Updated: Feb 18
Skin and coat
First of all, good professional maintenance is about keeping a dog's coat and skin healthy. Many dogs can suffer with dry, flaky skin and this can lead to more significant issues if not addressed. Part of good coat maintenance at our groomer's will manage this. A good natural shampoo formulated for sensitive skin will help soothe your dog's skin and prevent them from itching and scratching and potentially causing more discomfort and damage.
Even short-haired breeds such as a Labrador or Rottweiler will benefit from a regular bath, dry and de-shed at the grooming salon, resulting in healthier skin and coat.
High maintenance coats
There are certain breeds such as Springer Spaniels, Poodles and Shih Tzu who are prone to matting and knotting. Regular maintenance at home in between grooms will help reduce this, but a professional groom is highly recommended for these breeds every 6-8 weeks.
De-matting your dog
Matting can be caused by friction such as legs rubbing on the armpit and groin areas and without even realising, these can result in significant knotting which can be extremely difficult and painful for the groomer to remove. Dirt and debris are other reasons for hair to matt and knot so again brushing out after particular messy walks will help.
When a dog is severely matted it is kinder to clip all of their hair off rather then spend hours de-matting, this is also very painful for the dog. If a dog has severe matting on the ears they can develop an ear haematoma due to matts restricting the blood flow to the area it covers. The lack of blood flow weakens the skin causing it to be to thinner and more likely to bleed or tear.
Regular health check
Having your dog groomed regularly will also allow the groomer to carry out a health check which consists of checking eyes, ears, teeth, genitals and other body parts to check for lumps or abnormalities. It is important for owners to communicate with their groomers around health issues as the groomer can keep an eye on any changes.
As soon as puppies have had their second course of vaccinations and are able to socialise they should be introduced to the sights, smells and sounds of a grooming salon. Harris Hounds offers a puppy package that allows the dog 2 or 3 sessions before the puppy is 6 months old. Our Puppy Package includes two sessions of up to 30 mins each before they have a full groom experience. It's very gentle and helps pups feel confident with the whole grooming process.
Looking after your dog's teeth is just as important as it is for us humans because dogs also suffer with build up of plaque, tartar and gum disease.
Looking good, feeling good
The appearance of your dog is not only beneficial to you but to your dog's mental and physical health. Like we feel so much better after we’ve had our hair or nails done, so do our dogs! This is why keeping up with regular appointments is so important.
The risks of home grooming
As we know, every dog is different and will have different anxieties about certain things. They can also pick up on your emotions, for example, if you are worried about using scissors on a dog because you may cut them then they will then feel that fear too.
When you are home you may not have the correct equipment to safely restrain your dog to prevent injury to the dog or yourself. If a dog is injured during a groom the dog can lose trust in you and the grooming process which can then lead to further issues for professional groomers. Examples of things that commonly go wrong include burns from a dryer that’s too hot or too close to the skin, trimming nails too short that causes the quick to bleed, trimming with sharp scissors that can cause cuts and puncture wounds.
When lifting a dog you must follow the correct health and safety lifting procedure to protect yourself and the dog from injury. Holding a dog incorrectly can cause discomfort and stress to them. Dachshunds for example, if incorrectly lifted or accidentally dropped, can cause back problems.
Good maintenance in between grooms
The most important thing to do in between grooms is regular brushing which helps with your dog's physical health and appearance. Brushing the coat regularly can help remove dead hair, dirt and dandruff, brings out the natural oils in a dog's coat and helps prevent matting
If your dog is really dirty from walks then bathing them regularly will help their coat and skin. Make sure you only use dog friendly shampoos as human shampoos can be quite harsh, leaving dogs vulnerable to parasites, virus and bacteria, plus increasing the risk of causing dry flaky skin.
Allow them to dry naturally rather then using a hair dryer, towel drying is ideal – you can purchase cha