THE IMPORTANCE OF GROOMING YOUR PET
Merritt Milam | June 1, 2021
Aside from a clean, better-smelling dog or cat, grooming might not seem like an important part of your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. But, proper grooming provides many helpful benefits for pets of all sizes and length of fur. Regular grooming can catch underlying conditions or diseases sooner, allowing for earlier management before it becomes a more difficult problem to treat.
Here are some of the important benefits of giving your pet regular, thorough grooming.
Regular baths give you, or your professional groomer, a good opportunity to check your pet’s skin for bumps, bugs, and other issues that otherwise might go undetected without a good bath. Baths also help pets find relief from skin rashes, inflammation, dry and flaky skin, or other irritants that result from a buildup of bacteria and parasites.
Keep in mind, not all pets need to be bathed often. Small dogs may be good once a month, where larger dogs may need to be bathed every two or three weeks. Bathing too often will strip away the skin’s natural oils, causing dry, itchy skin. If you have any questions about how often your pet needs a bath, our groomer Brita will be glad to discuss your pet’s specific needs.
Regular grooming will also help uncover ear problems that usually go unnoticed. Some breeds are more susceptible to ear problems caused by parasites and infections. If you notice an unpleasant odor, red or swollen ears, or infestation of mites or ticks – your pet’s ears need attention. At Wags we include a thorough ear cleaning as part of the grooming experience.
A pet’s nails that are not regularly trimmed can be sharp and dangerous to your skin and your furniture. While most pets can be hesitant to have their nails trimmed, early grooming with nail trimming will teach your pet to remain calm during the experience. Older dogs can find some relief from arthritis or joint pain with a regular nail trim. It’s also important to note that waiting too long in between trimming the nails allows the quick to grow longer and longer with the length of the nail, compounding the risk of cutting it during trims. Regular nail trimmings put pressure on the quick, making it recede and the nail shorten over time.
One of the most important aspects of a well-groomed pet is regular brushing. The frequency and type of brush used will depend on the pet’s coat. Brushing helps prevent tangles and matting. It also releases the pet’s natural oils, creating a healthy coat. If your pet has long, thick fur that mats easily, they probably need brushing more often and with a good slicker brush. Here are a few different brushes along with their specific use from Hartz.com.
Slicker – fine, short wires close together on a flat surface. Used for medium to long hair or curly-haired dogs to remove mats
Rakes – designed to penetrate a dog’s thick coat and remove tangles and dead undercoat near the dog’s skin. They are often shaped like a shaving razor and feature one or two rows of tightly-spaced pins.
Bristle Brushes – for short-haired, smooth-coated dogs. They remove loose fur and stimulate the skin.
Pin Brushes – oval-shaped, with a loosely arranged set of flexible wires with pins on top. Pin brushes are the most commonly used type of brush and often used for finishing.
At Wags, our groomer has all the right tools and techniques to handle any pet – large or small, thick fur or short. To make an appointment call 205-902-WAGS (9247). We can help your pet look and feel their best with a grooming specifically tailored for them.