Anyone who owns a dog knows that it’s important to keep them well-groomed. However, different people have different ideas about what ‘well-groomed’ actually means. One dog owner may tell you that it’s imperative to bathe your dog every week, while another may say that a couple of times a year is plenty! To help sort through some of the confusion surrounding pet care, here are some common dog grooming myths debunked:
1. Bathing Weekly Will Destroy Your Dog’s Skin
It’s a myth that bathing your dog weekly will damage his skin and fur. While it’s true that you shouldn’t over-bathe your pooch (too much washing with harsh detergents can cause dry skin and a dull coat), a weekly bath is no problem when using quality grooming products, properly formulated for use on pets (they different skin pH than we do). There was a time when bathing your dog every week could cause a lot of damage to your dog, back in the days when, say lye soap, or even dish soap, were the cleansers of choice. Those are definitely to be avoided.
Today dog grooming has improved by leaps and bounds, especially when it comes to shampoo and other grooming products. Today’s dog shampoos are gentle enough to be used weekly without causing harm to your dog’s coat. How often your dog actually needs to be bathed depends on how dirty they get, and how clean you want to keep them. (Simple, right?) Some dogs can be bathed weekly, while others can go a few weeks at a time without needing it. Most commonly it seems that bathing at about a 4 week interval works for a lot of families. It all depends on your dog, their fur type, how active they are, and how much time, effort, and money you want to invest in keeping your dog looking and smelling great. Talk with your groomer to decide how often is best when it comes to bathing your dog.
2. Some Dogs Don’t Need Grooming
It’s obvious that some dogs (Afghan Hounds, Collies, Spaniels) need more grooming than other types. If they’ve got a lot of hair, expect that they need a lot of attention. Some people claim that Labradoodles and Goldendoodles don’t need to be groomed because they don’t shed. Actually these dogs do shed – though not as much as many other breeds – and they absolutely do need to be groomed. You can pretty much count on any dog with an ‘oodle’ in the name having a relatively high maintenance coat, and being in need of regular grooming. Because these dogs are hybrids, there are a lot of variations when it comes to their coats. Some have more lab-like coats and shed often. Others, those with more poodle-like wooly coats, need to be brushed frequently to prevent their coats from matting, and take a lot of work. Keeping them clipped short can reduce the amount of maintenance needed, but these dogs definitely need to be on a regular grooming schedule.
While there are plenty of dogs who don’t require as much grooming as others, every dog needs at least a little grooming help to feel and look their best. Though you don’t need to worry about matted fur with short-haired dogs, dogs with short hair actually tend to shed more than long-haired varieties. Regular bathing and grooming will keep shedding to a minimum. Even hairless dogs like the Chinese Crested will benefit from grooming services. Baths will keep their skin healthy, and as with all dogs, nail care is important too. Bottom line is, you’ll need to figure out how much and how often your dog needs grooming. Consulting with a professional groomer will help you avoid unhappy surprises like having to completely shave off a matted coat.
3. Dogs With Long Coats Should Be Shaved in Summertime
People who have dogs with long or thick coats tend to assume that shaving will help keep their dogs cool in the summertime. Actually, this is a myth. Dogs with long coats have two layers of fur; long guard hairs make up the top layer, along with a shorter undercoat. The undercoat acts as an insulator, protecting your long-haired dog from extreme temperatures. This layer of fur traps in warm air in the winter, keeping dogs like Huskies and Saint Bernards safe in the cold; but the undercoat also does the opposite in warmer weather. The top coat blocks too much heat from entering, and the undercoat holds cooler air close to the skin, keeping dogs cool and protected. Shaving removes this protection and can also expose your dog to sunburn. If you’re really worried about your dog’s ability to handle the heat, try shaving just their tummy. This allows them to keep the heat-reflecting properties of most of their coat, but also allows them to stretch out on a tile floor or grass and feel the coolness on their tummy.
Grooming is important for your dog, but most dogs aren’t fond of traditional grooming salons where they get stashed in a cage all day, surrounded by strangers. It’s a high energy (and often high anxiety) experience, and one that exhausts a lot of dogs. That’s why we’re proud to be one of the first mobile grooming services in San Diego – home visits are not only more convenient for you, but less stressful for your pooch as well. If you’d like to learn more about our mobile grooming service, contact us today!