Regular grooming is important for their health and wellbeing, not just their appearance.It is also an important part of owning a pet. Often it is overlooked with particular breeds but whether you are a pet parent to a Sharpei with sort course hair or a Poodle with long woolly locks or a feline with a medium length coat, it’s imperative to maintain their coat and skin even in the winter months.
Dead hair from the coat must be removed regularly. If this is not done routinely throughout the year your pet may start licking its own coat to remove the dead hair. This may cause fur balls in the stomach. Another consequence of not grooming is your pet's coat may matt up.
Most dogs and cats love being groomed and it can be one of the most rewarding moments of friendship with your pet.
When to start grooming:
Start grooming your pet as a puppy and pick times when they are tired and less energetic. Limit your grooming sessions to five minutes as puppies have short attention spans even in this tired state. Talk in a reassuring manner and check ears, teeth, paws and nails. Over time they will become used to the grooming ritual and enjoy being handled and inspected.
What to groom:
The coat may need combinations of clipping, combing, brushing and bathing depending on the breed of your dog or cat.
Comb and brush in the direction of hair growth until tangle free. Various types of combs and brushes are available for different coats and degree of matting.
Bathing can be done in a bath or tub at home or in a hydrobath. Use a recommended dog shampoo suitable for your pet’s skin and coat type.
Clipping may involve removing excess coat all over or the removal of mats and tangles from problem areas. This is not always easy to do. Some dogs and cats are so difficult they may require sedation under supervision. It is often best left to an experienced Dog Groomer who understands the needs of your pet and who has the correct equipment to minimise the risk of cutting the skin in difficult to get at places.
Skin health is observed during clipping, combing, brushing and bathing. Knowing what is normal for your dog is important. Changes like skin redness, scale and lumps should always be reported to your local vet when identified.
Checking the mouth, teeth and gums is also an essential part of the grooming process. Any abnormalities should be investigated and discussed with your pet care team.