How to Groom a Dog with Painful Hips

Medium
30 - 45 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

When you have an older dog who has hip dysplasia or painful arthritis in his hips, grooming becomes a new challenge. Your pup still needs to be groomed, but at the same time, you need to make adjustments to the way you do so in order to protect your dog and continue making grooming a pleasant experience. You will need to make a few changes in how you do things to allow for the fact your dog may not be able to stand for long periods of time without pain. There may come a time when safety outweighs your desire for him to look his best.

Dog's Perspective

Your dog loves looking and feeling good, but at the same time when he has painful hips, this can make the entire grooming process a painful experience and one that he wants to shy away from. Your dog's comfort and safety should always be your highest priorities. Take your time and be careful--the last thing you want to do is cause your pup any unnecessary pain or, worse yet, to have him fall and injure his hips. 

The End First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Dematter
Clipper
Step
1
Gather the tools
You need a good non-slip mat, a low table to work on or the floor, a hip harness, and a set of low-vibration clippers. You also need brushes, combs, and shears. Put them all in a spot that will be easy for you to reach them during your grooming session.
Step
2
Use spare hands
Using either a spare pair of hands or a sling, help your pup to stand in place and trim the hair around the rear part of his body first. Caution, the sling may compress some of his internal organs so be quick here and get him out of the sling as quickly as possible.
Step
3
Sit and groom
Once you have clipped his rear end, get rid of the sling and have him sit in place while you groom his front end starting with his face, head, and neck area.
Step
4
Lay down
Have your pup lay on one side while you trim the other side and belly. As soon as this side is done, gently roll your dog over on his other side or have him stand up and lay down on the side that you have just finished grooming. Now you can trim this sides.
Step
5
Stand and deliver
Have your pup stand up so you can make sure his coat has been evenly trimmed. Touch up any areas you need to and trim the hair between his pads and toes. Remember, be gentle and take your time, your pup is sure to appreciate this in comparison to a painful, rushed job.
Recommend grooming method?

The Slow and Gentle Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Deshedder
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Nice warm bath
Start by running a nice warm bath for your dog. Remember, if he is an older dog, his skin may be thinner, so temperature control is very important.
Step
2
Gentle bathing
Gently using a vet-approved shampoo, give your pup a bath to remove any dirt, debris, parasites, and mats. Be sure to rinse your pup thoroughly to remove all traces of the shampoo. You may want to use an assistant to help your pup keep from falling over in the tub and injuring himself.
Step
3
Take a break
If your pup looks like he is in distress, indicated by shivering, barking, whining, or growling, you need to take a break and give him time to recuperate. When you are in constant pain bathing like this can be very challenging.
Step
4
De-matting
Using a de-matting brush, work your way gently through your pup's hair, make note of any mats you come across. If the tool will cut them out without pulling, carry on. If not, you may be much better off using a pair of shears to remove them. This will be less painful, as the shears won't pull on his coat and skin causing even more pain. Try to do his rear end first so he can sit or lay down during the rest of the grooming session.
Step
5
Trim time
Now that his coat is mat-free, you can go over his entire coat with a brush, looking for areas that need to be trimmed. If you have one, you can use a harness to help hold his rear end up, or recruit an assistant. Otherwise, you can have him lay on one side while you trim. This will help take the pressure off his hips, making the process much easier for both of you. One final brushing and trim of any areas you missed and your pup is ready to go.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Because your pup has bad hips, you need to use some type of non-slip mat to help him keep his feet during bathing and trimming.

  • A sling can put excess pressure on internal organs, use it for as short a time as possible.

  • Use an assistant to hold your pup up, this will be less stressful for your dog.

  • Always use sharp shears and clippers to avoid poor cuts and potential injuries.

  • Older dogs tend to be more nervous, let your pup get used to the tools and be patient before starting to groom him.

  • Take breaks as often as needed to help keep your pup calmed down. You may even have to bathe him on one day and then trim him on another to keep his anxiety levels down to a minimum.

  • Above all, be gentle. Your pup is already in pain, the last thing you want to do is make the pain worse. It is always better to take your time or break the grooming up into several sessions. 

Conclusion

Just because your pup has hip dysplasia doesn't mean you can't keep him clean and groomed. It just means you need to be more careful. Much of the grooming can be done with him sitting or laying down to save him from excess pain. Grooming an older pet can still done be at home, it just takes more time and patience. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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