Some puppy breeds require regular grooming in order to maintain their coat and prevent unnecessary medical conditions. Matted fur around their ears and eyes can cause permanent damage to their sight and hearing. Fur that is excessively dirty can cause skin infections and create a breeding ground for fleas and ticks.
Many people purchase fluffy puppies without realizing how hard it can be and how important it is to keep them groomed. Making sure that your pooch is comfortable with the grooming experience can save you both from stressful and potentially harmful experiences. A puppy that goes berserk whenever the clippers come out can accidentally injure himself or you. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make grooming less traumatizing for you and your little fur ball.
Step One- Touching
Start by touching your puppy’s ears and feet when you’re at home. It’s best to do this when your puppy is feeling calm and relaxed. The ears and paws are some of the most sensitive places on dogs and they are usually protective of these body parts. When you interact with these parts regularly, you can condition your dog to know that you’re not trying to hurt him when you reach for these tender areas.
Oral care is another aspect of keeping your dog clean and most puppies are not familiar with toothbrushes or having their mouth invaded. Start by getting your puppy used to the feeling of your finger in his mouth. Next, add a small amount of toothpaste to your finger and let him become familiar with the taste and smell. When your pup is used to this, you can upgrade to actual cleaning tools.
Step Two- Noise Desensitization
One of the scariest parts about grooming for a dog is the sound and feeling of the clippers. If you have a pair of clippers at home, bring them out and turn them on when your pooch is feeling relaxed. The purpose of this is to get them used to the sound.
Try lightly touching your puppy’s head and other places with the clippers to show him it doesn’t hurt. You can make this practice even more efficient by offering him treats while you do this. This helps create a positive association with the clippers. A loud electric toothbrush will also suit this training method.
Step Three- Move Slowly
This step applies to the previous two. When you bring out the clippers or other grooming tools, make sure you move slowly and cautiously toward your dog. Sudden movements can excite or frighten your pup which is not conducive to grooming. Let Spike sniff the tools and become familiar with them in his own puppy way.
Step Four- Minimize the Mess
You can help lessen the frequency and intensity of puppy grooming by minimizing the access your dog has to dirty places. Do your best to keep Fido out of the mud, rain and snow slush. Some products such as Safe Paw are designed to eliminate snow and ice on your driveway and patio. Safe Paw helps reduce the amount of snow and ice that can stick to your dog’s fur and paws.