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7 Signs It's Time to Schedule Professional Pet Grooming

To help your pet enjoy optimal health, learn the signs that indicate a need for professional help from a dog or cat groomer.

December 19, 2023 4 min read
7 Signs It's Time to Schedule Professional Pet Grooming

Every dog or cat needs occasional grooming care. Most of the time, these tasks consist of light brushing, cleaning facial wrinkles, and maybe the occasional bath to wash away obvious grime or the effects of a skunk attack. However, some pets can (and often do) need more frequent and/or complex grooming techniques than their owners can provide at home. Take a look at five common indicators that it's time to schedule an appointment with a professional pet groomer.

#1 You Lack the Time 

Like so many other aspects of pet care, grooming takes a certain amount of time. You have to do a thorough job while also taking care not to hurt your pet. But many pet owners lead such hectic lives that they just can't spare the time to keep their pet looking and smelling good. If that sounds like you, seek out a nearby pet grooming service that lets you drop off and pick up your pal.

#2 You Don’t Have the Right Tools for Successful DIY Grooming

Proper pet grooming also means having the proper tools on hand. The sheer variety of trimmers, clippers, shampoos, tubs, and other gear can represent a serious investment -- assuming that you even know which tools will work best on your particular pet. If you don't know where to start or can't afford to buy tons of tools, you can sidestep the issue completely by visiting a professional groomer who's already fully equipped with all the necessary tools of the trade.

#3 Your Pet's Hair Is a Problem Zone

Some pets naturally pose greater challenges than others when it comes to keeping their hair in good order. Pets with longer hair run an elevated risk of developing mats. If your pet tends to suffer from matted hair, then it’s time to schedule grooming services with a specialist who possesses the right equipment and skills to gently and painlessly eliminate those mats.

#4 Your Pet Sheds Everywhere

Does your pet shed hair like crazy? Pets with double coats may either leave shedded hair everywhere or experience a buildup of shedded hair that irritates their skin. If your pet fits this description, you may struggle to keep pace with the threats to your pet, upholstery, and allergies from all the extra hair.

A pet with a shedding problem should receive periodic attention at a professional pet grooming facility. Professional pet groomers know how to brush out the loose undercoat. Schedule this service at least four times a year unless your pet also tends to develop mats, in which case you should schedule more frequent visits.

#5 You Notice Long Toenails

Dogs and cats who spend most of their time indoors don't wear their toenails down like they would if they lived in the wild. You'll have to see to it that your pet's nails receive regular trimming to prevent them from snagging on surfaces and causing injuries or household damage. Unfortunately, many pets get skittish around nail clippers - and one false move on your part can cause pain and bleeding. Professional pet groomers know how to keep their customers still and trim toenails safely.

#6 Impacted Anal Glands

If your pet drags its bottom along the floor or seems to have trouble defecating, it could suffer from impacted anal glands. This condition can lead to a serious infection if it goes unchecked. But if you're like most pet owners, you don't want to express these smelly, messy glands yourself. Take your pet's discomfort as your cue to call the groomer.

#7 Your Pet Has Particular Grooming Needs

Different types and breeds of animals may benefit from professional grooming at different time intervals. Hair length and thickness count as important considerations when determining your pet's grooming schedule. A short-haired animal may require professional grooming only once every three months, while one with curly or wiry hair (or hair that blocks their vision) may need a trim every six weeks or so.

Your pet's environment will also affect its needs for professional grooming. As a general rule, outdoor pets require more frequent grooming sessions than indoor pets. Allergic pets may require specific grooming schedules, so ask your veterinarian for advice if your pet suffers from allergies.

Although cats are known for their ability to keep themselves clean, a disabled cat may not be able to groom itself normally. You'll want to schedule regular grooming appointments to help your kitty with these hygiene challenges.

Don't forget your pet's teeth and ears! Ear cleaning is a must for preventing ear infections and ear mite infestations, particularly in pets with upright or "open" eras, while the tiny teeth of certain smaller pet breeds may need extra help with dental hygiene. A professional groomer can perform these tasks as part of a typical session.


As you can see, pet grooming can get complicated, but it's also necessary for your pet's health and wellness. Ask your veterinarian whether your pet has any special grooming needs, if it has any conditions that professional grooming could help minimize, and how often you should schedule professional grooming care. Your pet will look, feel, and smell better than ever -- with less time, effort, risk, and frustration on your part!

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