Yesterday, I had a girl come in with her Maltese/Bichon pooch named Coco. I was told at the time of making the appointment that Coco would be difficult. Is sedation a possibility? Yes! But I always try to take my time and work with the animal first. Why introduce drugs and make the experience even worse if it can be avoidable?
Sara came with Coco and while usually owners will simply drop off to me and then come back after the pup or cat is ready, I could sense that Sara knew she needed to stay. And boy, was she right. Coco barked and growled and showed her true distaste for me and what was about to go down. However, because of her foul temper with grooming, she was horribly matted and desperately needed to be groomed. So in we went, ready to do whatever it took to free this pup from her painful, irritating, knots. Sara stayed and helped hold and console Coco and be there for moral support. Boy, was Sara good!! Between Sara and I, we were able to get a terribly matted, frightened, uncooperative dog shaved down and mat free! While it was a struggle, don't let the short paragraph fool you, Coco strutted her stuff out of here feeling the fresh air on her skin and the green grass on her paw pads!
Sara and I agreed that Coco will pay me a visit once a month. If not for a haircut, then for a brushing. Just something to get her used to coming and hopefully make her a success story.
I have some of those too....I'll tell you more about my success stories another day!
So in answer to your question, does my dog need to be sedated for grooming? I don't know but I guarantee I will try my hardest to avoid it and make your dog feel at ease so as to create a good experience and make future experiences even better.