Why Grooming Your Dog Is Important
By Heather Russell-Revesz
With our increasingly busy lives, sometimes a mundane activity like dog grooming can seem like a chore. You may even assume that grooming your furball isn’t that important—after all, his coat looks to be in okay shape, so why bother? But grooming is so much more than a quick swipe with a brush; grooming is about looking after your dog’s skin, eyes, ears, nails, teeth, and yes, coat. Grooming is an essential part of caring for your dog.
First of all, grooming makes your dog look nice. While this may seem like a superficial reason, in actuality it can have a psychological effect on the people with whom he comes in contact. People and children may be afraid or suspicious of an unkempt dog. But a dog who looks well cared for will invite more people to interact with him, thereby giving him more opportunities to socialize.
Grooming is a chance to give your dog’s body a good once-over. When you are brushing him, this is the time you are most likely to find any suspicious bumps or lumps that might be hidden by his coat. You’ll also find any mats that may be causing him pain. When you are cleaning his teeth, you might discover sore or bleeding gums and bad breath that may indicate a health problem. When you are trimming his nails, you may come across a sensitive spot or something caught in his paw pads. All of these potential issues will come to light when you are consistent with your grooming. Think of it as a weekly health check. The sooner you discover a problem, the more likely your veterinarian will be able to help your dog.
Grooming will help with the general sanitation of your house. The more you brush and comb your dog, the less hair and dander will shed inside your home (and on your curtains, couches, and rugs!). Plus, if someone in your family is prone to allergies, regularly brushing and bathing your dog can help tame some of the dander that causes flare-ups.
The last, and probably most fun reason to keep on top of your grooming duties, is that it’s a great way to bond with your dog. Too often we take our companions for granted, and grooming gives us the chance to slow down and pay some quality attention to our dogs. If you look at each task as a chance to give your dog some love and attention, then suddenly brushing, clipping, or bathing doesn’t seem like such a chore!