How to calm a nervous dog before going to the groomer

When it is time to take your dog to the groomer, do you find yourself worrying about the whole process? Does your dog bark, wince, or shake out of fear or anxiety? Many dogs feel anxious during a visit to the groomer. But there are plenty of ways to calm your dog before taking them for a grooming session.

Here are some tips that can calm a nervous dog before going to the groomer:

Bathing time

Typically, a groomer would bathe your dog during a grooming appointment. Recreate that experience at home, if you can, to expose your dog to that sensation. Take small steps if your dog is scared to get into the water. Incorporate a regular brushing routine to help them get used to the process. Show them what a nail trimmer looks like and reward them with a treat to help them feel comfortable.


Massage can do wonders for a dog, especially a nervous one. In addition to the physical benefits of a massage, it can help encourage bonding between you and your loved furry friend. Petting your dog can help reduce anxiety and fear. Our loved pets can pick our energy, so it is important to have a relaxed and calm demeanor when massaging your dog. If your dog enjoys a massage, it will lean in and be calm. If they disapprove, they will try to get away or bark excessively.

Car ride

Is your dog afraid of car rides? While some dogs may enjoy going for a ride in the car, others may get very nervous and scared. If you have a puppy, it will be easier for you to acclimatize them to the car rides. If you have an older dog, put a comfy blanket in the car, take some treats along, and some toys to help your pup feel comfortable. Start with a short ride so they get used to being in the car and try to make the experience easy for them.


The best way to get your dog to feel sleepy is to give them plenty of exercise time. Discovering the neighborhood, going on long walks, playtime, and training sessions are just of the ways a dog can feel happy and motivated. These activities can also help them feel tired in a good way. Before going to the groomer make sure your dog has exercised, walked or played.

Aromatherapy/ Calming Aids

If you want to choose a holistic approach to calm your dog, aromatherapy may be helpful. Some essential oils that can help reduce anxiety in dogs. Many pet groomers include aromatherapy to calm nervous dogs. They may use shampoos and conditioners with calming scents that include lavender, chamomile, and bergamot. Lavender is known to reduce nervous feelings and promotes restful sleep.

Are you planning to take your dog to the groomer? Need a ride to take your pet? At Paws en route, we know how to manage anxiety in dogs, and we are here for you!

Paws en route, a Toronto pet taxi service, provides safe and timely pet transportation. Let us know if you have any questions. Book a ride with us today!

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