Grooming Disabled Dogs
Make older or disabled dogs comfortable while grooming them with these tips.
- Talk to the owner about the hand signal they use to ensure you can still control the dog. Look at their facial expressions too and try to simulate it as well as their general body language.
- Ensure that you try to get yourself into their line of sight before you touch them. After that, ensure you leave a hand on them at all times so they know where you are. Run your hands along the side of the body and down the legs to let the dog know where you will be working next.
- Talking to them does help as they can feel the vibrations coming from you, and this will also help them now where you are and how close to them you are.
- Allow some extra time as keeping your hands on them and going slowly means that they will not get nervous or try to bite.
- Allow the dog to see the equipment you will be using before you use it on them as they cannot hear a clipper or a dryer, for example and the sensation may make them react badly.
- If the dog is sleeping when you go to groom it, make some gentle vibration before you touch him. Your steps and the vibration should be enough to wake them and ensure they can see you coming.
- Ensure you have someone else in the room with a blind dog, so they do not fall off the table or wander into a dangerous area. Grooming them on the floor may be an option for those who feel it would be safer, especially if the owner is not willing to stay and you work on your own.
- Once again ensure that you have your hand on the dog at all times. They will therefore know where you are and what you are about to do.
- Speak to the dog and reassure them throughout the groom, letting them know what you are doing and where you are.
- Some groomers like to let the dog smell the grooming equipment before use. The dog seems to respond to this in time and will generally understand where you will be working next.
- Allow extra time to go more slowly, enabling the dog to remain calm.
Dogs With Joint Pain:
- Some may prefer to lie on their side whilst grooming to relieve pain on their leg joints. This will be a case of working around this.
- Other dog will like to sit or lie down. Sitting is fine for when the front and back need grooming, but not great forth back legs and sanitary areas. Some groomers will find that a grooming harness will be useful for this, or they could also be trained to lie on their sides.
- Some animals will not allow you to clip their legs. If this is the case, it may be best to simply scissor the legs as well as you can.
If you are in need of more advice on how to groom disabled dogs, why not ask the English Groomers Group on Facebook? This group has a wealth of experience and excellent knowledge on handling animals.