Pet health care: Grooming your pet

Pet health care: Grooming your pet

Regular grooming is important to your pet’s general well-being and a part of pet health care, especially if they have long hair or thick coat. Luckily, most pets truly enjoy the attention they get during the grooming sessions! If possible, start grooming your pet when they are still a puppy/kitten, keeping the sessions short and using lots of praise and treats. Get your pet used to being handled and soon they will learn to enjoy the grooming sessions.

The length and type of your furry friend’s coat tells how much grooming they need. Pets with long hair are more prone to get mats so they should be brushed every few days. If your pet is dirty or smelly, a bath might be a good idea. Remember to use shampoos that are meant for pets. For spot-cleaning, you can try dry shampoos (cornstarch or unscented baby powder can work wonders!) to substitute a bath.

A palm brush, which is like a mitten, is good for short-haired pets. The rubber nubs can catch loose hair while gently massaging your pet. Long-haired fellows need long, flexible bristles to comb through their hair. Dogs and cats with soft and thick fur are especially prone of getting solid clumps of hair, called mats. Left unattended, they will pinch the skin and become painful. The only way to prevent them is regular grooming. If a mat has already appeared, do not try to use scissor to cut it! It’s very easy to hurt your friend with the sharp scissors and it will likely cause more damage than do any good. Instead, use pet coat conditioner and gently separate the mats by hand. Once you have broken the bundle, you can comb through the hair.

Rough handling and poor technique can do a lot of damage to the hair by breaking, pulling and matting it. It is important to stay patient when grooming your pet and brush through short sections at a time. Work on the undercoat first, if your dog has one. Long, fine hair can be braided, trimmed or tied up to make the process easier. While almost-daily grooming might sound tiresome or time-consuming, it will quickly become a part of the daily routine of both you and your pet. You can groom your dog or cat while watching TV, chatting on the phone or helping your kid with their homework.

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