Insiders Advice: Why is grooming your pet so important? (5/17/22) – Southeast Missourian

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By Dr. Loni Patke ~ Cape Small Animal Clinic

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

We often lovingly refer to our pet’s time at the groomer as a “Spa Day.” This might be because we know how refreshing it feels to have our own hair trimmed and nails manicured. We can imagine pets enjoy this feeling, too. In fact, regular grooming also provides many health benefits for your cat or dog.

1. Grooming protects your pet’s paws. Keeping your cat or dog’s nails at an appropriate length allows them to walk comfortably and without risk of any serious damage to their paws. When “toe” nails become too long, they can dig into the soft tissue of the paw. Groomers and veterinary technicians know how to properly trim pet nails, if the job becomes too hard for you to do at home.

2. Grooming reduces shedding. Daily brushing at home can reduce shedding. Plus, when you regularly brush your pet’s fur you become familiar with the dog or cat’s skin, making it more likely you will spot any abnormalities such as infections or even ticks.

3. Grooming prevents infection. Having your pet occasionally or regularly groomed by a professional may include services such as ear cleaning, hair removal, teeth brushing and anal gland expression, upon request. All of these services not only make your pet more comfortable but can help reduce the risk of skin allergies, ear infections, mites, oral issues and more.

4. Grooming provides comfort. People don’t like knots, tangles and matted hair. Pets don’t either. Regular grooming prevents these inconveniences. In summer months, trimming fur provides cool relief from the heat. The thick humidity in our region often makes skin allergies worse, so it is important to keep your pet’s fur groomed. Meantime, professional groomers often provide light massage, which helps pets relax. For many cats, grooming may require light sedation, which is why grooming services at your veterinary clinic are recommended.

Some veterinary clinics, like ours, offer grooming appointments in addition to veterinary services. This makes it convenient for you to drop off your pet to have its annual checkup and “Spa Day” all in one.

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