If your dog ever suffered from skin problems, you’d realize that sometimes it takes forever to cure. Even vets need to do some trial and error, and neither do they have any magic bullet that’ll stop the problem from resurfacing months later. This is because, as mentioned in my earlier post on chronic skin problems, skin problems can be caused by anything. As a result, not only is it torturing to the poor animals going through all that itch, it’s heartbreaking for us to see them this way and frustrating trying to find out the cause.
What seems right might not necessarily be
In our quest for a solution, we are often made to believe that shaving down the dog for the easy application of creams and observing the condition was a good idea. Although it may sound logical and a practice widely propagated by vets and groomers, just imagine for a moment you had a rash somewhere, and you ran a clipper across it. It’s the same as how scratching makes a rash worse or how shaving usually irritates our skin; clipping usually irritates the skin and if you were to shave the whole dog down, imagine the itch from their nose all the way to their tail!
And what would they do when they have that insatiable need to kill off that itch? They scratch, chew, and lick on the itch until the skin becomes red, raw, and wounded, But still, it itches, and scratching and chewing are the only ways they know how. So the vicious cycle continues until the point of self-mutilation, and we have no choice but to don the Elizabethan collar, also infamously known as the cone of shame on them.
Don’t cause unnecessary problems for yourself.
Even for dogs with perfectly normal skin, shaving too close sometimes causes redness and irritation, especially on sensitive areas like paws, throat, groin, anal region, and under the belly.
That’s why I don’t recommend customers to have their pets’ feet shaven bald for whatever reasons, be it because their pets lick their paws or because of the discolored paws from the licking. Usually, shaving only makes matters worse, and it’s more important to find the cause of the behavior rather than aggravate the problem.
If you really have to
However, if you insist that clipping is to be done, please instruct the groomer to leave at least a centimeter of their coat. During the grooming process, the shorter the cut, the smaller the blade would be used – the problem with that is the edge of the blade in contact with your pets’ skin would be sharper and heats up faster, two of the most common irritant during pet grooming.
Besides, the coat acts as a protective layer, and it’ll buffer the skin against any external irritants they’re being exposed to daily (e.g., chemicals, materials, heat, etc., which they’re allergic to). Furthermore, the coat also cushions the skin when the dog chews on or scratches itself.
And since most vets prescribe shampoos instead of topical creams, the medication would have no problem working down to the skin.
Have questions on pet grooming? Write them down in the comments below, and I’ll be glad to answer them!