Scruffy, Smelly & Dirty
Many pet owners have the misconception that grooming isn’t necessary. But, grooming isn’t just about making your pet look pretty, hygiene and regular grooming are essential to a pet’s overall health and wellbeing. Whether you have a dog or cat, if left unchecked, pets can easily become matted, covered in dirt and bacteria, and develop a bad odour.
Even if your dog doesn’t look particularly scruffy, regular grooming is necessary and allows you to catch any underlying diseases or conditions early and get them treated quickly and efficiently.
In our latest post, we will be discussing the importance of regular grooming, how it benefits both you and your pet and a number of grooming techniques you can do at home to strengthen your bond.
The Importance Of Grooming
In addition to training, vet appointments and lots of love, grooming is another important aspect of pet ownership, yet it’s also one of the most commonly neglected. Pets need regular grooming for a number of reasons:
Detection & Prevention
Regular grooming is one of the most effective ways to detect health problems early, whether this is injuries, rashes, lesions, lumps or parasites. Early detection will often lead to an easier, shorter, and more effective treatment process. This is especially important for cats, who are notorious for hiding health problems.
Coat and Fur Health
Mats can cause abrasions and ulcers, in addition to causing pain and discomfort. Grooming, cleaning and brushing your pet’s coat and fur are one of the easiest ways to keep them looking healthy and shiny. Not only will it remove any dirt, debris or tangles, but it will also help distribute the natural oils that keep their coat healthy.
Joint Pain Prevention
Arthritis and joint pain is a common problem in older pets. Long nails can cause misaligned pads and toes, putting unnecessary pressure on the joints. but regular grooming and nail trimming can help to prevent this.
Regular grooming is a great opportunity for you and your pet to spend some quality time together. It’s also a good way to bond with your pet and teach them obedience and discipline.
When To Start Grooming
Ideally, you should start grooming your pet as soon as they come into your home. This will help them get used to the process making it less stressful for all parties in the long run. Choose times when they are tired and less energetic and limit your grooming sessions to a few minutes, as this will make it easier and less stressful for both you and your pet.
Top Pet Grooming Tips
Depending on their breed, your pet’s coat may need a combination of clipping, combing, brushing, and bathing. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Brushing is one of the most important aspects of grooming and should be done daily to remove dirt, dandruff, dead hair and in cats reduces the incidence of hairballs. Brushing also stimulates the natural oils in your pet’s fur, which are then spread across the coat, leaving it glossy and sheen.
Brush down and out, away from the dog’s skin. It is important to brush in the direction of hair growth as this will reduce damage and irritation. Be gentle and use a wide-tooth comb as you untangle any knots and snags. For stubborn mats, you can use scissors to cut them out, but be sure to avoid any cuts and nicks to the skin.
Bathing your pet is not only necessary to keep them clean and free of dirt and bacteria, but it can also help to reduce body odour. However, it is important to not do so often as this can have a detrimental effect on their health as it will strip all of the natural oils from their skin, leaving them with dry, itchy patches. When scratched can then damage the skin and lead to infection.
To give your dog a good bath, you’ll want to start with the right products. It is important to use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs as human shampoos can be too harsh. Wet your dog down completely, then put a small amount of pet shampoo into your hands and work it into a lather. Gently massage the shampoo into their coat, avoiding the eyes and ears. Rinse thoroughly until all the suds are gone.
Ears can be a concern for a number of different pets, especially for breeds susceptible to infections and parasites. They should be clean and odour-free. Pets with red, swollen and smelly ears should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible
To clean your pet’s ears, use a cotton ball or pad moistened with a gentle ear cleaner. Gently wipe around the inside of the ear, taking care not to go too deep into the canal. Be sure to remove any built-up wax and debris.
Eyes can also be prone to infection, irritation and debris. Any watery eyes or anything that looks sore should also be checked by your veterinarian.
To clean your pet’s eyes, use a soft cloth or cotton ball moistened with a diluted eyewash solution. Gently wipe around the eyes, taking care not to get the solution in their eyes. Be sure to remove any crusty build-up or discharge.
Long nails can cause the dog to walk on its toes, which can lead to pain in the pads and toes, and even arthritis down the road. Regular trims can reduce the risk of injury, stops them from getting caught in carpet or other upholstery, and prevents the likelihood of in-growing nails.
Nail trimming can be a stress-inducing experience for many pets. To avoid this, start handling your puppy’s feet and trimming their nails when they’re young, so they can become accustomed to the process. It is important to not trim their nails too short, as this can cause bleeding and pain.
Ready To Get Started?
Now that you know the basics of pet grooming, it’s time to get started! Be sure to also consult with your veterinarian about any specific concerns or needs your pet may have.
The House Call Vet is a leading veterinary clinic that provides convenient and affordable veterinary services to pets across Brisbane. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.