[image credited to howtodoggroom.org]

Q: Is grooming necessary for dogs? If yes, how often should I send my dog for grooming?

A: Yes, grooming is necessary as it makes our dogs look presentable and smell good. Grooming is does not only involve trimming of the dog's fur; it is only part of the process, which is generally divided into two types—basic and full grooming.

Basic grooming consists of cutting nails, cleaning ears, shaving the under paw and sanitary areas, removing fur that irritate the eyes, squeezing the anal glands and bathing the dog. Owners can carry out some of the simpler grooming tasks, but it is advisable to send your dog to a groomer if you are unsure. It should be done preferably twice a month, or at the very least, once a month.

Full grooming consists of basic grooming plus trimming of the fur, and should be done once every two to three months. For owners who want their dog's fur to remain long, a trim is recommended to chop of split ends, ensuring that their fur is healthy. Dogs with thick coats can have their undercoat removed as it reduces shedding and will be less warm for them.

Here are more reasons why you should groom your dog:

  • Clipping their nails will keep their quick (vein) short, as their quick will grow with the nails. If the nails grow too long, it can only be cut to a certain limit. If the nail is cut too short, you risk injuring the quick, which can cause bleeding. Long nails may also injure owners when playing and is causes pain when your pooch walks.
  • Shaving of the under paw fur will allow more grip for the dog while walking as excess fur in the under paw will make it slippery. Over time, it may affect your canine's bone structure.
  • Shaving of the sanitary areas will keep the area clean and hence prevent skin problems caused by urine.
  • Ears need to be cleaned to remove debris, and ear hair needs to be plucked to allow airflow. This will also prevent infection.
  • Expressing the anal gland will prevent the dogs' glands from becoming infected. This usually happens when the oil isn't properly expressed and over time, causes a buildup of bacteria.
  • Bathing your pooch means making sure that his skin is clean—this does not only involve removal of dirt from the fur, but also bacteria that may be caught on the surface of the skin. The most important process after bathing is drying, as the fur has to be thoroughly dried, not towel-dried.