Pet Grooming: Keep to a Routine for Optimal Health
The business of self-care is a big one. Drive down any main thoroughfare, and you’ll see a menagerie of nail salons, spas, and barber shops. We feel good when we look good – and the same is true for animals. Sure, many pets keep themselves fairly tidy (we’re looking at you, cats), but self-grooming is no match for the full-service variety. You get a fresh-smelling, clean pet at home, but what’s more, they feel their best when regular pet grooming is a priority.
Think about how often you clean, comb, and brush your own hair. Well, dogs and cats experience the same great feeling with routine brushing. This helps remove loose hairs and debris, stimulates blood flow to the skin, and evenly distributes naturally occurring oils. Say goodbye to hairballs!
An Eye on Bugs
No one likes fleas or ticks (or other ectoparasites like mites), but with regular pet grooming, you can stay ahead of any problems. Although grooming isn’t a replacement for parasite prevention, close inspection of the skin and coat helps eliminate or reduce potential issues before they get out of hand.
Pet grooming also offers the important opportunity to inspect vital areas of the face. Without regular attention, pets can develop inflammation, infection, excess wax, and a funky odor inside the ears. Likewise, the eyes can appear red, irritated, or cloudy instead of clear, bright, moist, and shiny. If you perform these tasks at home, please follow up with us about gentle handling techniques.
Pet grooming must always include regular nail trims. Left alone, long nails have the potential to affect gait and exacerbate arthritis in the knees and hips. They can also become ingrown or infected.
Similarly, pet dental care is a vital component of routine pet grooming. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at least weekly. It’s also important to flip the lip every so often to check for issues, such as bleeding gums, bad breath, and decay. Please let us know if you have any questions about dental care.
Last But Not Least
Even when their exposure to dirt, dust, mud, etc. is minimal, pets still benefit from routine pet grooming (either from a professional or at home). However, for dogs who enjoy a rough and tumble jaunt (perhaps at Edwin Warner Dog Park?), a weekly bath, nail trim, brush out, and wipe down are absolute musts.
Certainly, the earlier you start pet grooming, the more amenable to the idea they will be, but it’s never too late to start! Plus, when you stay on top of pet grooming, you decrease the chances of your pet developing health issues (or experiencing a grooming-related emergency).