The benefits of regular grooming
Why should you groom your pet at home – weekly?
It is a pet owner’s responsibility to maintain good skin and coat condition for their pet.
This includes regular brushing and combing. The comb should run freely through the coat.
Regular grooming promotes good health by:
- Stimulating the skin and promoting good blood circulation
- Aerating the coat ensuring healthy growth
- Brushing away cast and loose hairs, dander and grass seeds
- Avoiding knots and mats from forming
- Creating a good bonding time – reducing stress for you and your pet
- Increases the joy of being handled for your pet
- Increasing the chance for a few treats and rewards for your pet
- A Good time for a health check and to getting to know your pet better
- A Time to inspect for any parasites in coat, skin or ears!
- To attract admiration for your beautiful
- Minimising additional vet and grooming fees.
Not grooming your pet regularly can cause:
- A dull or greasy coat and itchy skin
- Knots and matts in the coat
- Lots of loose hairs and dander in the coat
- Grass seeds which can enter the dogs skin and cause internal damage
- Dog can get stressed and aggressive when grooming time comes around
- Parasites and fungus can live un- noticed in your pets’ coat and ears causing infections, pain and distress
- Increases your vet and grooming fees
Your Dog's Anal Glands and Grooming
Dogs have Anal glands which are scenting glands, the two small pouches are on either side of their anus. They make a smelly, oily, brown fluid that dogs use to identify each other and mark their territory. It’s why they often sniff each other’s behinds. Anal sac disease begins as an uncomfortable impaction and can progress to an infection or abscess.
If your dog is scooting its bottom along the floor, several times a day or is irritated in that region please consult your vet.
Anal glands should not be expressed externally unless recommended by a vet and expressed by the vet or trained professional.
Lumps and Warts
Warts usually occur on the ageing skin of older dogs — as if the loss of hair and muscle strength weren’t enough for them to deal with! They can also be more of a problem in breeds that need to be groomed (clippers may cut the wart and cause bleeding).
Dog warts can also trigger an ‘itch’ response, making the dog lick or scratch the areawhich also makes it bleed or get infected.
Please let your groomer know if your pet has any lumps or warts.
Any smell or discharge coming from your dogs ears is not normal.
Pull your dogs ears back and look regularly for anything abnormal.
Smell could be bacterial, fungal or ear mites.
Consult your vet for treatment or speak to your groomer.
Ticks can be seen easily in your pets coat. They look like small spider-like, egg shaped creepy crawlies. They can attach anywhere on your pets skin.
Ticks are usually picked up in woodland, grassland or in your garden.
You will need to remove the tick with a tick remover and can use tick repellants to avoid your pet attracting ticks. Spot on treatments, tablets and collars can be used to kill and repel ticks.
You can purchase tick treatments at your vets or in your local pet shop or pharmacy.
Lice are parasites that live on the skin of an affected dog. They are actually a small insect that feeds by chewing on the skin of the dog or by sucking the blood, depending on the type of louse.
Both types of lice can be passed directly from one dog to another through direct contact or through contact with contaminated objects, such as or bedding.
There are a wide variety of shampoos, as well as insecticidal sprays and powders that are effective in killing lice. It may be necessary to treat your dog more than once to kill the developing nits as they hatch.
You can purchase lice treatments from your vet.
You may see fleas in your pets coat or what looks like black grit (flea dirt). Fleas can usually be found around the base of the tail or on the tummy.
Fleas can be picked up in the garden, on a walk or in the park as well as from other pets.
You will need to use a flea repellent to avoid your pet attracting fleas. Spot on treatments, flea collars, sprays, shampoos and powders will kill and repel fleas.
You can purchase flea treatments at your vets or in your pet shop or pharmacy
Matted fur can pull on your pets skin and damage it.
It can pull the hair out by the roots and pull on the skin which will be uncomfortable for your pet.
The skin is the biggest organ in your dog’s body and can have reduced function because of the matting.
Matting in your pets fur can uncover hidden ailments. It can make a health check difficult and can harbour insect infestations, skin infections, grass seeds and foreign bodies which can hurt your pet.
Removing matted hair can make your dog have unusual behaviour as they may feel different afterwards.
Removing tight matted hair can incur damage or reactions to the skin by the tools used. Please talk to your groomer regarding any after- care required.
Dogs with injuries caused by grass seeds is an extremely common seasonal problem. Breeds with hairy ears and hairy feet are more at risk if walked in meadows or woodlands where these grasses commonly grow in abundance.
The common occurrence of problems caused by grass seeds is mainly down to their minute shape coupled with its unique design. When examined closely, dry Foxtail grass seeds resemble tiny arrowheads. This enables them to attach themselves easily to an animal’s fur and burrow into the skin.
If you walk your dog in these areas it is advisable to check through the coat with a brush and comb when you get home. Pay particular attention to pads, between toes, ears and under arms.
Your Dog's Nails
Your pet.s nails should be quite short and not be curling under the foot when standing upright. If they curl under, the dogs nails need to be clipped.
The dogs nail contains a blood vessel and nerve (quick) which can grow long as the nails grow. This can sometimes make it difficult to clip the nails without making them bleed.
There should be a few millimetres of white nail after the pink of the dogs ‘quick’. If the nails look like this and do not curl under the paw – they do not need clipping for health reasons.
If the dogs nails cannot be clipped but are sharp then you can file them down at home using a metal nail file.
Bad breath and dental care
Most often, canine bad breath is caused by dental or gum disease, and certain dogs — particularly small ones — are especially prone to plaque and tartar. However, persistent bad breath can also indicate larger medical problems in the mouth, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, or internal organs.
Open your dog’s mouth regularly and check the teeth and gums. Teeth should be white in colour and gums pink.
Consult your veterinary surgeon if you are concerned about bad breath in your pet.
New developments in science and technology mean that dogs can now be treated to ultrasonic teeth cleaning. Non-vibrating, non-invasive, non-sedating and non-abrasive. Ask your groomer if they offer Ultrasonic Teeth Cleaning.
Although most skin problems are not emergencies, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis so the condition can be treated.
See your veterinarian if your dog is scratching or licking excessively, or if you notice any changes in your pet’s coat or skin, including scaling, redness, discolouration, or bald patches. Once the cause is identified, most skin problems respond well to treatment.
Diet is closely related to your dog's skin condition. Including reactions from allergies.
Please bring any prescribed shampoos with you on your grooming appointment and check with your vet that any problems cannot be transferred. Also find out if your groomer is using all-natural shampoos / treatments. Some of the more commercially available shampoos contain alcohol and parabens which may aggravate existing conditions. Some groomers also offer specialist skincare services including oxygenated micro-bubble treatments (not to be confused with hydro-baths).