How to Groom an Elderly Dog
By Shelley Williams
A visit to the dog groomer can be a stressful event for a senior dog. It’s common for most geriatric dogs to have some health issues that can make grooming more of a challenge. Back and hip problems can make it difficult for the dog to stand for the groom or to stay crated for hours. Special care is necessary when grooming a senior dog to avoid unnecessary stress.
To avoid any complications, it’s important you tell your groomer about your dog’s special needs, so she can plan accordingly. Some groomers may have you sign a release form acknowledging your dog’s condition and the risk associated. Elderly dogs should be in and out of the salon as quickly as possible for their comfort and safety.
There are things you and your groomer can do to ease the stress of grooms.
Look for an Experienced Groomer
Older dogs who have skin growths, trouble standing, inconsistency issues or crankiness about the grooming process should be handled by experienced staff with patience and a gentle touch. It takes a lot of skill to handle an older dog and make it a pleasurable experience.
Ensure Your Dog’s Comfort
Make your dog groomer aware of your dog’s medical needs and any medication he is currently taking. If your dog has any sort of tracheal issues, be sure to ask the groomer to use a harness instead of a grooming loop. If your dog is skittish or unnerved by loud noises, let your groomer know not to use a force dryer. Elderly dogs like this should be first towel dried and then fluff dried.
Make Sure Grooms are Quick
Appropriate scheduling is of the utmost importance. Elderly dogs should be in and out of the grooming salon as quickly as possible. As the owner, you should be ready to pick up your dog as soon as the groomer calls. Mobile groomers are a great option for dogs who stress easily when leaving home.
Most importantly, please don’t expect your dog groomer to be a miracle worker. Above all else, your dog being clean and comfortable should be good enough. Keep in mind if you’re unable to brush your senior friend, the most humane thing is to keep him in a short cut for easy maintenance.
All dogs deserve to feel clean and beautiful. As a dog owner, ensure your dog is happy and comfortable in every way.
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