For most, when it comes to taking care of your pet’s health, grooming is not the first thing that comes to mind. What most people don’t know is that regular grooming can have a multitude of health benefits for your pet and can help them live a longer, more comfortable life.
Skin and Fur
We all love when our furry friends are freshly groomed with their fluffy fur, but did you know that brushing and bathing your pet’s fur helps stimulate blood flow and helps detect early signs of fleas and ticks? For humans, brushing our hair helps keep it free from debris and knots while keeping our hair shiny and healthy by distributing healthy oils throughout. This is also the same for our pets. While we might not roll around on the ground while playing outside, our furry friends do. By regularly brushing your pet’s fur, this will help prevent an unwanted build-up of debris, dirt, or loose hair that could get trapped while they are playing. Your pet will surely appreciate your help brushing so that their fur doesn’t get caught on things and pull or tear. Whether you take your pet to a professional groomer or wash them at home yourself, this will give you the chance to observe any skin related issues your pet may have. This is especially important during the summer months when fleas and ticks love to bother your pet. Learn more about flea prevention or tick prevention by reading our blogs.
During these hot summer months, it is very common for breeds like shepherds and retrievers to shed some of their coat leaving their fur all over you and your house. Through a process called de-shedding, your pet can have a full spa experience while at the same time removing that unwanted loose hair. De-shedding is the process of removing the loose hair that a brush at home is unable to remove. Depending on the breed of your pet, they might not shed at all! Every breed is different so the amount of fur that your pet sheds can vary. This also makes it difficult to estimate how many times a year that your pet should undergo the de-shedding process or visit the groomer because there are so many factors to consider. Removing this excess hair helps promote good blood flow to their skin and prevent any skin diseases or infections that may arise from debris being stuck in the fur. This is a completely normal part of the grooming process and is 100% painless. Some might even describe it as luxurious treatment at a pet spa!
Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed is also important for their health, especially as your pet ages. When nails become overgrown, there is a possibility that it may contribute to arthritis of the knees and hips. This is something that can be done at home or by a professional groomer. If you decide to trim your pet’s nails at home you need to be careful not to trim too much. Our pet’s nails are similar to ours in that if you trim too much, it can be painful and bleed. If you are unsure of how to use the nail trimmers, contacting a professional will be the easiest way to keep your pet comfortable during a situation that can already be somewhat stressful for them.
If you normally walk your dog on concrete or pavement, there is a possibility that their nails may naturally grind down on the rough surface. However, dogs also have dewclaws that are essentially the thumb of the canine world. Some breeds have their dewclaws removed at birth, but if your dog does have dewclaws, it is important to pay close attention to them. Because of their location on the paw, this dewclaw will never hit the ground or have the opportunity to be naturally trimmed. If left untrimmed for too long, dewclaws can grow all the way around, forming a circle, and grow back into the dog’s paw.
Dental care is another important area of hygiene that you need to monitor your pet. To read more about good dental health for your pets, check out our blog for tips and tricks that will make their dental visits as smooth as possible.
Eyes and Ears
Keeping a check on your pet’s eyes and ears is very important. These are things that are harder to treat at home, so when you notice a change you should reach out to your vet. It is recommended that you check their ears weekly by simply flipping it up and checking for redness, an odor, or excess wax or debris that may have gotten lodged in their ear canal. If your pet starts flopping their ears around more often, this could also be a sign of infection in the ears.
Similarly, to the ears, your pet’s eyes should not have any redness. If you notice redness or cloudiness, this is a sign of infection and you should contact your vet immediately.
While you may not be an expert when it comes to grooming your pet. There are many things that you can do at home to monitor your furry friends and make their visits to the groomer or vet as smooth as possible like brushing their fur, being attentive to changes in their behavior, and checking their eyes and ears weekly. If you are ever unsure of any aspect of grooming, it is best to contact your local vet or take your pet to a professional to prevent any further damage.
If your pet is overdue for a grooming appointment, contact us today at 704-636-1100. Our current hours are Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Sundays: closed, and we are closed for lunch 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.