Unexpected Health Benefits of Grooming
There is more to grooming than just having your pooch looking and smelling great!
Grooming can actually provide the opportunity for you and your groomer to catch illness or disease early, and may prevent other serious health problems for your pet.
Here are some of the benefits of regular pet grooming you might not be aware of:
Ears – Animals depend on their ears for hearing and balance, so taking care of them is part of good pet parenting. Ear issues are one of the most common reasons pets are brought into the vet. Often owners do not recognize that an ear problem is cause of their pet’s lethargy and signs of pain. A frequent cause of ear problems is a condition called otitis externa. This is inflammation of the outer ear that may be caused by allergies or other irritations and can be complicated by over growths in yeast and/or bacteria. Regularly examining your pup’s ears as part of your grooming routine will mean you will pick up when there is an unusual odor, redness or discharge which are early signs of a problem.
Lumps and Bumps - Brushing and running your hands through your dog’s coat is a good opportunity to look for any unexpected swellings or growths you may not have felt before. A thick coat can hide a skin lesion until it is quite large depending on where it is located. Most cancerous lumps are not painful and so your pet may show no signs of a problem until you discover it yourself or your vet picks it up during a regular check-up. If you do find something unusual make an appointment with your vet to have it examined as soon as possible so they can discuss with you whether it is something to be concerned about or not and what the best course of action is.
Nails – Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed means they are less likely to catch and tear which is a painful experience when it occurs and can require veterinary attention to remove the hanging nail. Overgrown nails can also cause issues with walking and in severe cases can actually grow back into to the foot-pads. If you are nervous about cutting the nails too short, your professional groomer is skilled in trimming them to just the right length with minimal fuss and stress.
Parasites – Nasties like fleas, mites and even ticks are often discovered during brushing when you or your groomer is up close and personal with your dog’s skin. Giving your pet preventative medication all year round will help make sure your furry friend is not carrying any unwanted companions and in the case of paralysis ticks, may even save your pet’s life.
Dental Health – Lift up the lip and take a look at your dog’s teeth- you may get a shock. Dental disease can sneak up with no signs other than that bad doggy breath you’ve noticed recently. An oral inspection should form part of a good grooming regimen and if their teeth are in need of attention your vet can recommend the best way to get them clean and pearly white again.
Regular grooming can have a positive impact on your pet’s health and well-being and allows you to be more in tune with your pet’s body, alerting you when something is not quite right and picking up on any changes early so you can have them treated quickly when a problem arises. It’s also a great time to bond with your four-legged companion as most dogs will love the one-on-one time with their special human.
Book your pooches next grooming appointment at your nearest DOGUE
About the author: Dr Alex Hynes is an emergency veterinarian and director at Animal Emergency Service in Brisbane.
Alex recently released her book - First Call for Dogs, a MUST for any dog owner his book offers simple, concise and helpful information on the most common emergency illnesses and injuries for dogs.