While a haircut is often the first thing that comes to mind when pet parents contemplate a visit to the groomer, those visits can involve much more than a bath and trim.
Though grooming is a necessity, it may sound more pleasant to pet parents than pets, especially dogs that are new to the experience or don’t visit the groomer regularly.
“While a day at the groomer is enjoyable for some pets, others may feel nervous or out of their comfort zones,” said Jennifer Freeman, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert. “Frequent visits are key to a less stressful experience and visiting the same trusted salon associate each time can help your pet build a connection and foster a relationship, making each visit more pleasant.”
Freeman also recommends flagging any pre-existing conditions with your groomer beforehand. This is especially important because grooming can elicit excitement or stress in some pets and aggravate underlying health issues like heart disease.
She also offers these tips for pet parents:
• When deciding on a groomer, look for a salon that employs safety-certified groomers who have undergone extensive hands-on grooming instruction including bathing, trimming and styling.
• Be proactive in raising questions or concerns.
• Let your pet visit the store or salon beforehand to get familiar with the smells, sounds and salon associates.
• Schedule groomer visits during slower times or request an express grooming where the pet stays in the salon for a shorter time period.
• Prepare your pup for having his or her feet, ears and tail handled by doing these things at home and using grooming tools like combs and brushes to reduce fear of strange objects. Try holding an electric toothbrush near your dog to familiarize him or her with the humming sound and vibrations that are similar to clippers in the salon.
• Limit how much food, water and treats your pet consumes before grooming, as this can contribute to upset stomachs and digestive trouble.
• Ask a salon associate to recommend appropriate basic grooming tools and supplies for at-home maintenance between appointments.
Find more advice for creating a safe and enjoyable grooming experience for your pet and learn about upcoming events where you can check out grooming options in your community at https://services.petsmart.com.