This Veterinarian’s Five Most Annoying Pet Grooming Myths

Cat in Bath

You might think veterinarians don’t have a reason to get all opinionated about grooming issues. But you’d be wrong. That’s because so many grooming issues stray into medical terrain that it gets tough to separate the two fields sometimes. Disbelieve me? Ask any groomer and he’d likely agree.

It Just Isn't So

In any case, I never need much of an excuse to truck out an opinion. To prove it, here’s a five-fingered sampling of grooming issues I happen to harbor strong feelings about:

1. Some breeds don’t shed. Every time the Obamas get a new dog it seems the Internet gets aflutter with news of the miraculous non-shedding dogs in our midst. Which only serves to compel me to post anonymously in the comments section of fact-challenged articles everywhere:

“The non-shedding breed is a myth. All breeds of dogs shed. Some shed more and some shed less, but all shed.”

In fact, within certain low-shedding breeds, some individuals may shed copiously while others will cast off their hair almost imperceptibly. Moreover, just because they don’t shed much doesn’t mean they don’t require a lot of maintenance!

This is important for all prospective dog owners to understand, especially those who are likely to be seriously disappointed should they obtain a “no-shedder” that sheds or worse — one that requires daily brushing and frequent trips to the groomer, to boot!

2. “Hypoallergenic” breeds are the ideal solution for allergic owners. Sure, some breeds are doubtless better suited to those who suffer allergies. But no breed of dog or cat is guaranteed to offer you an allergy-free life.

Indeed, within these so-called hypoallergenic breeds are plenty of individuals who may trigger your allergies even more profoundly than certain members of other breeds less touted for their reduced allergenicity.

The upshot is this: If you want to be sure you’re not going to have an allergic reaction to an individual animal once you take her home, lock yourself in a room with her for a few hours. Only then will you have a pretty good indication of whether you’re likely to suffer reactions to her.


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