Grooming often isn’t one of the things at the forefront of your mind when you first become responsible for a dog. Nevertheless, it is still a vitally important part of your adorable animal’s care and not, as many people believe, just a way to make her look attractive. Here is what you need to know about dog grooming including how frequently you need to perform, or get a professional service to perform, this part of her care.
Why is grooming important?
There are numerous reasons why grooming your dog is so important. Firstly, getting hands on with your dog gives you (or your groomer) an opportunity to spot symptoms of many different health problems that otherwise might not become apparent for some time. These include:
- Parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites
- Skin problems such as dermatitis or a wound that hasn’t healed properly
- Infections of the skin, ears, eyes and more
- Damaged paw pads
- Unusual lumps and bumps
- A poor-quality coat (which is often a sign of underlying illness)
- Decayed teeth or periodontal disease
By identifying potential health problems early, you can seek the appropriate veterinary support, expediting diagnosis and treatment and improving the outcome for your furbaby.
Professional groomer or groom at home?
Whether or not you choose to enlist the services of a professional groomer is entirely up to you. However, many owners find that they don’t feel comfortable undertaking all of the different aspects of grooming themselves and as a result, take their dog to the groomer for all least some services. For example, some owners find cutting their dog’s claws difficult and they would prefer to leave it to professionals.
Professional dog groomers deal with all sorts of different breeds, ages, and temperaments of canines and their knowledge and experience is invaluable. Some offer packages containing different services while some will allow you to choose individual grooming services as and when you need them.
What grooming does my dog need?
Exactly what grooming services a dog needs and how often she needs them can vary between canines. However, typically you should ensure that your furbaby receives the following:
You shouldn’t bathe your dog too frequently as doing so can dry out her skin. However, if she gets muddy after a walk and a regular monthly bath are good for keeping her clean and feeling fresh.
The type of breed of dog you have will dictate how often she needs to be brushed. Typically, long-haired breeds can benefit from daily brushing while short-haired breeds can get away with being brushed just once a week. Why is brushing so important? It removes dead skin cells, loose hair and removes tangles and matting that can trap heat and bacteria and put your furbaby at risk of health problems.
Cleaning her ears
Her ears are very delicate and should be treated with care. Never clean the inside of her ears, but you can wipe around the visible parts with a damp, clean cloth on a weekly basis to help keep them clean. If you notice any wiggly white dots among the ear residue, it could be a sign that she has ear mites – a parasite that requires treatment to get rid of them.
Your dog’s hair may not seem to grow particularly fast, but there will be times when she would benefit from a trim both to tidy it up and to lower the risk of problems associated with overgrowth. This includes hair irritating the eyes, and long hair around her back passage in which feces and other debris can become trapped.
Probably the most dreaded of all grooming jobs is claw cutting. If you have an active dog, you may find that the need to trim her claws is a rare occurrence as running and playing can naturally wear the nails down. However, many canines still need to have them trimmed occasionally to prevent them accidentally damaging other animals, furniture or family members, and to stop them growing round back into the paws
If you aren’t sure how often your dog needs to be groomed, our experienced team would be delighted to give you their advice. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at our veterinary clinic to receive expert guidance and care.