Pet Care

Grooming: It Isn’t Optional

The PEI Humane Society would like to remind all our followers about the importance of grooming your pets. Dogs and cats both can require grooming as part of their care and failure to groom your pet could result in serious health conditions.



For example, Peggy Sue (as pictured above, before being adopted from PEIHS earlier this year) was surrendered to the PEI Humane Society by an owner that could not meet her extensive grooming needs. Though we do not want to shame this person, we want to use Peggy Sue’s story to highlight the importance of researching your pet’s needs before bringing them home.


Peggy Sue’s eyes were hardly visible under her hair when she arrived at PEIHS.



Peggy Sue is a two-year-old schnoodle (a schnauzer crossed with a poodle) and she requires regular grooming to ensure her coat remains healthy. Upon her arrival at PEIHS we rushed to get her shaved down as quickly as possible. Though it isn’t ideal to fully shave an animal in the dead of winter, we needed to do so to ensure Peggy Sue’s well-being.


We have seen MANY animals like Peggy-Sue over the years and we felt it was time to shine a light on this aspect of our work. This is what our job looks like some days: 4 shelter workers, banding together for over an hour to shave a dog and bring her some ease and comfort.



Our immediate concerns were related to pain and her health. When hair mats this badly, the mats can pull on the skin causing pain and irritation. As a result, mats can cause animals to live with unbearable pain throughout their body. In Peggy Sue’s case, she had difficulty walking, crouching to relieve herself, and receiving pets. Whenever she would move, the matts would pull painfully on her skin.

Photos: A large mat is removed from Peggy Sue’s back.

Extensive matting is problematic as well because of the likelihood for fleas, insects, mites, and other creepy crawlies to make a home in the animal’s hair. It can also cause urine and feces to be stuck in the hair closest to the skin, causing bacterial issues and infections. We were not sure what we would find as we worked our way through Peggy Sue’s hair but luckily, all we found was a LOT of dead skin and matting.


Peggy Sue’s grooming nears completion.


Peggy Sue weighed roughly 14lbs when she arrived at the shelter, and she lost around 2lbs after being shaved. That’s a lot of dense matting for a small dog. The PEI Humane Society provided information and education for her new family prior to adoption about her grooming needs to ensure that Peggy Sue never wants for a haircut again.


Please research breed-needs before getting a pet.

There is lots of information available on the internet about grooming needs for different kinds of animals.


If you know you have a pet that requires regular grooming, ensure to schedule maintenance appointments, and provide up-keep in your day-to-day routine. Not all pets will require this, but those that do will benefit greatly from regular grooming and up-keep.


The PEI Humane Society does not make recommendations about groomers, but if you have questions about your animal’s grooming needs, feel free to reach out to us at

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