By BarkUpToday Blog Editors
When you think about pet health, your thoughts may turn to veterinary care, exercise, and nutrition, but regular grooming is key to pet health. Dog grooming plays an essential part in your dog’s life and is one of your dog’s most basic needs. Our love for our pets is demonstrated by how much money we spend on them each year.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA)adds that in 2020, $103.6 billion went on pets in the U.S. The breakdown for “other services,” including boarding, grooming, insurance, training, pet sitting and walking, and all services outside of veterinary care, was $8.1 billion. The estimated projected sales for 2021 for other services is $9.7 billion.
All dog breeds need to be regularly groomed regardless of whether they’re long-haired or short-haired, large or small. Grooming your dog is essential for bonding, socialization, and positive training. In this blog, we’re going to discuss the importance of regular dog grooming and how it also allows you to examine your pup from head to tail and monitor his health and appearance.
The Importance of Dog Grooming
Your dog’s coat should be brushed regularly to remove shed hair and prevent hair mats and skin irritations. Grooming is more than just brushing your pet. It involves ear cleaning, bathing, dental cleaning, wiping the eyes, trimming sensitive areas, and removing mats and tangles with clippers.
Regular grooming is essential for all dog breeds, especially those with thick or shaggy coats prone to easy matting and tangling. Mats can easily cause skin irritation because they create moist conditions beneath them that allow a dog to become more susceptible to bacterial or parasitic infections.
The exact amount of grooming that your pup will need for each session will depend on the breed, coat condition, and any special conditions that your furry best friend may be prone to like skin conditions, allergies, shedding cycles, and matted fur.
Proper grooming is also key to minimizing fleas and ticks, optimizing skin and coat health, socialization, and checking out any problem areas like sensitive paws, ear and eye infections, and other health conditions. Because regular grooming is essential for all dog breeds, it’s necessary to start grooming your puppy from an early age. There are tremendous benefits from this, with one of them being bonding with your puppy.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) adds that keeping your dog in good shape means having a grooming routine. They explain that “Regular grooming of a dog’s coat, feet, teeth, ears, and eyes will pay off in health benefits, too. If lumps or skin infections show up, you’ll spot them early enough to visit the veterinarian for a check-up.”
It’s important to note that mats should be removed with electric clippers and not scissors to avoid mishaps like accidentally cutting the skin beneath the mat. Periodic bathing with a gentle pet shampoo is also key to maintaining healthy skin and fur.
Regular Brushing & Bathing
Beyond the need for regular brushing, there are plenty of dog breeds like the Golden Retriever and German Shepherd, whose coat provides some extra work because their fur is thicker and forms tiny fur bunnies that float across your home. You’ll also need to consider the oil from your dog’s coat that has the potential to soil your carpet and walls.
Regular grooming keeps your dog healthy, feeling good and your home clean. If you neglect to groom your dog, he may suffer. Keeping your dog well-groomed and regularly bathed helps to mitigate some of the housekeeping issues and limits the amount of shedding and fur bunnies in your home.
Grooming & Health
Daily grooming is an essential part of pet maintenance. Brushing and combing help to remove dirt, parasites, burs, tangles, and even parasites. While pets need to be groomed regularly, the frequency will depend on your pup’s breed, coat, general health, and lifestyle.
If your pup suffers from skin irritations or sensitivities, your veterinarian will prescribe medicated shampoos and treatments as part of a treatment regime. By keeping your pup’s skin and coat clean, free of parasites, dirt, burs, and tangles, you’ll cut down on the hours and expenses in veterinary care for more severe issues later on like ear infections and severe skin infections.
That said, even if you’re diligent about grooming your pup at home, taking your pup to a professional groomer or having a mobile groomer come over may be beneficial for both you and your pup.
Healthy versus Unhealthy Coats
Healthy coats should be soft and shiny even with short-haired or wired-haired dog breeds. Healthy dog coats should never be oily and should not have a strong or foul odor. Dogs with unhealthy coats may have brittle or dry coats with lots of loose hair scattered throughout the coat. Unhealthy coats may also look greasy or have a dusty appearance. They may also have hot spots, bald spots, skin irritations, and a foul smell.
Daily grooming is necessary for your pup, just as much as the occasional bathtime that he’s going to need. Depending on your dog’s activity level and the amount of time he spends outdoors, a soothing bath will eliminate any funky smell.
Yet, you should keep in mind that too many baths can over-dry your pup’s skin and cause slight or severe skin irritations. You should try to wash your pup no more than twice a month, but that said, it all depends on your dog’s lifestyle. If your pup enjoys hanging out in the manure heap on your horse farm, then the chances are that you’ll be bathing him more often.
A dog’s nails also need to be regularly clipped every month to prevent breakage or painful tearing. If your pup has overgrown nails, he may have difficulties walking and may even be prone to paw deformities. Regular teeth brushing should always be part of your grooming session, with teeth needing to be brushed daily.
