Regular Grooming—Good For You and Your Pet!

Only a fraction of pet owners have their pets groomed regularly by a professional pet groomer. But those owners are possibly enjoying their pets
more and improving some aspects of their pets’ health. A professional groomer may detect (and possibly prevent) certain disease processes. As a veterinarian, I recognize that some of the disease conditions that I see every day could be prevented by the regular care of a professional groomer. Here are just a few examples:

Get clean. Get close. Get healthy! Of course you love your pet, but are you ever reluctant to share hugs and kisses with your pet? When your pet is clean with a pleasant aroma and a soft, smooth hair coat, then you will feel better about close contact with your pet and this will strengthen the emotional bond between you. Also, research has shown that petting lowers heart rate and blood pressure, which can improve the health of both you and your pet.

Remove Hazardous Tangles. Monthly cleansing and brushing of a dog or cat’s hair coat removes debris and tangles before they progress to severe hair coat matting. Melanie Florio, a groomer at Sterling Park Animal Hospital, has seen some mats that were so extensive that they resulted in infected skin lesions that required a complete shave down and treatment with veterinaryprescribed antibiotics. Regular grooming
would have easily prevented many of these cases.

Removing Dirt Helps Allergies. In the spring time, do you ever walk out of the house to find your car covered with thick coat of pollen? That same  pollen gets into your pets hair coat and can contribute to allergy outbreaks in your pet and otherfamily members. Regular grooming removes allergens that can cause allergies in pets and pet owners. Jackie Winters, who grooms dogs at Dulles Executive Pet Center, offers this tip: Between grooming appointments, keep a box of baby wipes by the front door and cleanse your pet’s hair coat and pads when he or she
comes inside.

Other medical problems that can be prevented or delayed by regular, professional grooming include:
• Anal Glands Abscesses—groomers express anal glands at every grooming, usually while in the tub, so the area is cleansed BEFORE your pet comes home.
• Periodontal Disease—groomer teeth brushing, when combined with at-home dental care and regular veterinary care, can delay the need for professional teeth cleanings by your veterinarian.
• Other Skin Diseases—groomers may detect\ skin lumps and parasites before you detect them at home, so they can be checked and treated by your veterinarian.
• Ear Infections—groomers cleanse the ears and are able to detect evidence of “silent” ear infections.

So remember, regular grooming by a professional pet groomer enhances the bond between you and your pet, and may also have a positive impact on the health of both you and your pet!

Dr. Charles Eastin treats every pet like a member of his own family at the Sterling Park Animal Hospital and Dulles Executive Pet Center

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