Grooming a dog is something that many pet owners tend to look at in different ways. For some people, it is a bit of a chore, especially if the dog is not accustomed to grooming or does not necessarily behave themselves as they should. For others, however, the process of grooming is more of a bonding experience and it can be pleasant, both for the pet owner and for the animal. In either case, however, it is an opportunity to check the dog, not only for appearance but also for any health issues that may exist.
Although you may be close to your dog at any given time, you are rarely ever going to have the opportunity to check them as thoroughly as you could. In part, this is because you may be touching them in all areas, some of which are usually considered off-limits by the dog. It is also a good time to check their skin, because their fur is wet and you may be able to see directly down to the skin, rather than having to dig through the hair to see it.
One important thing to check for when you groom a dog is any external parasites, as they may be hidden at all other times. Fleas are a good example of this, as they may be difficult to see when the dog is dry. You may recognize other symptoms of the problem, but they can be difficult to spot. Ticks are also something that can be checked for during the time that you are grooming. Be sure that you look thoroughly, because they tend to hide in areas that are not easily seen. This could include between the toes or around the base of the tail.
Another health issue that should be looked for during the grooming process is any problems with the skin. The dog may scratch on occasion, and you might not give it much consideration but when you are able to actually see that there are skin problems, you recognize that it is something that needs to be corrected. Left untreated, many skin problems will heal on their own but sometimes, it can lead to a hotspot and eventually, could cause problems that are long-lasting.
While you are bathing the dog, be sure that you feel for any unusual lumps or bumps on the skin as well. Some of these may be associated with problems on the surface but it is also a good time to check and see if there are any tumors that may be growing as well.
Of course, don’t overlook some of the obvious issues that may be addressed during the grooming process, such as checking the eyes and the ears. When you give your dog a thorough grooming, you can help to keep them healthy.