By: Mari Kusanagi
As summer comes rolling in, the grooming salon at Fluffy Tails is bustling with animals for their long-awaited spa appointment. I’ve seen it all! Clean dogs, dirty dogs, matted and well-brushed dogs. If you’re wondering why your groomer asks you to come in regularly, here are some reasons why.
1. Regular grooming helps to maintain a healthy coat and skin. Scrubbing, blow drying, and brushing removes dead skin and hair as well as allowing air to circulate through the coat. Brushing also helps to distribute the pet’s natural oils throughout the coat.
2. Groomers can inspect the skin and coat during grooming. Regular grooming may even give groomers a chance to find any abnormalities, including fleas and ticks. Quite often, groomers are the first to find these critters and will find the best possible way to remove them from the pet.
3. Matted hair can be dealt with by brushing or shaving under it, depending on the severity. Matted or pelted coats are nothing unusual at the start of warmer weather, but as a groomer, I advise you not to wait until the end of winter to deal with it. Mats are often painful and irritating because it can pinch and pull the skin. Imagine the roots of your hairs being pinched and pulled all day. Ouch!
4. Ears and nails are often overlooked on a pet, especially if they haven’t been groomed in three or more months. Hair does grow in the ears and between the toes, so if they grow too long you may not notice the condition they are in. Regular nail trimming is important because when nails grow too long, it can be uncomfortable for your pet to walk, let alone stand. If you’ve ever worn a shoe that’s a size smaller, you may have an idea of how uncomfortable it can be. It’s also standard procedure to pluck (yes, pluck) the hair from your pet’s ear if there are any. Removing ear hair opens up the ear to let air flow through. When ear hair is left growing, it can attract moisture which can cause ear infections or yeast build up.
5. Here’s one thing I’m sure your personal hair stylist doesn’t offer at the salon: sanitary trims and poop cleaning! A sanitary trim is when groomers shave or trim around the genital and anus of the pet. This is to keep the area clean, and free of any tangles or unwanted hair. Occasionally I will see a pet client that comes in once or twice a year with a chunk of poop stuck on their bum. This is not okay! Any fecal matter left on a pet should be removed immediately as it can cause irritation, inflammation, and matting around the bum. You wouldn’t leave poop on your baby’s bum, so why would you leave any on your dogs?
6. Grooming will always include a good clean around the eyes. If your pet has a lot of eye gunk in the inner eye corners, it’s best to remove them as soon as possible.
Discharge left accumulating and built up around the eyes can cause irritation. Long term build up can be hard to remove even by a groomer, and can result in pain and discomfort. If your pet has excessive and/or discolored eye discharge, it’s best to see a doctor.
7. Frequent and regular grooming is beneficial for most pets who suffer from anxiety. Sometime clients feel reluctant to bring in their fur babies for grooming because they simply don’t enjoy being groomed or are afraid. A fellow groomer once told me: a dog that’s groomed every 3-6 months see the groomer’s as punishment, while a dog that’s groomed every 4-6 weeks see it as a part of life.
A clean dog is a happy dog! I believe regular grooming should be treated like a spa day. Each time they come in, they will leave looking and feeling beautiful. Pre-booking appointments at the end of the previous groom will ensure a spot for your pet in the coming busy months. I look forward to seeing you and your furry friends in the grooming room!