When someone says, “Pet grooming,” you may instantly think of a perfectly trimmed white poodle with painted nails and sunglasses. Contrary to that image, pet grooming contributes to the health of your pet more than the appearance of it. Good grooming is a great practice to keep your pet healthy and comfortable from day to day.
Fur is probably the first thing that pops into people’s head when grooming is brought up. Aside from cutting and styling your pet’s fur, simply brushing your pet several times a week will help their health in two ways:
- Cats – When you brush your cat, it reduces the hairballs either left around your home or eaten by your cat. In some cases, hairballs can cause stomach issues for cats and they will need to visit a vet.
- Dogs – Brushing your dog often reduces the amount of hair that your pup will shed, which means less cleaning for you!
If you do take your dog to the groomers regularly, don’t have them shaved. Dogs’ fur is crucially important – regulating their body temperature and protecting their skin.
Eyes and Ears
Making an effort to routinely check your pet’s eyes and ears could save them a lot of pain and you a lot of money! When you check their eyes, make sure they look moist, shiny and clear – pet’s eyes should never look red, irritated or cloudy. If they do, call or visit the vet as soon as possible.
To check your pet’s ears, simply lift them, look and sniff. When you look, seek any signs of irritation or discomfort. You may have never heard of smelling your pet’s ear, but it is one of the surest signs of identifying a problem. The ear should smell absolutely odorless, so if you smell anything foul, talk to your vet about a possible infection.
To clean your pet’s ears, simply buy some liquid ear cleaner for pets, fill the ear canal with the solution and let them shake out the liquid.
Active pets that play outside often may not need to have their nails trimmed because they wear down naturally. Indoor pets, however, are in great need of nail maintenance. If nails get too long on dogs or cats, they may grow inwardly, causing pain or infection in the padded area.
A lot of pets are sensitive to nail trimming because at the center of their nails is a section containing blood vessels. Clipping too far on the nails can be painful and cause bleeding. Because of this, be very cautious when trimming. If you are uncomfortable doing it yourself, take them to a professional to get it done properly.
It can be a lengthy process to get your pet to cooperate when clipping their nails. Try the tips below to help them become accustomed to nail trimming.
- Cats – Many cats will not sit still, and often resist the nail trimmers. To help with this:
- Wait until they are a bit worn out for the day
- Wrap them in a warm towel
- Hold each paw gently as you clip their nails
- Dogs – Dogs are very reward-based when it comes to trimming their nails. Slowly help them get used to nail trimming by giving them a treat after the first nail, and then after the next few. If you trim the nails properly, your dog may even start to enjoy the process!
The more you trim your pet’s nails (over a period of time), the more accustomed to the process they will become.
It may seem odd, but brushing your pet’s teeth can go a long way in protecting their health. When dog’s teeth continue to decay, they could acquire periodontal disease. To keep their teeth healthy, go to a pet store and buy a pet toothbrush and toothpaste. It can be harmful to an animal’s stomach if you give them toothpaste for humans.
In order to brush their teeth without much fuss, follow these steps:
- Massage their muzzle every day for a week. This will help them get used to you touching their mouth.
- Dab some toothpaste on their lips every day for a few days.
- Let them get used to the toothbrush. Do not force it on them – this will make things much harder on you. Let them lick it or chew it to become accustomed.
- Begin brushing their teeth!
For cats and small dogs, you won’t need to use a toothbrush. Simply apply the toothpaste to their teeth with Q-tip. This will suffice in cleaning their mouth.
When you bathe your pet, be sure to use pet shampoo for the best results – you can even buy flea or tick dog shampoo. If your pet sheds often, try using a de-shedding tool to reduce the amounts of hair shed. Be sure to dry your pet well – they may get sick if left wet for too long.
Remember that grooming your pet helps their overall health. If you notice something odd or unusual while caring for your pet, mention it to your vet or local groomer to see if there is a more serious issue.
Grooming is just a few steps forward to keeping your pet happy and healthy!
Do you have tips on grooming your pet at home? Write them in the comments section below!