A dog has his nails filed by his owner.Grooming a dog at home can be a challenging task to take on, especially if your pup isn’t a fan of bath time for one reason or another. When you want to clean, dry, and trim your dog’s coat and nails, you may notice that finding an effective approach requires a patient trial-and-error process. 

Not all dogs respond the same way, so it is important to watch your pup’s body language as you try different methods of at-home grooming. Polishing up your dog’s coat at home can be an especially rewarding type of bonding experience — but it can leave a regretful mess if not carried out carefully. 

When you want help keeping your dog’s coat clean and well-maintained, know that professional help is always available. The dog groomers at Greenlin Pet Resorts are trained to handle all types of canine personalities, including hyperactive and anxious pups. One of our experienced bathers can clean and dry your pup’s fur with high-quality pet products, de-shed when necessary, and trim their nails. 

Greenlin’s spa services are available with any of our boarding, training, or daycare services! Contact us online to find a location near you, and keep reading to find out more about at-home grooming!  

How to Keep a Dog Still While Grooming at Home?

Many dogs have a hard time keeping still when their owner is attempting to wash and groom them. They will sometimes even protest the situation altogether

It can be frustrating to control a pup in a grooming scenario, but there are some ways to make this less of an overwhelming chore. Whether or not your dog likes the process doesn’t stop the fact that they need to be groomed occasionally. So these following tips could help make the process easier. 

When your dog won’t sit still, follow these tips for help: 

  • Holding your dog properly: Some owners prefer to go about this task without restraints, and in that case, the proper stance for holding your dog can make all the difference. Showing confidence is half of the work, but keeping them relaxed is the trickier part. You should be able to guide your dog by holding them around the neck, by their paw, or by the body depending on what you are trimming. Listen closely for growling, wincing, or heavy breathing as a sign that they are uncomfortable and need a break. 
  • Positive reinforcement: When you utilize positive reinforcement training methods, you are rewarding good behavior and instilling habits at the same time. Your dog will gradually understand the point of their reward if you consistently uphold the positive reinforcement. You can use treats, toys, or praise as a reward depending on what your canine responds to best. 
  • Calming treats: Many people find calming treats to be useful for grooming time. If your dog responds well to over-the-counter calming treats, this can be a simple way to make grooming less messy and uncomfortable for both parties involved. If your dog has any preexisting conditions, it is recommended to check with a vet before changing or adding anything to their diet.
  • Keep calm: Dogs quickly learn to understand their owner’s body language and facial expressions, so showing confidence and staying calm throughout grooming time may be exactly what they need to build more trust around the process. Stay away from loud or aggressive correction during grooming time, as this tends to only overwhelm the pup further. 

Grooming an Uncooperative Dog

For humans, grooming may be an inconvenient and sometimes exhausting experience, and your pup can feel the exact same way. Dogs can also be more stubborn than some people, so convincing them that this process is for their benefit may not be so simple. 

There are some ways to make grooming easier on the owner that won’t harm your pet when done appropriately. Most grooming salons and dog bathing spas use the following along with similar tactics to efficiently care for your dog’s skin and coat. 

When you are grooming your dog at home, try these tips for uncooperative pups: 

  • Restraints: This is one of the most common types of equipment that owners and professional groomers use to manage uncooperative pups. Gently put together your dog’s restraints before beginning the grooming process, and check to ensure that it is never too tight around sensitive areas like the neck. 
  • Muzzling your dog: For anxious dogs that are prone to nipping and biting, a muzzle is a great way to protect you from your dog’s reactions. A muzzle is a common tool for professional dog groomers when they first meet a new dog or are working with an anxious pup.  
  • Get a dog grooming table: Many people who groom their dogs at home recommend investing in a proper table because of how easy it makes the process. You can avoid a good chunk of the mess just by having your dog on this designated grooming table, and they are generally easy to find online! 
  • Bring extra treats: Obviously, one of the best ways to persuade your dog to do anything is to reward them with treats. Crack open a bag of their favorite treats for grooming time. You can use treats to reward positive behaviors or to distract them from the overall process. 

A Regular Grooming Schedule Makes the Process Easier

A regular grooming schedule can give you more practice to perfect your strategy, but it can also do so much more in aiding the process. Grooming is an essential part of a dog’s health, and a consistent schedule can get their skin and coat used to the process. Skin is the largest organ most animals have, and regular grooming can protect your dog’s skin but also nurture their coat, making the grooming process less of a struggle. 

Also, if you get your dog used to a grooming schedule, they may become desensitized to the process quicker. On average, a dog will need to be bathed or groomed once a month, so religiously sticking to that schedule can help them feel more comfortable with the idea of grooming.  

Dogs Get Sensitive Skin Too!

Just like humans, dogs can have sensitive skin, and flares up make them uncomfortable. It is important to check for signs of sensitivity in your dog’s skin like flaking, redness, or excessive scratching, and to buy the proper bathing products that suit their problem areas. 

You can find calming shampoos and moisturizing conditioners that help with dry, inflamed, or otherwise irritated skin. You may want to consult your vet if you notice persistent signs of your dog being uncomfortable in their skin. 

Spa Services at Greenlin Pet Resorts

When pup’s come to stay, train, or pay at a Greenlin Pet Resorts facility, they gain access to our luxury spa services, including dog bathing, de-shedding, and nail trimming. We’ll have your pup back to you looking squeaky clean and smelling fresh. Our professional dog bathers are trained to manage overwhelmed or anxious canines and will also look for any signs of discomfort within their skin and coat. 

To find a Greenlin Pet Resorts location near you, contact us online. We have 6 locations in the Harrisburg area, so stop by today!