Grooming pets goes back hundreds of years — paintings from the Elizabethan era depict dogs being sheared while seated on ladies’ laps. In the 1920s it was high style for a dog’s coat to mimic his or her owner’s hairstyle. In the ‘60s, it was popular to leave dogs’ coats “natural,” embellishing them with daisies or tie-died scarves.
These days we understand that grooming cats and dogs not only keeps them looking beautiful, but it keeps them healthy. Thanks to the routine close contact groomers have with our pets, they’re well equipped to spot concerns such as lumps or skin issues, fleas or ticks, weight gain or loss, and other physical changes.
Nail Trims (every 4-6 weeks is ideal) provide dogs better traction, and help prevent cats from getting snagged, which can pose a risk of injury. Nails allowed to grow too long cause, at the very least, discomfort, and at worst, pain
A Clean Coat smells good and sheds less. The act of brushing not only removes dead hair and stimulates healthy oils in the skin, it is typically pleasurable for dogs and cats alike.
Cleaning Ears prevents fluid build-up and infection. Both of these things when present are miserable for the animal, who can become so uncomfortable they scratch until causing further harm.
On the advent of the 21st century, grooming canine fashion has overcome its image as a snobbish excess to be reborn as a legitimate means of expressing concern and affection for companion animals.
Now a well-groomed and adorned dog seems not so much to symbolize the domination of civilization over nature, but the canine’s mastery of the human heart. — Mary Elizabeth Thurston, Excerpt from Chapter 9, “Eye of the Beholder,” In the Lost History of the Canine Race (Andrews and McMeel / Avon Books)
Kristan Dael is a freelance writer and the alter ego of Jennifer Mccammon. She lives in Portland with her 4-pack, and strives to produce articles that inform, edify, engage and entertain.