In this day and age, our pets are becoming more and more important to us, like family members, even. To keep them healthy and happy for a long time to come, we’ve prepared a few pet grooming tips so that you can give your dog or cat a treatment they deserve.
Proper grooming is not just there to make your pet look good or smell nice; it’s an essential part of animal care. Any hardly detectable physical changes such as bumps, lumps or soreness can be most easily noticed during a grooming session. It can also help you establish a healthy bond with your faithful friends.
If you choose to groom your dog by yourself, you should arm yourself with lots of patience. You have to be prepared to give your furry friend enough time and room to get accustomed to the process. The best way to accomplish that is by making it enjoyable or rewarding. All dogs love to get a treat, so use it to your advantage. Still, be mindful of the fact that pet grooming is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly.
One of the most important parts of the process is brushing and combing the dog’s or cat’s hair. It should be done a couple of times a week, if not daily, depending on the breed and coat type, and especially before a bath. By doing it, you’re cleaning dog’s hair, spreading oils that appear naturally, and preventing tangling. Also, it serves as a massage for the pet’s skin. But if you want a real massage that will be both pleasant and entirely useful for your pet’s health, it might be smart to hire a professional pet massage service.
There are different types of brushes that are used for different kinds of hair. Depending on whether the animal belongs to a short or long-haired, straight or curly-haired breed, you’ll use a rubber curry brush, slicker brush, undercoat rake, or regular pin brush. In any case, keep an old fashioned metal comb close and remember to be gentle and patient at all times.
Brushing is also an excellent way to spot if the animal has caught fleas, flea dirt or mange. If that happens, you may begin treatment with special shampoos or contact your vet.
Loss of hair is a normal occurrence for dogs and cats, especially after winter. You can facilitate the process by brushing regularly, but be on the lookout. Excessive shedding can be a sign of many illnesses, parasites, or allergies, but also gravidity.
If your dog or cat has irritated skin, bald spots, or hair easily pulls out, contact your vet immediately. If you think that your furry friend has too much hair, you may take it for a professional haircut, as well.
Pet’s ears, eyes, and teeth are essential body parts that should be regularly checked.
Dog’s ears are prone to infections since they are sometimes difficult to clean up from the debris. Therefore they need constant care, especially if your furry friend has long hair that may get into ear canals. Give the animal a gentle ear rub from time to time, and make sure to clean the ears using a cotton ball soaked in an appropriate cleaning product. However, avoid using cotton swabs since they can cause damage if inserted too deeply inside the ear.
When it comes to eyes, they should be bright and clear, with white eyeballs. You should use cotton balls to remove the gunk, but beware not to touch eyeballs. Also, prevent the hair from getting into the pet’s eyes. Since certain breeds are prone to one or the other eye disease, make sure to take your friend for examinations regularly.
Teeth are kept in order by regular brushing, two or three times a week. Never use human toothpaste on a dog or cat, though. You also need to provide your friend with a chewing toy that will keep its teeth healthy.
If you notice that your pet’s ears smell bad, swell, become red, or ooze, don’t hesitate to call the vet and ask for treatment.
Since dogs can suffer from a range of eye problems, it’s crucial to notice first signs of trouble. If the dog’s eyes are clouded or changed their color, if the fur around the eyes is tear-stained, or have very crusty gunk around them, it’s time to call an expert.
When it comes to teeth and gum, they are prone to numerous infections and diseases, so proper care is of utmost importance. If you have any doubts about whether you’re doing it right, you can take your friend for professional teeth cleaning.
Paws are a very sensitive part of an animal’s body. Pads on paws protect bones from shocks but also insulate against the weather. Therefore, it’s essential to keep them moist, with the help of the vet. Also, paws often get hurt and have to be tended. Whether that’ll be only with antibacterial cloth and bandage or professional treatment will depend on the severity of the injury.
Trimming the nails is also a vital part of the grooming process. You need to be very careful, though, since you can easily hurt your dog during a pedicure.
Nail clippers come in two basic types – scissors and guillotine. Choose between them as best suits you and your furry friend. If none of them works, try a nail grinder. It’s perfectly up to the task, but it takes a long time and produces sounds that dogs might not like at all.
Nails are sensitive body parts, so before you start with nail trimming, you should get your pet used to it somehow. As we’ve said before, it can easily happen that you accidentally cut and hurt your friend while trimming. If that happens, or animal becomes agitated for any reason, don’t push it. It is safer to contact professional groomers and ask for a nail trimming service.
It is recommended to bathe your furry friend at least four times a year. If it has skin problems or spends a lot of time outside, it should be more frequent.
Always brush the pet before the bath, and then put it in a tub with lukewarm water. Be careful that water doesn’t get into the animal’s eyes or ears since that can cause irritation. Then apply the shampoo and rinse.
Always choose a shampoo with a special formula for dogs. Human ones won’t kill them, of course, but can be irritating for their skin.
Before you choose a product, it might be better to consult the vet on which product to use. Skin problems and infections, such as sarcoptic mange, are mostly associated with parasites and allergies, but can also be a consequence of using the wrong grooming products.
If there is a need for anti-flea and medicinal baths, it would be wise to leave that to the professionals.
As you can see, it is possible to groom your pet by yourself. However, not all animals are at ease with the process, and you might end up hurting them. Most of the common issues associated with DIY treatments can be avoided by hiring a professional service. That way, you can leave your friend in a pet spa, while you attend to other business. After a while, both of you will be shining and ready to spend some real quality time together.