Elderly Dog Grooming Considerations By Robin O'Donnell
Having your 'old buddy' groomed, though a necessity, is stressful for both the Groomer and the Dog. You, as it's owner, should reliaze that the dog can not look like he did when a puppy or when in his prime. The main consideration for your pet now, is to keep him clean and confortable.
Your Groomer must take extra care and precution to safeguard older dogs, so do not be surprised if the grooming charge reflects this. You should be happy you have found a Groomer that will take the time to be very careful, and not stress your pet out unnecessairly.
The Groomer sees your pet differently than the Owner. The Groomer may see an old and smelly dog that can hardly stand up to be groomed, where the owner see's "Rover" as having a good day.
Sometimes it helps if the Owner stays while the dog is being groomed, so arrange your schedule accordingly. Never plan on leaving your dog at the Groomers all day! Many Groomers require the dogs to be there ONLY for their allotted appointment times.
Elderly dogs are plagued with some of the following things:
Will Urinate/Deficate on the Table or in the Tub
Smelly Sensitive Mouth/Teeth
Creaky bones & Joints
Tissue Paper Skin
There are times, while the dog is being groomed, when the Groomer has to say "This is enough". On a geriatric dog, there is no such thing as a perfect groom!
One of the saddest things to see from a Groomers point of view, is an elderly dog that is horrendously mated. The owner has not taken the time, or is afraid, to comb out the dog on a regular basis. The only humane way to resolve this situation, is to shave the dog down. Please rest assured, this will NOT traumatize the dog! It may traumatize the Owner, but the dog will be extremely grateful.
Some owners simply turn a blind eye as the dog lays around and sleeps most of the day. Since it is not the owners hair that is unkempt, the thought that their friend is totally miserable may not cross their mind, sometimes until the dog smells too bad or can't easily get around.
Long nails will also plague old, large and/or overweight dogs. These dogs have a hard time getting up, and especially walking on slick surfaces. Nails should NOT be ignored.
In the long run, it is best to keep your elderly pet as confortrable as possible by keeping him clean and fresh, After all, these are his golden years.