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A Guide to Anxiety-Free Dog Grooming

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A Guide to Anxiety-Free Dog Grooming

Here at Kradle, we love dogs as much as you do, and we understand that as a pet owner, you want to do everything you can to keep your pooch happy and healthy. Grooming is one of the most important things you can do for your dog, as bathing, coat care and nail trimming all contribute to dogs' physical well-being. 

If you're like many dog moms and dads, you might be thinking at this point "but my dog won't let me trim their nails!" or "but my dog dreads visits to the groomer." Anxiousness related to grooming is incredibly common among dogs, and the good news is that there are things you can do to address the problem and make the process less stressful for you and your fur baby. In this guide, we'll dig into how to calm a dog for grooming and discuss what contributes to grooming anxiety. 


Importance of Good Grooming 


Before we explore the topic of grooming anxiety, let's back up and consider why grooming is such an important part of dog care. Some of the many benefits of grooming include: 

  • Improved smell: Removing dead skin build-up and dirt from your dog's coat and skin can go a long way toward addressing stinky dog issues. With regular grooming, your dog can smell fresher and cleaner, making all those cuddle sessions so much more enjoyable. 
  • Flea prevention: Grooming your dog regularly can help you detect fleas early when they are easiest to treat and protect your pooch from serious  complications of tickslike anemia and bacterial infections. 
  • Fewer ear infections: By eliminating buildup from your dog's ears and trimming hair around their ears as needed, you can reduce the risk of ear infections, sparing your dog the discomfort and you the cost of vet visits. 
  • Better bone health: Trimming your dog's nails regularly can help support better posture, lowering the likelihood of bone deformities and joint problems like arthritis. 
  • Less shedding: Supporting coat health through regular grooming can minimize how much your dog sheds, meaning there's less to clean up around the house. 
  • Reduction in matts: Brushing and bathing your dog can fight the formation of matts, which can become uncomfortable for dogs. 
  • Opportunity for bonding: When you groom your dog at home, your routine gives you a chance to spend quality time with your pup, strengthening the bond between the two of you.


Why Dogs Can Get Anxious When Groomed 


Although grooming is undoubtedly good for dogs, many pups become nervous, anxious or stressed when being groomed at home or at the groomer's. There are a number of potential causes of grooming anxiety, including: 

  • Unfamiliar sounds: The sounds produced by clippers, blow dryers and other equipment may trigger a fear response in dogs. 
  • Handling of sensitive areas: Some dogs may grow tense and fearful when sensitive areas like their ears and paws are handled. 
  • Social anxiety: The presence of new people and other dogs may set some pooches on edge. 
  • Sensory overload: Dogs take in a lot of information through their senses for their brains to interpret the world around them. During grooming, there is so much to hear, smell, see and feel that a dog's senses are being constantly bombarded with stimuli, which can lead to the sudden onset of a stress response, even if your dog is comfortable and initially seems relaxed. 


Tips for a Calm Trip to the Groomer


Having a professional groomer handle grooming tasks can make caring for your dog easier and ensure that everything is done properly. Plus, groomers often know tricks for helping to relax nervous dogs. To make visits to the groomer less stressful for your dog, follow these tips: 

  • Consider their routine when scheduling: When deciding what time to book your appointment, think about when your dog is most active. Heading to the groomer after your dog has expended energy from a walk, exercise or play time may help them stay more relaxed during the appointment. 
  • Visit during off-peak hours: Ask your groomer when their schedule tends to be the lightest and book your appointment for that window of time when possible. With less activity in the space and fewer people and dogs present, your pooch may have an easier time remaining calm. 
  • Break up sessions: Instead of having all of the necessary grooming tasks completed at one time, visit the groomer more frequently for single-service appointments. The shorter appointment times may be easier for your dog to cope with. 
  • Reward them for getting in the car or leaving home: When your dog gets into the car or leaves the house for the grooming appointment, reward them with attention and dog calming treats for grooming. The treats may help your dog maintain a relaxed and normal disposition. 


Tips for a Calming Grooming At Home 


Grooming at home offers some unique benefits, too, from giving you a chance to bond with your dog to saving you money. Following these tips will help remove some stress from your at-home grooming sessions: 

  • Learn the proper technique: Ask your vet for advice on how to groom a dog at home and the best way to trim a dog's nails. By learning the correct way to perform tasks, you can work more quickly and potentially reduce discomfort for your pooch. 
  • Create a calming environment: Set the stage for relaxation by playing soft music or white noise and placing favorite toys or comfort items nearby. 
  • Introduce them to the tools: Before using a tool, let your dog sniff and investigate it, and then give them dog calming treats for grooming so they associate the tool with something positive. If the tool makes noise or moves, turn it on and let your dog look at it before using it on them. 
  • Take things slow: If your dog is nervous about grooming, stick to one task at a time and stop when their stress level rises. It's better to brush and comb your dog's coat a little at a time or to trim one or two nails in each session to allow them to get used to things. As your dog demonstrates good behavior and bravery, reward them with calming dog treats for nail clipping and grooming. 


How Kradle Can Help 


Kradle products contain ingredients like CBD oil and natural calming ingredients that may have a calming effect on the nerves to benefit dogs responding to environmentally induced stress related to grooming. 

From our tasty Bliss Bar Soft Bake made with real peanut butter to our long-lasting Chillers Relaxing Hard Chews that keep dogs occupied to our Quick Calm Melts that get to work fast, we offer a wide range of options for dogs of every age, size and breed. Shop our selection of products now and start planning for your stress-free grooming sessions by employing the tips outlined above. 

With careful planning, a slow introduction to grooming and shorter sessions, you can go a long way toward making bathing, trimming, nail clipping and other tasks more pleasant for both of you. 



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