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Grooming: Questions And Answers

My name is Mike Fletcher, I'm vet with 20 years practice. Welcome to my blog.

It is wrong to think that grooming is just a haircut. Real grooming is a comprehensive animal carethat includes grooming, washing, cutting claws, cleaning eyes and ears, and other procedures. And this concept applies not only to dogs. Cats is also required and nail clipping, and ear cleaning and glands perianalny.

In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about grooming.

At what age do they start cutting dogs?

The puppy is trained to grooming from early childhood (cut the claws, shave the hair on the tips of the ears, pluck dead hairs from the ear canal, trim the hair on the paws, make a hygienic haircut of the appropriate places). If you have a show dog, it is not cut, but only do the described procedures and trim the hair on the "skirt" (or "pants" — as you like). If you are not going to expose the dog, and want to make it a fashionable haircut, or you just have a hard time taking care of long hair, then you can start cutting the puppy from the age of six months.

How often should I contact the groomer?

There is only one rule — if you are no longer satisfied with the appearance of your dog, if the pet began to look untidy, then it's time to contact the groomer. This depends on the growth rate of your dog's coat and your personal preferences. On average, the groomer is contacted once a month and a half. Some people cut their dogs two or three times a year, provided that they can trim the dog's claws, ears, and handle hygiene areas on their own.

How often do I need to bathe my dog?

It is recommended to wash the dog completely no more than once a week, and at least once every two or three weeks, optimally – once every 10-14 days. The main thing — do not forget to use air conditioners to restore the pH of the skin after washing with shampoo. When washing, use only shampoos and cosmetics for dogs that match your dog's coat type.

What causes tangles?

The reasons can be very different. Most often, the most difficult-to-remove tangles are formed if you do not dry the dog with a hair dryer after washing and do not comb it, that is, if the dog dries itself, especially if it is actively wiped on carpets, floors, furniture and other things.

Another reason for the formation of tangles is clothing for dogs. Under clothing, tangles are formed from friction, most often on the collar area, under the armpits and on the inner side of the thigh. To avoid this, it is better to dress the dog in suits with a slippery lining, and immediately after removing the clothes — comb the hair, sprinkling with antistatic.

Improper care and poorly selected combs are also a frequent cause of tangles. To brush your dog regularly with a metal comb with teeth of medium frequency.

In unhealthy animals (skin parasites, helminths, liver diseases, etc.), the coat becomes dull, soft, and prone to the formation of tangles.

Do I need to pluck my hair out of my ear or cut it short enough?

Hair from the ear canal should be plucked, not cut, as dead hair does not fall out, and prevent normal ventilation of the ear. If the ear is not breathing, there may be a buildup of sulfur, the development of pathogens and the occurrence of inflammation.

What is perianalny cancer and why to clean them?

Anal (or paraanal) glands are a special group of mammalian skin glands that open into the rectal cavity or near the anal opening. These) glands are derived from the sweat and sebaceous glands. Their secretions are mostly odorous, used to scare off enemies, to attract individuals of the other sex, and to mark the territory occupied by this individual. Most animals can release these glands purposefully for scent marking, or, like the skunk, in self-defense.

Dogs, as well as some cats, have largely lost the ability to manage the emptying of these bags on their own. Normally, this happens, for example, during defecation. If the glands overflow, they become enlarged, inflamed, and interfere with defecation and even walking. Dogs with blocked paraanal glands usually RUB their backs on the ground or floor in an attempt to squeeze out the accumulated secret. Some dogs lick the anal area, try to pin down the glands with their tail.

To avoid blockage of the anal glands and their inflammation (paraproctitis), the glands must be regularly cleaned. This should be done by a specialist, since if the contents are clumsily pressed, they can be squeezed inside, and then inflammation can not be avoided. The frequency of anal gland hygiene is individual, from once a month to once a year, and some individuals do not need it at all.

The dog's paw pads are drying, what should I do?

First of all, make sure that the dog does not have allergies and beriberi. Dryness of the paw pads may be a reaction to the parquet floor or dry air. If the dog is walking on the street, it may react to the salt that is sprinkled on the paths (then before walking they need to be lubricated with a special tool, or walk in shoes). If the pads are cracked, you can soften them by rubbing baby cream, sea buckthorn oil, or vitamin a oil solution.

What causes dandruff?

Most often, dandruff in dogs appears on a nervous basis, under stress. As soon as the dog calms down, after a while the dandruff disappears. If the dog's dandruff appears constantly, determine whether there is a constant stress factor.

It can also be a reaction to the dryness of the air in the apartment. Or an allergic reaction to food or cosmetics used. In this case, observe the animal and contact the veterinarian.

A few words about allergies to wool

Most people think they are allergic to animal hair. This is true, but only to a certain extent. The real culprit of allergies is dandruff, small particles of skin, saliva and the corresponding proteins of the dog or cat's body.

Someone's body reacts more to cats, because cats are prone to thorough licking, and saliva, as already mentioned, is no less a strong allergen than dust and wool, someone on cats and dogs at the same time, in General, there is no single scheme of exposure to allergic factors.

What you can really agree on is that the reaction can really depend on the breed. It is believed that in contact with Yorkshire Terriers, Portuguese divers, poodles, lapdogs, less likely to get allergic manifestations. Indeed, sometimes the Allergy in the presence of such dogs fades, primarily due to the quality of their coat, but in some cases, the allergic condition can worsen.

Long-haired dogs that have an undercoat shed at certain times of the year. Since faded wool forms lumps on the floor, it is less allergenic. In contrast, dogs with coarse short hair lose individual hairs, with dandruff on them, wherever they are. For different people's immune systems, this may be more or less preferable.

Some dogs have greasy hair that can cause allergies, while others have dry, flaky skin that is also allergenic. Dogs with increased salivation leave their allergenic "business cards" in the form of dried saliva everywhere. For some people who are prone to allergies, all these substances do not make any impression, while others cause chronic asthma. That is why there are no breeds that do not cause allergies, but there is an individual susceptibility, so even a naked dog can cause a severe attack by licking a potential allergic owner.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2020 Mike Fletcher


Ivana Divac from Serbia on October 01, 2020:

This was very enlightening. Great tips! Thanks for sharing.