If it’s your first time bringing your dog to a professional groomer, you’re probably wondering: “Do groomers sedate dogs?” While both veterinarians and groomers are professionals in their way, it’s crucial to remember the difference between the two. While it may be alright for a vet to sedate dogs under certain conditions, groomers absolutely cannot do so. Not only are there several reasons for this, but the law also prevents groomers from sedating dogs.
It’s beyond any question if there is no veterinary staff around to assist or even approve such medication. It’s a common misconception that groomers use sedatives to keep dogs still so that they can complete the haircut or nail trim without any interruption from their customer, your dog. There are several ways through which they manage to keep the dogs calm throughout their grooming session.
How Do Groomers Keep Dogs Calm?
There are several ways professional groomers groom your dog. They start with a gentle approach, provide your companion with a calm environment, using restraints if they have to, and offer dog treats. We’ll explain each approach down below.
Nobody likes a bully; we often tend to lean towards people who are nice to us. Dogs also do the same. If the groomer is gentle and treats your dog with affection and concern, then your dog too will warm up towards them. Once it’s comfortable with the groomer, it won’t be creating much of a fuss. A happy dog is much easier for groomers to deal with. Once your dog becomes familiarized with the groomer and realizes that they mean no harm, your companion will stop bashing around and sit calmly for its haircut or bath.
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Dogs can sense the environment around them, more so than us humans. If the groomers have friendly and serene surroundings, your dog is bound to feel peaceful there. Add a few toys and some lavender-scented shampoo, and your dog will feel like he is in paradise. Some groomers also keep a paper towel with essential oils on it near the dog’s nose, as they tend to have a calming effect on them. The surface on which the dog sits during grooming is also an essential factor. Dogs tend to get excited on slippery services and find it difficult to remain still. Groomers often tend to use non-slippery surfaces for this purpose.
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Groomers occasionally use a few physical restraints to keep your dog calm if he has been acting a bit too hyper. It is common for dogs to get nervous and jump and prance around when they see scissors or nail clippers. Nooses, muzzles, and harnesses are commonly used in such cases. A noose is typically placed around the dog’s neck to keep it still and stop it from hopping off the table. Harnesses serve the same purpose. If the dog has become too nervous and agitated, then muzzles help to avoid any biting. Using restraints is not compulsory for dog groomers, but they certainly make the work a lot easier. In some cases, however, the restraints could freak your dog out more.
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Groomers tend to entice dogs with delicious treats in exchange for them to sit quietly. Offer a biscuit or something, and a lot of work can get done while he chews on it. The same trick can work with its chew toys as well. The concept here is that the idea of a treat would distract the dog from its fear of scissors or its brazen excitement and may calm it down long enough for the groomers to finish their work. There are a variety of such neat tricks that groomers regularly use to get dogs to calm down. If a groomer tells you that they have to sedate your dog without a vet’s approval, it’s best to relocate. There are, however, some extreme cases when sedation becomes necessary, only after a vet’s authorization.
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When Should You Allow Groomers To Sedate Your Dog?
In extreme cases, some amount of sedation may be required. However, any or all medication given to pets by groomers must first be authorized by a vet. Sometimes, some dogs tend to get aggressive at the mere sight of scissors, clippers, and nail trimmers. They might struggle to get away, jump around, and bark like there was no tomorrow. When dogs get aggressive to this level, no number of calming methods may work on them. Before a groomer even thinks of sedating your dog, it is imperative that they first try all the usual calming methods. And then, if all of the above methods seem to be failing, it may be time to try some medication.
Some dogs tend to get jittery and nervous at the thought of a bath or any other form of grooming from a stranger. Professional groomers should recognize the signs and make your dog feel comfortable and safe with them. If nothing works, a small dose of any sedative is okay to calm your dog under the supervision of a vet. This allows the groomers to finish giving it a haircut, get its nails trimmed and its ears cleaned, and whatever other grooming it may require before the sedative wears out.
Your dog may have some illness or infection that is making it act a certain way. Undetected diseases can also make your dog act differently. Your priority should be to get them properly checked by a vet and get their medications and treatment in order. Only after approval from the vet should you allow the groomer to sedate your dog for a grooming session.
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Conclusion For “Do Groomers Sedate Dogs”
Unauthorized sedation of animals is not only illegal and unethical but can also prove to be extremely dangerous if the groomer has no prior knowledge of the animal’s medical history. Moreover, groomers are not medical professionals and thus may not know the proper dosage for your dog to make sure there are no complications. If your groomer tells you it is okay to sedate your dogs without prior authorization, it is only because they want to make their work easier without caring for how it would reflect on your dog. In such cases, it is best to switch groomers. If the vet gives permission, then it is alright for groomers to sedate dogs. However, in most cases, it is unnecessary. You will find that there is almost always another way to calm your dog down without using any medication. Medication should always be the last resort.
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You can learn more about dog groomers by watching “I Learned How To Be a Professional Dog Groomer” from Refinery29 down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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