Not enough people take the time to consider a dog’s grooming needs before selecting a canine pet. They often select a dog because it’s cute, because they’re impressed with their neighbor’s dog, or because it’s the latest thing to pop out of Paris Hilton’s purse. None of these incentives are good reasons to choose a dog. A more responsible approach regards the care required instead. If you’re asking yourself “How will I choose my dog?” think about these important grooming considerations.
Almost every furry animal sheds. That’s just an inevitable fact that all dog owners contend with and most of us cope with it rather well. It’s the *amount* of shedding that gives us pause. Heavy coated canines, for example, are notorious for intense shedding and so are double coated and long-haired canines. If you’re not careful to regularly groom your dog, you’ll risk increasing the aggravation that accompanies shedding. You simply can’t groom your dog once or twice a year – a common shedding timetable — because many dogs shed throughout the entire year. If you doubt this claim, interact with a “low” shedding dog while wearing dark clothing. Chances are you’ll find more than a few hairs intertwined within your clothing’s fabric!
This is why many people opt for short-haired dogs, one-coat dogs, or “designer” or “hypo-allergenic” dogs. All three of these dog types are known and valued for their low volume shedding.
Coat, Ear, and Nail Maintenance
Grooming isn’t always about shedding or even hair. Grooming is also an important part of a health maintenance program. In the context of this article, the type and frequency of grooming required could and should play a critical role in answering you are “How will I choose my dog?” question, because if you fail to properly groom the pup that strikes your fancy, you may inadvertently put his well-being at risk.
Dogs with long, droopy ears, for example, require weekly ear cleaning since they can easily trap dirt, moisture, and disease-causing bacteria. Some of the breeds that require this kind of care are hounds, beagles, poodles, spaniels, and setters.
Infrequent bathing and brushing bring about matted hair – a condition that in turn contributes to skin irritations, hair pulling, and fleas. Typically long-haired or thick-haired dogs require special attention to coat care. And these are of course, dogs like Chows, Yorkshire Terriers, Poodles, Maltese, and Komondors. But don’t make the mistake of thinking only long-haired or thick-haired dogs warrant regular coat care. ALL dogs need regular coat care. Some dogs, like the ones previously described, need more frequent coat care while other dogs may need it only once a week or just a few times a month. The Finnish Hound is a good example of a dog that can “get away” with weekly coat care, while the Bolognese can’t.
In addition to ear and coat care, you’ll also want to consider a dog’s lifestyle. Dogs that spend more time indoors than outdoors (and thus lack the opportunity to travel along to naturally rough surfaces) need regular nail trimming.
Now although this article doesn’t fully disclose the details of dog grooming, we do hope that we’ve stressed an important correlation between required grooming needs and dog preference. The two are, as we previously mentioned, often overlooked, but critically important nonetheless. This is especially true when we learn that some dogs are placed in animal shelters or adoptive centers simply because their owners weren’t sufficiently aware of or prepared for their specific grooming needs.