do when you’re being groomed. But with this etiquette guide, you’ll have them prepared and ready to be on their best behavior. In a few hours, they’ll be looking good and feeling great after their special day of pampering.
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