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Winter Grooming

In addition to training, vet appointments and lots of love, grooming is another important aspect of pet ownership, yet it’s also one of the most commonly neglected. Pets need regular grooming for a number of reasons, and this should be a regular part of their life all year round.

Dogs are creatures of habit. Whatever you do consistently will become their “normal”. If your dog gets dragged into the bathroom every now and again when they start smelling bad it ends up being a shock to them. Whereas, if you have a regular grooming routine your dog will not only become more comfortable with it, but they will come to expect it and consequently be much more at ease.

Regular grooming is one of the most effective ways to detect health problems early, whether this is injuries, rashes, lesions, lumps or parasites. Early detection will often lead to an easier, shorter, and more effective treatment process. We recommend that all dogs be brushed and combed at least every second day to ensure their hair stays knot-free. Dogs requiring haircuts should be getting a haircut every 6-8 weeks. The longer the hairstyle, the more regularly it requires maintenance to stay knot-free and to keep hygiene areas clean.

The good news is, that as long as your dog is knot-free, they don’t need to be clipped short. At Pamper Paws, our staff are highly skilled and love creating a longer, cute teddy style for your pet. Another option many of our clients opt for during the cooler months are sanitary tidy visits. During these visits we bath and dry your dog, clip their nails, clean their ears and give them a thorough brush through. We then scissor tidy around their eyes, paws and tidy their hygiene areas. This is a fantastic option to keep your dog knot-free, clean and smelling nice, whilst keeping them in a longer style.

If your dog has a wardrobe full of clothes and likes to wear PJs or jumpers during the cooler months, it is recommended to keep them at a shorter length to avoid the hair knotting under the clothing. Clothing, collars and harnesses should be removed daily to be brushed and combed underneath, and to allow the air to circulate to the skin. Grooming visits should also be frequent to avoid any painful knots forming under their clothing.

The aim of regular grooming is to prevent knots from forming in the first place. Once knots form, often the only humane option is to clip your dog short to free the knots from the coat. Leaving knots in your dog’s coat for an extended period can pull on your dog’s skin causing bruising, and trap moisture at the skin which can cause skin infections.

Mats can cause abrasions and ulcers, in addition to causing pain and discomfort. Grooming, cleaning and brushing your pet’s coat and fur are one of the easiest ways to keep them looking healthy and shiny. Not only will it remove any dirt, debris or tangles, but it will also help distribute the natural oils that keep their coat healthy.  Matted hair, especially on the ears or tail, can restrict blood flow over time, which can cause medical issues. Once the hair is cut free, blood can flow back into these areas, causing a weird sensation to the dog. Your dog may shake their head, or lick, chew or scratch at the area once clipped. This should be discouraged as your dog may end up causing secondary skin irritations requiring vet treatment.  Matting pulls on the skin over time, so it is not uncommon to find bruising appear on your dog within a couple of days of having the matted hair removed. It is also common for your dog to get irritated skin.

To avoid this, we recommend using a slicker brush, followed by a metal comb, to thoroughly brush and comb your dog from head to tail every couple of days, and more often when wearing clothing or when groomed in a longer style.  Pay extra attention to areas of high movement such as legs, armpits, neck, behind ears, ears and tails, as these areas are the first to get knotted.

We hope this helps understand the importance of regular grooming sessions for your dog all year round, and gives you a few tips on how to maintain at home in between their grooming visits.

Is your dog due for a haircut? Click on the “bookings” tab at the top of the page to make an appointment for your dog today.

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