Although dog grooming is something that all dogs need, there are a lot of misconceptions about it. People often think, for example, that it’s alright to use people shampoo on dogs or that only long-haired breeds need to be groomed regularly. Get the truth behind these common dog grooming myths so you can help your furry best friend have a long, happy life.
Myth #1: You Can Use Shampoo for People on Dogs
This myth can be incredibly harmful for dogs. You should never use your own shampoo on your pup because human skin and dog skin are quite dissimilar. Consider this: Human skin is far more acidic than that of a dog. Additionally, dogs only have sweat glands in the pads of their feet, whereas humans have sweat glands distributed throughout our largest organ. Lastly, a dog has fewer layers of skin than a human does, which means their skin is more sensitive.
These significant differences mean that human and dog skin have very different needs. Only use shampoo that is specially formulated for use on a dog. You can trust these products to have the proper pH balance to treat your dog’s skin gently. Dog shampoo products also won’t contain any of the ingredients that are toxic to dogs (whereas human shampoo likely will contain unsafe ingredients).
Myth #2: Only Certain Breeds Need Regular Grooming
It’s well-known that certain breeds are more high maintenance than others. Compare, for example, a poodle to a beagle. However, the idea that some dogs don’t need grooming or only require occasional grooming is false. All dogs need regular grooming not only to help them look and feel good, but also to support their overall health.
Myth #3: Dogs Don’t Require Grooming During the Winter
Just like you really do need to wear sunscreen during the winter as well as the summer, you also need to groom your dog year-round. Regular grooming throughout the year will keep your dog’s coat healthier, less tangled, and more comfortable for your pet. In fact, depending on where you live, you may find yourself grooming your dog more often during the winter. Snow and slushy mud can easily cause your dog’s fur to get matted and tangled.
In addition, the rock salt used to melt ice on roads and sidewalks is incredibly harmful for dogs. When left on the paws, rock salt causes irritation. If your dog licks their paws and ingests the rock salt, they may suffer anything from minor gastrointestinal upset to hypernatremia. Hypernatremia—elevated blood sodium levels—can cause serious gastrointestinal issues as well as neurological problems.
Myth #4: A Dog’s Coat Should Be Shaved Down During the Summer
It seems like common sense that the significant reduction of a dog’s coat would help keep them cooler during the summer—especially for long-haired breeds… right? Actually, no. A dog’s thick coat provides temperature regulation year-round, so shaving it down can do far more harm than good.
Myth #5: Grooming Only Provides Aesthetic Benefits
Grooming is actually important for a dog’s overall health, as well as for their appearance. Regular grooming prevents foot injuries due to overgrown nails, and infections and skin irritation due to matted fur. Grooming also supports the health of your dog’s eyes, ears, and bowels.
Direct Animal: The Leader in High-Quality Dog Grooming Equipment
Since 1983, Direct Animal has been working closely with veterinarians, shelter managers, and other pet business owners to learn about their unique needs and concerns regarding their equipment. The result is a highly functional and ergonomic line of unparalleled dog grooming equipment and products, including dog grooming tubs. We invite you to contact us to request personalized recommendations for your dog grooming needs.