Dogs and Grooming: It’s About More Than Just Looking Good

Bathing, grooming, and brushing. Not every dog loves this ordeal, but usually, once it’s over, they are much happier. Some even show it with smiles and uncontrolled bursts of energy! Whether short or long haired, both will benefit from this often overlooked aspect of his health. “It’s just a dog!” you may say. But there are actually some important medical reasons behind the practice of grooming that help your dog stay healthy and feel better.

Help! I Can’t See!

Hair in the eyes can irritate them and cause eye problems. Shih-tzus, Lhasa Apsos, and poodles can actually incur damaged corneas if their hair is not kept trimmed around the eyes. Does your dog have hairs lying on the eye? These should be trimmed by a groomer, or drawn up in a bow. (Yes – there are reasons some people have bows in their dog’s hair – other than outward appearance!) NEVER use scissors or sharp implements around the eyes. This is a job for a groomer.

Does your dog have drainage from the eyes? Check with your veterinarian for infections or conditions that need attention. Keeping the hair trimmed around the eyes prevents increased chances of infection as well as discoloration.

What Did You Say?

Long floppy eared dogs are no doubt cute as can be! But those ears are like blankets, covering your dog’s ear canal resulting in a moist, warm environment. Perfect conditions for an ear infection! Some dogs suffer from chronic ear infections that can be difficult to cure such as Cocker spaniels and golden retrievers. If you remember the last time you or your child had a painful ear infection, then you can empathize. Serious pain!

Your veterinarian can show you how to clean your dog’s ears properly and advise you on the use of an ear cleaning solution. And your groomer can shave the hair away from the inside of the floppy part to allow for better air circulation and remove any hair that may be growing in the ear canals. A healthy ear should look and smell clean. Any foul odor, discharge, or excessive scratching should be immediately investigated.

Smile, Fido!

The Groom Room

Dental disease in dogs is common. If you haven’t had a lesson from your vet about how to properly clean and brush your dog’s teeth, be sure ask at your next visit. Learn the signs to watch for so you can help prevent dental infection. Your older dog may not be too thrilled with a brushing routine, but try to make it a regular habit to check his teeth for tartar, chipping, or excessive wear, or any lump or bump that looks suspicious. This is another thing most of us have experienced and definitely remember: tooth pain. Unfortunately, your dog cannot verbalize how awful it feels. Be sure to check regularly! Many groomers are experts at teeth cleaning.

Rub-a-Dub-Dub

The Groom Room

Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, baths at least a few times a year are necessary. This will vary according to breed and if any skin problems are present. Removing old hair, dirt, and oil from the skin will make your dog feel like a pup again! Many dogs thoroughly enjoy the scrubbing action of being washed – just like the back scratch you enjoy. It also gives you or your groomer the chance to check for a lump or bump that may have appeared or changed suddenly.

And don’t forget the fleas and ticks! Dogs that swim in natural waterways such as lakes, ponds, and rivers, should be rinsed after every outing. There are a lot of different shampoos and conditioners for every type and color of dog. A good groomer can detect any special needs and recommend solutions. To protect your dog’s eyes, place a little mineral oil or ointment around eyes before bathing.

Brush and Brush Some More

Keep your dog’s coat clean and free of hair mats, which can be irritating and cause skin disease, by brushing often between baths. Long haired dogs need frequent, if not daily, brushing to keep their coats healthy. Most dogs enjoy this kind of grooming and often wait eagerly to be combed. If your dog’s fur is badly matted, he may need to be shaved. This is a job for a groomer. NEVER attempt to cut off hair mats with scissors; you may cut the skin as well. As your dog’s hair grows back, begin the habit of daily brushing. Even two minutes a day can prevent mats and assure a happier, healthier dog!

One Pedicure, Please

If there’s one particular reason people visit a groomer, this may be it! Trimming your dog’s nails can be quite the chore. Puppy owners: handle your little guys feet often so he gets used to being touched. This will save you much trouble when he is older. Owners of older dogs, you may have it a bit harder, but this is a necessary practice. Long overgrown nails can be painful, can break at the base and expose the nail bed, can aggravate arthritis and cause the toes to splay. Long nails can even curve around and grow into the pads. A dog walking on overgrown nails is like you trying to walk in swim fins! Have your vet show you how to trim nails or be diligent about taking him to the the groomer.

END Matters

What’s under that tail matters! For obvious reasons, most dog owners don’t make it a habit to check their dog’s back end, but it is an important place to look. Long haired animals can suffer obstruction in the anus if hair is not kept clean and trimmed. A groomer can keep this area clipped short.

And then there are the anal glands. These glands manufacture a foul smelling material that is normally expressed when your dog has a bowel movement. These glands can become painfully blocked and infected. Learn to recognize the sign of infection, including scooting! Your vet can help keep these sacs empty.

Parasites, such as fleas and tapeworms, often park themselves in the rear space. A groomer will notice the signs and a vet can treat such infestations. No – it’s not pleasant, and yet another reason to have a groomer on the calendar on a regular basis!

The Groom Room

A happy, healthy, groomed dog makes the best kind of friend and family pet. Be sure to establish good grooming habits for your fur friend. The quality and quantity of his life will be at their highest, and you will be the happy recipient of lots of grateful licks and snuggles!

Are you looking for a local groomer? Lisa, owner of The Groom Room in Burton, has been grooming dogs for over 25 years. You can read about her background HERE.

One of her happy clients posted on her Facebook page:

“Bridgette has been going to The Groom Room since it opened, but she has been going to Lisa for at least 4 years. Bridgette always looks so beautiful and smells so good after her visit. The Groom Room is affordable and Lisa is quick at getting your pup back to you.

Have been to a few groomers over the years, but the Groom Room is the 1st one I have ever recommended.” ~Betty R. May 2014

Is Fido ready for his next visit to the doggie salon? Check out The Groom Room!

440-834-1911

14333 Kinsman Rd Ste 2
(in the plaza next door to Geauga Glass)
Burton, Ohio 44021

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News