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Signs Your Dog Needs Grooming

Since we see our dogs every day, it can be difficult to tell when you should book a grooming appointment. That's why our Farmington Hills vets are sharing some early signs that it's time for your dog to see a groomer and why regular grooming is important.

Why You Should Take Your Dog to a Groomer

While we can look at our reflection in the mirror to tell whether it's time to make an appointment with our hairdresser, what about our beloved pups? Grooming is not just a matter of style for dogs - it's one of the most critical aspects of keeping our four-legged friends happy and healthy. 

Bringing your canine companion in for a session with our professional groomers keeps them from smelling foul, and gives your groomer the opportunity to keep fleas, ticks and other pests from infesting your pooch's fur. 

Regular grooming also helps to keep your dog's coat, skin and nails clean, moisturized and clipped. Of course, it also helps them look and feel their best! 

Signs Your Dog Needs to Be Groomed

Many people ask our vets, "How do I know when my dog needs a haircut?" When it's time for your dog's next grooming appointment, you may notice these signs:

Your dog has dirty, matted, or dull fur

Have you discovered dirt or matted fur on your dog? These are often a couple of the first — and most easily recognizable — signs your dog needs to see a groomer. While outdoor activities such as running and playing help them stay in shape, mud, dirt and debris can accumulate on their skin and fur, making them dirty. You might even notice a bad odor. 

Matted fur makes your pooch more than just uncomfortable. It can easily become a threat to their health as dirt, debris and parasites become trapped in their coat. This can lead to bacterial infections, skin conditions and various diseases. 

Whether dirt and muck have built up gradually or your dog has taken a mud puddle bath during an outdoor adventure, our professional groomers are here to clean their coat and return it to its shiny, healthy glory once more.  

Your dog's nails are too long

Does your pup spend most of their days playing on the grass or on soft surfaces? While some dogs can trim their nails naturally by strolling on sidewalks, roads, and other paved or hard surfaces, the same nails will eventually grow too long if they spend a lot of their time on grass. This can make it painful for your dog to walk. If you hear clicking sounds when your dog walks across your hard or laminate floors at home, it's time for a trim.

Nails should be kept trimmed and neat. During a grooming session, our groomer will dedicate time to examining your dog's nails and trimming them if required. 

You notice signs of parasites or pests

Whether your dog's fur is matted or not, it can be easy for pests such as fleas and ticks to find homes deep within your canine companion's coat. This could cause skin damage and negatively impact their overall health. In addition to checking your dog every day for parasites and other pests, keep an eye out for signs like excessive scratching, irritated skin, or sores.

Parasites can gradually get worse, feed off your dog, and even spread to other pets or members of your home if they aren't found and treated as quickly as possible. As their condition gets worse and the parasites feed on your dog's blood and nutrients, your pooch could gradually become more fatigued and weak. Diseases contracted via parasites could also be deadly. That's why it's critical for any pests to be spotted early.

Your dog's ears smell

Dogs' ears are self-cleaning, but wax can sometimes build up in the ear canal or an infection can occur. If this is the case, you may notice an odor if you go to smell your dog's neck. Our professional groomer can clean your pup's ears and let you know of any suspected infections.

Your dog is scooting

Clogged anal sacs can be unpleasant for both you and your dog — and painful for your pup. On either side of their behind, dogs have two small anal sacs that contain a fishy-smelling, foul liquid that's normally released when they poop.

Usually, a bowel movement triggers the anal sacs to empty. But fluid can build up if the sacs aren't working properly, and the glands can become inflamed. The liquid could solidify, hindering its release. This can lead to pain and discomfort for your dog.

At a professional grooming appointment, the groomer will gently express the glands to release the contents, bringing relief to your dog. The procedure will be followed by a thorough bath.

How Frequently You Should Take Your Dog to the Groomer

If you're wondering, "How often should I take my dog to the groomer? or how often to groom your dog at home, the answer is not one-size-fits-all. Your pooch's grooming needs will be dictating largely by their breed, coat type, hair length and lifestyle. Long-haired dogs will probably need more grooming than short-haired pups. 

Dogs who spend lots of time outside will also need more grooming than couch potatoes or pooches that spend time lounging inside. In most cases, regular grooming should be done about once a month.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our Farmington Hills vets today to make an appointment for your dog's grooming session or to learn more about the services we offer.

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