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The ABC's of grooming

My dog Ruger getting groomed
Alyson Pelayo

A dog needs constant grooming in order to keep a healthy coat and body. If a person never brushed their hair, brushed their teeth, or clipped their nails they would be looked at as a very unhealthy person. Why would it be any different with a pet? Owners need to brush their dogs coat everyday for at least fifteen minutes. Brushing teeth frequently and clipping nails when they get long is also necessary to keep a pet healthy and happy.
The most important thing for an owner to do is brush. Lori, head groomer at Shaggy Chic in Agoura Hills says, “Brush!! Pay close attention to behind the ears and in the armpits where the coat will mat easily. Lift and brush the undercoat as well. Make sure to give attention to the whole dog not just the back. Never give a dog with mats a bath. And play with a puppy’s feet as much as possible so they get used to having their feet handled which will make it easier to cut their nails.”
This is great advice, so what is a mat? A mat is a tangled mess of hair that can easily form around dirt and will grow tighter and larger the longer it is left and if it gets wet. In order to get out mats the dog will need to be taken to a professional groomer. Mats can sometimes be brushed out in a special way called de-matting which is a lot of work and is priced accordingly. However mat’s that are extensive or too close to the skin will need to be shaved out. A groomer will let an owner know before choosing which path is better for the pet, but mats can be prevented with careful brushing every day.
If an owner doesn’t want to bathe or brush their pet they should only own short haired dogs and should make regular visits to a groomer. All dogs should have a bath at least every six weeks and at that time brush their teeth and clip their nails, or make an appointment with a groomer and get it all done and get a long haired pooch a stylish cut as well. Follow this advice to keep a happy and healthy pet.