Can dogs hurt themselves by over-grooming?

Can dogs hurt themselves by over-grooming?

Every spectrum has its extremes. Careful of neglecting your dog’s grooming or they’ll end up with matted fur. Groom too much and your dog can get hurt, but what happens when your dog over-grooms themself?

It’s important to understand all angles of grooming. Let’s start from the top.

Why Grooming Is Important

Grooming is a vital part of your dog’s life in more ways than one. Not only does grooming give you the chance to catch underlying diseases and conditions, but grooming is part of a health maintenance cycle. For one, grooming helps calm your dog which is why it’s common to observe cats and dogs licking themselves. It’s a calming process. 

What many people get wrong though is that grooming isn’t just about brushing their fur. Grooming is a whole package. Here’s what should be covered when tending to your dog’s grooming needs:

  • Skin Care/Fur Care
  • Ear Care
  • Dental Care
  • Eye Care
  • Nail Care

But there is such a thing as too much grooming.

What happens when you, as the dog owner, groom your dog too much?

Let’s take skin care and fur care for example. Think about how often you should bathe your dog. Now, have you stopped to consider that frequency might be too much for them?

According to Healthy Paw Rehab Center, “Bathing your pet too often can actually have a detrimental effect on their health as it strips all of the natural oils from their skin, leaving them with dry, itchy patches which when scratched could then cause infection. That said, some washing is needed to ensure that your animal remains clean and germ free. Ask your vet what sort of bathing schedule they would recommend for your breed of dog.”

When Dogs Over-Groom Themselves

If you catch your dog over-grooming, this is a leading sign of stress but your best case of action is to take your dog to the veterinarian’s office. There, they can help rule out underlying health issues or health issues like parasites and allergies. Be sure to tell them of any diet changes that happened recently to the over-grooming.

If the veterinarian does find a health issue that explains your dog’s over-grooming behavior, your dog will be prescribed medication or other treatments. If, however, it all comes down to stress and/or boredom, pay close attention to everything else happening around your dog.

It’s possible that there’s something in the environment that’s changed to cause them stress. With close observation, you can minimize this stress by removing the factor that’s causing them grief.

K9 Active expands, “Consider whether he’s exhibiting any other signs of stress and anxiety, such as inappropriate elimination, destructive behaviour or aggression, and see if you can pinpoint the cause of his stress. For example, have you had any recent changes to your household or lifestyle recently? Could he be suffering from separation anxiety from being left alone? Once you’ve discovered the cause of his stress you can work towards alleviating it for him.”

Over-grooming due to boredom just means that your fur baby isn’t being stimulated enough. Dogs need mental and physical activity to avoid slinking into depressive, bored states.

This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog in this section.

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