Not all dogs enjoy the process of being groomed, either by their owner or the groomer. With some forward planning, an early introduction to grooming and positive handling methods most dogs learn to accept it as part of their daily routine, and you never know even enjoy it! Yes, some dogs actually do!
Every dog needs grooming. It’s not just long haired breeds that need to be regularly groomed. All breeds can benefit from regular grooming what ever the coat type. A healthy, clean coat is often the indication of a healthy, happy dog – indeed, a lack of grooming can even lead to health problems over time. Grooming should therefore be a routine part of the health care of your dog. Studies have even shown that regular grooming can reduce stress and blood pressure for both you and your dog, and can aid bonding.
Brushing is a vital part of pet care as it works to distribute the natural oils of the skin throughout the coat, promoting a healthier coat and cleaner skin. In our fast paced lives, this part of pet care is sometimes missed. Regular appointments with your groomer ensure this is maintained.
In addition to the direct benefits to your pet’s coat, grooming may help to point out any abnormalities in your pet’s body, such as sores, growths or bald spots. While you may not notice any lumps or bumps that have appeared on your pet, regular grooming can help to detect a problem and insure that if something does appear, you are aware of it sooner rather than later.
Professional grooming can greatly improve the cleanliness and hygiene of your pet. While you may bathe your pet at home regularly, a reputable groomer will use only top quality products and assess your dog’s coat and skin condition to ensure the most suitable are used. They will utilise the right equipment to rinse and dry your dog completely, reducing the risk of any nasty skin conditions flaring up.
During the course of the grooming process, the groomer will pay special attention to your pets' ears, eyes, mouth, teeth, pads, lumps and bumps on the skin or below the skin and perianal region- areas you probably don't notice much in daily life.
Longhair dogs tend to grow hair deep in the ear canal, and this hair can trap bacteria, causing irritation and ear infections. Your groomer will 'pluck' this hair if requested, and often do a cursory clean of the ears checking for anything abnormal. If ear discharge or redness is noticed, this can be relayed to you whereupon you can consult your vet.
Some dogs tend to grow excessive amounts of hair between their feet and paw pads, as well as around the perianal (backside) area. Excessive hair in these places can lead to hygiene problems, tangling of hair, accumulation of dirt in the hair, and even cause problems defecating and urinating. Your groomer may trim around these areas, helping to prevent problems before they can develop. Breeds of dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and Shih Tzu's will grow long hair on the face, mouth and eyes, and left untrimmed this hair can become matted with food particles and saliva. In addition, studies have shown that dogs with hair that is frequently in their eyes have a greater chance of developing eye infections, glaucoma and cataracts. Strategic trimming of the hair around the eyes is aesthetically pleasing, and helps to prevent health problems down the road.
Most dogs don't naturally wear down their nails fast enough to keep up with nail growth, and as a result most will need regular nail trimming in order to keep their nails at the optimum length. Long nails are the most common cause of chiropractic problems in dogs, and can contribute to joint pain and stiffness. Your pet’s body has been designed to walk with his pads on the floor, not the nails. If your dogs' nails are touching the ground, his nails are too long. Regular clipping will help to prevent problems associated with long nails. Your groomer will clip your pets' nails, and their skill and experience can often get them shorter than you can at home.
If your dog has long hair, or is prone to tangles or a dry coat, a coat conditioner may be used as a second step to the bathing process. Conditioners can help to manage the hair and make it softer, allowing for mats and tangles to be more easily removed, along with re-moisturizing the coat.
Finally, bathing your pet provides an opportunity for an impartial set of eyes to point out any issues or problems you may not have noticed with your pet. We live with our pets, and often don't notice right away if they begin to gain or lose weight, or gradually take up new behaviours. Your groomer has the advantage of only seeing your pet occasionally, and as such may notice if Fido has packed on a few pounds, or if Freddie has fleas that need to be treated.
While frequency will depend on your pets' breed, coat type or lifestyle, regular grooming sessions will help your pet to remain a healthy, clean companion to you. Your groomer will recommend how often your pet should come in to be groomed, the usual time is about 6 - 8 weeks but could vary depending on breed, coat, length of hair and lifestyle.