Long-haired pups, like the Maltese, will benefit from daily brushing to prevent tangling and matting of hair.
Medium-haired dogs also may be prone to matting and tangling and should also be brushed regularly.
Dog Breeds & Grooming
Short-haired dog breeds like the Chihuahua don’t need daily brushing but enjoy the attention and bonding time. However, if your pup enjoys playing in the mud or sheds a lot, you should groom and bathe according to your dog’s requirements.
Regular Grooming Reduces Shedding & Stinky Coats
Depending on your dog breed, your furry best friend could leave behind lots of fur throughout your home and on your clothes. If you choose to keep shedding to a bare minimum, you should brush your dog regularly. Shedding is usual in every dog’s life but is often a nuisance.
Today, numerous specialized products and de-shedding tools limit shedding and shampoos, and other devices. Conventional dog deshedders have sharp edges that have the potential to cut either pet parent or pet. You should opt for smooth rounded teeth to minimize the chances of accidentally scratching or snagging skin and pet hair.
Some de-shedding tools like the Swees American Eazee can pull out only dead hair and leave healthy hair behind. It’s also a comfortable option for your pet. This tool is made from hard rubber that does not rust and is also easy to disinfect and keep clean. It also features interchangeable blades for ease of use.
Brands like Andis carry a fine-toothed de-shedding rake that works for all dog breed sizes regardless of hair length. It features a premium delicate tooth design that reaches the topcoat with ease and painlessly removes loose fur without harming your pet’s coat or skin.
Regular Brushing Benefits
Some dog breeds will need more brushing than other breeds. Yet, regardless of the breed you have, you should regularly massage the dirt and dander off the skin. The best way to groom your dog is to use high-quality grooming products and be wary of cutting grooming tools.
There are some blades, metal bristle brushes, and even metal curry combs that should not be used too often over the same area. Some of these grooming devices are capable of even cutting healthy, non-ready to shed hair, and may be damaging to your dog’s coat. Always reach out to a professional groomer for the best advice as to the grooming tools that work best for your furry best friend.
Getting your furry best friend from clean and wet to clean and dry from the skin to the hair tips is often a significant and time-consuming part of grooming, depending on your dog breed. How your dog is dried has a substantial effect on the outcome of each grooming session.
Appropriate airflow in the mobile van is essential because any location where your pets are bathed tends to have lots of moisture in the air. Vent fans in mobile grooming units are influential in determining how much moisture gets trapped in the mobile van.
Dog Grooming Products
Professional high-quality pet groomers have a wide range of good dog grooming supplies that pet parents usually don’t have on hand, like the right-sized dog nail trimming tools to ensure that nails are never cut too short and causing extreme pain.
There are special pet shampoos that help dry coats more efficiently. These products allow for water to go through the coat so that it can be removed quickly. Today there are numerous pet shampoos that you can choose from.
Although choosing the right pet shampoo to use at home can involve plenty of trial,error and expense, there are numerous advantages for doing so. Here are a few:
. You can opt for dog shampoos designed especially for wavy, curly, or straight coats, which help enhance coat color.
. Shampoos and conditioners for dogs can make post-bath grooming easier and reduce hair breakage that sometimes occurs when combing out.
. Shampoos specially designed for sensitive skins or allergies like a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner can benefit or minimize your dog’s sensitivity to bathing. If your pup is prone to rashes or hot spots, you should consult with your veterinarian first for a medicated shampoo to treat the issue.
. Tearless shampoos are also beneficial for all dogs, regardless of whether they have sensitive eyes or dogs.
. Flea shampoos with natural botanical oil are also effective at combating external parasites.
Silicone or silk proteins shampoos and light conditioners for pets are crafted significantly to optimize a smooth coat and seal individual hair shafts by not allowing water to linger there.
Ingredients in high-quality dog grooming shampoos and conditioners also help reduce surface tension in the water, making it easier to remove from the coat.
Whether your groomer opts for a traditional dryer with a heating element that removes water by combining air movement action with warmth or a high-velocity dryer that’s designed to push water out of a dog’s coat with the direction of the air, the drying time will be significantly reduced.
The result is vastly improved if the groomer begins the drying process before even washing the dog. By keeping humidity low in the mobile grooming van, groomers can utilize pet grooming products to allow for a smooth coat that releases moisture, absorbs as much water mechanically, and enables them to be relaxed and comfortable.
Choosing a Professional Mobile Dog Groomer
It’s never a good idea to pick the first dog groomers you see online. You should research to ensure that you select a professional dog groomer that’s right for your pup. As with anything in life, you’ll come across excellent and not-so-great groomers, and finding the best dog groomers will usually mean meeting with the groomer and asking a few questions. Here’s what to consider and things to avoid when choosing the best mobile dog groomer.
. Ensure that your groomer is certified correctly before committing.
