Tip of the Month

1/25/2010 Why Every Dog Needs Grooming

There is no such thing as a grooming-free breed of dog. Some breed categories, like those with short hair, may seem like they do not need grooming, when in fact, all dogs need to be groomed. For your pet’s well-being, he should be groomed on a regular basis.

Purebred dogs come in many coat varieties and mixed breed dogs may have several configurations. Whether you take your pet to a groomer or groom at home, care should be taken to choose the right shampoo and conditioner for each type of coat. In addition, you should always follow the bath with conditioner because shampooing not only removes the dirt but also all of the oils. If you do not replace it with conditioner, the sweat glands (Sebaceous Glands) go into overproduction, which is why many dogs smell a few days after a bath.

This is usually the case with the smooth coated breeds such as the Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Pugs, etc. who are known to have skin problems. Many people see these breeds as a wash and go pet; spray the dogs down, shampoo, rinse, and let them air dry. They need a gentle shampoo and conditioner, and they must be dried completely.

The medium double-coated dogs blow their undercoat a couple times a year and more often if they are an indoor dog. When these dogs are bathed, they release much of their undercoat and for several days later. Some owners have these dogs shaved to get rid of the shedding. By doing so, the owner is not only ruining the dog’s top coat that will never grow back properly, but now the shedding will be little short particles of hair that end up in the air and can be breathed in. Other owners of medium-coated dogs also shave them because they live in hot climates. The hair is actually protecting them from the heat. Shaving any dog and then exposing them to the elements could be harmful. The way dogs actually cool themselves down is through the glands in their feet and nose, and with extreme heat through their tongue.

The long hair dogs have another completely different set of issues. If an owner does not keep these coat clipped, combed, and conditioned, they can end up with a painful full body mat, which usually has to be removed with a surgical blade.

If your dog is clean, brushed, nails trimmed, and ears clean, you both will be happy and you probably will spend more time with him. Generally, dogs that are only bathed maybe once a year tend to be neglected, unhappy, and are at a greater risk for health issues. Whereas the dog groomed by a groomer or at home tends to be included in the owner’s daily life, and is probably better behaved because he is not desperate for attention.

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