Grooming is something most people take for granted. We primp and preen, bath and strive to maintain a good physical appearance. Good grooming habits contribute not only to appearance but to overall good health. The responsibilities that come with owning a dog are many and our pet dogs rely on us to provide them with all the necessities of life. Food, shelter, proper veterinary care and a lot of love are at heart of what our dogs expect and deserve. Just as important is a grooming routine. Good dog grooming can go a long way towards keeping your canine companion healthy and happy.
Different dog breeds can have vastly different grooming requirements. The amount of grooming needed is something that a perspective dog owner should consider before choosing a dog. For example, short hair dog breeds may require less coat grooming than their long hair cousins. Certain breeds are more susceptible to skin problems than others.
Dogs deserve a proper grooming and as dog owners we must think of good grooming regimen as part of a nose to tail strategy. In addition to good coat care, care of the eyes, ears, paws and claws is essential to your dogs health and happiness.
Coat Care Kept Simple
Whether you do your own grooming or opt for a professional grooming service, the task of keeping your dog well groomed is essential. Unless you plan on showing your dog, good dog grooming can be a do-it-yourself program.
One of my dogs was rescued from the side of the road, as ten to twelve week old puppy. After a proper vet check, he was given a clean bill of health. We knew he was a mixed breed Akita and as he grew out of his puppy stage, he developed a beautiful coat, with a seasonal undercoat. He is somewhat cat-like in his own grooming habits, and pays special attention to keeping his paws clean. As far as coat care is concerned, I would classify him as a low-maintenance dog. From the day we found him, he has received regular brushing and has learned to love the attention, to the point of bringing the brush to us. A monthly bath combined with regular brushing makes keeping his coat in good condition a relatively easy task.
In contrast to Willie, our Cocker Spaniel could be quite a handful when it comes to coat care. He is not a show dog and we do not feel bound by any given grooming standard. His fur is kept neatly trimmed short which makes regular bathing and brushing a manageable task that we can handle ourselves. The show standard for grooming would take considerably more time and money.
Regular bathing is important, whether performed by a grooming professional or the owner. Certain breeds need special attention when it comes to bathing, especially when it comes to shampoos. A shampoo that is too harsh came dry the dogs skin or exacerbate existing skin conditions. Always consult your veterinary professional for a bathing regimen that is best for your precious pet.
The Brush is a Dogs Best Friend
Regular brushing is one of the easiest ways to promote a healthy coat. Regular brushing stimulates the skin along with removing loose hair and dander. This is true whether your dogs coat is long or short. Brushing gives dog owners a chance to examine the dogs skin, making it easier to spot skin abnormalities and parasite infestations.
A program of regular brushing should be started during the puppy stage, though with older rescue or adopted dogs, this is not always possible. Dogs who have not been accustomed to regular brushing may resist, requiring a greater degree of owner patience.
A proper diet can go a long way towards keeping your dog healthy, including the skin and coat. Just like humans, a poor dog diet can manifest itself in skin and coat problems. There is a wide variety of diet supplements and dog foods that claim to promote a healthy coat and these certainly cannot hurt. Always consult a veterinary professional before adding a supplement to your dogs diet.