We seem to be living increasingly busy lives and this can make pet parenting tough. Since dog ownership comes with many daily responsibilities such as feeding and walking your canine pal, grooming may seem like one of those tasks that isn’t such a big priority. However, despite your packed schedule, regular grooming is still something that you should make time for. This is because, contrary to many misconceptions, grooming is about way more than simply maintaining the way that your dog looks. Instead, it is a vital part of keeping your furbaby healthy and happy.
Why you should brush your dog’s coat regularly
When most people think of grooming their dog, brushing their coat tends to be the first activity that springs to mind. Dog’s coats come in a variety of thicknesses and lengths, and the longer and thicker your canine’s coat is, the more brushing he will need. Failure to groom his coat with any regularity can cause it to come matted and knotted, and this can cause him pain when it comes to trying to clear the problem. Brushing also helps to remove dirt, debris, dry skin and loose hair which can help prevent hotspots and skin irritation and encourages the stimulation of natural oils which help his coat to look and feel healthy.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is important too
Dental disease is the biggest oral health problem facing dogs and will affect 70% of canines by the time they reach their third birthday. Also referred to as periodontal disease, the condition is the same in dogs as it is in humans and can cause pain, infection and tooth loss. Studies have also shown an irrefutable link between dental disease and the development of some serious health problems such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Brushing your dog’s teeth should be a daily habit. Use a canine toothpaste (human varieties are toxic) and a soft-bristled brush and pay special attention to the area where his teeth meet the gums as this is where dental disease is most likely to occur. If you need help with techniques for brushing, ask your vet for a demonstration.
Cleaning his ears can help his hearing and prevent infection
Your dog’s ears are complex in design, with extra-long canals and a right-angle that makes it virtually impossible to remove anything that gets stuck down there without putting your pet to sleep first. These dark, moist channels are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, and many dogs also suffer from ear mites, a parasite that feeds on skin and debris in the ear canal. By cleaning your furball’s ears with a damp cloth, you can help remove any external dirt and bacteria that could potentially cause infection. You will also be able to spot any issues that may be developing such as redness, swelling or a foul smell emanating from the inner ear.
A perfect opportunity for a health check
Regular grooming provides you with an ideal opportunity to do a physical check of your dog’s body. You can examine him from nose to tail, checking for:
- any suspicious lumps or bumps that might be hidden by his coat
- any skin problems such as dryness and flaking, rashes or infections
- poor quality coat that could indicate an underlying health condition
- problems with his paw pads or claws
- bad breath or visible dental problems
- the presence of parasites such as flea, ticks or ear mites
As with most health and dental problems, the sooner they are identified, the quicker treatment can be started and the better the outcome for your beloved dog.
As you can see, regular grooming is essential for your dog’s health as well as his appearance. It will also help him feel good and this will improve his mood and temperament and make your time with him much more pleasant. If you would like to learn more about the importance of grooming for your dog, please don’t hesitate to visit our offices in Gainesville, FL to book an appointment.