The top four grooming essentials for a happy, healthy, and handsome pet!
Grooming is an important part of pet care. Dogs and cats require regular grooming to keep them healthy in their domestic environments. One of the major benefits of regular grooming is that you become familiar with your pet’s body, allowing you to quickly recognize any health problems. Grooming is a fantastic way to bond with your pet, and a great way to spend quality time with your loyal companion. Bathing, brushing, ear cleaning and nail trimming are all important steps in maintaining a happy, healthy and handsome pet.
Bathing can be quite an adventure for pets and it is a great way to rid your pet’s coat of any dirt, dander and debris. Before a bath, brush your pet’s fur to help loosen tangles and stimulate the skin. Always use a shampoo that is designed especially for your animal. Shampoo for humans is not made to properly care for our beloved companions. It can be harmful to their skin and destroy its natural oils, resulting in itchy, flaky, irritated skin. It’s important to use the correct shampoo to make bath time a fun and enjoyable experience.
Once you’ve pre-rinsed your pet, lather him up with your pet-friendly shampoo. Make sure to save your pet's face for last and use a damp cloth to clean around the eyes, ears and nose. After a thorough scrub, make sure you rinse your pet really well, as soap residue can cause skin irritations. Be prepared with lots of towels! Rub your pet down with a towel to absorb any excess water and finish him off with a good brushing.
Brushing is another common grooming routine that should be done on a regular basis. Brushing is essential to the health of your pet’s skin and coat, as it removes dead hair and skin, prevents odors and spreads the natural oils in their coats. It is one of the simplest routines, yet most necessary. Brushes are available in a wide variety to accommodate different types of pets and coats.
Check out your local Pet Valu for brushes that best suit your pets needs and ask one of our Pet Experts for excellent product recommendations. Remember: the more often you brush your pet, the less often you have to bathe them!
Ears are places that can collect dirt and are a prime place for infection. Keeping your pet's ears clean is a great way to keep him healthy and prevent illness. Do regular ear checks at home by looking inside your pet's ears. Take note of the color. The inside of your pets ears should be a healthy pink. Wipe the outer ear using pet ear wipes and be careful not to touch what you cannot easily see when cleaning the inside of the ears. Symptoms of poor ear conditions include sensitivity to touch, brown, black or yellow discharge, shaking or continuous head tilting and foul odor. These symptoms should be treated immediately by your veterinarian.
Nail trimming is important for both cats and dogs as lengthy nails can put unnecessary pressure on your pet’s feet. It is important to play with your pet’s paws to get them used to the feel of having their paws handled. It is important to use nail clippers designed especially for animals. Cats have brittle nails that can easily shatter so it is best to use a nail clipper suited for cats. Dogs have stronger nails so a stronger nail clipper is necessary. An alternative to a nail clipper for dogs is to use a nail grinder. This may take some getting used to but a grinder will leave a smooth finish, which is great on hardwood floors! Here’s an excellent strategy for the finicky pet: trim your pet’s nails over the course of a few days. There’s no rule that says it has to be done all at once. This will help reduce stress levels for both you and your pet.
And remember to have fun!
Grooming is a fun and healthy activity for both pets and owners. Remember to praise your furry friend during your grooming routine to establish a positive experience.
Treats are always welcome afterwards as a tasty reward! Enjoy the quality time spent together and remember that a clean pet is a happy, healthy & handsome pet!
This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer issue of Companion Magazine.