The short-term and long-term benefits of primping your pooch
Other than making old Duke look presentable, just why you wonder, should you spend what precious little free time you have fussing over a few lumps of matted fur? In this case, what you see is not what you always get. You might be surprised at all of the “little things” that Duke needs attention paid to.
The Short-Term Benefits of Grooming your Dog
Do you ever take the time to thoroughly exam the inside of your dog’s ears of mouth? If you don’t, would you know the symptoms to watch for if your dog had an ear or tooth infection? Do you want to wait for such symptoms to become obvious or would you rather catch the problem before it reaches that point? Not many dog owners would choose the first option.
To stay abreast of your dog’s current health condition you need to do more than just observe his or her day-to-day behaviors. Spending a few minutes grooming your dog on a routine basis gives you the added bonus of really “getting in close” and making sure that everything looks, smells, feels, and even sounds right. Having a “heads up” on any illnesses or medical conditions potentially makes getting such things under control easier and less expensive, as well as have a greater chance of a successful outcome – all benefits in their own right.
Grooming your dog isn’t just a matter of finding hidden medical problems; it’s a way to maintain old Duke’s health. Think of it as spending your current time on preventative medical treatments in place of spending your money in the future for medical “repair” bills. That’s a short-term benefit with a long-term potential.
The Long-Term Benefits of Grooming your Dog
Grooming your dog presents the two of you with a unique bonding experience. Over time, old Duke might loosen up a bit more than he would otherwise. He might be calmer and more content in situations that use to cause him to react in a less-than-positive manner. That’s a potential long-term benefit for everyone who encounters your dog, whether it’s your veterinarian, postal delivery person, babysitter, or Aunt Bertha.
Being in close contact with your dog has long-term implications for you as well. According to numerous studies that have been conducted, pet owners experience “fewer minor health problems and better psychological well-being”; dogs in particular have been identified as “preventative and therapeutic measures against everyday stress” (www.deltasociety.org/dsc020.htm). A regular grooming session with your dog could therefore be considered a great form of preventative medicine for your own health.
If these sound like good reasons to you to get the flea-comb and slicker brush out along with your doggy nail trimmers and fingertip toothbrush, get to it and get grooming. Old Duke won’t just open up and say “Ah.” Both of you might also be saying “Ahhh….now that feels good!”