Having a nervous dog is a real challenge for pet owners. They have to be really patient and understandable. Not only in daily activities, grooming a nervous dog is really common and difficult experience. These dogs will tend not to sit quietly for you to trim and will constantly scratch you. If you are not a professional or a pet parent who can control your dog, the following tips may be helpful to help both you and your dog have good grooming experiences.
MASSAGE FOR YOUR NERVOUS DOG
Just like in humans, the dogs will be more comfortable and relieve stress when given massage. At a veterinary clinic, the pros will always start trimming your pet with a massage instead of trimming at the beginning. Gently massage all parts of their body, from head to toe. Rubbing and scratched the ears, belly and back, stretching their toes and hands. Slowly help them adapt to the rest and let you manipulate on their body.
In addition, you should also leave them on a fixed large table like grooming table like the one in pet salons instead of having to run around the house catching them when clipping. Regularly communicate with them, or you can use a blanket to make them feel more comfortable. Playing some of the relaxing music they love is also a great idea. Remember, all you do is to let them be comfortable and voluntary with grooming jobs rather than forcing them, for that will react immediately.
TAKE A BATH AND BRUSHING
Nothing can be easier than giving your dog a habit and familiarizing with the steps of grooming. As you know, overly aggressive dogs lose control of their behavior when they see trimming devices and overreact when you perform these tasks, so you should give them a habit of approaching a regular grooming, as much as possible. You can combine with mild massage while grooming. Regular grooming does not only help it get used to it, but also helps to remove the tangled spots in the coat to limit the damage when trimming, which also helps to keep their coat glossy.
While bathing the dog, you can use soothing incense shampoos to help your dog relax. In case, they are suffering from skin problems, the dermatologically examined shampoo is recommended.
THE IDENTIFICATION OF GROOMING TOOLS
It is very important to help your dog identify and become familiar with grooming supplies. If it gets used to these tools, it won’t be afraid of feeling that you are using them on their body parts. You should regularly introduce them each tool that you can use such as a brush, comb, scissors or dog hair clipper. (If you want to know more about grooming tools, click here for reviews and buying guide)
You can also place nail clippers next to them but not give a cut. Additionally, it is good to turn on the dryer and the trimmer to let it hear so it will get used to the sound intensity of the dryer and trimmer. Some dogs will panic or be scared when they hear these sounds. For nerve dogs, these things are possible, so you have to be patient and perform step by step.
SPECIALIZED EXTRA EQUIPMENTS FOR NERVOUS DOGS
Companies that specialize in dog grooming equipment have also developed specialized products for nervous dogs to help them reduce their feelings of fear.
For example, Scaredy Cut was developed with seven comb attachments on the blade, which enables the groomer to perform cut-off with the same precision as an electric blade. For noise reduction products, you can also refer to Mutt Muffs Sound-reducing headgear, which help to protect your dog from loud noises – the cause of fear. Or Happy Hoodies is also an option to help reduce the noise and high pressure air emitted from the dryer. Most dog hair trimmers on the market today also have smooth engines and low operations. You should take into consideration on choosing a high-quality clipper for your dog.
Besides, you can also let them chew on a favorite toy or a fake bone to disperse their concentration. For instance, calming products such as “Dog Composure” which is an over-the-counter calming chew developed by VetriScience.
Another great option is a glove brush (also called “grooming glove”), of course you have to wear it when grooming your dog. Using these gloves will help your dog feel like it is being cherished and loved, thereby calming down.
This therapy is also often seen when treating people, and it is also effective when applied to pets. You can use scents through air conditioning, you can use scents to relax and create a peaceful feeling like the smell of lavender, chrysanthemum or ylang ylang, etc. You should avoid using strong scents because they can make them even more uncomfortable. As mentioned above, shampoo is also a aromatherapy, with soothing scents that help to be calm and relax. Burning essential oils to spread is also an option.
PERFORMANCE GRADUALLY AND SYSTEMATICALLY
While grooming, you have to be gentle and gentle so that your dog feels loved and grooming is fun. Whether you are not a pros or can make impressive cut-off, try to keep the trimmer’s smooth rhythm and not too fast. You can start with a slow grooming mode, then increase gradually to make your dog more adaptable. During grooming, do not crush or pull on their hair as this may cause damage to their skin.
Plus, you can split trimming jobs into small sessions instead of performing them all at once. On the first day, you can just give them a bath and hairbrush. Next, you will trim dog’s nails and clean the ears. Finally, you just made the trimming for them.
USE OF ACEPROMAZINE
This should be the last step if your dog is too nervous. Acepromazine is a over-the-counter tranquilizer and neuro suppressant specialized for nervous dogs. It works to reduce stress and fear. It may be effective for 6-8 hours to combat nausea, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure. However, we do not recommend that you use them on your own, but must be directed by the veterinarian as they will give you a reasonable dose or possible side effect your dog may have. This medication can have counterproductive reaction, meaning that instead of calming the dog down, it can make the dog extremely hyperactive or even aggressive.
We must accept that drug treatment for nervous dog is just a temporary option and sometimes become counterproductive. In fact, the medication does not completely cure the dog’s problem, but is an additional option to help them adjust their behavior. We should consider natural aids. As such, they can both soothe them and may not affect their health at all.
WHAT CAUSES A NERVOUS DOG?
Dogs can become nervous for various reasons, but generally, it can be divided into three main reasons. You should also consider the dog’s behavior and attitude to have proper approaches and treatment for them in not only grooming jobs but also in daily activities.
Dog may seem to be very docile, but when left alone and left without a caregiver for a short period of time, they can also become overly concerned, destroy furniture, biting everything or howling loudly. Sometimes they will give potty in house and do everything in order to make notice. The obsession can come from being abandoned in the past, leading to them feeling bored or lonely. It also occurs in older dogs with reduced cognition and memory. With these dogs, you should take them for a walk to relax before you leave, or give them a toy to distract their attention.
Dogs that tend to crouch in a corner of the house or somewhere often have memories of being abandoned. These dogs are anxious and frightened when exposed to a new and difficult environment to adapt to. This anxiety is almost like separation anxiety because it is afraid of being abandoned again. For these dogs, you should help them form their habits and habitats so that they can always feel safe. You can also look for a dog trainer to help you calm it down.
This often appears in dogs that were previously less worried. It can be caused by an abnormal increase or decrease in hormones in the body. Besides, they can also have conditions such as hypothyroidism, encephalitis, pre-diabetes, impaired vision or hearing that make it nervous and anxious to aware what are going on around. Take these dogs to the veterinarian to check if they are having medical problems and have treatment in time.
In addition, the nervous also comes from the characteristics of dog breeds, which tend to be easier to worry than other breeds such as German & Australian Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Vizsla, Greyhounds, Cocker Spaniels, Pekingese, Standard Poodles and so on.
In short, taking care of a dog is like taking care of a baby. You need to be patient and spend time with them instead of just feeding and bathing them. For nervous dogs, you have to research more and spend much time for them. We have given you some hints from pet owners and pros to make it easier to groom a nervous dog.
However, if your dog has a serious problem of nerve, and you are not confident enough to trim it at home, it is necessary to seek a professional to help. This will help them get acquainted and at the same time help you learn more from the pros how to deal with them. Hopefully this article will help you and your dog.