Why Groom My Pet?

This is one of the most common question we are asked. Opinions will vary, but as a pet care professional, I would like to see a new puppy come in around 10-12 weeks old. While they may not need to have a trim at that age, it’s a good idea to get them used to a new place with different sounds and smells. To a puppy, the “Groomer” can be a very intimidating place with all the other dogs barking, the clippers going, blow dryers in the background. That’s why it is so important to get your new puppy acclimated to all of this at a young age. It is a part of good socialization and with the proper professional it can be a luving and fun experience for your fur child.

We like to gently rub the clippers on a new puppy to get them used to both the noise and the vibration. In addition, bathing is often a challenge with young dogs who aren’t used to water. The more exposure they have, the easier it gets. Blow drying can be a scary experience for young dogs without it being part of the breeders socialization program. The noise of the dryer combined with the air flow from the dryer can be unimpressive for some dogs. The old saying ”Practice Makes Perfect” is very true when it comes to dogs and grooming. The younger you start, the easier it will be in the long run for your fur child. A well behaved pet also costs you less in fees.

There are things that you can do at home that will help out as well. Many dogs don’t like to have their front legs and feet manipulated it is their first line of defense. This can make grooming those parts of the body very difficult and traumatic for your dog and the groomer. We suggest that you try to handle your dogs front legs and feet as much as possible and have others do so also. If they resist or pull away, please repeat the process over and over until it becomes second nature to your companion. They need to learn that this is something that they can be secure in doing for humans especially their caretakers. Giving your puppy a baths at home and using your blow dryer on them drying them to the skin so as not to damage coat and or skin will also help greatly when it comes time to have it done at the “Groomer”. In general, just make sure that your new child understands that you are in charge not them. If you must stop because they are wiggling too much or start to snap at you wait to stop when they are not doing any poor or unfavorable behaviors so they know that you “win“ and poor behavior is not acceptable. Establishing the ranks at an early age will ensure that you have wonderful friend and companion for many years to come and boarding and grooming experiences will be seen as fun and exciting outings.

Regular grooming of all pets can help contribute to longer, healthier lives. The benefits of having your pet groomed regularly can include making your pet more comfortable and clean, as well as having attention paid to often overlooked parts of your dog. Sometimes a groomer is your first line of defense in the triad of care. YOU, YOUR VET and the Groomer working together in the best interest of the health and emotional well-being of your fur child.

There are many direct health benefits of having your dog groomed. Regular brushing of all pets, despite coat length or type, helps to keep the coat and skin healthy. Most dogs do not require frequent bathing (once a month or less!), but brushing in between bath times helps to keep them clean, removing dead hair, dirt and other debris from the coat. Brushing and follow through with a comb is a vital part of pet care, as it works to distribute the natural oils of the skin throughout the coat, promoting a healthier coat, and cleaner skin. It also allows you and or your groomer to find suspicious lumps, bumps, or skin disorders that can caught early have your vet treat to keep your companion healthy and live a long happy life with you.

(As mentioned, the direct benefit to coat care and brushing may help to point out any abnormalities in your pets body, such as sores, growths or bald spots. While you may not notice any lumps or bumps that have appeared on your pet, regular grooming can help to detect a problem, and insure that if a lump does appear, you are aware of it sooner rather than later. A veterinarian should check any growth or lump you or your groomer notices on your pet, to rule out cancer and other potentially dangerous conditions. Early detection can be crucial in a positive outcome to an otherwise deadly health scare.)

During the course of the grooming process, the groomer will pay special attention to your pets’ ears, eyes, mouth, teeth, pads and perianal region- areas you probably don’t notice much in the daily care of your child.

Longhair dogs and even some cats tend to grow hair deep in the ear canal, and this hair can trap bacteria, causing irritation and ear infections. Your groomer will “pluck” this hair, and often do a cursory clean of the ears checking for anything abnormal. If ear discharge or redness is noticed, this can be relayed to you, so that you know that veterinary attention may be necessary to treat your pets’ ear problem. Hair will not be plucked from infected ears as not to spread the infection.

