|Pretty Dog, Healthy Dog|
|Don't take grooming as an unnecessary chore - know it as your responsibility.
Grooming your dog helps keep Fido healthy, besides improving appearance. It can also help reduce allergic reactions in people with pet hair allergies and cut down on shedding.
Veterinarians will also tell you that brushing your pet can help you find potential problems, such as lumps, and catching trouble signs early can help save your dog or cat's life. (For more on what lumps may mean, check out Signs of Trouble).
If your dog has long hair, he or she probably needs to be brushed daily. Otherwise, make it at least a weekly event. Remove matted hair, and look for fleas and ticks. Matted hair can speed bacterial growth, so be sure to untangle knots or if that cannot be done, cut clumps that are matted off by using blunt scissors. Be careful not to pull the hair, which will hurt. Sometimes, it helps to sprinkle cornstarch on the tangles to loosen them before trying to comb them out.
While grooming, check your dog's eyes and ears. If you see any sign of infection, have it check by your vet. If your dog's eyes are red, you can place a warm, wet tissue on the lid and hold gently for a minute or two to ease the irritation. But be sure to check with your veterinarian if the redness does not go away.
And don't forget nails - if they get too long, have a groomer cut them back for you.