With all of the other expenses and crises that crop up through our lives, pet grooming is one of these tasks that is easy to sweep aside. Far from being a luxury, dogs that are groomed on a regular basis are healthier. In addition to the health benefits, grooming can have aesthetic benefits too. This is especially true for dogs with lots of hair, these breeds need frequent grooming to achieve a healthier, more beautiful coat.
Matted Dog Hair
Owners of dogs with thicker or longer coats will notice how quickly hair becomes matted and knotted if their grooming schedule is skipped. Matted hair tightens and may become painful for the dog as it constantly pulls against the skin. The matted hair forms a shell-like coating over the dog’s body, reducing ventilation and readily becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites, leading to skin conditions.
Most professional groomers will brush through the coat to remove mats and knots prior to bathing. These tangles are much easier to remove from dry hair than from hair after it has been wet, which causes the mats to tighten and become more difficult to rectify. Dogs with double coats (German Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog, Huskie, etc.) need to have dead undercoat and detritus removed from their coats at regular intervals to prevent discomfort and potential infections. Smooth coated breed (Boxer, Pug, Beagle, etc.) don’t need the same level of coat care as other coat types, but regular brushing will help to keep their coats shiny and healthy.
In longer coated breeds the facial hair needs to be correctly maintained. Long hair over the dog’s eyes can obstruct it’s vision as well as risking the possibility of causing irritation if it constantly rubs against the eye or becoming ‘crusty’ if the eyes are weeping. Around the dog’s mouth, food and debris can become lodged into untrimmed hair and can cause complications for the dog – as well as foul smelling!
Older dogs will benefit from regular grooming to keep their coat in a healthy state and prevent the possibility of infections or complications as they go through their dotage.
Keep the Nails Trimmed
Correct nail trimming can improve a dog’s mobility and agility. Overgrown nails can lead to several orthopedic problems in dogs, including a poor gait, injuries to the feet and hip problems. What many owners don’t consider is that each dog’s nail is attached to a toe and the pressure from overgrown nails is transferred to the toe and it’s joint to the foot, causing inflammation which, if not rectified, can lead to permanent disability. A dog grooming appointment will always include a check and clip of their nails to ensure that your dog doesn’t lose their athletic edge.
Check and Clean Ears
Regularly checking and cleaning ears can avoid some of the more sinister problems than can occur with dog’s ears. Regular cleaning can help to avoid the buildup of wax or other detritus in the ear as well as giving the opportunity to check the general health of the ear. Hair covering the opening of the ear canal can be removed to improve ventilation in the ear canal to help maintain normal body temperature and avoid infection. A dog’s ear should be normal body temperature, no signs of inflammation, no bad smells and no ‘tar-like’ coating (a sign of ear mites).
How Grooming Improves Your Dog’s Health
Regular dog grooming will improve your dog’s health and emotional life – as well as having a beneficial effect on your life. The emotional benefits, including lower blood pressure and relaxation are well charted for both dogs and their humans.
Your dog groomer is a well-trained and qualified professional who will check for signs of ill-health so that you have the earliest opportunity to deal with things which may be going wrong. They will ensure that not only will your dog leave their salon looking wonderful, but will ensure that the nails, ears, hygiene and other key points have been checked and taken care of.
What’s more, everybody wants to cuddle a clean, well-groomed dog, so it works both ways for the dogs and their owners.