Dog Groomers

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Dog groomers do far more than give a cosmetic coifing as a poodle or English sheepdog prepares for a regional or local show, with hopes of a blue ribbon. An animal's coat is the most obvious sign of its health. The coat is the first thing a vet remarks on, and is the clearest evidence of a good (or bad) diet and of adequate (or inadequate) exercise.

All dogs need grooming, some more than others. On the obvious list: Afghans, Spaniels, Great Pyrenees, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Collies, and Newfoundlands, to name a few. If you have one of these dogs, you already know what the process entails.

Dog groomers not only get rid of tangles and mats, they promote healthy circulation, skin, and fur and promote the natural process of shedding dead hair to make way for new. Grooming discourages parasites such as fleas and ticks and lice. Dog groomers also check the dog's ears for mites, fungus, and infections. They clip toenails and examine the pads of the dog's feet for possible cuts, infections, or fungus.

Choosing among Dog Groomers

Dog groomers are everywhere: in veterinary offices, pet stores, mobile vans, store fronts, and superstores. Everywhere. There is no convenient short list of specific qualifications, of course, to guarantee quality. Most are obvious generalizations. Look for professionalism: serious dog groomers will have membership in a national association such as the Dog Groomers Association or the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists. Look for length of a dog groomer's experience, whether they specialize in one breed or another, or are simply there to promote a dog's health. Beyond this, you must simply use common sense.

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