Grooming is an important part of caring for your pet. Not only does it make them look and feel beautiful, it helps keep them healthy too!
Benefits to Grooming Your Pet:
A good grooming session with your pet can be greatly beneficial to both you and your animal. The best part is that there are a lot of grooming methods you can do yourself at home! Granted, there are benefits to using a paid professional because they are trained to not only groom, but spot potential health risks before they develop into major complications. Every so often, you may want to take your pet to a professional groomer.
Regular grooming develops a strong bond between you and your pet. An animal that lets you brush out its fur and clean its ears is showing great trust in you. Grooming involves a great deal of petting and handling which also benefits the pet’s emotional state too. Regular grooming also may uncover any potential health risks- for example, when brushing your pet; you may find a matted section of fur that is hiding some form of skin disease or irritants like clinging plant pods or thorns. Small irritants like these can develop into infection and disease if left uncared for. You should also clean any dirt out of their ears before it becomes compacted and causes complications.
The two greatest benefits to routine pet grooming are, one, it allows you to make observations that may uncover issues like weight problems, vision trouble, skin disease or tumors before they develop and become untreatable. And two, it allows you and your pet to develop a deeper and more trusting relationship together!
How to Properly Groom Your Cat:
Cats clean themselves, so do you really need to groom them too? Yes! Although they spend a great deal of time cleaning their own fur, they still need a little help from their owner. Plus, why would you pass up such an opportunity to bond with Fluffy?
Ideally, you want to start grooming your cat when it’s a kitten. If you start young, it will become routine and normal to them. However some cats, at any age, don’t take kindly to grooming, so don’t force it! Do very short grooming sessions where maybe you only brush one part of its body and another tomorrow. Gradually increase grooming seasons until they are more receptive to this routine.
When grooming your cat, you want to relax them first, so spend some time petting them to get the cat into the idea that you’ll be handling them for a little bit. Then gently begin to brush their fur- hold the brush in one hand and use the other to smooth down their fur in front of the brush to feel for any lumps and matted fur. If you do find matted fur, gently brush out one layer of fur at a time. If it seems to be causing your cat discomfort, slowly brush it out over a few days. If at any time the cat lets you know that it is uncomfortable, be sure to stop and find out what is causing the stress- don’t force additional grooming. Cats need to know they are in control, otherwise they may not trust you next time. One handy trick that works for my frisky cats (who like to attack their brush) is that I try not to let them see the actual brush. For some reason this works- they love the feeling of the brush but don’t like looking at it. Usually, most cats don’t like to be brushed for a long time anyways, so doing a little each day will be more efficient than trying to brush them out for a long time. And always remember to brush in the same direction as their hair is growing.
How to Properly Groom Your Dog:
Now, dogs typically don’t spend as much time self-grooming as cats, so they’ll be relying on you a bit more for their personal hygiene! Brushing your dog before you give him a bath will remove any loose fur which increases the effectiveness of the shampoo. When brushing your dog, be systematic, start at the head and move your way to the tail. Be firm but gentle with your brush strokes to be sure you get the job done but not to hurt your pet or cause them any stress. You want them to enjoy grooming sessions with you! When you find any tangles or matted areas, don’t brush at them firmly! This will hurt the animal’s trust in you- gently and slowly try to detangle the knots and brush the fur free.
When bathing your dog, you have to find a suitable location. Sinks and basins work great for smaller dogs while bathroom tubs or portable pet tubs are best for larger dogs. Using an outside hose is convenient, but not a great alternative. The cold water makes your pet uncomfortable, plus the shampoo won’t work as well in cold water. Never use a shampoo made for humans! Our shampoos contain harsher detergents that may damage your pet’s hair or sensitive skin. When it’s time to dry off, use a cotton towel for short haired dogs and rub the fur vigorously with the grain and then against working head to tail. For long haired dogs, you should comb out the fur to prevent tangles.
Clipping your dog’s nails can be a little tricky, so you’ll need to get clippers specifically for dog nails. You have to be careful not to trim too far back- inside your dog’s nail is a vein referred to as the “quick”, and cutting the quick of the nail can cause pain and bleeding. The longer your dog’s nail, the longer the vein extends into it. So if you haven’t done it in a while, you’ll have to cut their nails in phases. First, taking off just a little bit at the tip and then waiting a week. After the first cut the quick will retract further back away from the tip. Then cut a little more, again waiting a week allowing the vein to retract. Once you get the hang of it cutting your dog’s nails will be as easy as cutting your own!
Since you’ve already made the choice to properly groom your pet, you also want to be sure you’re using the right grooming supplies! Contact your veterinarian to help you decide what types of products you may need. There is an array of antibacterial shampoos and solutions to choose from, so do your research for Fluffy and Fido and they will look fabulous for you in return! Benzoyl Plus Shampoo is a great choice- it is anti-bacterial, keratolytic, and follicular flushing. It also degreases and rehydrates your pet’s coat. Plus, it’s safe for use on dogs and cats!