Why Grooming Your Dog Is Important

Posted by on September 22, 2008 at 10:17 am

Grooming your dog is absolutely essential.

About 40 000 years ago, canines and our primitive ancestors suddenly found relevance in grouping together. Why? We had very similar needs. Both species relied on each other for protection, health, shelter and companionship. Little in that regard has changed much. In hygiene however, we’ve come along way and we brought man’s best friend along for the ride.

Ask any vet, they will tell you that basic grooming is fundamental for Fido’s general health. But have you ever asked why?

First and foremost, we are a particularly vain species. Our dogs are a reflection of how well we take care of our selves. If our animals are filthy unkempt and flea/tick ridden, it is a sure bet that our own environment is kept much the same way. For the most part most people have built up a kind of empathy towards our four legged friends and will, if grudgingly do what is necessary to alleviate suffering. Even if it means the dreaded flea/tick bath. Fortunately fleas are not attracted to people, but in large numbers they can and often will bite. While flea bites are more annoying than anything, a bite from a tick can result in Lyme disease in humans. Lyme disease can be debilitating and if not caught in time will cause permanent damage to the human body. That is why it is important to correct an infestation problem in its early stages.

Spotting Fleas/ticks can be made simple by brushing with a flea/tick comb. You can purchase one of these items at a pet supply store; although they can be pricey, they are a good investment. It is recommended that dogs should be brushed daily. But depending on the breed and or hair length an owner can get away with brushing every other day or in some cases once a week. Brushing more frequently will eliminate knots and make subsequent brushings’ easier. Not only is brushing beneficial in the fight of fleas/ticks, it can be a good bonding experience with your dog. Ending with a good massage, will help your animal feel like he/she is being rewarded for job well done.

It is also a good Idea to invest in some kind of bug protection; whether it be a flea collar, powder and or monthly flea/tick drops. Even if your pet does not have a problem, do it any way. Prevention is so much simpler then facing a crisis. Do not be afraid to buy a perimeter spray. Anywhere your dog goes is a potential place for fleas/ticks to congregate. Before using any kind of chemical, be sure to read the instructions completely. A healthy dog usually has a heart beat, improper use of chemicals can result in illness or death.

Bathing your pet on a weekly basis is also highly recommended. There are a large variety of different shampoos and flea soaps available to consumers. As with any pest deterrents, I strongly advise anyone to use discretion when using these products. If you have fleas but no flea soap, no problem; vinegar and water can be used as a substitute. You must first soak your pet with water. Next, mix a large bowl of water and vinegar. (1 part vinegar, 3 parts water) Now, apply your mixture liberally onto your pet, starting with the head. Do not use directly in or around the eyes or nose. Wait approximately 10 minutes and rinse.

Bath time is also excellent for giving Fe Fe a close inspection. Look for cuts and sores that may need some extra care. Note the length of your pets nails, they may be due for trimming; use dog clippers with care. Be aware of how far down you cut, you may in fact, cut into flesh and cause injury. Be sure to check inside your animal’s ears, the interior should be pink and clear. However if there is a black waxy build up, your dog most likely has ear mites. In this case your best alternative is to contact your vet for medication.

While grooming may not be particularly fun it is a necessary evil. Not only will it help increase the animals longevity, but there are some great social aspects. Interaction between pet and owner can be real a positive experience and will help reaffirm your relationship with your four legged friend. Remember, a pet free of pests is a happy pet.

by Indy Anna



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