For nearly all breeds of pet dogs it is a good idea to have them bathed or groomed every four to six weeks. For some breeds of show dogs it is not a good idea to bathe them this often, (such as hard coated terriers,) but for most dogs it can be beneficial for a variety of reasons.
Pets that are groomed regularly always look nice. Every hair is tidy, they smell pleasant, the ears are clean, and the nails are short and smooth. For the double coated breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers, having them bathed monthly will greatly reduce the amount of shedding that occurs. This process over time will also help keep their hair growth and shedding cycle normal. Cats that are bathed, dried, and brushed monthly are less likely to have problems with hairballs.
When pets are groomed regularly they become accustomed to it. No longer is it a big ordeal. The dogs get to know their groomer and are often excited and happy to see them. Pets on a regular grooming schedule usually do not get matted and the style is set keeping the grooming process simple and less time consuming. This can save an owner money on the cost of grooming.
The longer a pet goes between grooming appointments the more likely it is to become matted. Mats cause a pet to become uncomfortable by pulling on the skin. This can make the dog uncomfortable and itchy. When the dog becomes itchy it will start to scratch and this causes more matting and could also damage the skin and lead to infections.
There are also tasks that should be performed monthly, such as ear cleaning and nail trimming. An owner can easily forget to do these things, but if they are having their pet groomed every four to six weeks they don't have to worry about it as these tasks are usually part of a grooming service.
Finally, it is good to have your pet groomed regularly is to help you keep an eye on your pet's health. An owner who sees their dog every day and may not notice something abnormal. For example a growth could start very slowly and sneak in without an owner noticing. A veterinarian who sees a pet once or twice a year can also be at a disadvantage. They do not see the dog often enough to notice a new lump or bump. A groomer who sees a dog every 4 to 6 weeks is likely to notice when something is unusual.
Many groomers offer some type of incentive to encourage pet owners to have their pets groomed on a regular schedule. Scheduling regular appointments in advance also ensures you get an appointment on the date and time that works best for you.
Lara Latshaw is Chief Grooming Officer for HydroDog, the premier mobile pet grooming service and franchise. For more than 13 years, she has groomed and worked with animals professionally. She is certified in Pet First Aid and CPR, is a National Certified Master Groomer, and is an award-winning competition groomer. You can learn more about HydroDog at http://hydrodog.com or join the conversation on Facebook. You can reach Lara by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.