Grooming – For More Than Physical Appearance
So, you take your dog to the groomers to be washed, trimmed, cut, etc. It’s a good thing to do, for many reasons. The question is, why do you do it?
Do you do it because they’re dirty, and you want to make a good impression on company? Because you know you should? Because they’re itchy? Because it’s hot outside,and you want to cool them off?
If you answered yes to any of these, you’re at least off to a good start with grooming your dog. If you don’t take your dog to the groomer, then you’re either a very lucky dog owner and don’t need to, or you may want to start taking them.
So what, other than those listed above, is a main reason for taking your dog to the groomer? The answer is your dog’s overall health and well-being.
A dog that gets a bath is aromatically friendly, but it’s also useful for the dog’s health by helping prevent matts, which can cause bleeding sores and pain. The same goes for brushing. Getting those tangles out early and regularly saves a lot of trouble and pain later.
Now, a lot of people bring this line up: “Dogs in the wild don’t get baths, and they’re fine.” Technically speaking, those people are right. However, there are things to consider about this line.
When you take your dog in for a bath, you’re using today’s culture and technology to compensate for the domestication of dogs. In the wild, wolves self-groom and groom each other socially, eliminating matts. They still likely don’t smell so good, but they’re at least groomed. Their coats can also get “brushed” by low branches in forests, so there’s some natural grooming going on.
Consider nail clipping. Many people clip their dog’s nails, and many people don’t, What you end up seeing is that some dogs have monstrously long nails on tile floors that don’t wear down their nails. In the wild, wolves have naturally controlled nail length because they walk around on rough surfaces all day. Wolves tend to be nomads unless they’re in breeding season, and all that walking wears down their nails to a reasonable length.
Dogs in a tiled house, however, don’t have as much natural wear and tear on their nails. They end up with very long nails that make it difficult to get around in their environment, and those nails have a higher chance of snapping off and becoming a serious health problem. Even dogs in a partially carpeted or fully carpeted house can have nails that are too long. One important purpose of grooming is to prevent a problem with their feet.
Grooming is often expensive, especially if you own a long haired, decent sized dog. Depending on where you go, a medium sized long haired dog will cost you anywhere from forty five to seventy dollars. There is a little hope, however, in the self-wash facilities spread out over the country. These facilities allow people to go in and use their equipment, which is usually better than anything you have at home, for about a third of the price.
No matter where you choose to go, and what type of dog you have, you should definitely be grooming them. Professionally done, or just you in your backyard with a kid pool, a hose, and a brush, it’s an important aspect of owning any dog.