By: Terry Lackmeyer, My Pet’s Brace Customer Service Representative
People often ask if their dog can be groomed with a brace. Well, if your hand was in a cast would you still get a manicure? The answer may depend on your manicurist. If he or she is careful and gentle, you probably would. The same holds true with your groomer. If he or she is gentle and careful, your dog should be able to be safely groomed, provided they follow a few simple precautions and you have realistic expectations.
The brace is completely waterproof so technically it could be worn during the grooming process. Your groomer will not be able to do the best job with it on so the brace should be removed for bathing and haircutting. The exception would be if your dog has such a severe injury and your vet does not want the brace removed. Check with your veterinarian to discuss if grooming is safe and follow their suggestions.
While your dog is at the groomer they will be in a controlled restricted environment. They will not be playing or running with other dogs. They will be led on a leash, tethered during the bathing and haircutting process and crated during the drying process. Being without the brace during this time should be safe with those restrictions.
Let’s start with safe bathing. Make sure the groomer puts a rubber bathmat in the tub. Your dog needs sure-footing while being bathed so that they does not slip and slide during the process. Even if the tub has a non-skid surface, a rubber bathmat is strongly recommended. (If your groomer does not have one, pick one up at your local discount store and provide it for use while your dog is being groomed.) When the dog is placed in the crate to dry ask that a rubber bathmat be placed in the crate under the towel. Then as the dog rubs the towel around in the crate – which dogs tend to do – there will still be firm footing on which to stand and your dog won’t slide on the crate bottom. Remember we don’t want the dog wearing the brace while crated.
Now let’s discuss the hair cutting process. In order to do a good job grooming your dog, your groomer needs to pick up each leg to work on it. Gently picking up the injured leg is safe. Picking up the opposing leg forces your dog to shift their weight on the injured leg which may be harmful to your dog. Ask if your groomer has someone or some way to help support the dog when the opposing leg is lifted. This will also be needed when the groomer cuts your dog’s nails. Getting a nice haircut takes times and your dog will be standing through most of the process. Ask if your dog will be able to take a break or sit if they show signs of fatigue.
Make sure that your groomer understands your dog’s injury and is comfortable grooming your dog with the injury. No groomer wants a dog hurt while under their care so respect their concerns if your groomer does not wish to groom your dog while injured. Finally, don’t worry about getting that perfect haircut on your dog’s leg right now. Be satisfied with your groomer doing the best job possible while keeping your dog safe and happy.