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Ask A Groomer: Can Grooming Improve My Dog’s Health?

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Did you know infrequent grooming can affect your dog’s health? If you thought grooming was just about making your dog look nice, read on!

Overgrown nails can change your dog’s gait, leading to arthritis, injuries, and other problems. They can curl all the way around into the foot pads, causing pain. Longer nails are at higher risk of being torn off, which can be a painful, bloody mess. Even if your dog hates nail trims, wouldn’t you rather upset them monthly to prevent permanent pain?

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Ear infections can be painful, and tooth abscesses can cause infections. Regular ear cleaning and tooth brushing keeps your dog feeling his best and extend his life. Toothbrushing is most effective when done daily, but if you can’t bring yourself to do it at home, periodic toothbrushing by a groomer can spot problems.

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Are you able to feel every inch of your dog’s skin under their fur? Bumps can form that you might not notice until it’s too late. Regular grooming can help find lumps that could become deadly.

Severe eye goop can cause sores that are painful and could lead to an infection. If your dog is prone to eye goobers, wipe their eyes at least once a day with a warm wet washcloth. If prevention isn’t enough, gently clean them out during a bath, or take them to a groomer and have them do it. The longer you ignore them, the more likely there is to be sores underneath once they are removed.

Untrimmed butt hair can trap feces in the dog’s coat and, in severe cases, prevent them from pooping at all, causing impactions. Practicing a little prevention is much better than looking for a cure once the problem has gotten out of control. 

Can you recognize the signs of fleas, ticks, and lice? Lice can look like greasy dirt. Fleas and ticks can hide under even short hair. Wet hair is easier to see through and dryers help part your dog’s hair to get a better look at their skin and spot parasites that you might miss.

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Lack of proper brushing can cause severe tangles, called mats. Mats can hide and even cause skin problems. Have you ever had your hair pulled? Imagine every hair on your body being pulled all day long, every day for weeks or months on end. Neglecting your dog’s coat can cause them to live with constant pain. If you can’t commit to regular brushing, do your pup a favor by having them regularly trimmed short.

This is only a sampling of the problems that a lack of regular grooming can hide or even cause. If you can’t take your dog to a groomer, take the time to learn as much as you can about grooming your dog in a way that will help you spot health issues before they affect your dog’s quality of life.

Written by Jennifer Nelson

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