. Check to see what products the salon uses on dogs and if they use gentle or organic products.
. Check to see if they’re members of the Better Business Bureau and if they’re licensed to operate in your state.
. Look for referrals and check out the reviews.
. Please inquire whether they have any veterinary or medical training, which is always an asset in a groomer.
. Your groomer should always examine your pup’s medical history or sensitivities
. Ask for a tour of the mobile grooming van to see if it’s well-operated, quiet, and clean.
. If your pup has had a negative experience and is anxious, ask the groomer how they soothe a dog’s grooming anxieties.
. Research the groomer’s pricing structure and compare standard services such as bathing, nail trimming, nail clipping, teeth brushing, ear and paw pad cleaning, as well as anal gland expression. Sometimes dog grooming services are charged as an all-inclusive package. Keep in mind that rates may increase for cases with extreme matting or aggressive behavior.
Grooming & Positive Reinforcement
You should reward your pup for good behavior when grooming at home, especially during bathtime. You should always be as gentle as possible, even if your dog dislikes bathtime. Choose a mild pet shampoo with all-natural or organic ingredients, and begin by working from the neck down while avoiding getting soap in his eyes. If your pup is a newby to bathtime, you should set the tone for future baths by making this as pleasant as positive for your pup.
How to Bath Your Pup?
Before bathing your furry best friend, you’ll need to thoroughly brush him and check for mats and burs in his fur. You should also make a note as to where the mats are before bathing and to use a detangling or spray-in conditioner while your dog is wet.
Never allow for mats to get wet and then dry because they end up becoming tighter and more difficult to remove, and you may end up damaging the coat. When bathing your pup, you can also use a sterile eye lube or your hand over your pup’s eyes to prevent shampoo from getting in them.
You’ll also need to protect your pup’s ears and avoid water from entering when rinsing your pup. You can do so by inserting cotton balls into his ears to help prevent water from getting into the ears and becoming trapped. Don’t forget to remove them after bathing.
The easiest way to bathe your pup is by using a handheld shower nozzle and soaking him with lukewarm water. You should avoid the facial area and begin by soaking him thoroughly in the bathtub with lukewarm water.
A dog’s skin is super sensitive. You should gently apply a natural dog shampoo and gently massage the shampoo throughout the coat in non-circular motions. After rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water, you should ensure that the water runs clear with the final rinse out.
It’s important not to bathe your dog outside during the cold winter months regardless of dog breed and hair length. The cold water from the hose could cause hypothermia.
Grooming should feel good to your dog, so if your dog flinches or shows signs of pain during grooming, you’ll know that something is not right. If your pup winces when you wash his facial area, he may have dental issues. If your pup constantly shakes his head or paws his ears, he may have an ear infection.
Not grooming your pup as often as you should may have a negative influence on his health. If your pup has mat and tangles, moisture gets trapped underneath his coat and may predispose him to skin irritations and infections.
Grooming doesn’t end after your pup’s grooming session. A professional groomer will give you tips on how to maintain your dog’s coat between appointments and will show you how to brush your pup’s teeth and clean his ears.
Keeping your puppy familiar with the grooming routine and encouraging good behavior with plenty of his favorite treats makes each grooming sessions less stressful for both of you.
Questions & Answers
At what age should a puppy get his first grooming?
Puppies should be around 12 weeks and in good health before being groomed for the first time. Many pet parents wait until their pups are older before taking them to visit the groomers. You should aim for around 12 weeks so that your pup starts getting used to being handled from a young age.
How to choose a professional dog groomer?
Before opting for any dog groomer, you should reach out to your veterinarian and read up on reviews. You should also meet up with your groomer before the grooming appointment and check references and certifications.
How to keep up good grooming schedules between appointments?
You should be prepared for at-home grooming care with all the right grooming tools for your dog’s breed and special needs. Ask your vet about the best ways to trim your dog’s nails, clean ears, and bathe. The more comfortable your pup is around water and people, the easier each grooming session will be with a professional groomer.
Should I leave my puppy at the groomer or stay?
Before scheduling a grooming appointment, look into what grooming options may work for you. Professional mobile dog groomers may be beneficial in acclimating your pup to grooming more easily.
First puppy grooming appointments will be shorter because pups have less patience being groomed initially than older dogs. Shorter first grooming sessions for pups are less stressful for younger pups.
If you opt for mobile pet groomers, you’ll be at home and can make frequent visits to the mobile van, thus lessening any stress your puppy may feel. Mobile pet groomers also ease separation anxiety. You should work with your groomer to allow for a safe and familiar grooming routine.
How many appointments will it take for my pup to feel comfortable?
It usually will take 2-3 appointments with a professional dog groomer until your pup gets the hang of things. You should feel comfortable leaving your puppy at the groomers and maintain a regular grooming schedule with your professional pet groomer so that your dog will feel totally at ease.
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