Editor’s Note: This post is from DDY’s archives.
I’d like to add a sixth reason, courtesy of veterinarian Jennifer Scarlett’s September 2011 SFgate.com blog post, “The Life of an Older Dog: Caring and Preparing.” Scarlett points out that with advanced age may come signs of Cognitive Dysfunction—the reduced responsiveness, disorientation and/or restlessness that’s sometimes called doggie Alzheimer’s—and that the sensory stimulation associated with grooming can be a go-to in a caregiver’s quality-of-life tool kit.
“One study by the University of Iowa suggests sensory stimulation lifts up the emotions of Alzheimer’s patients even if they can’t remember the pleasant contact itself,” writes Scarlett. “Pets with CD might benefit in the same way. Massaging, hugging, brushing an animal—she might forget this happened soon afterward, but the warm emotions will linger.”