Pet Grooming Basics

Keeping a well groomed dog or cat does not mean you need to have a pet that looks like a show animal, it just means that you maintain cleanliness for your pet and keep it healthy and hygienic. Just like their human friends, cats and dogs are more likely to be healthy if they are clean and groomed so doing a spot of dog grooming or cat grooming every now and then is important.

Grooming your cat or dog has benefits. Cats and dogs are domesticated and so are not really wild animals at all; that said they need to be clean to function in your environment. Another benefit is that regular grooming helps you build a deeper relationship with your pet while your growing familiarity with its body will help you find any potential problems that may need the attention of a vet. Luckily dog grooming is not that hard, but if you do struggle with a boisterous pet then you can always seek aid from a veterinarian.

Here we will be mostly focusing on dogs because cats have amazing self-grooming techniques and grooming is a part of their instinctive ritual. In fact, if you have a cat that is not well groomed it is worth looking for an underlying problem with your vet.

Basic dog and cat brushing

Much like when you groom yourself, brushing your pet will remove any dead skin or hair while it will have the added benefit of spreading the animals natural oils throughout the coat and help to stop odour festering. Your furry companion will also get the comfort and delight of being groomed. There are a variety of brushes available and you can find one’s that are specifically made for the type of coat your dog has. How often you need to brush your cat or dog depends on the coat it has, with long haired animals needing frequent sessions and short haired animals just needing one brush per week. Find out more How To Prepare Your Puppy Dog For Brushing

Brushing dogs teeth

Dogs are more susceptible to tooth decay than humans so it stands to reason that you need to take care of your animal’s teeth. Routine brushing is advised and you can check out our full in-depth article on dog tooth care to get any hints and tips you may need. Gum infection and tooth loss is fairly common in dogs, so keeping a dental hygiene routine is vital to your pet’s health. 

Maintaining your pets paws

Dogs do not typically like their paws being handled, even pets that are very friendly. This makes trimming your dog’s nails especially tricky and in many cases it may require a trip to the vet to get the job done. One tip is to put your dog at ease by just touching its paws while petting or rewarding it, this will get the pooch used to the touching. You should not trim the nails often but try to keep an eye on their growth, with dogs when the nail is making a noise on the floor it is much too long. When trimming try not to go too far and cut into the quick, the part of the nail containing blood and if you do there is no need to panic, just apply pressure to the wound; although using a specially designed animal nail clipper can prevent this even happening.

Keep an eye on your pet’s eyes

Check your fluffy companion’s eyes every so often. Yeah we know you are not an optician so picking up on anything that is not physically obvious will be impossible, but you can do things like look for sores, trim any hair hanging over the eyes and just clean the animal’s eyes. If you are going to clean your dog’s eyes then be sure to use just water or at the most sterile ointments and wipes as dogs are sensitive even to anti-tear soaps.

Dog bathing

If you thought your child hated having a bath then you have seen nothing yet. Sure, your dog might love jumping in the river when out walking, but show it a bath with soap and it is going to be a little less enthused. Of course, whether your dog likes it or not bathing has to be done, but if you maintain a solid brushing routine you can bathe your dog at longer intervals. Below are some basic and easy bathing tips.

Always brush your dog before bathing. This will make sure the hair is ready to be washed and will also save you some unnecessary scrubbing work.

Place cotton inside your dog’s ears. Yes this is easier said than done but cotton will stop soap from getting in the ears, drying, and then becoming painful.

Prepare. Make sure all you need is to hand around where you will bathe your dog, the last thing you need is to have to let go of your soaking wet dog to reach for something.

Close the doors. If your slippery friend does escape your grasp then you do not want it running around your house overly excited and wet!

Use specialized shampoo. There are plenty of dog-specific shampoos so make sure you use one.

Of course, one of the main reasons you should regularly groom your dog is because of fleas and ticks. These little pests are a fact of life for dogs and most will get them at least once, so you want to be prepared to fight back. Advantix for fleas and ticks is a great combatant for these little pests and as one of the leading brands Advantix is guaranteed to give you a flea-free pooch in no time. You must remember, though, it is important to apply a spot on 2 days prior bathing or 2 days after to bathing. The natural oils in your dog’s coat transport the spot on around your pet’s coat. Washing them too soon after bathing will prevent the medication from spreading correctly as your dog needs to replenish their natural oils, and bathing directly before treatment will not give the spot on time to treat their whole body.