Overall, it's extremely important. Pay attention to the simple things like keeping the nails trimmed so that the toes don't splay when they walk. Make sure your dog doesn't have knots in their hair, which can pull and make them uncomfortable. You should also ensure that the dog doesn't have matting in the back end, which can attract debris and odors, make sure anal glands are emptied, and that they don't have discharge around the vulva prepuce. All of these grooming tasks contribute to the dog's comfort, which positively affects overall health.
Much of that depends on the breed of dog you have, although you have to monitor every dog's nails. You should trim the dog's nails about every six to eight weeks unless they walk a lot and wear them down. We also have a few dogs that bite their nails, which is amazing, but very few!
If you have a long-haired dog in weather where they collect snow or mud in their hair, they should also have their hair groomed about every six to eight weeks. If you have a short-haired dog that doesn't require much care, they don't have to be bathed quite so much—perhaps a couple of times a year. But as they shed, we have to make sure we're brushing out all that matted hair so that they stay comfortable, too.
You can do it yourself. You have to make sure that you are looking into your dog's ears, trimming their nails, and making sure if they're licking or scooting that you empty their anal glands. But you can bathe your dog. They may look a little funny, but you can bathe your long-haired dog at home too.
You want to get puppies used to grooming behavior, which means getting them used to the sounds and the brush's feels. And when you do nails at first, just get the tips. We don't need to go too short, as you don't want them to get scared. Right when you get a puppy, begin handling and brushing, but they don't usually see a groomer until after they're fully vaccinated, which is after four months of age.
We do have a professional groomer here named Kim, who does a fantastic job. But she does it by appointment only, and she fills up fast. We also have this wonderful staff of technicians and assistants that can do nail trims, express anal glands, clean ears, and remove a few mats as needed.
If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (630) 844-0100, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.