Nov 05

Dog Grooming Benefits

The benefits of dog grooming extend far beyond just making the dog look prettier.  Grooming improves the mental state of your dog, improves his behavi
or, is important for his health, and most importantly, is a protection for YOU and your children and grandchildren.  How so?
Well, let's start off discussing your dog's mental state.  At the beginning of Spring, dog grooming salons become full of dog owners bringing their dog in for the first time after a long winter.  The dogs are dirty, have greasy, matted hair, and some even come in walking improperly because their nails are so long that it's painful for them to put their full weight on their paws.  They have dirty crusted eyes and the insides of their ears are black and clogged.  All of this is because the owner has neglected their dog all winter lo
ng.  These dogs seem to know that they are neglected.  An amazing transition happens after they are groomed and cleaned and spruced up.  Not only do they LOOK like a new dog, but they ACT like a new dog.  The life seems to come back in them and they are so happy.   A mental boost f
or sure. A warm bath with rich, clean lather to rid your animal of harmful
bugs and germs will be a relief for the dry, itchy, irritated skin that often results from being neglected.

An improved mental state leads to better behavior.  Dogs that feel better and are happier,  generally act more friendly, more predictable, and more energetic.  For example, a dog whose hair has grown too long around the eyes and the hair is impairing his vision, this can cause the dog to act more aggressive or fearful simply b
ecause he cannot see well.  Therefore, he easily feels threatened and may be defensive.  Due to his caution and inability to see, he may not be as active, either.  You can imagine how you would react if you were in his situation.  Another example is a dog whose nails have grown too long.  He may have been more energetic and active before because he could run a
nd play and jump without pain.  Now he walks awkwardly and is uncomfortable and must adjust his behavior to become more sedentary.  In both situations, the dog can become depressed and loose his zest for life.  His change in behavior can make him more irritable, aggressive, unpredictable and unhappy.

Grooming and hygiene are jus
t as important for a dog's health as they are for yours.   Thorough brushing removes dead hair, dirt, and debris that can become a dwelling place for bacteria, mites,  and parasites (such as fleas and ticks).  Humans can catch illnesses from such parasites as fleas and ticks.  Fleas are part of the cycle that cause tape worms.  Affected fleas can be harbored in your dog's dirty coat right now if he has gone too long since his last bath and grooming.  These fleas can transmit the tapeworms to any humans as well.   If your dog already has a flea problem, then your groomer can offer you measures to correct the problem, such as a medicated dip, or a bath with medicated shampoo.   Most Vets offer flea treatments that not only kill any eggs that the bath missed, but also prevent your dog from getting any more fleas for a certain number of months.  The medicated liquid comes in a small tube that you squeeze onto your dogs bath.  That's it!  Just one treatment, and your dog has armor that will protect him from any fleas.  Combine this medical flea treatment along with proper grooming and your flea problem should disappear (if the fleas have already taken over your back yard or your home, then of course you will also need to take measures to kill them from those areas, such as by spraying or bombing).
Two particular diseases that come from ticks are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Fever.  Dogs who are left unclean, neglected and un-groomed can carry these ticks and be sick themselves, as well as pose a risk to everyone in the house that they come in contact with.  Don't take the chance – keep your dogs clean and healthy!  Tell your groomer if your dog has a problem with fleas or ticks so they  will know to use a medicated shampoo, or maybe even a dip (depending on how bad the problem is) to rid the animal of fleas.

Besides their skin, the dog's nails are also important to consider.  Trimming them will prevent germs from accumulating inside the nails.  It also will prevent them from inadvertently scratching you or your children or grandchildren, not to mention the furniture.
When hair becomes tangled, it begins to pull on the skin.  Take a wad of your own hair and pull hard. Now imagine it being stuck in that pulled position for days on end, even weeks on end, and sometimes months on end.  The skin becomes red, swollen, inflamed and painful.   As we mentioned, animals in pain usually do not act like themselves.  It alters their behavior and can make them aggressive and irritable - not a good situation if you have children or grandchildren around your animal, or even just for yourself.   Too, it would not be healthy for the animal, for you, or for a child's health, if the dogs are breeding bacteria and parasites in their tangled, dirty hair.  Dogs who are groomed regularly will be happier and safer to be around.  They also will be of better health and will not be exposing you and yo
ur family to bacteria, parasites, germs, dirt and debris, not to mention the odor.  Their coats will be shinier and healthier because regular brushing and combing stimulates the blood supply to the skin.  Eyes will be kept clean and clear from dirty hair, and their vision will not be impaired.
Have peace of mind knowing that you are being a good, responsible pet owner taking care of your dog's mental and physical well-being, as well as preventing any unnecessary exposure of germs to yourself and your family.   In between professional grooming sessions, regularly comb and brush your dog.  Grooming your dog on a weekly basis is a good way to bond with them.  It's good to start at an early age with these frequent grooming sessions so he or she can get use to them.  Many dogs actually enjoy and appreciate their owner grooming them.  They look upon it as a way of expressing affection – almost as though you are “petting” them with the comb and brush.   Remember to also check their eye's and nails as well.
Happy Grooming!

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