Grooming; More than Just Looking Good

By July 5, 2018Small Animal

The Do’s and Don’ts of Grooming:

Do

  • Brush your dog regularly and brush before bathing (if you bathe your dog before brushing – this can cause the mats to get tighter)
  • Trim their nails: if you can hear them clicking on the floor, they should be trimmed
  • Rinse off shampoo and make sure you are using a pet friendly shampoo
  • Starting grooming them young
  • If you are uncomfortable with any of these; take your dog to a professional groomer

Don’t

  • Leave animal unattended while grooming
  • Allow water into the ears, nose, or eyes
  • Brush with wet coat or tug hard when brushing
  • Forget to comb the double coat (depending on breed)
  • Clip mats away with scissors

It is true, grooming does make our dogs smell good, but did you know there are other benefits to grooming then just the smell? Some of the benefits are;

  • It helps maintain a healthy coat and skin – which makes them look good and feel good
  • Early detection of issues – by getting regular grooms, the groomer may recognize new lumps or changes to skin, ears and oral health.
  • Gets rid of mats – mats are very uncomfortable for pets (imagine putting your hair into a ponytail and having it too tight all day – this gets very uncomfortable after the first few minutes.) That is an analogy of what mats feel like. They pull at the skin and can cause pain to your pet.
  • Fur acts as insulation – it protects the body from the outside environment, both to keep the cold out in the winter and keep the heat out in the summer. However, in hot environments, once the heat does get in to the body, fur acts as a barrier that slows the ability of the heat to radiate away.  Ask a veterinarian whether having your pet’s fur clipped is right for it.  Certain breeds, such as Siberian Huskies, Pomeranians and Shetland Sheepdogs are double-coated and shaving their coats may actually make them more susceptible to sunburn.  Pets that are sunburned are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer, especially if they have light-coloured skin and fur.  Exposed skin areas, such as the tips of the ears and nose, are at increased risk of sunburn.  Ask your vet for sunblock suggestions for your pet.

 

Structure of the coat on a double coated dog (Image created by Brook Wilkins)

Here are before and after pictures of Gramp’s groom.

 

Stay tuned for tips on keeping your pet cool through the summer!

Additional Reading:

First Aid for Hot Spots

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