Grooming is not just about keeping your dog clean, smelling nice, and looking its best - it's also about maintaining your dog's physical health and wellbeing. Grooming your pet is a good opportunity to check them for any abnormalities or skin problems, such as ticks, fleas, hot spots, lumps, or issues with their nails, teeth, ears, and eyes. These easy checks are a good way to spot potential issues early and find a suitable solution.
Ideally you want to begin training your dog to adjust to being groomed while it is a puppy. Even just the process of washing and drying initially is a good start. If you leave it too long to start grooming training or you start when your pet is an adult, it may have a little trouble adjusting to the new experience, especially with areas, such as ear cleaning and nail clipping. This early start to the grooming experience is also a great beginning in socialising, especially if you use a professional groomer as your dog will have contact with other dogs in the salon and different people other than their immediate family members. Regardless of how you decide to groom your pet it should always be a positive experience and reinforced in a positive manner in the form of treats and lots of love and affection when starting and completing the grooming process.
Grooming is especially important for long-haired dogs, especially in the Northland summers as they feel the heat more than their short-coat counterparts. They also generally require longer grooming sessions compared to short-haired dogs, as they take longer to dry and a little longer to brush their coat. They also spend more time standing with the scissoring or clipping. This is not to say dogs with short coats do not require grooming – grooming is beneficial for all breeds, regardless of the length of coat. Simple brushing can help to remove dead hair, dirt, and dandruff. It also helps to bring out the natural oils in the dog's coat. The natural oils are spread over your pet's coat as you brush, giving it a healthy shine. Always check with your local pet supply store on the appropriate brush for your dog's coat as this can be confusing when being confronted with 20 different options!
People, now more than ever, are going down the road of having their dog professionally groomed as it can be less stress on the owner and the dog. Just be sure when choosing your groomer, to take into consideration your pet's temperament and previous exposure to grooming as an experienced groomer can make the world of difference to your pet's initial experience and future experiences.
Looking good is one thing but feeling good is the most important!