Pet Grooming 101

by Jam Bufi
SEA Wave Pet Grooming
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Maybe your vet is still closed due to the quarantine or you’re looking to keep your pets clean and healthy on a budget. Either way, I think we can all agree that our pets deserve all the love and care in the world for being such bundles of joy!

Without regular grooming, your pets can experience a variety of issues such as fur matting, dental problems. Here are some tips for grooming tips for your fur-babies. (Note: This article will focus on grooming dogs and cats.)

 

Bathing

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Your furry friend doesn’t need to take a bath every day, especially as this might dry out their coat. Since they have ways of grooming themselves, the recommended frequency is once a month with water baths in between, but you can check with your veterinarian as this may vary based on your dog’s breed and activity level.

For bathing, you will of course need a shampoo. “When bathing your dog, use a higher-quality shampoo, as inexpensive versions can have harsh ingredients,” said Linda Easton, head of International Professional Groomers, Inc. Avoid shampoos with artificial fragrances and colors as these can contain harmful chemicals for your pets. It’s good to apply the shampoo on a patch of your pet’s skin and check for any signs of irritation before using it. It is also not recommended to use human shampoo on your pet as the pH level of human skin differs from the pH level of those of your pets.

First off, brush your pet’s hair before the bath. Then, when you start wetting your pet’s body ideally with lukewarm water and remember to save the face for last. Also, avoid using sprays and hoses with too harsh pressure to keep your pet calm.

Once done, use a towel to dry their coats while combing their hair. Some blowers can be too hot for your pet and may end up burning their skin. If you want, you can finish off by using a cologne made for pets to keep them smelling good longer.

 

Oral Care

Don’t forget to take care of your pet’s teeth too to prevent them from developing dental problems such as plaque, rotten teeth, decay, and gingivitis among others. And just like us humans, dental problems left unchecked can lead to a significant diminishing of their overall health. There are toothpastes and toothbrushes for dogs and cats alike that you can buy at pet stores.

Make it a point to brush your pet’s teeth once daily. According to Dr. Carmichael, a board-certified veterinary dentist at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island, “Research shows once-a-day tooth brushing is very effective in controlling the buildup of plaque and tartar, which causes gum disease.” But like shampoo, you cannot use human toothpaste on your pets as the fluoride in our toothpaste is toxic to your pets.

If your pet hates toothbrushing, you can opt for tooth-friendly treats. There are some that are designed to fight plaque and tartar. However, the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) says that treats are not substitutes to tooth brushing but they are helpful in improving your pet’s overall health. It would also be a good idea to have dental checkups for your pet to make sure they are safe from any dental problems.

 

Coat Care

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Using a comb, brush your pet’s hair a few times a week as this can help remove the dirt, dead hair, and dandruff. Ray Truting, a master groomer with the Connecticut Veterinary Center, believes that brushing your pet’s hair is key to maintaining your pet’s cleanliness. In an article on PetMD, he shared, “Brushing is the key to keeping [a dog] clean. I don’t recommend a lot of bathing.” This can also spread natural oils from your pet’s skin, giving their coat a more natural sheen.

Brushing can also remove the tangles on your cat’s fur and lessen hairballs that are caused by extra hair. Brushing your pet’s fur regularly allows you to quickly spot ticks and fleas or any other skin issues they may have, allowing you to treat the problems sooner.

 

Face care (Ears and Eyes)

It is important to clean your pet’s ears once a week using an ear cleaning solution you can buy from your vet clinic or pet stores. [insert reason] To clean your pet’s ears, all you need is an ear cleaning solution and cotton balls. Simply apply the solution to your pet’s ears and massage for 30 seconds before wiping their ears with a cotton ball to remove any wax residues.

For the eyes, check your pet’s eyes daily for any mucus buildup in the corners. Should there be any, just wet a cotton ball and gently dab the corners of their eyes. Avoid dabbing directly in their eyes as the cotton ball fibers may scratch and damage their eyeball.

If your pet’s ears start emitting a foul odor or if the buildup persists and consists of yellow mucus or a hard, foreign substance, have this checked up by their vet.

 

Nail clipping

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You can do this weekly or bi-weekly using a clipper or a nail grinder design for your pet. However, remember to take extra caution when doing this. For dogs, cutting too close to their “quick” or the soft tissue in your dog’s claws will cause your dog’s nail to bleed and cause pain for your dog. If your dog has light-colored claws, this is the pinkish color that you see on their core of their claws. When clipping, cut from about 2 millimeters from the quick to avoid accidentally cutting it as this. The quick can also make toenail clipping trickier for dogs with dark-colored claws so it is best if you only cut the tips of their claws only once a week at most. If in case you accidentally cut your pet’s quick, you can use styptic powder to stop the bleeding. If you are not as confident about trimming your pet’s nails on your own, it is best to leave it to an experienced pet groomer or ask for them to teach you the proper way.

 

 

Now that your fur-babies are clean and fresh, you can now cuddle with them all day!

 

Do you have any other pet grooming tips for your fellow fur-parents? Share them in the comments below!

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