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Regular grooming can protect pets' health


Grooming helps pets look good and its good for their health.

It turns out a regular fluff of the fur or a trim of the nails is good for pets' health. According to Animal Hospital of Onslow County's Dave Altman, DVM, pet owners who view grooming merely as a way of making their animals look and smell nice may not understand the veterinary necessity of such procedures. Altman says grooming is also an essential part of preventive care. And, he says, grooming at a veterinary facility can prove invaluable for early detection and prevention of many health problems.

Bathing and hair care procedures. These allow the veterinary team to learn a lot about the current state of a pet's health, making it easy to examine the skin for any signs of trouble such as hot spots, lumps, or obvious infections. The team can also determine whether the pet suffers from flea, tick, or mite infestations. Altman says the mere act of bathing can do wonders for the skin by removing pests and cleansing the skin surfaces of oils that serve as bacteria.

Nail trimming. Most pet owners trim their pets' nails to preserve furniture and flooring, but this kind of grooming can also preserve a pet's health. However, indoor pets do not wear their nails down as easily, so the nails get longer until they eventually catch on something and tear away from the paw. This is not only painful, Altman says, but it gives bacteria a chance to enter, especially if the pet licks the wound. So regular nail trimming can help prevent this type of injury.

Dental care. Some pet owners might not associate dental cleanings with grooming, but Altman says that the inside of a pet's mouth benefits from cleanliness just as his skin and fur do. He says proper dental care helps prevent tooth decay and dangerous gum infections.

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