Signs Your Dog Needs Grooming

Because we see our dogs every day it can be tricky at first to tell if they should see a groomer. This is why our Lafayette vets share some of the early signs that it's time for your dog to go to a groomer and why it's important to have them groomed regularly. 

Why You Should Take Your Dog to a Groomer

We usually know when we have to make an appointment with our hairdresser just by looking out our reflection in the mirror, but what about our adorable pups? Grooming is one of the most critical parts of keeping our canine companions healthy and happy. Not only does routinely bringing your furry pet for a professional grooming session keep them from smelling bad, but it also provides your groomer with the opportunity to keep ticks, fleas, and other pests from taking hold of your pooch.

Grooming will also help keep your dog's skin, coat, and nails in optimal condition, as well as help them, look and feel their best!

Signs Your Dog Needs to Be Groomed

Below we have listed some of the signs that show your dog needs to see a groomer. 

Your dog has dirty, matted, or dull fur

One of the first — and most easily recognizable — signs your dog needs to see a groomer is the visibility of dirt or matts on their fur. While all of their outside activities such as playing and running helps to keep them in shape, dirt, mud, and debris can build on their skin and fur, making them dirty. You might even notice an unpleasant odor.

Matted fur makes your dog more than just uncomfortable. It can actually be a detriment to their health as pests, debris, and dirt can get trapped in their coat, which could lead to skin damage, bacterial infections, and diseases.

Whether it's built up over time or your dog has taken a bath in the mud, our professional groomers are available to clean their coat and make it healthy and shiny once more.

Your dog's nails are too long

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

Nails should be kept neat and trimmed. In a grooming session, our groomer will designate time to examine your dog's nails and trim them if needed.

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 you should groom your dog (or take the easy route and have a professional do it), Your dog's breed, coat type, hair length and lifestyle will largely dictate their grooming needs. Long-haired dogs will likely 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 Lafayette vets today to make an appointment for your dog's grooming session or to learn more about the services we offer.