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Introducing your puppy to grooming
You might associate grooming with fancy haircuts for poodles, but maintaining the skin, fur and nails is an important aspect of health for all dogs. Because your dog is bound to need its nails clipped, skin washed and coat brushed, it is important to get it used to these processes as a puppy.
Nail clipping is undoubtedly the most frightening and uncomfortable grooming process for dogs. This is why it is extremely important to get puppies used to it. You can get off to a good start by touching your puppy's feet frequently as habit. Dogs that are not used to having their feet touched can get even more anxious when you try to add clippers into the mix. Getting pet products like the Pet Nail Trimmer can make the process easier since this tool has various sizes to meet the needs of your pup's growing paws. The first time you introduce your pet to the clippers, consider allowing it to lick peanut butter off it, making it happy to see the clipper. Then make a game (with treats as rewards) of touching the feet with the clipper. Once you have created this association, you can begin trimming those claws. Always reward your pooch with its favorite treats like Greenies after you trim its nails to create a positive association with the process.
Bath time is another process that can make some dogs anxious. However, getting puppies used to bath time is important – many times certain shampoos are the only cure for skin conditions or fleas. Again, the key is creating a positive association. Always talk to your dog in a cheery voice and constantly reward with treats or pieces of dry pet food. Continue to do this as you apply the pet shampoo and rinse it out. Some dogs might even enjoy bath time because of the nice, massaging rub down they get as you work shampoo like Oatmeal & Aloe Vera Shampoo for into their coats.
Brushing is one of the least invasive grooming processes and thus the least likely to cause your pooch anxiety. Using products like the Resco Pro-Series Combo Brush, brushing can feel a lot like petting to your dog, and it will likely sit down and enjoy it. However, it can help to make sure your dog is well-exercised beforehand so it sits still instead of trying to get you to play.
If your dog shows anxiety during any of these processes, you can plug in a calming aid like Comfort Zone for Dogs that might help it feel more mellow.