Looking After Your Dog, Part Nine – Dog Grooming

The phrase “dog grooming” conjures up an image of expensive salons for pets. It’s true that your pet does not need fancy haircuts, expensive baths or oil treatments. But shunning away the idea of dog grooming is akin to handling your pet with shortsightedness. Your pet’s appearance is a mirror to its overall health and wellbeing. Lack of grooming may lead to major health problems. Dog groomers ensure that your dog not only looks good but feels good as well.

Professional dog groomers suggest basic grooming for eyes, ears, teeth, face, tummy, skin, feet and nails, and coat should be done regularly.

Appropriate eye care entails regular cleansing. Your dog’s eyes should be bright, lustrous and clean. You must ensure that there are no signs of redness or excessive discharge. There is likely to be periodic buildup in the dog’s eye, which must be wiped out with a clean, damp cloth. However, if the discharge is thick or mucous-like, you must consult a veterinarian.

Ear care is also an important aspect of dog grooming. Moisture and dirt buildup inside the pet’s ear is a breeding ground for bacteria. You should trim ear hair and wipe with a clean cloth, thereby ensuring that the ear is kept dry. Any buildup of wax in the ear must be treated immediately, lest an infection sets in. The veterinarian would typically employ a solution to dissolve the ear wax and then cleanse it using a cloth or Q-tip.

Dental hygiene is equally important for your dog as it is for you. Plaque and tartar buildup causes gum disease. It is a common misconception that a balanced diet can prevent gum diseases or other teeth related problems. Cleaning the teeth and gums is highly essential for proper dental care. Dog groomers clean a pet’s teeth and gums in order to prevent unnecessary plaque buildup.

Dog groomers stress on brushing a dog’s coat on a weekly basis. A thick and matted coat encourages bacterial infection and other diseases of the skin, and hence it is all more necessary to keep your dog’s coat clean. Stroking with a soft brush gets rid of dead hair, dander and dirt.

As every dog groomer would suggest, trim your dog’s nails at least once a month. It is a misconception that long hair between the toes would keep your dog’s feet warm in winters. Instead it would collect dirt and grime, and may encourage infection. Therefore, keep the hair trimmed at all times.