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Why is grooming essential for your dog?

You’ve just got a dog or soon will be getting one? It’s exciting, your dog is full of life, you’re caring for a new life and want to do the very best for your new family member. You’ve purchased a new bed, toys, food, organised training but have you considered your dog’s grooming needs?

Here we consider why you need to be investigating your dog’s grooming requirements from an early age.

We as groomers have your dog’s best interests at heart that’s why we believe regular grooming is essential both at home and professionally. You may think “this doesn’t apply to me as my dog has a smooth coat or doesn’t need grooming” but we need to change this perception as all dog’s benefit from some form of grooming even if it’s ensuring their nails are regularly clipped. Grooming allows you to observe any changes in the dog’s overall body, skin condition, lumps and bumps, the condition of their coat, any sensitive areas, cuts/grazes, you may also find unwanted things like grass seeds, fleas or ticks hiding in the dog’s coat.

Smooth haired dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, etc can benefit from being brushed with a curry brush helping to distribute the oils in the coat. A professional deshed can help with lifting off loose dirt and loose dead hair from the coat.

Double coated breeds such as Siberian Husky’s, German Shepherds, Chow Chows, Golden Retrievers etc benefit from regular at home brushing combined with professional desheds that remove dead undercoat and allow the coat to function correctly i.e., keeping the dog cool in summer and warm in winter.

Benefits of regular brushing and combing help in the prevention of mats forming and those unwanted shave downs at the groomers. Mats are caused by several things such as rubbing from a harness and collar, humidity and a lack of brushing and combing at home. If mats are left alone, they will only worsen.

Mats pull on your dog’s skin causing pain and discomfort. In severe cases they act like a

straight jacket which can restrict your dogs’ movements and be painful when they move, leading to skin deterioration which makes the skin prone to infections. Skin doesn’t function as it should and this can lead to skin conditions developing.

Did you know there are several conditions that may occur as a result of a matted coat:

  • Parasites such as fleas, mites, lice and ticks hiding under the matting

  • Moist Eczema

  • Hotspots

  • Sores on the skin as a result of moisture that is trapped against the skin leading to all kinds of bacterial and fungal growths

  • Urine and faeces scalding

  • In severe cases, maggot infestations

Your groomer may suggest a shave down in order to remove the matting. Shave downs involve using a short enough blade to get underneath the mats without causing distress and discomfort to your dog, the end result is your dog’s coat being very short. Shave downs have the potential to cause clipper rash (sensitivity and irritation from the short blade being so close to the skin) or cuts to the skin, your dog may then lick, rub or scratch the area which could lead to an infection.

Why do we clip the matting and not dematt the coat? – the reasons are that it is kinder to your dog especially for a severely matted coat. Dematting can be uncomfortable and painful for your dog and under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 legislation we are only able to do this for a short time. It also damages the coat and can make it more susceptible to matting in the future.

Prevention is always better than cure and there is some good news. To avoid matting you can take your dog to the groomers for regular in-between grooms, bath & brushes. We are trained to understand coat conditions and can spot early signs of matting, removing any before they become a real problem. Once the matting is removed your dog’s coat and skin can function correctly.

Speak with your groomer on the best approach and tools to use to keep your dogs coat in optimum condition. We can advise on brushing techniques that you can use at home and schedule regular grooming appointments tailored to your breed of dog.

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