Many long hair pets tend to grow excessive amounts of hair between their feet and paw pads, as well as around the perianal (anus) area. Excessive hair in these places can lead to hygiene problems, tangling of hair, accumulation of dirt and stickers in the hair, and even cause problems defecating and urinating. Your groomer may trim around these areas, helping to prevent problems before they can develop.

Breeds of dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and Shih Tzu’s will grow long hair on the face, mouth and eyes, and left untrimmed this hair can become matted with food particles and saliva. In addition, studies have shown that dogs with hair that is frequently in their eyes have a greater chance of developing eye infections, glaucoma and cataracts. Strategic trimming of the hair around the eyes is aesthetically pleasing, and helps to prevent health problems down the road.

Most dogs don’t naturally wear down their nails fast enough to keep up with nail growth, and as a result most pets need regular nail trimming in order to keep their nails at the optimum length. Long nails are the most common cause of chiropractic problems in dogs, and can contribute to joint pain and stiffness. Your pets body has been designed to walk with his pads on the floor, not the nails. If your dogs’ nails are touching the ground, his nails are too long. If you can hear the nails clicking on the floor, they are too long. Regular clipping ( 4 to 8 weeks) will help to prevent problems associated with long nails.

Your groomer will trim your pets’ nails, and their skill and experience can often get them shorter than you can at home. A dremel tool may also be used, to help further shorten the nails, and blunt the edges to eliminate those sharp, newly cut nail scratches!

In addition to health benefits, a professional grooming can greatly improve the cleanliness and hygiene of your pet. While you may bathe your pet at home regularly, most groomers utilize a bathing system. These systems are specially made to allow water and shampoo to penetrate even the thickest coats of hair, evenly spreading shampoo throughout the coat. Special hoses and water nozzles “massage” the soap throughout the coat, getting the coat cleaner than any hand wash could. In addition, the bathing systems are much faster than traditional bathing, shortening the time your pet may spend stressed out in the tub.

If your dog has long hair, or is prone to tangles or a dry coat, a coat conditioner is used as a second step to the bathing process. Conditioners can help to manage the hair and make it softer, allowing for mats and tangles to be more easily removed, along with re-moisturizing the coat. And help remove shedding normal to many breeds.

While in the bath, some groomers may take the opportunity to express your pets’ anal glands. The anal glands are two small sacks just inside your pets’ anus, and are filled with a foul smelling “scent fingerprint” that animals use to identify each other in the wild. Routine emptying of these sacs can help to prevent unwanted smells, as well as potential side effects from impacted or ruptured anal glands that go un-emptied. However this should ONLY BE DONE WHEN REQUIRED random manipulation of the area can cause the fur child difficulty doing the deed themselves and lead to a weakened muscle.

Finally, bathing your pet provides an opportunity for an impartial set of eyes to point out any issues or problems you many not have noticed with your fur friend. We live with our pets, and often don’t notice right away if they begin to gain or loose weight, or gradually take up new behaviors. Your groomer has the advantage of seeing your pet and documenting any noted changes, and as such may notice if Fido has packed on a few pounds, or has fleas that need to be treated. We can save you time and potential heartache.

There are many benefits to having your dog groomed. While frequency will depend on your pets breed, coat type or lifestyle, regular grooming sessions will help your pet to remain a healthy, clean, well behaved companion for you.

On the humorous side…this was sent out to groomers as humor but to us there is a trace of truth. I present for your enjoyment …


10. Your hairdresser doesn’t wash and clean your rear end.
 9. You don’t go eight weeks without washing and brushing your hair or changing your clothes.
 8. Your hairdresser doesn’t give you a sanitary trim.
 7. Your hairdresser doesn’t clean your ears and pluck the hair in them or trim your eyebrows
 6. Your hairdresser doesn’t remove and clean the eye boogies from your face.
 5. You sit still for your hairdresser.
 4. Your haircut doesn’t include a manicure and a pedicure.
 3. Your hairdresser only washes and trims the hair on your head.
 2. You do not bite, scratch or shower your hairdresser.
 1. It is unlikely that you poo or pee on the hairdresser or her equipment.