At the Shaggy Chic Pet Grooming Salon we understand the needs of a nervous dog. Many adopted or rescued pets come from a difficult past. While others are just environmentally or genetically wired this way. Dogs like this need special devotion to help them overcome their anxiety. A reputable grooming salon takes strides to make a dog’s time there a positive and enjoyable one. From the very beginning your pet comes through our doors, we discern and asses the dogs when arriving our salon. Throughout the entire grooming process we always perceive to make adjustments and look for times to give your pet a break to be in a calming state of mind in the holding tanks. Dogs live in the moment and do not think about what will come next like humans do. Our salon always strives to get you pet groomed with an hour or two. We also, give you a call while your pet is being groomed 15 minutes before finishing up your pets grooming. This way your pet is not sitting in kennel 3 to 4 hours.
Dogs have different personality types. When clients come in with their dogs, we see some come in confident with their tails wagging and head up high. While others come in timid and skittish. Some dogs love the pet salon while others fear it and we understand this.
The issue with nervous dogs is that, for their safety, a professional should be the one doing their grooming. Without regular brushing, washing, and a trimming a dog’s coat can develop matts. Dogs that are neglected—without grooming—can develop skin irritations. Not to mention a dirty dog means a dirty house. Even though your dog may have some anxiety, she’s still going to need the pet care that comes with grooming.
STEP 1: Make Sure He/She’s Plenty Exercised
That old expression, “A tired dog is a happy dog” is very true. Not only do dogs crave exploring the world by peeing on everything, they need to get plenty of exercise. Before taking your dog to the groomer make sure he/she’s had a walk. This will give her time to relieve herself and workout any nervous energy.
STEP 2: Find an Understanding Groomer
Not every groomer has the resources or the professional skills to handle an extremely nervous dog. If your dog suffers from anxiety or aggression, inform the groomer of the situation. Some groomers actually specialize in dogs with special needs. The Shaggy Chic Pet Grooming Salon staff are thoroughly trained with the professional skill-set to accommodate for any dog. Our trained staff will work with you and your pup to ensure a safe and comfortable grooming experience.
STEP 3: Training Visit
After finding a groomer you and your dog are comfortable with, ask if you can schedule a training visit. On this visit, you can walk around with your dog and help them slowly adjust. Your dog can see the facilities, hear the loud clippers & blow dryers, and can practice standing on a grooming table. This also presents an opportunity for your dog to meet the groomer. A principled groomer will take the time to meet your dog and help her to relax. During this time a groomer can help coax his/her nervousness away.
STEP 4: Acepromazine
Acepromazine (ACE) is an over-the-counter tranquilizer and nervous system depressant administered for nervous dogs. The drug works as a dopamine antagonist. It is used to prevent anxiety during thunderstorms, fireworks, and vet or groomer visits. The effects of Acepromazine last 6-8 hours and can combat nausea, stabilize heart rhythm, and lower blood pressure. Before you give your dog any medication, consult your vet first! Your vet will be able to give you directions on a proper dosage for your dog and any expected side effects. Use of Acepromazine should be for a worst-case scenario option. Some dog’s adrenaline will kick in under stress resulting in a more ‘drunken’ state where their behavior may become erratic. If your dog has been diagnosed with extreme anxiety, you may need to use prescription sedatives or have a veterinarian administer sedation.
STEP 5: Take Your Time and Ease Into It
Allow your dog to adjust in baby steps. After a training session, maybe just have your groomer do a bath and brush. Next time, your groomer can try a nail trimming and ear cleaning. Your groomer will work with your dog toward getting a whole grooming session done in one appointment. Each time your dog gets a treat, and plenty of reinforcing loving approval. Over time, your dog will be less nervous and hopefully begin to associate the groomers as a relaxing part of their life.
If you are looking for a place to bring your pet(s) in for grooming click here to learn more about the Shaggy Chic Pet Grooming Salon located in Oak Park Ca. We service many happy customers locally as well as Westlake Village, Simi Valley, North Ranch, Agoura, and Thousand Oaks