Vet Blog

Grooming… Facts All Pet Owners Should Know

March 17, 2016

Keeping your dog and cat healthy means paying regular attention to bathing, grooming, and brushing.

Even pets with short hair will benefit from this often overlooked aspect of pet care. Grooming does more than just make your pet look and smell nice. There are also medical reasons why regular pet grooming in Montgomery Alabama will help your dog and cat stay healthy and feel better.

The Big Bad Wolf On Pet Grooming

"The Better To See You With"

Keeping your dog's face free of long hair that can irritate the eyes will make your pet more comfortable and could help prevent common eye problems. Many dogs, such as the Shih Tzu, Lhasa apso, and poodle, have long hair that hangs in the eyes causing irritation and damage to the cornea. If your dog has hair lying on its eyes it may be time for them to visit a groomer. Another option is pulling this hair back in a bow to keep your dog's face clean and clear. Never use scissors or sharp implements around the eyes. Scissoring needs to be done by a trained dog or cat groomer or under a veterinarian's supervision.

"My, What Big Ears You Have"

Those long floppy ears are endearing but they cover your dog's ear canal creating a moist warm environment that lacks air circulation. This can cause dogs to suffer from chronic ear infections that can be difficult to cure and can re-occur. Cocker spaniels, Shar-Peis, and Golden Retrievers are just a few of the breeds that suffer from this all too common problem. Infections that go unchecked can result in serious and painful ear disease.

Cleaning your dogs' ears may look easy, but it is more difficult than you may think. Dogs have long ear canals and improper cleaning can result in a ruptured eardrum, pain, or lacerations of the canal. Consequently, if your dog's ears are infected, they will be too painful to clean at home. This job is better left to a dog or cat grooming expert. Having your dog's ears regularly cleaned at your veterinarian's office or by a trusted pet groomer will make this task more pleasant for your dog.

"What Sharp Nails You Have"

By far the most dreaded grooming chore for many pet owners is trimming their pet's nails. Although this process is not painful, pets typically do not like their nails trimmed. Despite your pet's protest, nail trimming is a must. Long overgrown nails often break at the base exposing the nail bed. Walking on long nails can be painful, aggravate arthritis, and cause the toes to splay. Long nails can also curl around and grow into the pads. Most pet owners choose to have their pet's groomer or veterinarian perform this task to avoid trimming the nail too close to the nail bed which can cause pain and bleeding. If your pet has dark-colored nails, it can be hard to determine where the nail ends and where the nail bed begins. Using a trusted pet groomer can prevent cutting your dog or cat's nail bed.

"My, What Long Hair You Have"

Long hair or a thick fluffy coat may look great, but this lustrous coat can cause complications if not groomed daily. Most cats groom themselves, swallow the shedding hair and the hair is eliminated in fecal matter. However, the more proficient your cat becomes at removing excess hair the more likely hairballs will form. Owners can reduce the occurrence of hairballs by daily brushing the cat's coat with a cat brush or comb. Dogs typically do not share the same desire for daily grooming as their cat counterparts. Depending on your dog's lifestyle, breed, and skin condition, shedding is a factor that must be addressed. Bathing will help remove excess hair, however over bathing can also cause skin irritations by depleting oils from your dog's skin. Doing nothing to help your dog remove shedding hair, can lead to matting which can cause skin irritations. A good solution to the problem is having a consistent bathing and grooming schedule to help stay ahead of the unwanted hair problem. Other cost-effective options are to shave your dog or cat's coat once or twice each year. Consulting your veterinarian is the first step in controlling the "hair is everywhere" problem.

There is no need for the Big Bad Wolf of poor grooming habits to steal the thunder away from the loving companionship our furry friends provide. By staying abreast of your pet's grooming needs, you can continue to experience the joy found in the unconditional love pets provide.

If you are looking for a professional dog or cat groomer in Montgomery Alabama, give us a call. Taylor Crossing Animal Hospital can provide all of your pet's grooming and medical needs conveniently under one "ruff."

City ordinance required that by 5/4/23, every dog or cat will need a microchip. Visit the article here. Ask us about microchipping!