Grooming is an important practice to start with young puppies as it not only keeps them clean but can help with their overall health. Some puppies take to grooming right away while others need a little encouragement. Before you start grooming them, follow these tips for transitioning them into the process.
Handle the Puppy Early
For starters, you need to get your new puppy used to being handled. Some of their stress in grooming coms from you handling their ears, paws, and other body parts. It can be scary when they don't know what to expect. One way to get them used to the sensation is by handling these parts casually. When you are relaxing on the couch, touch your puppy's paw and stroke it lightly. Don't use pressure and let go of it if they don't like it. Do this regularly so your puppy becomes accustomed to it. Also touch their nails so they aren't so frightened when it is time to trim them.
You will also need to trim inside their ears and clean them out, so handle the outside of their ears regularly as well. Also lightly hold each of their legs and stroke their fur often, including under their chin and near their tail. This should get them used to you handling them and hopefully make the grooming process go more smoothly.
Get the Puppy Used to Being Held
While many puppies don't mind being held for as long as you desire, others try to wriggle away as soon as they can. Grooming a puppy often requires you to hold them to get them into a good position for cleaning out their ears or trimming their nails. Early on, get them used to being held in certain positions. Give your puppy a treat as soon as they calm down and stop trying to get away, letting them know this is good behavior. Eventually, they will become accustomed to it and grooming will be a lot easier to accomplish.
Move the Puppies Limbs
The last thing you can do to transition your puppy to grooming is by moving different limbs gently. Now that your puppy is used to you touching their limbs and holding them, you need them to be used to moving their limbs. This is also something that must be done when grooming them. As you hold your puppy, wait for it to settle down, then move one of the legs gently, and move on to the next. Get them used to this sensation and soon they will know you aren't going to harm them.
When you start grooming your puppy, you might find certain tasks to be more difficult. If you are too afraid to trim the hair in their ears or trim their nails, you can either visit a professional groomer or have your vet handle it. Visit the emergency vet (such as one from Clovis Veterinary Hospital P A) if you accidentally hit the quick when trimming your puppy's nails.
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