When you first bring a dog home, it’s ridiculously exciting and even I’ve found myself coo’ing over the gorgeous puppies who have been in the shop this week. But you do quickly realise that both the time and money that you estimated you’d spend on your new furiend was, how do I say it, WRONG! Even if you included the cost of dog grooming in those early calculations, as your furiend grows, it’s so easy for life to take over and it’s that one appointment or task at home that you find slipping further and further down the list.
Every dog mum and dad can relate and I’m first to admit that I’ve been there!! Especially with a spaniel. It can be hard enough work keeping up with her walk and play demands! However regular and thorough grooming is extremely important to your fur-kid. If you’ve found yourself wondering why you need to groom your dog, then our 5 reasons to groom your dog, should help you understand why.
5 Reasons to Groom Your Dog
#1 Improve Appearance and Smell
So let’s get this first, most obvious reason out of the way.
Whether you are bathing your dog to remove an unpleasant odour, aka Millie’s love of fox poo, or just dirt, they’ll emerge smelling great. A groom will help tame those flyaway hairs, sort out messy bums and make sure your dog looks great too.
We all hate that stinky dog house smell, so regular grooming can help eliminate those odours from your house at the same time ;0)
#2 Keeps Their Coat Healthy While Controlling Shedding
The bathing part of a groom, with the right products, will help remove old hair, smell, dirt and any excess oil from your dogs’ skin. Think shiny coats!!
Brushing also has multiple benefits. While regular brushing can reduce the need to bathe more frequently, it is also great for the health of their coats. Just like us, brushing increases the blood circulation under the fur, promoting healthy growth.
#3 It’s Not Just a Bath and Brush
Many people assume that grooming your dog, will involve a quick brush and bath. If you are grooming regularly then this may sometimes be the case, but in the main, a dog groom will also address the following:
- While some dogs grow quicker and their coat requires more brushing than others, as they moult, their loose hairs can become matted. If not brushed regularly (and thoroughly), they can form into heavy bulk mats and when close to the skin, this can be very sore for the dog. Using a comb as well as a brush will help you identify these areas when grooming and as you get to know your dog, you’ll spot the common areas for these. Millie has a habit of getting these right behind her ear and between her upper arm and chest. So I know to keep a more regular check on these areas.
- Paw Pads can become matted and must be regularly checked, clipped and tidied up. These areas, in particular, can become hard with dirt and great, causing some discomfort and are easy to get missed if your dog has a shorter body hair but thicker leg/paw hair.
- Your dog’s ears may have hair deep in the canal that needs to be removed. Some dogs can also be prone to ear infections and may require more regular cleaning, along with hair removal, to avoid regular trips to the vets.
- While hearing that ‘click-click’ when your dog walks on hard floors is a giveaway that they need their nails checked, a groom will give you or a groomer, the chance to check their nails over properly. If your dog’s nails aren’t looking after themselves, their untrimmed nails can break, bleed or even grow into their feet, causing them a lot of discomfort. That includes those dew claws which can sometimes be overlooked!
- Removing hair from around a dog’s eyes is not just about appearance. Not only can the long hair in their eyes irritate your dog, but can cause damage to their eyes too. Removing this hair regularly, keeps them healthy and will help you check if there are any crusts or issues around the eyes that need to be checked over.
In our experience, there have been times when we’ve looked a dog and bar some tidying up, it has generally looked in good condition. IT’s only once we’ve started to look at paw pads, ears and nails we’ve discovered that they’ve previously not been checked due to lack of grooming, both at home and professionally.
#4 Increase The Bond Between You and Your Furiend
We all know that spending time with our dogs helps strengthen the positive relationship between us. While building up a trust during bathing, brushing and drying can take its time, at home or at a groomer, over the longer term regular grooming can help reduce stress and help with socialisation.
Of course, the earlier that you can start, the better. The more often you can groom your dog, the better.
I promise that the time and effort will pay off and your dog will learn that letting you or a groomer handle various part of their body does not result in pain.
We actually have dogs who love to be groomed and know that future grooms and any vet checks will be much more comfortable and less stressful for them.
#5 To Check for Health Issues
Grooming is the pawfect opportunity for you to check out your dog’s body on a regular basis as there can be times where your dog may have developed lumps, bumps, cuts, grazes or even swelling. These may be in places that you don’t necessarily spot during your day to day interactions with them. Additional things to look out for include fleas or ticks, blocked anal glands, ears, teeth, the brightness of eyes and coat.
Regular grooming at home will help you spot any issues early but is not intended to be a substitute for a veterinary health check. Do make sure you have regular appointments or check in with them if you find something that concerns you. No….. step away from asking facebook. Book that vet appointment instead!!!
The reality is that all five reasons to groom your dog, really come down to one thing: your dog cannot always communicate to you when there is a problem or that it needs groomed. They are 100% reliant on you to make great decisions for them whether it’s food, water, grooming or their overall health.
The one thing that binds us all, is our love of dogs and by grooming our dogs regularly, we can ensure that they are healthy, free of discomfort and happy too.
So, over to you…
So I’d love to hear about your own experiences. What stops you from grooming your dog? Have you found this difficult or has your dog found it too distressing? Or do you have a dog who loves being groomed and you both have a set routine when it comes to grooming, at home or with a groomer??
Is there anything that you’re not sure of when grooming your dog at home? Or are you looking for advice on which products to use?
Feel free to jump into the comments as we’d love to answer any questions you might have or you can tweet us over at @Millies_Pets
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