There are two kinds of pet owners: one who brings their dog for pet grooming services regularly and the other who rarely or never goes in for this type of care. Certain dogs and dog owners may not be well-suited for a “spa day” at the local groomers, so it definitely is not for everyone. Home bathing and skincare can be substituted for professional grooming, so long as all of the essential services are still provided, such as nail trimming and ear cleaning. Some of these services can be obtained at your local Dartmouth animal hospital as part of a regular veterinary check-up, including nail trimming and anal gland expression. Don’t neglect these essential services, as they can eventually impact your pet’s health if they are ignored.
Health Care vs. Pet Grooming Services
For many, it is all in the way that you look at these services that matter. Some bring their pet in for regular grooming to stay on top of skin conditioning, prevent odor build-up, and because their pet truly enjoys it. There are many cats and dogs that look forward to grooming appointments – and also quite a few who don’t like it. In addition to keeping your pets clean, trimmed, and prepared for seasonal weather changes, many groomers also offer things like teeth brushing and anal gland expression. It is suggested that you speak with your local veterinarian about getting these services done at the groomers, as there are some situations when it is best to have them done at the veterinary clinic instead.
Even if you get these pet grooming services done outside of the vet clinic, make sure to still schedule your annual or bi-annual veterinary check-up for a professional consultation. Canine and feline dental care, nail trimmings, ear cleanings, and other services can help to identify certain health issues before they become big or life-threatening problems. Infections, diseases, parasites, and other concerns can all be easily identified by your local Dartmouth animal hospital, giving you peace of mind that your pet is receiving proper care and treatment, as needed. Pet grooming services, while performed by licensed experts, can only go so far. Many groomers require proof of vaccination and other certification from a veterinarian, especially for young or senior pets.
Preparing for a Trip to the Groomer
If your pet has never been to a professional groomer before and you are thinking about scheduling an appointment, there are some things you can do to help them prepare. Certainly, your pet has had their nails trimmed before, so they are familiar with clippers, but make sure you give them a crash course on brushes, hairdryers, nail trimmers, and water sprayers at home. For the hairdryer, simply leave it unplugged and let them sniff it, come up to it, and see it at first. Then go ahead and turn it on, but make it a fun game. Use it on yourself first, and then try blowing a little cool – not warm or hot – air at your pet. Don’t let them get riled up, but let them see that it is safe and fun. Praise them for their good behavior. Try turning it on just a few seconds at a time and then build up to longer periods.
For the water sprayer, this can be a play or aggressive trigger for some dogs. Many love playing in the water, and it can make them act hyperactive and excited. Try working with your pet to find a way to keep them calm while the water sprayer is on and in use. Consider starting slowly, like with the hairdryer, and building them up with more and more time. Again, make sure to praise the good behavior and don’t reward the bad with laughter or an enthusiastic response. Finish each new experience with a treat or another reward to help them connect each new item with something positive. Make sure your groomer knows that this is your pet’s first visit, and consider finding a service that specializes in this type of care.
Visit the Vet Regularly
Whether you use pet grooming services or not, make sure to schedule a regular veterinary check-up for your pet at least once each year. Studies recommend a vet tech appointment every six months for nail trims, anal gland expression, ear checks, and other essential health reviews, including weight, diet, and other concerns. If you have any questions about the services we offer at Anchor Animal Hospital or if you want to schedule an appointment, call us at 508-996-3731.