Positive Grooming For Healthy Happy Pets
Grooming is a vital part of being a kind and loving human friend to our pets, but not just for the reasons you might think. Pets can suffer from mental health issues just like us, so taking steps to ease their anxiety and make them feel good is important. You can accomplish this in your regular grooming sessions!
By Caroline Avy-Meyrignac
Animal mental health issues can be triggered by many of the same factors that unleash mental illness in humans. This includes the loss of family or companions, the loss of routines, loss of freedom, stress and trauma. Your dog or your cat senses your feelings and will know if you are tired, sick or worried about something. If your pet is a rescue with a difficult past, for instance, it might take time and consistency to help your pet heal emotionally. This means plenty of positive reinforcement with treats, a positive tone of voice, and lots of praise and touch. Positive experiences, like exercise and grooming, can also help.
Regular grooming is good for your dog’s physical and mental health. A good looking, clean, brushed dog will make your dog feel happy and has a positive impact on their behaviour as well. Positive experiences like grooming can help tremendously. Animals in the wild groom each other as a soothing tool to create social bonds.
If the prospect of enticing your, often unwilling, dog/cat into the bath again causes you pain just thinking about it, maybe it’s time to find an empathetic professional pet groomer. This is as important as finding the right hairstylist for us humans. While we all want our canine companions to look and smell their best, what is most important is their safety and happiness.
Regular professional grooming allows the practitioner to look for lumps, bumps and injuries, as well as clearing matted fur and ticks from your pet’s coat. Follow up with your veterinarian on any questionable masses found, and you may detect serious issues early enough for treatments to be most effective.If you take your dog for walks in the countryside especially wooded areas, they can pick up ticks especially as the hot weather arrives. Ticks can transmit diseases including Lyme disease both to pets and humans. Your professional groomer will look out for these pests when he/she also checks for fleas and can treat them accordingly. The hairs of the processionary caterpillar found in nests in pine trees and often found crawling in a procession (hence the name) can be extremely dangerous for dogs especially their eyes. Your professional groomer will wash your pets’ eyes and check their health just like your trips to the ophthalmologist.
Dog and cat claws need to be cut and filed occasionally but it is not always an easy job for us humans. For a start, dogs don't all like their paws being held still and some could give you a nasty nip if you are not careful. If you cut the claws too short you can cause pain and bleeding for your pet. It is much safer to have a trained groomer do it for you using professional tools and equipment.
Positive, well managed grooming routines can create an experience that fosters good mental health in your fur baby. Studies have shown that pets increase our mental well-being, so it’s only fair that we return the favour!
Author: Caroline Avy-Meyrignac has run DOG SERVICE for the past 29 years. A professional mobile pet grooming service across the Alpes Maritimes. She works with dogs and cats weighing less than 12kgs and speaks English and French.