This month Zack Manko updates us on home maintenance (including dog care tips)!
Ah, spring time. As winter’s icy grip is melted away by milder temperatures (which can take all month or longer if you live somewhere in the Northeast, like Sorsha), the majority of pet owners start to come out of their shells and get more active with their critters. At long last, spring offers many more options for both humans and canines (or felines, or avians, take your pick) to get outside than during the snow and ice of the wintry months.
For example, after a long, hard winter, it feels great to get outside and exercise with your dog, either by hitting the hiking trail or throwing the ball around the yard. Events both local and national are more likely to occur in the spring than in the winter. It’s also a great time to take precaution against heartworm disease — it is Heartworm Awareness Month, after all.
However, with all this spring time fun, there are some basic pet tips that may get missed. While you’re out there celebrating the demise of winter and enjoying the warm afternoons, your pet could be in dire need of some grooming attention.
So, while you’re considering some home maintenance and spring cleaning, contemplating a spring makeover for yourself, or wondering about those April showers and whatnot, take a moment to consider the importance of grooming for your furry companion.
Look Good. Feel Good.
Let's get one thing straight, right off the bat — good grooming is about more than just appearances and cleanliness. While keeping your pet clean is necessary for their well-being, and everyone likes a newly pampered pooch (even Sorsha), the primary reason for getting your pets groomed is to maintain their health.
For example, brushing your dog is essential for removing dead hair, dandruff, dirt, and other debris from your canine pal. This is true no matter if you have a long-haired hound or a short, frizzy fido. Additionally, brushing helps to release natural oils throughout your dog's coat, giving it a healthy sheen.
Brushing and bathing your dog is also a powerful combo for alleviating your dog’s skin ailments. The dry air of the winter months may have left their skin dry and itchy. Proper grooming can relieve this discomfort. Just be careful not to over-bathe your dog, as this can have the opposite of your intended effect and actually dry out your dog’s skin.
Another major component of grooming is nails. If a dog’s nails get too long, they can scratch the floor or people. Clip or trim them to keep them from growing too long.
Grooming is also an opportunity to examine your dog's overall health. While brushing them down or bathing them, take the time to examine their ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. Check out their teeth and gums for signs of design. Inspect their ears for redness, black wax, or other signs of infection. Look for abnormalities or strange growths around the eyes. You many notice something you wouldn't see under normal circumstances. Contact your vet or pet care provider if you do.
Speaking of abnormalities, common finds during spring grooming are fleas and ticks. As people and pets get back outdoors during spring, so do bugs and parasites. Preventing these vermin with a flea collar or medication is the best first defense, but careful grooming can reveal their presence and allow you to take action. These parasites aren’t just an annoyance — they can cause illnesses such asLyme Disease, which can be fatal for your dog.
While you’re at it, check yourself for ticks too after time spent outdoors with your pet.
As a side bonus, getting your dog clean will keep your house clean. With a tidy coat, they’ll be less likely to bring in dirt, twigs, and leaves. Trimmed nails means less scratches on hardwood or furniture. And let’s not forget that a sweet-smelling pooch will leave less odors behind when they’re on the carpet or sofa.
Another benefit? Bonding. Grooming your dog will give you two some quality time together. Brushing their coat can be quite relaxing — for both of you. Or, grooming may be a new activity that you find fun or enjoyable. Either way, you’ll be having some fun and your dog will be happier — and healthier — because of it.
With forced business shutdowns, quarantines, and social distancing interrupting many regular activities and schedules, getting your pet the grooming service they are accustomed to, deserve, or dreadfully need can be a challenge. However, it is important to remember that getting your pet groomed is not just a nice treat, it is a part of regular care that can make them happier and healthier.
Fortunately, even if your back (or tail) is against the wall, there are still many solutions available. For example, many groomers have mobile services (or are fully mobile to begin with) and can offer contactless care for your pet. Most of these already wash and sanitize their grooming vehicles and areas in between each furry client, so they were safe before it was required. Plus, if you’re willing to have groceries and other supplies delivered to your door, what’s wrong with having some pet care delivered as well?
Willing to get creative? Research your breed online, find out what type of care they need most, and see if you can order the equipment to do it yourself. It may be easier than you think, and your pet will thank you for it.
Still, if you’re worried about your ability to control your dog, or to provide the care they need,call a professional groomer and check for an appointment. They have the tools, training, and experience to do the job right.
We’re all excited that winter is over. Our pets are all excited that winter is over (except for Sorsha — she loves the cold weather). However, in between all the outdoor celebrating and exercising, take the time to plan out some grooming for your pup. They’ll be healthier and you’ll both be happier.
Have a great spring!