How and When to Groom Your Pet

How and When to Groom Your Pet

By Susan Paretts

Grooming your kitty or pooch is an important part of daily care to keep your pet looking and smelling its best. Regular bathing, brushing and clipping ensures that your furry friend is mat-free and tidy. Plus, your pet will love the special pampering it gets from you during grooming sessions.

Scrub a Dub Dub
Dogs usually need a bath only if they develop an unpleasant smell or have rolled in something yucky. Cats may not require a bath at all if they stay indoors, because our feline friends regularly clean themselves.

Jme Thomas, executive director of Motley Zoo Animal Rescue, a non-profit rescue group based in Seattle, Washington, says that most dogs don’t need a bath more often than every three weeks, because frequent bathing can dry out the skin and coat. “Some dogs have very oily skin and may need baths more often. An anti-seborrheic shampoo can help with that, too,” she said.

Remember to bathe your pup or kitty in just a few inches of warm water using a cat- or dog-specific shampoo, which won’t dry out its sensitive skin. When bathing, be sure to rinse the coat thoroughly because Thomas says that any remaining soap can look like flaky dandruff after the coat dries.

Brush Away Problems
Daily brushing is essential to keep your pet’s coat shiny and silky, especially for medium- to long-haired breeds. Choose a long-bristle brush for longer coats and a slicker brush or grooming glove for shorter ones. ConairPRODogoffers a full line of Pet-It brushes that fit comfortably in the palm of your hand to comb through your pet’s coat easily. Brushing removes dirt and debris from the fur, while preventing painful mats from forming.

“Grooming and brushing go beyond looks, it’s a way to check your pet out on a daily basis for lumps, bumps and any abnormalities,” notes Tonya Wilhelm of Global Dog Training in Toledo, Ohio. It also prevents your pet from shedding all over your home, especially in the fall and spring.

Tidy Up with a Trim
Giving your pet’s coat a little trim, especially in the hindquarters, can help prevent painful mats and odors. Thomas recommends regularly clipping the fur around the behind and legs, a procedure known as a sanitary groom. “Infections and bad, painful mats can develop there, which will not only smell but become a serious issue for your dog,” she said.

Nail Clipping
Regular nail trimming for both cats and dogs can help prevent nails from snagging on carpets and fabrics, and protect your furniture and floors from damage. ConairPRO Pet  offers both small and large size nail clippers, so you can choose the one that will work best for your furry friend. Thomas recommends trimming just the tips of your pet’s nails every three to four weeks.

“This is something that you can usually do on your own, or with two people,” she said. “If your dog really refuses, just try and get one or two nails done and then take a break, give some treats and work up to it again later,” she said. “Most dogs really will get used to it.”

Puppy and Kitten Tips
It’s never too early to start your pet on a grooming regimen so that it becomes accustomed to it by the time it’s an adult. “Grooming your puppy starts today,” recommends Wilhelm. “Teaching your new puppy [or kitten] to tolerate and even enjoy grooming is extremely important to their well-being.” It’s also a good idea to start brushing your furry friend’s teeth when they’re young so theybecomes accustomed to it, reducing their risk of periodontal disease later in life.

With regular grooming, your pup or kitty will always look its best. Using high-quality tools will make grooming a breeze for you and positively reinforcing the grooming sessions for your furry friend with treats and praise will make these sessions enjoyable for him too.