Does my dog needs to be groomed?

The amount and type of grooming a dog needs varies dramatically based on breed type and hair type, environment, and lifestyle. Some dogs rarely need any grooming, while others need daily care to remain comfortable and healthy. Potential dog owners should carefully consider the amount of time, money, and effort they are willing to expend to keep their new dog well groomed.

A poorly groomed dog can suffer from parasites (fleas or ticks), irritated skin, painful mats, and have hidden medical problems, such as skin tumors. Professional groomers provide any service a dog might need, but an owner must determine how often and to what degree his or her dog needs to be groomed.

Grooming includes nail trimming, ear cleaning, dental care, and skin and hair care. Some dogs rarely need a bath, but most should be bathed about once a month. Veterinary dermatologists recommend bathing dogs with specially formulated shampoos because dog skin has a different level of acidity than that of humans.

Choosing the proper sham-poo for your dog is a matter of trial and error, just like choosing your own shampoo. What works well on your neighbor’s shar-pei may not be a good choice for your greyhound, but you’ll never know until you try. There is a wide selection of dog shampoos and conditioners, and your veterinarian can provide medicated shampoos and other products for dogs with irritated or dry skin.