The importance of grooming a dog can seriously not be stressed enough. Unkempt dogs are more prone to pick up little parasitic friends like fleas, ticks, and worms. Longer hair dogs tend to mat when not groomed regularly. These mats become painful to dogs when left unattended for long periods of time. The discomfort a human feels when their hair is all tangled up behind their neck is the same discomfort a pup goes through when their fur is left to mat up into clumps.
Dog grooming keeps the dog’s basic physical needs met and keeps him more socially acceptable. He smells better, he looks better, he’s more comfortable, and he’s less likely to become injured through snarling or nail catching.
While the vast majority of dogs equate a nail clipping procedure to the pleasantries of dental work without Novocain, it really isn’t all that bad. Nail grooming is an important part of the dog’s health. Clipping the nails keeps them from snagging as well as prevents the nail from curling around and growing into the skin, which can be a costly and painful issue to have addressed. It is simply easier on you and him to demand that he accept your need to trim his nails. Nails that are left to grow over several months without their due attention will actually hamper the pup’s ability to walk properly.
Dogs who are not regularly bathed aren’t the most attractive smelling dogs. The lack of bathing also leads to more matting of the hair, which is not only unsightly and painful, but can become a physical threat as well. If mats are left for an excessive period of time and they begin to pin up against the skin, they can cause inflammation and eventually even small cysts of the skin. Dogs who are free to play outside are likely to get all kinds of goodies caught in their fur, including but certainly not limited to burrs, twigs, and the ever threatening tick.
Dogs that require a basic trim to keep their little bangs out of their eyes should be regularly maintained to avoid fear biting arising from their inability to see. Just as humans aren’t able to properly view the world from behind locks of their own hair, neither can pups. In reality, when you allow the dog’s hair to overgrow their eyes, you are restricting not only their vision but their sense of security in the world. Touching them startles them, and in extreme cases, increases the likelihood of fear biting. Fear biting is the dog’s reaction to being terribly afraid and in an effort to defend himself from his perceived danger, he will bite before understanding what is occurring.
The care of the dog’s teeth is part of the basic overhaul that dogs require at a minimum every two weeks. Brushing the teeth and the use of a dog appropriate mouthwash helps to kill the bacteria, the bad breath, and the threat of periodontal disease. Annual cleanings are vital to the care of a domesticated dog’s teeth. Lacking the natural resources that wild wolves and feral dogs have in order to clean their teeth, domesticated animals are reliant upon their humans to make up for their dental needs.
While underestimating the importance of dog grooming is not necessarily an issue for about 50% of dog owners, understanding the proper implements to care for the dog is not quite so common. After all, the dog brush aisle is quite extensive, how are we supposed to know which brush matches our dog’s hairstyle? Undercoat rakes are naturally for undercoats. An undercoat can be determined by the ability pull out chunks of fur that seem to be coming from under the dog’s top layer of fur. German Shepherds are a prime example of a dog with an undercoat. The undercoat rake grabs the fur under the top layer and removes it. Small bristle brushes that look like rectangles with tiny metal teeth are good for dogs with heavier fur but no undercoat, like Irish Setters. Soft coat brushes are good for dogs with thinner fur such as Dalmatians.
The better the maintenance of the dog, the happier and healthier he will be. The importance of dog grooming is equivalent to the importance of feeding the dog. You can feed him really inexpensive, low quality dog food and he will not receive the same health benefits as he will from a higher quality dog food. A human can groom a little or a lot. While it is not vital to put little barrettes in your dog’s hair, keeping him clean, well brushed, and regularly bathed will go a long way toward his overall health and happiness.