Last month we blogged about “Puppy Love” and how the right daycare experience can be good for your puppy love’s social development. We know that many of us welcome new puppies during the holidays or in the spring and we want to encourage everyone with a new puppy to get off to the best start possible in their new life together. This includes good health and hygiene as well as good social development.
In addition to frequent and appropriate socialization experiences, good grooming, nutrition and basic commands training are all essential to a puppy’s best health and happiness. Just like human puppies!
Miki is a senior groomer at both the Tinton Falls and the Wall locations. She provides a range of grooming services to daycare and boarding guests from routine bathing, hair cuts and nail clipping, to more elaborate services like creative grooming (link to other blog post) and spa treatments that add a higher level of luxury to the grooming experience.
After more than 20 years grooming dogs of all breeds, there’s almost no grooming challenge she hasn’t tackled. “It’s important to start our puppies with a professional groomer as soon as puppy shots are completed,” says Miki. “Even though he/she is not ready for a haircut he/she does need to get used to being touched from nose to tail. The groomer can do simple things such as cleaning out pads and eyes to help him/her become accustomed to the clipper and scissors.”
Brushing is not only good for removing dandruff and dead hair, it also distributes healthy oils throughout the dog’s entire skin and coat. It allows the groomer to identify any issues with skin and coat early on when intervention is likely to be easier and more effective. “You can find lumps and bumps early before there is any discomfort. You can stop a flea infestation in its tracks.” says Miki.
And as many people know who have dogs with long hair, preventing matting problems is definitely worth it. A knot free pup is a happy pup. Small knots become big knots and big knots become mats. “Grooming is a big part of our four legged babies lives, she affirms. “The cleaner they are the healthier they are. Whether you have a Lab or Old English Sheepdog, coat up keep is very important.” She continues, “Mats are very hard for a groomer to get out and the process is time consuming and the mats pull at the dog’s skin which can be very uncomfortable.”
Miki recommends that owners take the time to brush their dogs at home between grooming appointments. “At home brushing and combing is also very important,” she says. “It’s a great way to build trust between dog and human companion — it’s great bonding.”
Brushing and hair cuts are only one important aspect of good grooming. Nail and ear care are also important. Miki states, “Other benefits to frequent grooming is that the nails are maintained so it’s comfortable when the dog walks. “Ears are cleaned to help prevent infections.”
Bottom line, having a puppy is certainly a joy. We can look forward to sharing many years of unconditional love and fun with our four-legged companions, but it’s up to us to start early and help them develop into healthy, happy dogs.