Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Making Grooming Easier on Your Dog..

    Grooming isn't just about making your dog look pretty. It's about
removing excess hair and preventing painful mats from forming, keeping your
dog's coat and skin healthy. Anyone who has ever groomed a dog will tell
you that it is much easier to groom a well-maintained coat than one that is
full of mats. This is true for both the groomer and the dog.

Here are some tips you can try to show your dog that grooming can be
* Start when your puppy is still young. His/her coat will still be soft and
fluffy, and should not need a lot of brushing. Begin by sitting your puppy
on your knee and stroking him to relax and calm him, then brush gently for
just a few minutes. After brushing, stroke his feet and examine his nails.
Doing this a couple of times a day will help you build a trusting
relationship and get him used to being handled. Ignore any attempts he
makes to chew the brush.
* If your dog is older, designate an area to groom him. A table or laundry
bench with a non-slip mat is ideal for a small dog. (Never leave a dog
unattended on a raised surface.)
* Dogs love routine -- try to establish a routine for your grooming. The
best time is when your dog is a little bit tired after his daily walk or a
vigorous play session.
* Stay calm, and never shout or show aggression. Your dog will learn to
enjoy grooming (or to at least tolerate it calmly) through positive
reinforcement -- lots of praise.
* Always end your session on a positive note and reward your dog with a
treat or a toy.

If you practice these simple tips, your dog will soon learn to enjoy
his/her "spa treatments,'' and especially the personal attention. This will
make him easier to handle and ensure a positive experience for everyone.

Sue Wright
Pet Stylist at Animal Affair Grooming Salon & Canine Boutique

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