Groomers have been promoting grooming as a “spa day” for pets with a focus on appearance. Although we humans find spa treatments relaxing, our four-legged friends don’t necessarily feel the same peace of mind that we find with a shampoo and a cut. Grooming services do provide peace of mind for the owners but, more importantly, grooming has health-related benefits for the pets in addition to the appearance.
There are a variety of things to consider when bathing, clipping, and brushing your pets. You need to become familiar with the type of fur your dog’s skin has so you can prevent and/or alleviate discomfort with skin lesions. Without knowledge of current skin conditions, repetitive brushing or excessive de-shedding without the proper lubrication application to your dog’s skin and coat can aggravate existing lesions or create a reaction on normally calm skin. Consultation with a trusted groomer (and veterinarian if necessary) is important. They can educate you on skin types and recommend the proper tools and skincare needs for your canine’s coat type.
Behavior is an important component when considering grooming at home. Fighting with your dog for at-home grooming can have a physical impact on you or your dog. By taking your pet to a groomer, you remove your personal risk of injury. A dog's behavior is going to be different at home with the owner than at the grooming location. Much like a child going away to daycare for the day, just because it's an unfamiliar environment at first doesn’t mean it can’t be a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Respect and discipline are two areas of behavior that can be easily attained with the correct approach. With having these two areas under control, the grooming experience can be that much more pleasant for both the dog and groomer involved, regardless of the condition of the coat.
Finally, dogs and cats have matts because of grooming shortfalls. Knots and tangles are entirely different from matting, and they should indicate a need for grooming. When knots and tangles are left on the pet, the matting process begins. Dogs are very tolerant of matting which leads owners to believe that grooming is not urgent. However, the matting process is nothing short of painful to your dog’s skin. The most significant problems with matting as seen by groomers is behavior changes due to discomfort and physical complications when the dog is finally shaved.
Once at the matted phase, it’s necessary to shave the pet. When shaving, the dog’s hair can pull on the outer layer of the skin, placing an unnecessary and unpleasant strain on a dog’s body. This can lead to permanent crippling or impaired gate with the painful flight reaction from the pull from shaving.
Badger Veterinary Hospital offers grooming at both our Janesville and Cambridge locations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!