Not only are regular home grooming sessions an excellent way to keep your dog’s nails, skin and coat in the best shape possible but they are also the best way to stay on top of your dog’s overall health. The main reason for this is because there is no better time to carry out routine health checks of your pet then when you have them on your lapping while clipping their nails or in the bathtub shampooing their coat.
This is what makes home grooming such a worthwhile experience, not only is it great being able to spend some much needed bonding time with your pup, finding out exactly what they like and dislike about being bathed but you can also be confident you’re keeping your pet in the best shape possible.
To help you along the way we have put together three of the most important health checks you can carry out while grooming your pet. These include what to look out for when giving your dog a once over as well as how to take your pets response into consideration as their behaviour will obviously always be a huge indicator of how they feel about something. For example if your dog is always hesitant when it comes to washing their front left paw then there might be an underlying issue you want to investigate, the same is true if your dog always seems to move their mouth away from you when you attempt to wash their face, this could be a sign of much needed dental care.
Without building the suspense any further here are our top three health tips to consider during your grooming routine:
If they let you, check inside your pet’s mouth
As already mentioned above, many pet’s may shy away from you getting too close to or handling their mouth. If this is the case then that should be a flag to you that there are dental issues that you may want to explore further.
If this is the case then proceed with patience and gently lift up your dog’s lip folds in order to check the inside of their mouth. You should be looking at both their teeth and gums, checking for tartar on their teeth which may need to be removed as can often lead to soreness and teeth decay. Ideally your pet’s gums should be a light pink and any unusual colouring may point to signs of illness.
Many bumps and lumps may be normal but it’s worth monitoring their size and shape
As any pet owner knows, lumps and bumps are a natural occurrence on a pet’s body, particularly as they grow older and start to show the unfortunate signs of old age. However when grooming your dog you should monitor these lumps for both size and how much irritation they cause your dog when you touch them.
If you dog reacts in pain when you rub the bump then it may be a sign of a more serious issue and it is well worth consulting a veterinarian. In fact if you are concerned about any sort of lumps or bumps on your dog’s skin then it is always worth reaching out to a professional. Checking for these issues while grooming is an excellent way to keep your pet healthy.
Check your dog’s anal glands but consult an expert if needed
One of the main reasons for grooming your pet may be the unpleasant smell they have started to give off. Whether you have just returned from a long muddy walk or you just haven’t had the time to bathe your pet in a few weeks than it is normal they will start to kick up a bit of a stink.
However even the best smelling dog shampoos may not be able to eradicate some of the unpleasant scents that your pet gives off. This is because some dogs have chronic problems with their anal glands which can also give off a pretty nasty smell. To check whether your pet has an issue related to their anal glands it is best to check under their tail while grooming them. Just by doing this you may be able to locate the smell immediately, it is also worth checking for anything out of the ordinary. If you do have concerns related to your dog’s anal glands then it is best to consult a professional groomer who can assist you with the issue or even visit your veterinarian.
So there you have three real quick checks you can make while grooming to your pet to keep them in the best health possible. These checks can take less than a couple of minutes so are well worth incorporating in to your grooming routine to ensure you regularly monitor your dog’s health.