©2009–2016 Beach Angel Chelsea & Sherry Skipper Spurgeon. All Rights Reserved.
Clip art from DJ Inkers is used with permission.
Everyone needs to be groomed. I mean, who wants to be seen as ugly? Grooming doesn’t just mean taking a bath but includes brushing or combing and dental hygiene. It doesn’t matter if you are a long-haired dog or a short-haired dog; EVERY single one of us needs to be properly groomed.
Even though Shih Tzus are considered in the ‘hyper-allergenic’ category of dogs cuz we don’t have fur (we have ‘hair’), it is still important that we are brushed regularly. This helps to keep our coat looking beeeeyuuuuteeeeeful!
Mama and I use The Untangler, a comb made by Pet Supply Industries (don't get any other one!), with rotating teeth and Nature’s Specialties Quicker Slicker spray for daily brushing. This special comb is DA BOMB! Mama used to use an assortment of brushes on my hair; once she started using the Untangler, there was no going back! This comb takes out ALL the mats and tangles and makes grooming a snap.
Quicker Slicker is a spray that not only smells delightful but gives hair an amazing sheen AND keeps hair smooth. Hair doesn’t get all sticky either (mama and daddy even use it on THEIR hair! Lots of horse folks use it on their horses, too!). It’s not cheap but a little goes a long way. OH, it also helps to make blow-drying go faster, too!
What about baths?
You don’t have to have a WEEKLY bath, of course, but regular bathings are important for any pet. I have a standing weekly appointment with Stella, who is just about the best groomer around, if you ask me and about a million people (I know, I’m exaggerating, but she really IS the best!). Regular grooming appointments are good because 1) you can set up a good price if you go regularly and 2) you know you are getting good care! Just be sure that if you do use a groomer that you find one who is reputable and that you have your mama/daddy check out the establishment first.
A bath helps in removing any dead skin cells and cleans the hair. You can get a nice conditioner to make your hair all silky, too. In addition to getting your hair conditioned and your skin cleaned, a good groomer will include a nail trimming. You absolutely want to have your nails done (yes, boys, even you need your nails done!) because long nails are just not a good thing!
Long nails can get caught in things or even break ‘em off and that is really painful. When your nails are long they press into your pads and you can't walk right. This can cause pressure on your joints and you don't want that to happen.
Another and VERY important thing a groomer will also do is clean your anal glands. This sounds weird, right? These glands are the ones that often cause us to scoot our booties along the carpet and if we don't have them evacuated, well, they can become impacted and infected. This can lead to surgery and horrible pain. Bummer.
What about teeth?
Oh yeah, this IS an important part of the grooming ritual. I do get my teeth brushed AND flossed (I know, my teeth are teeny-tiny but mama thinks this is critical!). If doggy teeth are not kept healthy, well, guess what can happen. Doggies can get sick! You won't believe what types of illnesses can come through your mouth!
People don't realize that dogs need dental care, too. Now, here's the thing: if you go to the veterinarian, chances are, you are going to be 'put to sleep.' Anytime a dog is 'put to sleep,' there is a potential risk of DEATH. EEK! So, what's a doggy to do? Guess what…there ARE doggy dental technicians who will clean your teeth WITHOUT anesthesia. Yep, you got that right! So, check around and see if you have one of these wonderful folks in your area. Ask your veterinarian if he/she offers such a service. My veterinarian's office offers this service monthly and by going regulary (like every three or four months or so), you can get a discount!
Dental hygiene is key to good overall health so brush ‘em at least weekly. If you can find one, go for an anesthesia-free dental hygienist! I get my toofies cleaned every three months!