Everything You’re Looking For in a Dog Grooming Service
Did you know that there is more to grooming your dog than just a bath and a brush-out? Sure, they are clipped and smell like honey crisp apples when they are finished, but what spa treatments does your dog receive during their session? Are there benefits of taking your dog to a veterinary clinic for their grooming instead of a dog groomer?
In the veterinary community, we certainly recognize the health and hygiene importance of good grooming for dogs. If you are unsure whether your dog’s breed, routine activities, or health issues necessitate regular grooming, just ask. Contact a local veterinarian to get the answers you need to make the best dog grooming decision for your faithful friend.
Before the Bath
Of course, grooming for your canine companion generally starts with a dog wash and a brush-out. In addition, though, dogs’ nails are trimmed and their skin should be evaluated to decide what shampoo is best for their coats. All of this generally happens before your dog ever heads to the tub! Therefore, it is beneficial to take your dog to a veterinary clinic for grooming or to a groomer with a lot of experience.
First, toenails should be trimmed short, but not so short that their quick - or the blood-containing portion of the toenail - is cut. When it is cut, it is painful and bleeds a fair amount. The bleeding can be stopped, but the person trimming your dog’s toenails should be trained on how to properly trim nails using dog nail clippers and how to stop the bleeding if the quick is cut. Most dogs warn you when you get close to cutting the quick, so the groomer should know what signs to look for.
Checking the Ears
Next, your dog’s ears should be looked at and cleaned out with the proper solution, if needed. Ear infections start because bacteria and yeast tend to live in warm, moist places. If your dog has long ears with a lot of hair, their ears need to be evaluated and cleaned to ensure there is no infection brewing. When taking your pet to a veterinary clinic for dog grooming, it makes it more convenient to be able to diagnose and treat an ear infection if one is found. Typically, your dog’s ears should be cleaned out every time they are given a bath or play in the water. However, the wrong products or techniques can cause more harm than good, so only an experienced groomer or veterinary technician should make decisions about cleaning your dog’s ears.
Lastly, before deciding on the shampoo, your dog’s anal glands should be checked and possibly expressed. Anal glands are the glands located right inside of your dog’s rectum that are usually expressed every time they defecate, thus leaving a scent. When dogs sniff each other’s rears, this is what they are smelling.
Sometimes these glands are not located just right or become plugged and need to be expressed. Veterinary staff are trained on how to express anal glands properly and what the exudate should look like. If abnormal, they can alert the veterinarian and the problem can be treated before an abscess occurs. Many dog groomers can express anal glands, but they only do so externally, thus not fully expressing the gland.
If they are left without being expressed and are too full, the glands abscess, and it is extremely painful for your dog. When the abscess is treated, your dog will need to wear an e-collar to prevent further damage and to allow healing. For the health and safety of your dog, it’s best to leave anal gland checks and expressions to your veterinary team.
De-matting and Skin Checks
If your dog has long hair, they should be de-matted prior to getting a bath. Also, their skin needs to be checked to ensure there are no dermatologic issues, such as allergies or dry skin. If there is a problem noted at a veterinary practice’s grooming salon, the veterinarian can prescribe a medicated shampoo with specific directions to help soothe your dog’s skin. They can also run further diagnostic tests on your dog’s skin to rule out skin conditions related to mites or ringworm. Only a doctor can prescribe oral medication as well if it is needed.
Talk To Your Veterinarian About Your Dog’s Grooming Needs
Veterinary hospitals may or may not offer extensive pet grooming. However, many veterinary clinics do bathe, brush out, and de-mat dogs. By taking your dog to a veterinary clinic for their basic grooming needs, you will be promptly alerted to any medical conditions found, and your dog will be handled by properly trained people.
Reach out to a trusted veterinarian near you to find out if this clinic offers dog grooming to ensure the highest level of care for your precious pooch.