Pet grooming is a way of improving your pet’s health and level of comfort. This is done by performing certain tasks to maintain their hygiene. Just like humans, pet are healthier when they are well groomed. For example, well groomed cats are less likely to develop hairballs, while well groomed dogs will not suffer mats in their fur, or develop that distinct doggy smell that many people dislike. However, regular grooming will prevent many more problems than those mentioned from occurring. Of course, pet grooming can be used for style as well as health! There is nothing wrong with having a beautiful smelling pet with a gorgeous new haircut or bow at the end of the process.
Pet grooming also allows increased familiarity with your pet’s body, so that any problems are picked up sooner and able to be rectified before they become a serious issue. You can choose to do the pet grooming yourself or you can have a groomer that you trust complete the process for you.
Pet grooming involves a number of different things. One of the most important is brushing. Brushing your pet regularly helps to remove dead hair and skin from their coat and it also spreads out the natural oils. Regular brushing can also reduce your pet’s odour. There are several different types of brushes and combs that can be used on your pet depending on their grooming requirements. Checking and cleaning your pet’s ears regularly is also an important part of grooming. This is because your pet’s ears can be a prime spot for infections. Grooming can also include checking and cleaning your pet’s teeth. You might think that brushing your pet’s teeth is an odd thing to do but it can prevent periodontal disease which can cause tooth loss or gum infections. If you can’t bring yourself to brush – or your pet won’t let you – use one of the many dental products available on the market such as dental chews.
Don’t neglect the feet during the grooming process. It is important to regularly trim nails on both dogs and cats – dogs because long nails can place stress on the foot which leads to problems, and cats because sharp nails hurt the owner and can damage furniture. Never trim nails too short, and be sure to use a nail clipper specially designed for pets.
Animals’ eyes are very sensitive but they still need to be a part of the grooming process. Gently wipe them with warm water, and trim away any fur that may be falling into the eyes. If your pet gets tear stains around the eyes, there are products that can help.
Of course, you cannot forget the most essential part of the grooming process – the bath! Use warm water or a hydrobath to bathe your pet and always use shampoos and conditioners that have been specifically designed for animals as human products can irritate your pet’s sensitive skin. You can use flea rinses or products as necessary (try and use products that are as natural as possible). Make sure your pet is thoroughly rinsed and then dry them using a towel, a chamois or a hairdryer. Remember to brush your pet afterwards.
In some cases, your pets will have a coat that is full of mats and tangles, despite your best efforts, or that will simply be too long and thick for the weather. In this situation, a clip may be required. It is best to have a professional do this as clipping can be distressing and your pet’s skin is very delicate and easy to cut. You can have a simple clip done but there are more “Designer” type clips available if you are looking for something special.
If you have decided that you would prefer to have a professional groomer groom your pet/s there are some things that you need to consider before making your choice as to who to use. Firstly, ask if they provide a mobile service (if you want or need them to come to your home for whatever reason) or if they have a salon. If there is a salon, ask if they have pick up and drop off services. Find out what experience they have and if they have any professional training such as in animal studies, by professional groomers and so on. The more experienced they are, the more comfortable they will be able to make your pet.
Find out what services are provided by the groomer. It should include the basics such as brushing, bathing, and drying as well as services such as clipping, ear cleaning, and nail clipping. You also need to ask how the costs are structured, that is what is included and what is not. Ask if you will get a discount for being a regular customer (coming weekly or fortnightly) or if you have more than one animal to groom.