So You Think You Don’t Need A Groomer

By: Joel Allen

Hello, folks!  Years ago, I had an uncle who had a bad fall and shattered his hip. After being in a hospital bed a few days, his long hair had twisted up and became matted to the point that it was causing him some inconvenience. When hair does this on people and animals, things start happening like knotted hair and sores, and there usually is no way to correct this except to shave the affected area of hair or cut it off. That’s exactly what happened to my uncle, and Mom asked me to cut his hair. After I gave him a fade haircut, he was not happy but at least he had no more knotted hair and could take care of it easier.

So, why am I telling everyone this story? Because there are many who get dogs that require grooming to keep them healthy but do not understand the full extent of the maintenance required. I’ve been informed that there are breeders who sell dogs that supposedly “do not shed.”  We can argue all day about the “hypoallergenic” breeds, but shedding hair and dander is always there. In curly coats, the shedding hair gets trapped and causes mats close to the skin. Once the hair becomes wet, it stretches and pulls tight. When dried, the hair pulls the skin and can cause sores if not properly attended to. Another added bonus to this? A lovely home for parasites to breed and feed on your dog. “Dinner is served!” the flea shouts. “Scratch, scratch,” goes the dog.

“What dogs need grooming?” many are asking themselves. All of them! Some of them are easy to care for yourselves, but this also depends on your knowledge, equipment, skill level, and desire to do it. There are dogs with long hair, double coats which are mainly on herding dogs, curly coats which are your poodles and poodle mixes, wire-haired dogs of the terrier breed, and the short-haired dogs that have their own specific grooming needs.

It is wise to do your homework on the dog(s) that are brought into your family. If it is a mixed breed or “Heinz 57” dog, look at their coat and determine which breed is predominant and what might be required for their care. Pure breeds will have their own definition, but I caution everyone to not listen to the breeders stating that their dogs do not require grooming but just a couple times a year.

I have heard from a few groomers that dogs are being brought in with matted hair; long toe nails causing misalignment in their paws; yeast infections in eyes, ears, and feet; teeth with tartar build up; and wrinkly skin that catches moisture and eye discharge on their muzzles. This becomes a cocktail of bacterial problems for the dog(s) and often will lead to health issues and costly vet bills.

Hey, I understand that many people find it difficult to pay for or find professional services due to what is happening in our country. There are other ways to effectively meet your pet’s needs. Online through master groomer videos is an excellent choice depending on your circumstances.

So, folks, another month has come and gone. Be safe and enjoy the month of September and remember, “Leaves are falling and dogs are shedding.” May we finally get some cooler weather.

By: Joel Allen