Taking the Fear out of Grooming

Posted on March 05, 2024

by Dr. Amanda Gigler

Posted March 5, 2024
Cheese Heart

Does the thought of grooming your pet fill you with dread? Do you find yourself apprehensive about the stress it might cause your furry friend?  Fear Not!  Grooming can be an important part of caring for our dogs and cats. It keeps their skin and haircoat healthy, prevents mats from forming, ensures regular nail trims, and your groomer can often spot issues, such as inflamed ears or skin, that may not be seen at home. But for many of our kiddos, grooming can be uncomfortable and scary, too. At AAAC, we take a whole new approach to grooming that prioritizes your pet’s happiness and mental health and helps keep stress levels to a minimum while they are with us.

 Groom Mohawk

What is a Fear Free Groom?  

A fear free groom looks a little different than a typical grooming process. Rather than forcing your pet to endure an uncomfortable and scary experience, we take care not to push them past their comfort level. This may mean offering more treats or attention, taking frequent breaks to let them adjust, or using medications to help us make their grooming experience less stressful. It may also mean we don’t comp

 

lete the entire groom in one visit – some pets require we split the session into two portions to be successful. With these tools, many pets becomes less stressed over time, as they know what to expect.  

What if my pet has special needs?  

We truly enjoy working with pets of all backgrounds, including those who may pose some type of challenge, whether it be related to age, medical needs, disability, behavior, or even if your pet may have had a negative grooming experience elsewhere in the past. Our goal is to replace those past experiences with new and positive ones. 

What can I do to help my pet get more comfortable with grooming?  

Dog In BathtubYou can also play a role in your pet having a fear free grooming experience, starting at home. No matter the age of your pet, continuing to work on grooming at home helps maintain your pet’s coat between appointments, and can also be a great way to bond with your pet.  Practicing gentle brushing at home and having ears and paws gently touched will gradually help them feel more comfortable with this type of handling.  We are more than happy to recommend what types of brushes, tools, or products might be best to use at home with your pet based on their haircoat, size, and personal preferences. The more positive experiences your pet has with grooming both here and at home, the more likely they are to learn to enjoy their grooming visits!  

Scheduling regular grooming appointments is the key to keeping your pet accustomed to a regular routine, as well as avoiding health issues such as severe matting, skin irritation, or hot spots, which can not only cause your pet discomfort and pain but can make the groom more involved. Even regular nail trims or filing will help keep your pet walking more comfortably and feeling their best. 

 

 

Ready for a more calming and comfortable experience for your pet?  Have questions about our grooming services?  Call us at (515) 964-7387, and we will be happy to meet your needs!  We look forward to working with you and your kiddo! 

-Co-written by Dr. Amanda Gigler and Olivia O’Bryan

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