Why Your Dog Needs Professional Grooming
If you’ve never treated your dog to a complete round of grooming, you and your pet might be missing something. Grooming isn’t just for show dogs or pampered lap-sitters: trips to the groomer are an important part of keeping your dog healthy and happy. Read on to learn why.
The Family Wolf
One look at your dog might be enough to convince anyone that he’s not cut out for the wild. But all dogs are descended, however windingly, from wolves—and despite millennia of breeding, their bodies still work essentially the way wolves’ bodies do.
Wolves count on the normal conditions of life in the wild to keep their systems in order. The wear and tear of running along rocks and forest floors keeps their nails from ever growing too long. A simple diet featuring plenty of bones keeps their teeth clean. Exposure to wind and rain naturally helps them shed unneeded fur, which helps keep their skin healthy.
Most domestic dogs have few or none of those rough-and-tumble advantages, even though their bodies are still built to depend on them. It’s a trade-off that some dog owners overlook. A regular grooming regimen, including at least an occasional trip to a professional groomer, can make up for what your dog is missing.
Your Early Warning System
Another thing about wolves: they don’t go to the vet. Survival of the fittest might be the natural way of things for your dog’s wild cousins, but it’s not part of the deal for pet owners. Since your dog can’t complain to you when she has a persistent itch here or a painful paw there, you might be missing the early signs of a condition that could turn serious over time.
For example, your dog’s ears might look perfectly normal. They might even feel normal, if your dog enjoys a nice ear scratch every once in a while, and you might wipe them out when she’s been outside for a while. But the organisms that can cause your dog the most harm are good at staying out of the way. And over time, they can cause problems not just for a dog’s hearing but for its more essential functions, like its respiration.
The same is true of a dog’s coat, paws, nails, and teeth. Professional dog groomers know what to look for, where to look for it, and how to solve little problems before they become major ones.
If you’re not in the habit of taking your dog to a professional groomer, think of it as a big round of spring cleaning. Not something you’d do every weekend, but a way to re-set a healthy baseline and make each weekend’s work a little easier. Some of us enjoy brushing our dogs’ coats and teeth and trimming their nails. Some dogs get enough outdoor time that they naturally stay in pretty good trim. No matter how much attention your dog gets, from you and from nature, professional grooming can be an important part of the mix.
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