A trip to the groomers can do more for your pet than make her look runway ready. Regular grooming puts your pet in front of a trained eye that can detect changes in his behavior and health.


A regular groomer will be intimately familiar with your pet’s appearance and behavior. In addition, they have an eye for what’s normal and what’s not in a dog. Experienced groomers are able to detect skin disorders, abnormal growths, ear and gum infections, various eye problems, infected anal sacs and more. They may even notice more subtle problems such as dehydration, breathing difficulties, evidence of pain, and changes in personality.


“We’ve noted examples of how grooming professionals find medical disorders and bring it to the veterinarian’s attention for treatment,” says Dr. Ed Mapes of Stonebridge Animal Hospital. “Groomers are also part of the solution to problems first noted in the examination room; various skin problems in particular.”


Some dogs, especially pure breeds with thick, curly hair, are prone to skin infections and diseases. Yeast infections thrive in hairy, moist areas such as the footpads and between folds of skin. Trimming and washing can keep these areas clean and aerated. Another procedure called undercoat stripping removes excess hair that dies but fails to fall out of the follicle. This remnant hair thickens the coat and prevents it from being aerated.


If the grooming station is associated with or in a veterinary facility, your groomer can work quickly and closely with your vets to spot and take care of medical problems. Your pet will benefit from a great veterinary and grooming team working together. So don’t be hesitant to develop a close relationship with your groomer!