Do all dogs require grooming?

To some degree, all dogs require grooming, as bathing your dog is going to be necessary. Depending on the dog, it may not have to be very frequent. If they have certain skin conditions, sometimes frequent bathing can be helpful. Dogs that have longer coats or any coats that are not short will need some degree of regular grooming.

Dr. Shawn McCorkle
Summer Creek Animal Clinic

What do I need to do when grooming my dog?

The basics of grooming are going to cover the coat, the ears, and the nails. That starts with being able to brush your pet and handle their ears using an ear cleanser. You also want to get them used to having their paws handled to do their nails. A professional groomer should do any sort of clipping or shaving because those tools can be dangerous. And the most essential thing about grooming for the basic things that you can be doing at home is that it's critical to start early in life, if at all possible. Starting grooming early on makes it a positive experience by associating those things with fun things like treats.

For example, when you're getting them used to the brush, always give them a treat after they see the brush, any time you're brushing them, and right after to encourage that to be a positive experience. And if you start when it's a neutral experience, by making it positive at that point, it will go a long way to making sure that it's a fun thing for the pet.

How often should my dog be groomed?

Grooming frequency varies depending on the individual dog. Most of your longer haired dogs are going to need grooming pretty regularly. That could be as frequent as every month for certain breeds, and then other breeds a little less frequently. You should discuss this with a professional groomer to establish what makes the most sense for your dog and what's going to benefit them. And it's not just about them looking nice, of course, although that's part of it. Grooming is also about their comfort, so that should be something that you discuss with your groomer.

What grooming services does Summer Creek Animal Clinic provide?

We have two great professional groomers here, Carol and Josh. They have many years of experience, and they are fear-free certified. They have experience in handling pets in a way that can make their grooming experience more positive. We can provide anywhere from your regular bath and brush to a full-service groom. We can also handle more medically intensive cases where the pet needs to be sedated because of severe matting or anything like that.

Josh and Carol would be able to discuss the appropriate frequency of grooming to make sure that that keeps your pet happy and healthy. Give us a call if you would like to learn more about that service.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (817) 523-1139, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Grooming - FAQs

Dr. Shawn McCorkle
Summer Creek Animal Clinic

Is it better to groom your dog at home or have it done by a professional groomer?

It depends on the dog. If it's a dog that just needs to be bathed and brushed, you've gotten them very comfortable doing that at home, and you can ensure that the ears get cleaned out appropriately, we're not getting soap in the eyes, and that it's not super stressful for the pet, then there's nothing wrong with doing that type of grooming care at home. And I would encourage it to get the pet used to it and make it a positive experience. Anything beyond that, though, such as any grooming that involves clipping or shaving, should really be done by a professional groomer.

Does my dog need to be vaccinated and on flea control to go to the groomer?

That's a great question. Having your dog vaccinated for grooming is essential on a couple of fronts. For humans' safety, having a rabies vaccine is vital. Even if it's a quick experience, they're in and out; there's still going to be some level of exposure to your pet, and then potentially your pet exposing other pets. It's essential that the necessary vaccines are current to ensure that all pets are protected as well as possible to the best of our ability.

If my dog has behavior problems, will they be welcomed by a groomer?

That depends on the grooming facility. So we try our best to cater more to that type of patient, given that we're the only Fear Free certified practice in Fort Worth, and our groomers are Fear Free certified. Behavioral problems are a challenge and something that the groomer has to be willing to work with. We have some things in place to help make that process as comfortable as possible. If we have a highly anxious pet, we recommend that you have a doctor visit first to discuss that and give any medication that might be helpful. Starting in February of 2021, we're going to have an additional staff member with training credentials to help these types of situations and come up with plans. This person will help work with the pet in a more structured way to get them acclimated to grooming.

And so the answer to that is, yes, a pet can receive grooming care if they have behavior issues, but it takes patience, diligence, and working with them at their comfort level.

Also, one more thing on the flea and tick prevention that was asked earlier is that we require certain vaccines to be current at our facility. We don't require flea prevention, but it's highly recommended because fleas are very often present, even when the owner doesn't know it. And we can't guarantee that your pet will not pick up a flea being in an environment where many dogs are coming in and out.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (817) 523-1139, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.