1. Clean is Healthier.
Dogs walk in it, roll in it, and snuffle in it. Their hair attracts and holds onto dirt, pollen, second hand smoke, and much more. We pet them, hold them, let them play with the kids and get on the furniture. They should be clean.
2. Thick or matted fur can conceal tumours, growths, embedded objects and serious skin conditions.
I once pulled a 3-pronged fishhook from a Collie coat. The people had gone fishing three months prior. If air cannot reach the skin, there is the possibility of developing bacterial or fungal skin infections, especially when the coat is not regularly cleaned. Moreover, matted fur is uncomfortable for the pet.
3. Regular grooming can lead to early discovery of serious conditions.
Every groomer has stories of detecting serious health problems during grooming that had gone unnoticed at home. Regular grooming can allow for early discovery of serious conditions, and allow for early treatment and less veterinary expense. Grooming helps us become familiar with what is “normal” and what is not with our pets. It is one way to monitor the health of a pet. In using our sight, touch, and smell while grooming, we can recognise when something is not right and seek early veterinary care.
4. Uncared for feet and toenails can cause discomfort and pain.
Walking on long and curled nails can throw the dog’s structural alignment out of whack. Some over-grown nails can curl back and puncture the foot pad. Ouch! Hair can become balled up between the pads and contain stickers. It’s like walking with rocks in your socks!
5. Dead fur needs to be removed manually on many breeds.
Long and curly haired breeds need to be combed to prevent matting. Double coated breeds need shed undercoat removed so the skin can breathe. Terrier coats need raking to remove aged hairs and promote fresh growth. All short-coated breeds shed and need to be groomed for hair management.
6. Well-groomed dogs have a better chance of being reunited with their families if lost or strayed.
Lack of grooming is often interpreted as an indication of neglect by someone who finds a lost pet, and is used as a justification for not reporting the pet as found. Maintaining a pet’s grooming is an expression of the value you place on the animal in your care. BTW, for this same reason, it is a good idea to groom your pet before you leave on a trip or vacation and someone else is to care for them.
7. Having a well-groomed dog is more fun!
Grooming increases the parent-pet bond, not just the doing of it, but also the results. We are attracted to how a dog looks. Whether it is cute and fluffy, tidy and tailored, or smooth and shiny, humans have a natural response to an attractive looking animal. We enjoy our pets more when they are not dirty and smelly or an embarrassment to us when company comes. Well-groomed pets get more positive attention from others as well. Any way we look at it, grooming matters!