Why Pet Grooming is Important to Your Pet’s Health

Gray tabby on lab getting claws trimmed

With our increasingly busy lives, it may seem as if grooming our pet is just one more chore. After all, her coat looks pretty good, so why bother?

Grooming is not just about bows and brushes, it’s an essential part of caring for your pet. Besides brushing, pet grooming also means looking after your pet’s teeth, nails, eyes, ears, and coat — all of which add up to a healthy, happy, and beautiful pet.

Health Check

One of the most important reasons for a regular grooming routine is the opportunity to go over your pet with a fine-tooth comb, so to speak. Spending time grooming will alert you to any changes in your pet’s weight, skin, or general appearance, which can indicate a health problem. The earlier you catch health concerns, the more quickly we can identify and treat the problem. 

Pet Grooming Basics

It’s much easier to begin a pet grooming routine when your pet is young. Gentle handling of paws, ears, body, and mouth from an early age not only acclimates them to regular grooming, it can make veterinary visits much easier and less stressful for your pet (and for you!).

Having the right tools on hand also makes pet grooming a much more pleasant task. At minimum, you should have:

  • Nail trimmers
  • A selection of brushes and combs appropriate for your pet’s coat
  • Grooming scissors
  • A pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste
  • Pet shampoo and conditioner
  • Ear wash and cotton

Brushing — The importance of regular brushing cannot be overstated. In some pets with a double coat or long fur, regular brushing can prevent uncomfortable mats. Brushing can also prevent tangles, stimulate blood flow to the skin, and rid the coat of dirt, debris, dead hair, and dander.

Bathing — Depending on your pet’s species and breed, regular bathing may be a good idea. Too-frequent bathing can also strip the natural oils from your pet’s coat, however. Talk to us about a good bathing regimen for your individual pet.

Clipping — Some pets really need regular clipping. Curly-coated breeds, such as poodles, need clipping about every six weeks. Spaniels and other sporting dog breeds also require regular trimming. Many dogs with long hairs around their eyes, ears, and mouth can also benefit from regular trims. Our professional groomers are a wonderful resource for these tasks, to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety. 

Nail trims — Nail trimming is a crucial part of good pet grooming. It’s difficult for pets to walk or run with nails that are too long. Trimming nails also prevents injuries to the nails, and may alleviate joint pain in older dogs, since walking is easier when nails are kept short. 

Ear cleaning — Ears can be a concern for some breeds and lifestyles. If your pet has red, inflamed, or swollen ears, see a veterinarian for help. Ears should be clean and odor-free. Regular ear cleaning is important to reduce odor, yeast, and bacteria, and to help your pet feel more comfortable.

Tooth brushing — Daily tooth brushing is now recommended for cats and dogs to help prevent periodontal disease. Because dental disease affects over 85% of pets, it’s important to keep up with this task. It’s not as hard as it looks, and we can show you how to brush your pet’s teeth at home. A professional cleaning is also recommended at least once a year to clean under the gums and check for tooth rot and other serious problems. 

Bonding With Your Pet

Aside from keeping your pet looking and feeling their best, and checking for health concerns, there’s another big benefit to pet grooming. The love and affection that you feel for your pet grows as you share this special time together! When you look at it this way, pet grooming doesn’t seem like such a chore.

If you would like support with professional and regular pet grooming, please reach out to your team at Ten West Bird and Animal Hospital. We can help your pet companion look and feel their best.