After rolling in the dirt, getting muddy, and stepping in questionable substances, it’s safe to say your pet is pretty dirty. Keeping your pet clean and healthy plays a vital role in their well-being, as regular grooming can prevent skin infections and matting, and keep your furry friend feeling comfortable in their skin. With all the different services and recommendations out there, it can be overwhelming to determine what works best for your pet. Luckily, we’re here with some quick tips to help you successfully manage your pet’s hygiene.
*It is important to note that some pets are not comfortable with grooming. If this is the case, do not push your pet into a stressful situation, and contact a veterinarian for advice on your next steps.*
Trimming your pet’s nails is important to prevent them from feeling any discomfort when walking. A good rule of thumb is to cut your pet’s nails every 3-4 weeks or whenever their nails start to touch the ground. If their nails click on the ground when they walk or snag on material, it is time for a trim.
You should always use a pet-specific nail trimmer and go slowly to prevent cutting the skin or causing bleeding. For cats, press gently down on their paws to extend the claws so that you can trim the tip (only cut the sharp end of the nail). If your pet is hesitant about getting their nails cut, you can use treats or pet-friendly peanut butter to distract them while you do a quick trim.
It is recommended to bathe your dog every 2-3 months, while a cat should only get a bath a couple of times a year if necessary. Washing your pet too much can strip them of their natural oils. Start by rinsing them in lukewarm water, then gently apply and lather a pet-friendly bathing product onto their skin. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue buildup on the skin. Do not spray water into their ears, eyes, or nose.
Many pets are wary of baths, and that’s okay! If possible, try slowly acclimating them to the tub, and occasionally pour a small amount of lukewarm water onto their body in a relaxed environment to get them used to the water. If the issue is severe, consult your pet’s veterinarian.
Pet dental care is often overlooked, and neglecting your furry friend’s oral hygiene can create many problems and irritation for them. Brushing their teeth, using oral wipes, giving them good chew toys, and maintaining a proper diet can improve their dental health and prevent medical problems such as gum disease and tooth loss.
Similar to bathing, your companion most likely will not be comfortable with you brushing their teeth. Starting slow and building a routine with brushing will eventually lead to them looking forward to cleaning their teeth. Do not use human toothpaste on your pets. Pro-tip: Using flavored toothpaste is a great way to get your pet to let you brush their teeth.
Regular brushing is essential for all pets, regardless of their coat type. It helps prevent matting, rids your pet of loose fur and dirt, helps distribute natural oils, and stimulates the skin. Different coats will require various brushes and grooming frequencies. Long coats will require daily attention using a slicker brush. If their fur gets matted, try to tease out the tangles, and in bad cases, try shaving the matted hair. Dogs with shorter coats will require brushing once or twice a week to prevent matting.
You should regularly check and clean your pet’s ears to prevent wax buildup and infections. With a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaner and a cotton ball, gently wipe the visible part of the inside of the ear. Avoid sticking or probing deep into the ear canal. This can cause irritation and trauma. If you believe your pet has an ear infection, go to your veterinarian for treatment.
Keeping your pet properly groomed will significantly contribute to Fido’s happiness and prevent any underlying health issues. Besides the ones listed, you may also need to groom your pet’s eyes, paws, and skin. Remember to approach grooming with a positive attitude and patience so you and your pet will have a peaceful grooming experience!