Washing and Grooming Your Pet

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Washing and Grooming Your Pet

As pet owners, grooming is a part of our everyday life. From bathing to nail clipping, grooming your pet can be a great chance to strengthen your bond and get up close and personal.

Pet grooming isn’t always a relaxing experience, though. Lots of pets find grooming stressful and can get super anxious when we begin. So how can you make the grooming experience for your pet — and you — more enjoyable.

The Importance of Dog Grooming

Grooming your dog can vary depending upon its breed. Some breeds will need regular visits to a professional grooming parlour to keep them looking and feeling in top shape. If you own a long-haired breed such as a Shih Tzu or a very curly breed such as a poodle or Bichon Frise, knots and mats in their fur can be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Dogs such as Huskies, Malamutes and German Shepherds need constant upkeep to reduce unwanted shedding. Terriers, such as Cairn Terriers and some Jack Russels, can benefit from hand stripping to keep their coat healthy-looking and cool in the summer.

But it’s not just the longer-haired or double-coated breeds that need grooming; your canine companion will need his nails, teeth and general cleanliness maintained regularly. It’s important to ensure you keep on top of these things to avoid any medical issues arising and to get your dog used to being groomed so that when it does come to the dreaded nail clipping time, your pooch remains calm and content. Take a look at the PDSA’s video on How To Clip Your Dog's Nails.

How to Groom a Dog That Hates Being Groomed

Here are our top tips for grooming an uncooperative dog;

  • Build grooming time slowly — Begin just introducing the brush or nail clippers. Depending on the level of fear your dog has, you may just want to begin by having the grooming equipment beside you on the sofa or wherever your dog is most relaxed. Allow the dog to smell the equipment and feel comfortable with it and just begin with a few seconds of brushing. It’s important that you stop as soon as your dog displays any anxiety so that it doesn’t see the grooming equipment as something to be afraid of.
  • Distraction — Using a treat stuffed toy or “licky mat” can work wonders for food-motivated dogs. Brushing them while they’re doing something that gives them joy will keep them distracted and help them relate the grooming equipment to something that makes them happy.
  • Preparation — If you have a dog with long hair, knots can be painful to get out with a brush, which can cause a fear of grooming. As with our own hair, prepping with a leave-in conditioner can ease the tugging caused by brushing and make it an all-round more comfortable experience. You can buy sprays for this from most pet stores.
  • Trial and error — When brushing your dog, you may find it’s simply just the brush or comb that they don’t like. Try using some different types and see if there’s one that your dog is happy with. Similarly, with nail clippers, using smaller or quieter clippers can make a world of difference.

  • The Importance of Cat Grooming

    If you have a cat that enjoys being groomed, then you are a lucky owner! Most cats prefer the DIY approach and don’t appreciate being brushed or bathed. However, there are benefits to daily grooming if it doesn’t cause too much stress to your feline friend. Breeds such as Persians benefit from daily brushing to avoid matting, but even short-haired cats will benefit. Brushing removes dust, dead skin and loose hairs from your cat's fur and allows you to closely monitor its health and skin condition. Take a look at this great guide to spotting an allergy!

    Cat Grooming Tips

    Here are our top cat grooming tips;

  • Choose the right equipment — A wide-tooth, metal comb is best for long-haired cats, while soft bristle brushes are best for short-haired cats. There are also grooming mitts available from most pet shops, which often make cats feel a little more comfortable being groomed while also removing loose hair.
  • Grooming long-haired cats — Don’t forget to groom the tummy, armpit area and behind the ears. These are often a cat’s least favourite place to be groomed because they are the most likely to develop knots and mats.
  • Recognise when it’s time for a break — If your cat allows you to groom him, it can be tempting to get it all done in one sitting. But it’s important to look out for the early signs of discomfort, such as a flicking tail or pinned back ears. Knowing when to stop can help to avoid your cat becoming fearful of grooming in the future.
  • Choose your time wisely — cats are complex creatures and it can often be difficult to read their mood, but choosing a time when they are relaxed and calm is essential to avoid further anxiety.

  • The Importance of Horse Grooming

    Grooming plays a huge part in horse ownership and most horse owners will tell you, it’s no easy feat! Basic grooming involves brushing the entire body to remove dust and mud, grooming the tail and mane and picking out the hooves. This routine benefits the skin condition of the horse and helps to avoid rubbing caused by riding tack if dirt and debris are between the saddle and skin. Grooming also provides bonding time and an opportunity to check your horse all over for any medical conditions or lumps and bumps that shouldn’t be there.

    How and When to Groom a Horse

    If your horse lives with other horses, they will often groom each other, so you will only really need to groom just before riding. You just need to make sure the tack won’t rub, but if your horse enjoys being groomed, then it’s fine to do this as often as you can!

    If your horse lives alone or is rugged, it must be thoroughly groomed every day. Horses cannot groom themselves entirely and dead skin and hair can build up and cause serious skin issues. Each day your horse needs to be thoroughly brushed down with a stiff-bristled brush and finished with a softer brush.

    Grooming your pet provides an excellent opportunity to monitor their health and provide the best care you can. Vetscriptions is a UK stockist of pet products and medications for dogs, cats and horses. You can also save 40% on veterinary prescribed medications by ordering online.

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