If you have a nervous dog who has never been groomed before and whose nails and coat are in need of some attention, here are some tips to follow:
Find Out if Your Vet Clinic Has a Pet Grooming Service
In this situation, it's best not to groom your dog yourself but to instead get it done professionally. Many vet clinics offer pet grooming services, so you should find out if your local clinic does this. If they do, book an appointment for your pet.
The reason you should do this is that if your dog gets nervous very easily, they may get upset the first few times they're groomed. If these initial grooming experiences go poorly and cause them too much distress, you might find it impossible to get them to ever become accustomed to the process. This could then result in them developing issues due to not being groomed often enough.
Professional pet groomers have experience with grooming dogs of all temperaments and will know how to quickly soothe a nervous dog who begins to kick up a fuss the moment the nail trimming or fur washing process starts. This professional will be able to help your dog remain calm throughout this process. Over time, your dog should not only begin to perceive their trips to the grooming salon as safe, but they may even come to enjoy these visits.
In contrast, if you groom your own dog, and you get upset or don't know how to handle their extreme initial reaction to the experience, you might inadvertently make them even more afraid of being groomed. Additionally, you might also find doing this very stressful due to your dog's behaviour and the huge mess that they would probably make whilst thrashing around in your bathtub.
Practise Doing Small Bouts of Grooming on Your Dog at Home
Before taking them for their first appointment with the vet's pet groomer, you might want to practise doing some small grooming activities on your dog. For example, whilst most dogs are not fond of being bathed, the majority of them love being gently brushed by their owners.
Brushing their coat for a few minutes each day will get them used to this aspect of grooming and help them perceive it as a pleasant experience. When doing this, it's best not to try to tackle any tangles, as attempting to remove these might be uncomfortable for your dog and could result in them finding being brushed less enjoyable. You could also try gently holding each of their paws, one by one, and mimicking the movements that the groomer will do when trimming their nails (without actually doing any trimming). This approach will reduce the number of new sensations that your dog has to get used to at the groomers, which should, in turn, make their first session that much less upsetting for them.
Contact local pet grooming services to learn more.