Is Pet Grooming Necessary?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Guinea pigs need regular tooth checks.
Guinea pigs need regular tooth checks.

Some new pet owners may be tempted to gloss over the section on proper pet grooming, but they would be doing a serious disservice to their pet. Some form of pet grooming is indeed necessary, especially when a domesticated animal cannot use his or her natural grooming methods. It falls on responsible owners to help an animal maintain healthy skin, hair, teeth, nails and bones. Professional pet grooming may seem like an unnecessary expense, but the majority of groomers do more than trim hair and brush teeth. They are trained to spot potential health risks before they become major complications.

Giving a cat a bath can remove excess saliva from its coat.
Giving a cat a bath can remove excess saliva from its coat.

One benefit of regular pet grooming is that it encourages a stronger bond between owner and pet. In the wild, many animals only allow others of their kind to perform grooming tasks. If a domesticated animal allows his owner to brush out his coat or clean out his ears, this is a sign of complete trust. Pet grooming involves a significant amount of handling and petting, which also benefits the pet's emotional state.

Pet grooming is a necessity for some pets' proper daily functions.
Pet grooming is a necessity for some pets' proper daily functions.

Pet grooming can also be a necessity for some pets' proper daily functions. For example, a dog with unclipped toenails may not be able to walk comfortably, which in turn discourages her from exercising daily. An unbrushed cat may develop more hairballs throughout the day, leading to overnight distress. Guinea pigs with unchecked teeth can develop severe overbites, leading to an inability to eat and ultimately to starvation. By performing simple pet grooming tasks, an owner can prevent serious health complications down the road.

Pet nail clippers may be used to clip a dog's nails.
Pet nail clippers may be used to clip a dog's nails.

Many times, a health concern is discovered through the act of grooming. Parasite infestations such as fleas or ticks are often found during bathing or brushing sessions. Matted fur could be hiding skin diseases or outside irritants such as clinging plant pods or thorns. If a pet owner neglects his or her pet grooming responsibilities, these small irritants can become infected or abscessed. Dirt inside the ears can also be cleaned out before it becomes compacted. Observations during routine pet grooming can uncover tumors, weight problems and vision trouble.

Grooming is important for cats with longer hair.
Grooming is important for cats with longer hair.

Another important consideration is animal comfort. A dog with a thick coat of hair may become overheated during hot summer months. Some breeds of animals need regular brushings to remove excess hairs and spread healthy oils to the coat. A haircut may not only help the animal look more attractive, but it also allows more air to circulate and keep the animal cool.

Establish a regular routine for grooming and trimming or removing hair from pets.
Establish a regular routine for grooming and trimming or removing hair from pets.

Cats may groom themselves more often than other pets, but they still need some human aid from time to time. Pet grooming efforts such as giving a cat a bath may seem to call for expert help, but they are necessary to remove excess saliva from the cat's coat. Some people with cat allergies may be more sensitive to a cat's dried saliva than to its dander.

Health concerns are often discovered while the animal is being groomed.
Health concerns are often discovered while the animal is being groomed.

In short, regular pet grooming is an important aspect of pet ownership that should not be ignored for the sake of convenience. One might argue that certain services offered by professional groomers are superfluous or cost-prohibitive, but most of the essential pet grooming procedures can be performed by the owners themselves for very little money or time investment.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments

SteamLouis

Maybe specific grooming needs should be considered before getting a pet.

I have a Maltese pet dog who needs grooming almost daily. Maltese have a long fur that reaches the ground unless it is cut. They are also short and small dogs, so when I take Snoopy out for a walk, the fur around his stomach often gets dirt or snow on it depending on the season.

He needs baths often and he needs to be brushed regularly. I didn't brush him for two weeks once and we had to take a trip to the pet groomers to get his fur untangled. I like to groom him myself, so it has become a daily task. In the summertime, he gets a haircut because he cannot stand the heat with all that fur. For the Maltese, grooming is a serious business!

fify

I was told before I adopted my cat that cats shouldn't be given a bath because they already clean themselves. I realized that this is not right after I got her. After a month or so I noticed that no matter how much she licks her fur, she is unable to remove all of the falling hairs or get rid of the dust and dirt by herself.

It always a little bit of a hassle to wash her, cats already don't like water as it is, but it makes so much of a difference. I noticed that she actually feels better after a bath. I brush her hair out and she licks some of it to help dry it. Her fur has become longer and shinier even though she is a short haired cat ever since I've started bathing her. I don't overdo it though. Once in a month and half seems to be the right timing and I use cat shampoo or baby shampoo.

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    • Guinea pigs need regular tooth checks.
      By: sasel77
      Guinea pigs need regular tooth checks.
    • Giving a cat a bath can remove excess saliva from its coat.
      By: Michael Pettigrew
      Giving a cat a bath can remove excess saliva from its coat.
    • Pet grooming is a necessity for some pets' proper daily functions.
      By: Magalice
      Pet grooming is a necessity for some pets' proper daily functions.
    • Pet nail clippers may be used to clip a dog's nails.
      By: Diana Taliun
      Pet nail clippers may be used to clip a dog's nails.
    • Grooming is important for cats with longer hair.
      By: antonsov85
      Grooming is important for cats with longer hair.
    • Establish a regular routine for grooming and trimming or removing hair from pets.
      By: Budimir Jevtic
      Establish a regular routine for grooming and trimming or removing hair from pets.
    • Health concerns are often discovered while the animal is being groomed.
      By: absolutimages
      Health concerns are often discovered while the animal is being groomed.
    • Pet grooming may help strengthen bonds between owners and their pets.
      By: jagodka
      Pet grooming may help strengthen bonds between owners and their pets.
    • Cat grooming is necessary to help protect those with cat allergies.
      By: Evgenia Tiplyashina
      Cat grooming is necessary to help protect those with cat allergies.