Even if your dog doesn’t look particularly scruffy, grooming provides many health benefits for them which may not be immediately obvious. Brushing your dog ventilates their coat, helping it grow healthy and strong and takes away old and damaged hair. Grooming also ensures that your dog’s skin can breathe and keeps down the level of grease in their coat. Too much grease can block pores and cause irritation and all sorts of skin problems. Running a brush through their coat acts as a nice massage which promotes healthy blood circulation. 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.
When a dog moults, the loose hair can get tangled which causes matting, which if not brushed away regularly can become worse and worse, pulling on their skin and creating painful sore patches. It has been known to get so bad, huge sores are created which can then get infected, and this is all hidden underneath their fur, so if you aren’t closely checking your dog on a regular basis, it may be missed. Dogs can’t tell us where it hurts, so it is important to keep on top of grooming as it gives you the opportunity to give them a basic health check, you ought to check for matting and sores, between their toes where mud and grass seeds can clump and gather, which can cause a lot of discomfort. You can check for any sores, fleas, or general lumps, bumps, scratches, and the condition of their eyes, ears and feet.
My dog doesn’t like being groomed, what should I do?
Always make grooming and handling a pleasant experience, praise your dog and reward with treats if necessary. Choose a time when you are both relaxed, perhaps after a walk when your dog is resting after their exercise. It is always best to groom your dog from an early age, as this is the time when they make associations and choose what they enjoy and what they don’t.
Visiting a Professional Groomer
A professional groomer has all of the tools and expertise you are unlikely to have at home. Whilst short haired breeds are less likely to require a full-on professional groom as regularly as longer haired breeds, it’s still a good opportunity to get them fully checked over, they’ll have the right tools to enhance your dog’s coat and can offer a world of advice as to how you can groom your dog at home. 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 type of coat. Not only that, but it 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.
Many breeds with longer coats require a more thorough grooming and often there are coat styles specific to particular breeds. A professional groomer will know which coat styles suit which hairstyles best and will know which products will enhance a dog’s coat the most. It will depend on your dog’s lifestyle and coat as to how regularly you should take your dog to be groomed by a professional, but even if you go just the once, you can then ask your groomer for any advice specific to your dog to help you groom them at home or advise on how regularly they ought to be taken to a groomer.