San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
Grooming day is a special day for any dog. They get to spend time with their groomer friends, meet other dogs, and enjoy a little doggie spa treatment. Each dog has its own very good reasons to need grooming: indoor dogs often need to have their nails trimmed regularly because they don't get worn down running around on outdoor pavement, while outdoor dogs get all sorts of dirt and particles in their fur that need to be washed out frequently. Mobile grooming is great for you and your dog because it's close to home so there's no need for kennels, cages, or car trips. However, not all dogs are immediately comfortable with grooming time. The key to a fun grooming day for everyone is to let your dog know how wonderful the day is, they will follow your lead.
Make Grooming a Routine
The number one way to make sure your dog understands that grooming is a good, fun thing and not a bad, scary thing is to make it regular. Dogs remember good things that have happened before, and a consistent positive reinforcement is always rewarded with enthusiasm. You may have noticed, for instance, that your dog responds happily to every-day great dog things in your home, like the messiest eater heading toward the kitchen, or any human holding their favorite ball. Once your dog has learned to recognize the mobile grooming salon as a fun and rewarding place, grooming time can be met with the same joy because they've been through it many times before.
Start with Bribery
We all love treats, but dogs never get tired of them. A baggie of treats, especially a recognized method of treat dispensing, is sure to get your pet's full attention. This simple mechanic of the dog mind can be turned into a great distraction tool. Anything that makes your dog unhappy or nervous can be quickly forgotten in the face of being a very good doggie who gets a treat. This can be especially important if your dog isn't sure about a mobile grooming experience. Be ready to distract your dog from their nerves at any moment by captivating their attention with chances for a treat, and reward them for not barking or trying to run away.
Introduce the Groomer
Dogs are generally friendly and great with strangers, but when they're already nervous, strangers can be an additional upset. Fortunately, the dog threshold for who is and is not a stranger is pretty low. Ask your friendly mobile groomer to take some time with you and your dog before the appointment for an official introduction. When you've gotten past the hand-sniffing, approval, and friendly ear scritching phases, they will have a new familiar smelling ally who they will happily recognize the next time mobile grooming comes to your home.
If your dog is still nervous after treats and introductions, you can ask the groomer whether it's better to stay in the grooming salon during the first bath or stay out of sight in the comfort of your home. Or maybe you split the difference and stand a distance away and just peek through the window to reassure yourself that all is ok. Lots of times we find that the nervous pup calms right down, as soon as mom is out of sight. Kinda like your kids behave better for strangers than they do for you, right? But remember if you choose to stay around for the grooming, that dog washing can be a messy business. Even if you only plan to be present for moral support, prepare to get soaked anyway.
Spend the Day Together
Having gotten all the way through the grooming, your dog is washed, trimmed, soft-furred and good-smelling. When they are this clean is a good time to cuddle, but your dog is probably ready to run around in the yard rolling in every everything they can find in order to regain their usual dog-like aroma and texture. While you may not be down for the rolling, you can reward them for good behavior by spending the day together. Taking them to the park or just throwing the ball around for an hour or two will help reinforce how wonderful grooming day is and make the next bath that much more enjoyable.
Turn grooming day into a special holiday just for you and your best furry friend. Whether they're unstoppably outgoing or nervously shy, grooming can be a fun and rewarding experience for any dog who knows what to expect, and that you love them even during bath time. For more great advice on keeping your dog happy about grooming, contact us today!
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