First trip to your dog’s groomer

If you plan to take your dog to a professional groomer, there are a few preparations you should make before your first visit. Taking a little extra time to gather all of your dog’s records and introduce him to the grooming process will make the groomer’s job easier and keep your dog stress-free.

Groom at home to start

Before you visit the dog groomer, your dog should at least tolerate being brushed and feel relaxed around strangers. To introduce grooming, you can start with a gentle massage each morning or evening. Run your hands through his coat from the front to the back and then from the rear forward, just as you would in brushing a dog. Be sure to praise him while you massage. Slowly increase the time you massage and introduce a dog brush or comb once he’s comfortable.

Before your visit

You shouldn’t have much to do or worry about if you’ve taken some time to choose a dog groomer that’s a good match for you and your dog. You’ll need to make sure your dog’s vaccinations are current and have his veterinary records handy. Some groomers like to keep a medical history of the animals they service in case there’s ever an emergency.

When you call for an appointment, the groomer should ask you questions to assess any special needs your dog may have. If he’s a senior citizen or has a medical condition, you should let the groomer know. Also, tell them if your dog is unaltered, i.e. not spayed or neutered, or has any temperament or behavioral issues including shyness or aggression. It’s better to be honest and find someone willing to work with your dog than risk an avoidable injury.

The big day

When it comes time to leave your pet with the dog groomer, avoid a drawn-out or sentimental goodbye. You’ll only increase his stress-level and make him think something is wrong. If you want your dog to enjoy future visits to the groomer, give a quick wave and head out the door. Let the professionals you’ve chosen care for your dog and do what they do best. After all, you’ll be back in an hour or two to pick him up and he should be clean, shiny, and better than new.