Have you ever caught yourself wondering when you should schedule your pup's next bath? Or if they even need one at all? Think back to their last grooming or spa day. If you're having a hard time remembering when that was, then your pup is overdue! The benefits of regular grooming and spa sessions for your pet are not just to keep them looking good, but to elevate their health and happiness.
Regularly grooming your pet is a vital aspect of pet care and can help your dog feel their best. Do you notice an increase in your dog's energy levels after they are picked up from their grooming session? Given that humans feel like their best selves after a haircut and wash, it's safe to say that is no coincidence! Whether your dog has long or short hair, grooming can help improve your pet's behavior, happiness and most importantly, their skin and coat health. Additionally, more benefits of regular dog grooming include:
- Improved Hygiene - Although their skin and coat health serves as the most crucial aspect of regular grooming, hygiene is just as important! Removing dead skin and dirt that has accumulated on your pet's skin can reduce itchiness, irritation and smells.
- A Quick Health Check - Grooming provides the perfect opportunity to check for any bumps, bald patches or identify overly sensitive areas that need to be monitored.
- Prevents Matted Fur - Pets with long hair are at serious risk of extreme matting if not properly maintained. Matted hair is a common occurrence that can cause severe pains, irritations and health issues for your pet.
- Can Improve Joint Health - Grooming services typically include nail trims and filings. Neglecting your pet's nail care can cause serious discomfort, injuries, infections and can lead to joint pain and even arthritis in older dogs.
Keeps Eyes and Ears Clean - These sensitive areas are more susceptible to infections. Maintaining clean ears and eyes can prevent odors, blockages and parasites.
(Pro-tip: Keeping our paraben-free and gentle Signature Spa Grooming Wipes on hand can help pet parents maintain the cleanliness of your pet's in between grooming sessions!)
When it comes to professional pet grooming, we know finding the perfect groomer for your pup is a task that is to be taken seriously. With the abundance of health factors it holds, it is almost as important as finding the perfect vet. We asked our Director of Services and Grooming Expert, Patricia Sugihara, to further explain the importance of grooming and why pet parents should consider Healthy Spot for their pup's next grooming session.
What makes the grooming experience at Healthy Spot so unique?
"I've worked at multiple corporate and mom-and-pop shops as a groomer. My experience at Healthy Spot made me realize there is a lack of education and training at these places. Our groomers have so much knowledge and groomers elsewhere lack the serious training that ours have. New groomers must start as an apprentice and work side by side with a Master for six months before they can graduate and become fully-trained groomers. We have rigorous safety standards, the quality is always top notch and our groomers can execute a groom for any breed. A lot of groomers are not up to date with style, but Healthy Spot likes to stay up with trends to ensure pups are always staying stylish."
What are some benefits of regularly grooming your pup?
"Since groomers regularly see your pup every 4-6 weeks, groomers can alert clients of abnormalities. We have alerted clients many times about a growth on their dog that has ended up being cancerous. Clients have stated that if they weren't notified about these bumps or abnormalities, then the dog wouldn’t have made it. Vets see your dog once a year, yet groomers see your dog every month.
Overall, hygiene and skin care are important. Overgrown nails can cause pain and walking can become difficult as it puts pressure on your dog’s limbs which can lead to future arthritis and joint problems. If your pup isn’t regularly groomed, there can be a dirt buildup which can cause itching and scratching, leading to hot spots. Long-haired dogs are also prone to their hair matting. Matted dog hair holds moisture in the skin and can lead to bacteria and many other complications. Regular spa days also decrease the chances of fleas, ticks, pests and foxtails."
How does grooming improve your pup’s skin and coat?
"Grooming improves your pup’s skin because it keeps it clean and helps avoid bacterial infections, yeast infections and fungus. A common symptom includes lots of dander, which can lead to cracked skin. Prevention is key and grooming is the key to that. Grooming also keeps your dog’s coat nice and clean. If your dog isn’t regularly groomed or de-shedded, hairs can get stuck and knotted, which can cause serious discomfort and pain."
(Pro-tip: For everyday coat maintenance, our Signature Spa Conditioning Spray enhanced with Argan and Moringa Oils is lightweight and leaves your pet's fur soft and nourished without weighing it down in between grooming appointments.)
How does grooming short-haired dogs differ from long-haired dogs?
