A common mistake new dog owners make is over grooming. In their zeal to be the best pet parent they can, some people go overboard in this area. The main concerns for new dog parents are shedding, odor, nails, and the possibility of fleas. While caretakers are right to be concerned for their dogs, they need to understand why over grooming a pet is a mistake.
Dogs have sensitive skin, regardless of how much hair covers their body. Too much grooming can cause a dog to lose the natural oils in his or her skin, which often leads to itching and scratching. This is a problem because dogs have a natural instinct to scratch and bite themselves until any pain is gone. Sometimes the dog’s attempt to remedy their discomfort is really a trigger causing it to worsen.
New dog owners need to understand that grooming a dog will not kill fleas nor will it rid your home of a flea infestation. Most over-the-counter flea shampoos call for bathing a dog every ten days as needed until fleas are gone. The truth is, fleas can stand up to worse conditions than shampoo and water. If you live in a warm climate with a lot of land and dry arid conditions, a simple bath every ten days will not solve a flea problem. The best way to eradicate fleas is to obtain an anti-flea prescription from your veterinarian and to follow it scrupulously.
Ultimately, new pet parents need to understand that all dogs shed and will continue to shed even when grooming is fastidious. What can help control shedding is ensuring that the dog’s coat is well brushed and that it’s regulated with a tool known as the shed ender. A shed ender tool is effective for long-haired dogs and resembles clippers; it’s made of metal and has ridges in a clipper blade like pattern. The shed ender should be used at least once a week to keep excessive shedding under control.
Nails likewise need grooming and should be cut when they start rounding and curving downward. Cutting nails too short keeps the nail too close to the nerve which is both painful and uncomfortable for your pet.
Until next time remember to love your pets with no regrets!