Regular grooming has a myriad of health benefits for dogs, including reducing skin irritability and providing social stimulation through interaction with other dogs and groomers. In this blog, The Pet Retreat outlines the benefits of grooming and how this leads to a boost in their mood.
So are dogs happier after grooming? Dogs are happier after grooming due to the many health benefits and overall cleanliness that it provides. Grooming also provides an opportunity to be social with other dogs and groomers. Although some dogs may feel down after grooming, this quickly goes away and they truly appreciate the benefits of grooming.
Read on to find out more about the benefits of regular dog grooming and the increase in happiness this provides.
Does Grooming Increase Dog’s Happiness?
Just like humans, dogs require regular grooming to feel clean and stay healthy. At first, dogs may feel strange due to the missing hair, however they should recover quickly and become happier due to the many benefits that grooming provides. As your dog’s owner, you will benefit from a fresher smell, less hair shedding around the house and a happier dog. The benefits of regular grooming for dogs include:
Similar to human hair, dog fur needs to be cut often so it doesn’t become matted. As their fur gets longer, it will obscure their vision, making it harder for them to enjoy daily activities such as playing, eating and going on walks. When eating or drinking, their fur could drop in the food or water, meaning they will consume their own fur and have to spend the rest of their day with wet or dirty fur.
In the hotter periods of the year, thick and heavy fur can make dogs uncomfortable and increase the risk of heat stroke. However, even if they don’t need a full cut, their fur should be cleaned as it protects them from the heat from the sun and provides insulation during cold weather. Dogs have sensitive skin that requires the layer of fur to protect against cuts and abrasions.
Dog’s nails are trimmed to an appropriate length during grooming which should be done often to avoid painful breakage and bleeding, minimising the risk of infection.
There is a social aspect to grooming as dogs will more than likely interact with other dogs, along with the groomers themselves. As they are being washed and checked for common health issues, they are essentially receiving a gentle massage which helps to relax them and increases their general mood. During the process, professional groomers will also provide lots of reassurance and praises to keep them calm and hopefully make them feel good.
The cleaner a dog’s fur and skin, the lower the chance of flea and parasite infestations, skin infections and allergies are to occur. Professional groomers should conduct a consultation to discuss your dog’s requirements, they will always use the correct treatments and products for your dog’s coat type but it is worth mentioning any allergies that your dog has.
If you have regular appointments with a groomer, you shouldn’t need to wash your dog at home unless they become particularly dirty, or it has been recommended for flea or allergy treatments. If you do need to wash your dog at home, we would recommend using natural products such as Houndsly Conditioning Shampoo to remove dirt and grease. You must use dog-friendly shampoo to wash your dogs, never human shampoo as this can cause damage, health problems and irritation. For more information on shampooing dogs, read our recent blog.
As grooming allows professionals to get close to dogs, it can be the perfect time to check for any health concerns. As mentioned above, grooming a dog’s fur is essential due to the protective layer it provides for the dog’s sensitive skin and trimming nails helps to avoid infections and pain as long as the living part is kept intact. Other health checks that can be done while grooming include:
Ears – Dog’s ears should be regularly cleaned to avoid infections and clear the ear glands and canals of wax and debris.
Teeth – There are toothpastes specifically made for dogs that should be used 3 times a week to minimise the risk of gum disease and remove tartar.
General – Grooming is a great opportunity to check for lumps and bumps or any other problem areas while washing.
How Often Should Dogs be Groomed by a Professional?
A dog’s breed, coat length and type all affect the frequency of grooming but the general recommendation is every four to six weeks alongside brushing and freshening up at home. Dogs should be groomed by professionals as they have the appropriate tools, products and equipment. They are the experts in different breeds and the standards required to keep dogs fresh and healthy.
You can wash your dog at home but avoid doing this too frequently as it can cause skin irritation and dryness and only dog friendly shampoo should be used. Depending on the frequency of your appointments with the groomers, you may also need to trim their nails and perform health checks.
How Can Grooming be Made More Comfortable for Dogs?
Although grooming is usually a fun activity, some dogs may react negatively towards it. This could be for a number of reasons including previous neglect, being reminded of going to the vets or just general feelings of unease.
Before appointments, you should make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible with being touched on their fur, feet, ears and other sensitive areas to help avoid anxiety or aggression towards the groomer. If in doubt, organise an appointment with your vet to discuss potential medication and other calming methods. Dogs’ reactions often reflect their owner’s reactions so they will be made more comfortable if you interact with them and the groomer in a positive way during the session. Once the session is over, make sure to reward good behaviour with a treat or enjoyable activity which will help to boost their mood. Natural treats such as antlers and liver paste can be a great way to keep your dog distracted while you groom them or reward for good behaviour.
Dog Grooming at The Pet Retreat
At The Pet Retreat, we work hard to make sure you and your dog are as comfortable and happy as possible throughout the appointment and with the final result. Our process includes a complimentary consultation, enabling us to understand your requirements and assess your pet’s coat and skin health.
Once the appointment is done, we’ll offer you advice on how to care for your pet’s coat before their next visit. For more information or to book an appointment, contact a member of our team.