"The most important areas to focus on for short-hair dogs would be their nails, ears, anal glands and teeth. It's important to have a professional view these areas to detect any irregularities or buildups pet parents may not be able to identify themselves. A lot of breeds don't have the strength to express their own anal glands, which can be incredibly painful. Plus, as mentioned, de-shedding applies to long-hair and short-hair dogs and at Healthy Spot, we de-shed nose-to-tail during every grooming appointment. The purpose of de-shedding is to maintain your pet's healthy skin and coat and to keep them happy by taking off all the fur that's weighing them down."
Getting groomed can be an anxious experience for your dog - what are some things our groomers do to go above and beyond for a pup?
"If a dog is especially anxious or nervous, Healthy Spot will work with pet parents to help their dog get comfortable with the grooming environment before their appointment. If the parents are willing, we ask them to bring their dog in just to say hi. There won’t be any grooming at this meeting, but our groomers will give treats and get to know them. We also discuss the biggest anxiety triggers their pup deals with and work on ways to help them get comfortable before their appointment. For example, if a dog has a difficult time getting their nails trimmed, we ask pet parents to pretend like they're doing it at home and reward their dog with a treat. This creates familiarity and less panic during their appointment. We also will lie on the floor during their grooming session or groomers will take turns holding and cradling dogs until they feel at ease. It’s our goal here at Healthy Spot to make it a good experience for the dogs and for them to have a good life."
Overall, grooming serves numerous purposes and is important in caring for your pet. Not only will regular grooms help keep them looking good, but will also help them feel good and benefit their well-being. Whether your pet has long or short hair, is big or small, Healthy Spot is ready to pamper your pup. Our full-service styling salons and dog spas use the highest-quality products for all your dog's grooming needs. We also have well-educated groomers on hand to attend to your dog's unique requirements to ensure a soothing, relaxing, positive and safe experience for your pup.
Check out the pawesome services we offer at our Grooming Salon before you book to ensure you're giving your pup the best doggie spa day! Are you a first-time spa client at Healthy Spot? Take 50% off your first Standard or Signature Spa appointment! Returning clients can book their next appointment at their local Spot or online now!
If you regularly groom your pup at home, check out our assortment of grooming products. Our Signature Spa Line is made with natural, eco-friendly and biodegradable products designed to keep pets' skin and fur looking its best!
If there are no Healthy Spot Grooming Salons in your area, we still want to ensure your pup has the best experience and is receiving all the benefits regular grooming has to offer. Check out a few questions your fur-iend Patricia suggests you ask to help you find your pet the pawfect groomer:
- How did you learn to groom and how long was the training period? (Look for a minimum of 4-6 months of training and education. Make sure training was supervised by a grooming instructor. Many companies offer online training or short 6-week programs that make it difficult for the trainee to learn the proper compassionate handling, safety practices and proper techniques.)
- Do you have someone on staff that is first aid and CPR certified? (Many companies do not train or require first aid and CPR training. This training can help the team identify early on when a dog is in distress.)
- Do you have safety policies in place and can you give me some examples of the most important safety policies? (The groomer should be able to quickly recall from memory many safety policies if they follow and practice them every day. For example, dogs should never be left on a table unattended, vaccination policies, policies on signs of stress, cleaning policies, providing fresh water etc.)
- Do you use heated kennel dryers? (Heated kennel dryers are a top cause of death in the pet grooming industry. We do not use them at Healthy Spot and have never used them- we dry by hand or use non-heated kennel dryers that gently dry the pups that are afraid of hand blow-dryers.)
- Do you allow the dogs to mingle with each other? (We don't allow any direct contact between dogs in the salon due to the risk of spreading germs. Also, dogs can act aggressively in a salon setting due to sensory overload; this can heighten the risk of dog fights. Make sure your next salon does not allow dogs to physically mingle.)
- Do you require proof of current vaccinations? (Healthy Spot requires proof of Rabies, Parvovirus, Distemper and Bordetella vaccines.)
- Do you work on pups with special needs (seniors, behavioral challenges, physical challenges)? (If you do, what special steps will you take to care for my dog's unique challenge? Skilled groomers can work on most dogs with special needs. If the groomer does not feel comfortable working on your pup with special needs, believe them, find a different groomer, do not press the issue.)
- How long will the grooming take and why? (Small dogs should take approximately 2-3 hours depending on coat type and the service, medium pups 3-4 hours and larger breeds 4-5 hours. If you are quoted 6-8 hours for most pups, that is a red flag that the groomers may be overbooked, and your pup will be waiting for long periods. If you are quoted an hour or less for a haircut, you may not be getting your pup a quality, all-inclusive service.)