Importance of Grooming Your Best Friend


husky getting undercoat groomed by owner

As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pet is happy and healthy. It means that you need to ensure that you are providing your dog with the best possible care at all times. One of the most important things you will have to do is regularly groom your dog. However, this is something that many dog owners don't know how to do. They aren't sure what they are supposed to do or when they should be doing it.


The following guide walks you through everything you need to know about the importance of grooming in your dog.


What is grooming?

use a slicker brush to groom your dog

It's not just you that needs regular grooming. Your dog does too! Dog grooming includes:

  • Bathing

  • Cleaning the teeth

  • Ear and nail trimming

  • Brushing and combing the coat

  • Long hair breeds may need hair cuts

The frequency of your dog's grooming depends on its breed and age. Regular professional grooming will ensure your dog is healthy, happy and has a shiny coat. You can groom your dog yourself or seek the help of a professional groomer.


The Importance of grooming in dogs

using a deshedding tool on dog to reduce undercoat
  • Keep your dog clean - Regular bathing is also necessary to keep your dog's coat free of excess dirt and debris. Unfortunately, bathing too often can strip natural oils from their coat, but it's a good idea to give them a bath every few weeks to keep their skin and coat healthy and clean.

  • Maintain proper body condition - Regular grooming also includes cleaning your dog's ears, trimming their nails and cleaning their teeth if needed. It allows you to keep an eye on their ears, teeth, eyes, nails and other areas that may need attention.

  • Help to reduce anxiety - According to a Journal of Veterinary Behavior study, "grooming" (which can include brushing) can improve a dog's mood and reduce anxiety and stress levels.

  • Reduce mat formation - Grooming helps maintain the dog's skin and fur. Regular brushing will prevent mats that can cause discomfort or even pain in dogs, especially if they're left untreated for too long.

dog in bath to clean dog coat
  • Shiny appearance - Grooming helps keep the skin healthy by removing any dead skin cells, hairballs or parasites from the skin. As a result, it helps prevent allergies, mange or other skin conditions.

  • Promote blood circulation - Brushing your dog ventilates their coat, helping it grow healthy and strong and taking away old and damaged hair. In addition by running a brush through dog fur acts as an excellent massage that promotes healthy blood circulation.

  • Reduce tooth damage - Brushing your dog's teeth removes plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause bad breath and a greater risk of periodontal disease.

  • Keeps fur in tip-top shape - Grooming also ensures that your dog's skin can breathe and keeps down the grease level in their coat. Too much grease can block pores and cause irritation and all sorts of skin problems.

  • Strong pet bonding - Grooming is a great bonding time; the more regularly you do it, the more they'll get used to it, and it should become a soothing, relaxing experience for you both.

  • Prevents Health hazards - Making sure your dog is clean means that you will also maintain its hygiene and overall health. A dirty dog is more prone to diseases and skin conditions due to excessive dirt, ear infections, skin allergies, dermatitis, hot spots and dandruff.

What could happen if not groomed dogs?

  • Skin diseases - A non-groomed coat can lead to skin problems. Dirt and debris can get trapped in a non-groomed coat, causing itching and irritation to your dog's skin. In addition, it can lead to ticks, mange mite infestations, hot spots, fungus, and other skin infections if not regularly brushed out.

  • Mats formation - A non-brushed coat can also cause the matting of the fur. In addition, it is uncomfortable for your dog and can pull on pet skin, causing irritation or even sores. It can also create a good home for bacteria and create infection under the matting.

  • Eye infection - Regular brushing will keep this area clean and free of infection if your dog suffers from tear stains. In addition, the eye area needs to be cleaned daily to prevent diseases and other problems with the eyes.

  • Bone deformations and arthritis - Some dogs even have untrimmed nails, this is painful, but it causes bone deformations and arthritis if left untreated. Keeping them at a correct length is essential to prevent long-term damage.

Types of grooming tools you need

dog with tools needed for grooming

You will need some essential tools to groom your dog at home. These include

  • a pair of scissors for hair cutting

  • nail clippers for trimming nails

  • a slicker brush for removing tangles from the coat

  • a comb with fine teeth for untangling long-haired dogs

  • a dog shampoo and conditioner for washing your dog

  • cotton pads for cleaning the ears

  • toothbrush and toothpaste for cleaning teeth

How to choose the best groomer

1) Get a referral

Referrals can be one of the best ways to find an excellent local groomer because your friends can give you first-hand insight into what their experiences have been like. If you don't know any other dog owners, start by asking your vet or local pet supply store owner if they have any recommendations.

2) Look online

The Internet has made finding businesses much easier, and many groomers now have websites where you can find out about their services, read reviews from customers and see photos of their work. An excellent place to start is the Find a Groomer section on the National Dog Groomers Association of America website, which allows you to search for groomers in your area by zip code or city.

3) Right experience

If you have a breed with particularly distinctive grooming requirements — such as poodles, Bichon Frises, doodles, Shih Tzus and any dogs with long coats — seek out a groomer who has experience with your species. It can make all the difference to the cut and quality of your dog's hair.

4) Check the groomer's credentials

Look for a groomer certified by the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) or a similar organization. If not, look for one who is certified in pet first aid.

dog groomer grooming a dog

Use your judgments

Don't be afraid to ask questions before you decide on a groomer. You want to feel comfortable with your choice and confident that your dog will have a great experience. Consider the following as you make your decision:

  • How long has the salon been in business?

  • Where did the groomer receive her training?

  • Are they certified by any of the significant grooming organizations?

  • Does she show dogs professionally, or has she demonstrated at any major dog shows?

  • Does the salon use sedatives on dogs challenging to handle during grooming? (Many reputable salons don't allow sedatives.)


Why you should visit a professional groomer

professional dog groomer hair cut yorkie dog

A professional groomer has all of the tools and expertise you are unlikely to have at home. For example, groomers can advise which products are best, how to keep your dog calm and which grooming equipment you may require to best suit your dog's coat type.


They also know how to do different breed haircuts! You may have seen a Yorkshire terrier with a different hair style than a poodle. There are many different styles for the different breeds of dogs. You can choose a groomer who specializes in your dog's breed.


Bringing your dog to a groomer also provides a social interaction for your dog, which gets them accustomed to a different environment and to being handled by strangers, which in the long run helps in all sorts of situations.


Your Dog Can Benefit from Acupressure

Did you know that acupressure can help your pup maintain a healthy skin and coat? Or how about help her be calm and confident when going to the groomers? Well it can!


Acupressure activates and unblocks pressure points on the body to support normal body functions. For practitioners, we can see blockages can show up as greasy or dry skin and coat. The great thing about acupressure is that its preventative care! So, providing your pup with regular acupressure sessions will keep her feeling her best all the time. This can prevent any skin and coat conditions from even occurring! Acupressure helps her body continue to work normally and provide nutrients to all the tissues in the body.


Blockages can also show up as emotional upsets. Acupressure can help your pup feel confident about going to the groomers. When doing acupressure regularly, you can prevent anxiety from occurring. Your dog can be calm and confident during visits to the groomer, vet, or even during thunderstorms!


Did you know Poll to Pastern offers acupressure classes for you and your dog to attend and learn? Check out our events page to find out when the next class is!!


Conclusion

Dogs need grooming for various reasons, ranging from keeping them clean and healthy to keeping their coat looking good. Keeping a grooming routine with your dog is the best way to help them feel their best! Groomers are trained professionals that know how to take the best care of their coat. Whichever you decide, remember to train them to get used to the sights, sounds, and feeling of the grooming routine at an early age. This reduces the stress and confusion when they get older.



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