Pet Health: The Importance of Grooming Your Pet

Cavalier King Charles spaniel wrapped in towel at the grooming salon.

While regular grooming is important to keep your pet smelling and looking nice, it also has many added health benefits! Regular bathing also allows your or your grooming team the opportunity to look over your pet’s coat and body, which can be a great preventive measure for catching other skin or health issues. The team at Berkeley Veterinary Center put together this guide to teach pet owners the importance of grooming, so you can see just how it affects your pet’s health. 

Hygiene: More Than Just Clean 

It’s obvious your pet needs a bath after they are covered in mud after a day outside. But can you remember that last time you bathed your pet when they were not caked in dirt? If you can’t remember, chances are they are due for a bath and some basic maintenance grooming. 

Regular bathing and brushing are important to your pet’s overall hygiene, not just when they are muddy because they can:

  • Decrease your dog or cat’s smell
  • Reduce the buildup of dead skin and other pollutants
  • Prevent knots and mats that could lead to discomfort, bald spots, or sores 
  • Reduce the amount of cat fur or dog fur that sheds and gets everywhere inside your home

Fleas, Ticks, Dust, and More 

Your pet can also pick up all sorts of pollutants after a day outdoors, including dust, pollen, and even fleas and ticks. Not only can these irritants get tracked into your house, but they can also cause an allergic reaction for pets and sensitive humans. Regular grooming and bathing can help prevent this buildup and can be a great chance to look for signs of a flea and tick infestation. 

Nail Trims: More Important Than You Think 

Overgrown nails can be extremely uncomfortable or painful for your pet. Nails that are too long can affect the way your dog walks, can cause pain, and might even negatively impact their posture. Long nails can also snag on carpet and other fabric, and could potentially break off at the quick. This is painful and can cause bleeding. To avoid these issues, make sure your pet’s nails are trimmed regularly. If you’re uncomfortable trimming them yourself, call your veterinarian or local groomer. 

Ears, Ya Hear? 

Ears are an inviting and warm environment that can unfortunately be appealing to many unwelcome visitors (even several at a time). If not cleaned properly and regularly, mites, bacteria, yeast, and fungus can all thrive in your pet’s ear canal. A buildup of the wrong bacteria or parasite can lead to a painful ear infection, and could potentially lead to hearing loss for your dog. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on ear-cleaning solutions to use at home with a cotton ball. Do not try to clean out the ears yourself with a q-tip or anything that extends into the ear canal. Instead, use a cotton ball soaked in solution. If you are unsure, hire a professional to keep your pet’s ears squeaky clean.

If your pet has a foul smell, discharge, pus, or blood coming from their ears, consult your veterinarian right away. Your pet may be suffering from an ear infection and could require medication. Reduce the chance of ear infections by making sure your pet’s ears are cleaned gently on a regular basis. 

Keeping up with your pet’s grooming is an important and necessary part of caring for your animal companion. The team at Berkeley Veterinary Center is here to help answer your pet health and grooming questions. Call us at (732) 269-3600 or request an appointment online. 

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