You love your furry friend with all of your heart and want to keep him or her as healthy and as clean as possible.

Doing so will require putting them through things they won't enjoy. Things like taking them to the nearest dog grooming salon may not go over very well.

In fact, it may reach a point where your smart pup associates getting in the car with either going to the vet, going to the salon, or going to the park. Only one of those is a place they want to visit!

Here's how to reduce your dog's stress level when they're on their way to a dog grooming appointment.

1. Conquer the Fear of the Ride

As previously mentioned, your pup is probably smart enough to associate you taking it for a ride in the car to one of several regular destinations.

Some are places that they want to go, but a majority of the time they'll be places like the veterinarian or the dreaded dog groomer.

If that's the case, their stress level hits its peak as soon as you get them closer to the car. 

Try taking them on car rides more often to places they would like to go to. Doing things like taking them through the drive-thru window or a few more trips to the park will help ease their minds.

While this won't necessarily help with the stress at the dog groomer's, it will at least help with the stress on the way to it. 

2. Do an At-Home Walk Through

One of the biggest factors that lead to stress in your dog's mind is the fear of the unknown or unfamiliar.

Think about it, a dog groomer will pick them up, place them on a table, and start going at every inch of their coat. From there, they'll go through their common list of dos and don'ts for dog grooming.

How many times has your dog been up on a table beside a groomer or vet appointment? Probably zero times.

Whenever you can give a little familiarity to your dog, it's a good thing. To get them ready, try picking them up on a table at home. Tell them to lay down and start massaging every part of their body. 

This will get them more used to both being placed upon a table and then having their ears, chest, paws, and belly area attended to.

3. Handle Your Dog More Often

If your dog isn't used to being picked up then they're in for a world of hurt when visiting places such as the dog groomer or vet. 

Not only will they be picked up, which they're not used to, but they'll also be picked up by a complete stranger.

You can get your pup more used to this by picking them up on occasion. Pick them up around the house, tell them how much you love them, scratch them a bit, then let them down.

Whenever a dog is picked up (that isn't used to it) their mind, understandably, turns to the worst imaginable scenario.

The fact is, there are some dogs out there that will never appreciate being picked up. That doesn't mean they still can't be trained to put up with it for a few minutes.

Every puppy out there has their own personalities. An experienced dog groomer will understand that and make your dog feel as comfortable as possible.

4. Bathe Them More Often At Home

There is a rare amount of dogs that are born with a love for being bathed. They tend to be more laid back in nature, to begin with.

If your dog doesn't fit in that category, not to worry. Try bathing him or her a bit more often at home to get them used to the process.

It's a completely different sensation of feeling wet, and one that your furry friend most likely won't enjoy. It will take everything in them not to shake off the soap all over the dog grooming salon floors.

Also, incorporate things like brushing their hair or turning on a blow dryer around them to get used to the sound.

While it may seem silly, the dog's natural instincts are to deter any unfamiliar sounds. Get them a bit more used to it to reduce stress levels at your next appointment.

5. Go for a Walk Before the Appointment

Taking your dog for a walk prior to the appointment reduces the risk of two major things: peeing and going crazy at the groomer.

Be sure that you take your puppy on a walk that's long enough to both tire them out and give them plenty of opportunities to pee.

Maybe arrive at the groomer a bit earlier than your appointment, then take them for a 10-20 minute walk. Your dog will be tired and more relaxed going straight into the appointment from there.

Schedule Your Dog Grooming Appointment Today!

Now that you know how to reduce your dog's stress level, it's time to schedule a dog grooming appointment to get them spick and span! Everyone likes a clean dog and you can finally feel comfortable giving them all the love you want to.

Granted, it may take a few trips to the groomer's before your pup gets used to the process. Be sure to remain patient and do the above tips to ease their stress about it.

Be sure to read this article on the 10 most popular poodle haircuts for all you poodle owners out there looking to show off some pizazz!