When asked what grooming a dog is like, Michael Zavala, owner of ManeStreet Grooming, says it's a lot like trimming a hedge—except the hedge is moving and trying to bite you. To avoid missing fingers, pet owners can take their pets to a professional groomer. When grooming at home, pet owners often leave animals' undercoats untouched, only brushing the topcoat. One for metaphors, Michael compares this to a person only brushing the bottom few inches of their hair. If an animal's undercoat is continually neglected during grooming, it will begin to mat. The only way to treat advanced matting is to shave it off.
"One of the best things you can do for your dog is to have a good relationship with your groomer like you would with your vet," says Michael. Through this relationship, owners and groomers can figure out the best regimen for an animal, including how often a pet should visit the groomer and what services they receive. Pets that can especially benefit from professional grooming are those with long hair, those with curly hair, those who shed often and those who are transitioning from their puppy to adult coats. In addition to coat maintenance, many groomers can also brush teeth, clip nails, and check glands.
Not only does professional grooming physically benefit the animal, it also helps with their mental state. Because pets can feel the positive, physical effects of grooming, their mood improves. Michael has even seen dogs’ behavior change for the better after being groomed. Professional grooming additionally helps with pets' discipline, as they must sit still and behave for extended periods during grooming.
Much like a day at the spa for their owners, consistent, professional grooming helps keeps pets healthy and happy.