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Grooming The Pet – How To Get Us Sleek and Gorgeous!

on December 23, 2009
Posted in Cats

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 the Coat

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 toxic to us!

Bathing your Pet

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 itchy. This can also irritate sensitive skin! Use a pet formulated shampoo or soap, gentle enough for us (most human stuff is WAY too strong). 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!

Catch the Hairs

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 remember, 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. Or you can read our post on ccutting dog nails at home here at Pet Wellbeing.

Ears

Make sure our ears are completely dry after bathing! Remember my post about 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 natural drops in our ears.

Drying your Pet

Finally, dry us with a nice, dark-colored, thick towel – or put a warm dryer on us. Not too close to our coats, mind you! Et voila: a gorgeously clean, sleek, sweet-smelling pet! All the better for you to hold close and stroke. I’ll let you in on a little pet secret: this is the only reason we let you get us this clean! Oh, how we love the hand that caresses.

Pet you later, Buster

Photo Credit: psycho-pics

Read also: Lick Granulomas

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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