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Cooperative Care: Making the unpleasant, pleasant

What do you do when your dog hates going to the Veterinarian, the groomer, or fights you when you have to get that sticker out of their paw? Health care, regular grooming, and keeping them safe CAN be easier. It is possible to help your dog become more comfortable with those necessary procedures that need to be done to keep them in good health.

Witnessing your beloved dog (or any pet) stress, flee, snap, growl, etc. when we are just trying to keep them healthy is horrible and very frustrating! I remember when my dog behaved as if he was being gutted when I went to trim his nails. It was heartbreaking and the noises he made caused me to feel awful. I am happy to say that, with patience and training, he now "buys in" to getting his nails done and it is a more pleasant experience for us both!

Frequently, we don't even realize that our dogs are becoming uncomfortable about a situation. Even if we do, we tend to keep on going instead of stepping back and reassessing the situation. Maybe there is another way to approach the situation. In the case of nail trimming, maybe we don't have to do ALL the nails in one sitting. Maybe a break is what is needed. The key to helping your dog to feel more comfortable about the situation is to "listen" to what they are telling you when they are whispering instead of waiting until they feel they have to yell. Frequently, dog's speak to us with their bodies long before we realize it. Let's face it, unless we are paying attention, we don't usually realize there is a problem until they are running away or toward us and/or making unpleasant and scary noises!

Click here to watch a short video (5:23 minutes) available on the Fear Free Pets website. There are plenty of other resources for pet owners to help you make all those stressful situations easier for everyone to handle. This includes a great directory to help you find pet professionals in your area that are Fear Free certified and committed to fear free care and training for your pet.

Stay tuned on instagram and Facebook this month for tips on how to help your pet be more comfortable with the care they need to stay safe and healthy.

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