Oh yap, yap, yap how I love to be brushed and rubbed! We pets love your touch and affection, and there’s nothing like a serious grooming session (which should be done whenever we’re dirty – just use your nose!).
That’s why I love the holidays: my human Sage takes it upon herself to make sure I’m extra silky-smooth, and great smelling (not stinky dawg like you know I love, but I put up with her version of yum). And boy is she thorough! She clips and snips, brushes in and out. She lathers and towels and spritzes… And when she’s done, I look and smell like one smart stallion!
Some of my fine feathered, furried friends are whiskered away to day spas. How lapping-luxurious! But most of us are left to be putty in our human’s hands, so it’s important that they know how to groom us. Here’s how my human does it:
Brush – Brush us before bathing to remove any tangles or matted areas, as well as any other clingy-thingy’s. If you don’t get these snarls out before bathing, they can just get worse. If we have any sort of gum clinging to hairs, try using a bit of olive oil or just cut it out! Never use anything like nail polish remover or solvent – it’s totally tawxic to us!
Bath – It’s best to bathe us only when we’re really dirty. Use your nose! It always knows when it’s bath time. Bathing us too often can strip our skin of natural, protective oils – making us itchyitchyitchy. This can also irritate sensitive skin! Use a pet formulated shampoo or soap, gentle enough for us (most human stuff is WAY too strong). A great one is Neem Soap! Sage and I also love the products at Earth Bath .
I love being bathed outside (Sage picks a spot where it – and us – won’t get muddy) in the summertime! Sage just uses a hose. So fun. but colder weather means we have to be inside, in the tub. Small pets like kitties and pups can be bathed in the sink or basin – great, because you, dear human, can get a good hold on us. We are so slippery when wet! Big guys like me need a larger spot like the bathtub – though Sage gets me in the shower with the door shut! She’s so smart. A closed door keeps us from running and slipping around the howl-house!
Use a drain screen, to catch the multitude of our hairs. Sheepishly, I shed a lot. And if we tend to get water in our ears, try a little cotton ball inserted – just remember to take it out after!
And start with our heads – it encourages any flea to move towards our rear ends, which are far easier to dunk in water than our heads. This isn’t water torture (even though we may act like it is).
Haircut – If we can sit still, carefully snip hairs around eyes and in between toes.
Nails – Who doesn’t love a paw-dicure? Trimming our nails can be really perilous. How about a learning with a little University upgrade: http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/cliented/dog_nails.aspx
Ears – Make sure our ears are completely dry after bathing! Remember my post on pet ears – extra moisture makes this part of ours a bacteria haven! Use gentle swabbing motions with cotton tips, and if necessary now’s a good time to put drops in our ears.