Grooming for your dog’s health
When people visit a salon for a cut and style, it’s often to treat themselves. But pet grooming goes beyond just good looks; it is a necessity for all dogs. Whether it’s full-body grooming, a face or paw trim, a nail trim, or a nice bath, it’s important to make grooming part of your pet’s maintenance plan.
Reasons to bring your pet to a groomer
- Many pets do not like being groomed and become uncooperative, so it’s best to leave grooming to the professionals. Even something as routine and seemingly simple as cutting your pet’s nails can be difficult at home. Veterinarians often hear stories about well-meaning pet owners who accidentally cut the quick (the pink or black part on the inside of your pet’s nails), especially with black nails where the quick is difficult to see.
- Grooming also spreads natural, healthy oils from your pet’s skin throughout the coats, making it shinier and healthier. Aside from enhancing appearance, regular grooming helps maintain a pet’s healthy skin and coat. It removes unpleasant odours (especially those caused by encounters with skunks), loose fur, skin flakes, and debris, while preventing knots and matted fur. If you’d like, you can bring a specific shampoo for your groomer to use when your dog is being bathed. For some skin conditions, your veterinarian may recommend bathing your pet with a medicated shampoo as part of their treatment plan.
- Grooming can also be a preventative measure. When pets get shaggy, they are more likely to track dirt and mud into the house, and their longer hair/fur makes them bigger targets for ticks. Furthermore, moisture trapped underneath a matted coat leads to a lack of airflow, which can cause skin irritation and infection known as ‘hot spots.’
How often to bring your pet to the groomer
Dogs’ grooming needs differ depending on their coat type, length, and their recent activities. For example, a dog who has been playing indoors most of the week is much less likely to need grooming than a dog who has been out playing in a muddy dog park.
Pets with short coats generally require less grooming compared to pets with medium- to long-haired coats. Dogs with short hair/fur often only need coat care and de-shedding in the spring and fall, and, of course, when they get exceptionally dirty.
Pets with longer coats tend to get tangles, mats, and debris trapped in them more easily. These breeds should typically visit the groomer every 4-6 weeks. Talk to your groomer for a recommendation.
Make grooming a positive experience
It’s best if pets are exposed to the grooming process early in life so they become more comfortable with the process. Ask friends and family to recommend a groomer who uses positive reinforcement so your dog associates grooming with the things they love.
When booking an appointment, it’s important to let your groomer know the exact condition of your pet’s fur, matting, and your requested style. The groomer should take things slowly, so dogs of all ages feel as relaxed as possible as they’re brushed, bathed, and styled. Lots of love is the key to a positive grooming experience!
What to look for in a groomer
Good groomers will ask to see every pet’s up-to-date vaccines before administering grooming services. They’ll want dogs to be fully vaccinated prior to their appointment and on a veterinary-prescribed flea and parasite medication. That way you can be confident that your pet is in a healthy environment.
A good groomer will help your pet look and feel their absolute best, while keeping those pesky fuzzy tumbleweeds from taking over your home. Valley Vet thanks you for taking good care of your pet’s fur and nails and total health!