Dog Grooming is Vitally Important by Alex Gray |Published 04-01-2020
We all share incredibly busy lives. There’s no doubt about it, there is always more on our to-do lists than hours available in the average day. We love our dogs and want the best for them, but sadly, even they may suffer from our hectic lifestyles.
We tend to prioritize our ‘to-do’ list and dog grooming may or may not be toward the top. Those of us who own short-haired dogs that are easy to groom and don’t require the hours of brushing that many breeds need may be especially guilty of this.
But even if we own a dog that is high maintenance when it comes to grooming can get behind quickly. Those long-haired breeds need daily care to prevent mats from forming and when our frenzied schedule precludes us from spending the time, we need to care for our four-legged friend, they suffer.
Furthermore, a matted dog will always cost more at the professional groomers‘salon to remove the mats even before a clipping can take place.
What you may not know is grooming is so much more than just a clean coat. Grooming not only means taking care of your pup’s coat, but also her eyes, ears, skin, nails, and teeth.
Let's explain this further.
Here are five simple reasons dog grooming is vitally important.
The most obvious benefit is the look of a clean, shiny coat and clipped nails.
Dogs whose fur is not maintained may come across to other dog lovers as unhealthy, neglected, and/or aggressive. Maintaining her grooming is likely to increase socialization for both you and your pup.
Introverted people often rely on their dogs to help initiate social interactions. A cute, well-groomed clean dog could be just thing one needs to begin a new friendship.
If you are trying to compare your dog to yourself in this aspect, you can think of it as being similar to our personal hygiene. If we don’t take a shower, we feel disgusting. Our hair feels greasy. Our body feels dirty. And, it’s just plain out a disgusting feeling.
We may also have to clip our fingernails and/or toenails. Some women also may have their nails done at a spa.
To put it simply, it’s just part of our routine. Our dog depends on us for their personal hygiene for the most part. They depend on us to make sure they are kept happy, healthy, and beautiful.
We always want to make sure our pup’s are healthy + happy. It’s our responsibility!
One of the biggest benefits of grooming is finding underlying health issues before they become big problems. By brushing and bathing you can take the opportunity to examine the skin. Check for bumps and rashes or patches of lost hair. These can indicate a problem and should warrant a visit to your veterinarian.
External parasites are another problem such as fleas and ticks. A thorough grooming will reveal any unwanted visitors. Fleas can contribute to skin problems and allergies and ticks carry diseases that both you and your dog could get.
Whoever is cleaning your home, whether it’s you or the housekeeper, will likely find your house is significantly cleaner when your dog is groomed regularly. There is less fur all over the house from your dog shedding. And, there’s less dander to irritate any allergies.
Less dander means fewer allergies for those who suffer. This is worth repeating that brushing can significantly reduce the hair shed and the dander released into the air.
If it is you that is the allergy sufferer, you can also reduce your chances of getting overwhelmed by flying hair during the brushing process by wearing gloves and even a face mask. If someone else can groom, all the better. For best results limit the place where you routinely brush and comb your dog to one room.
The smell you sometimes get from your pup (after not washing them for a few weeks/months) is usually because of bacteria and oil on their coat.
Your dog will most likely not mind this at all. But giving them a wash will eliminate this build up.
In addition, some dog breeds just naturally have a stronger doggie-odor that can make close encounters with your dog not as pleasant as you might want. I soapy bath using a odor neutralizing shampoo will remove those common smells.
Please note though, that it is easy to over do it. If we wash our dogs too much it will lead to dry skin and irritation. We recommend you bath your dog more than once a month.
If your dog does tend to get overly dirty during romps in the yard or walks in the park, consider allowing the dirt and mud to dry, then brushing it out. Most dirt will brush out without the need for a bath.
Alternately, use a dry shampoo that you first apply on the coat. Massage and then use a blow dryer and brush to remove. Your dog will be left looking great and smelling sweet even without a bath.
Speaking of smelling fresh, dog odor can emanate from other areas of the body other than the skin. Bad breath is common in dogs whose teeth have been neglected and need a good dental exam and cleaning.
Daily or weekly teeth brushing will not prevent you from needing a professional cleaning once in a while, but can significantly reduce the total number of professional cleanings your dog will need in a life time. If your dog looks at you like you are crazy when you pull out the toothbrush, consider a finger brush that is acceptable to more dogs.
As you can imagine, our pups love to play and rough house. If your dog joins you on outdoor trails they are more likely to get mites or bacteria.
If you think about it, a warm, inviting environment of your dogs’ ears is a perfect harbor ground for ear mites, fungus, and bacteria.
They all thrive in dirty dog ears, which can lead to hearing loss or severe pain. Ears will also have a strong unpleasant odor.
Routine grooming will pick up these problems. Even if your dog has a mild infestation, it can be very irritating to them. Learn how to clean your dog’s ears at home and apply an ear mite solution to kill those pesky mites.
If it is really bad, and you will know this because your dog is constantly shaking his head and scratching at his ears, a visit to your veterinarian is important.
Dogs that shake their head vigorously to relieve the pain and inflammation can cause damage to the outside ear flap. If you do notice a swollen bulge on your dog’s ear flap, it could mean a hematoma and this is something that needs attention by a veterinarian.
While you are checking your dog’s ears, don’t neglect their eyes. Some small dog breeds have chronic eye problems that are noticeable through excessive tearing. Tears that should flow back into the eye to lubricate the eye drain out on the face keeping the face just below the eyes moist and ripe for infections to occur.
If you have a dog with eye problems such as these, daily cleaning the face and eyes with a mild face cleaner is a must. On light colored dog breeds this excessive moisture on the face results in unsightly eye stains that are difficult to remove once set. Use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to clean this area under the eyes each day.
If you have a breed that has skin folds such as Pugs, Boston terriers or French bull dogs, you will also want to use a warm wet cotton ball to clean the skin folds. After washing, dry with a second dry cotton ball or makeup sponge.
As you can see, these 5 simple reasons why dog grooming is important should encourage you to clean your dog at home or take them to your local groomer.
Either way, it’s our responsibility to love and pamper our pups so they have the best quality of life possible.
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