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How To Keep My Dog Calm While Grooming?

Yorkie getting the top of its head hair trimmed

Does your dog get stressed while getting groomed? Do those quick trips to the veterinary clinic for a nail trim cause your dog anxiety? If so, many different things can be done to help keep your dog calm.

What does dog grooming entail?

When your dog goes to the groomer, your dog may get anything from just a bath to a full haircut, shampoo, nails trimmed and polished and teeth brushing. There are many different levels of grooming care that your dog can receive based on where you take them and what you request to be done. Many dogs start off going to the groomer early in their lives, and they get used to what happens at the groomer.

Where can I get my dog groomed?

Small white dog getting trimmed by a groomer

There are many places you can take your dog to get groomed, or you can groom them yourself at home. Some dogs love to get groomed and will allow their owners to groom them at home. For some people, it is much easier and less stressful on the dog for them to go to the groomer. Find out what works best for you and your pet and what causes the least amount of stress for your dog.


There are many groomers located in pet stores, veterinary hospitals, and even doggy day spas. Depending on what your preference is and how much you are willing to pay will help figure out where to bring them for their grooming needs. Once you find someone who can groom your dog just like you like them, you can set up appointments with them every 6 to 8 weeks to make sure your pet always looks their best.


Some people prefer to groom their dogs themselves. With a few attempts, you can figure out if your pet will let you trim their hair at home. Some dogs do much better at the groomer while others prefer to be groomed at home.

How to keep my dog calm while grooming

Poodle getting its hair fluffed shortly after a grooming

There are many tips and tricks to help decrease stress and keep your dog calm while they are being groomed.

Allow your dog to explore grooming products

Before starting to groom your dog, let them smell all the grooming tools that you will use. Turn on the clippers and let them hear the noise that they make. At first, start slow with grooming and let your dog look and smell of all the tools that you will be using.

Play soothing music

Soothing music will help them stay calm. Playing classical or jazz music while you groom your dogs will help keep them calm and relaxed. Sometimes even having lower lighting in the room will help keep them quiet

Grooming after playtime

Sometimes it helps to groom your dog when they are tired. Going outside for a long walk or playing catch for an hour before getting groomed will help them be more still. When they are tired, they are more likely to sit still and not fight you during their grooming.

Take breaks

If they have very long hair and you are needing to shave them down short give them breaks every 30 minutes. This will keep them from getting stressed. When puppies first start going to the groomer, it may take them all day to get their hair cut because the groomer will usually groom them in short sessions to allow them to get used to being groomed.

Stop grooming when it becomes "too much"

Sometimes your dog will just have had too much. This is an excellent time to stop for the day. You do not want to stress your dog out while grooming. If they are continually whining or growling at you, stopping for the day and trying again in the next few days will be the best.

Reward when calm and still

When your pet is very quiet, still, and allows you to groom them, reward them for their excellent behavior. Giving them treats while they are getting groomed or while bathing them is an excellent way to help them stay calm. Many people will smear peanut butter on the bath wall and allow the dog to lick it off while they are getting groomed. This helps keep your pet's mind off the bath time and calm and still while they receive their bath.

CBD oil for dogs

If your pet has terrible anxiety during their grooming, try CBD oil for your pets. CBD oil has been shown to help decrease anxiety and help with stress. CBD comes in treats or oils. This is a great supplement to give to your dog, which is very anxious while grooming.

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What you should avoid when grooming

When you are grooming your dog, you should avoid them getting overly stressed. Once they become stressed and start panting their body temperatures can elevate very quickly, causing them to become overheated. This is similar to heat exhaustion even though they are not outside. Some dogs when they start panting very heavy can not be taking in enough oxygen and also pass out from the stress.

If your pet is stressed and breathing very hard, it is best to stop grooming for that day and try again a different day.

While grooming is usually needed in pets, some get very stressed and need supplements to help keep them calm. CBD oil is a great supplement to try to help the next time you need to groom your anxious dog.

Meet The Author 

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM


Since she was a little girl, Dr. Ochoa knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals, she is now a great source of knowledge for others. Dr. Ochoa lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies: Ruby the Schnoodle and Bam-Bam the bunny.

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