Many of us like to keep pets. Having an animal friend in your house can be a very positive experience in more ways than one. Not only do you provide the animal a good, comfortable life, you also have a source of affection. Having therapy pets is quite common for this very reason. And judging by how many people are out walking their dogs each evening, it is also quite clear that keeping pets is a very popular hobby.
If you have a cat or a dog at home you might have often wondered about grooming it. For those unfamiliar with the term, grooming refers to the act of keeping an animal neat and clean and helping it look its best. Who wouldn’t want their feline or canine friend to have a nicely brushed shiny coat of fur?
Benefits Of Grooming A Pet
Some of you might wonder if there is a point to grooming your pet other than making it look pretty. And indeed there is. When you regularly groom your pet, you’re not just giving its coat a new sheen; you’re cleaning it too. By brushing and bathing your pets you get rid of any dust and other unsanitary particles their fur may have accumulated. You also help the animal get used to your touch, so start grooming early to ensure your pet becomes comfortable with you sooner rather than later.
Other than that, because of regular grooming you can make sure fur doesn’t end up all over your house. It is a given that your pet will shed its fur. So by keeping it clean and brushing away any fur once or twice a week, you get to have a cleaner house as well as a cleaner pet. And of course, keeping your pet clean means they are less likely to get sick. You might even detect an illness before it really takes hold. A cleaner pet is also less likely to smell and stink up the house. And nail clipping is a must if you fear scratches on the couches.
Tools You Need For Grooming At Home
There are many tools out there which can help you groom your pet at home. Below we’ll list some of the most essential ones and some that might make your life easier.
A Good Brush
A no-brainer this one. If you’re serious about giving your pet the best coat of fur possible, you need to invest in a good brush. A good quality brush won’t snag in your pet’s fur and will gently remove excess fur, dust, and other unwanted impurities. A good brush also feels pleasant to the pet rather than like a collection of jarring pins.
A Nail Clipper
If you want to make sure you don’t end up with a scratched arm, you need to regularly trim your pet’s claws. Clipping their claws can have other benefits too however. For example, cats can sometimes grow very long claws that curl inward and pierce their paw beans or paw pad. This can lead to infection if not treated soon enough. Also worth keeping in mind, start trimming your pets’ claws from a young age. This way they will get used to their paws being handled and their claws being trimmed. Praise and affection when clipping goes a long way with dogs.
Though there are special cat and dog tailored wet wipes available too, ordinary wet wipes will also do. Wet wipes, or tissues, are incredibly helpful for cleaning sensitive areas; like the ridge around the nose or the corners of the eyes. Wet wipes can be utilized in these scenarios to gently wipe away the filth. Be careful that you don’t get wet wipes that may sting your pet however.
A Dental Kit
Brushing your pet’s teeth can also be a very healthy habit. However, not just any brush and toothpaste will do. Ask your vet for recommended dental kits specifically made for cats or dogs. Human-use toothpastes can also irritate your pet’s stomach, so be sure to avoid cleaning their teeth with them.
It is recommended that you use pet-specific shampoo when bathing your pet. Refer to your vet for help and more information on this.
Ear Cleaners (no image): Cleaning your pet’s ears regularly means they don’t accumulate filth and decreases the risk of infection. However, most pets’ ears are sensitive, so getting ear cleaners specifically made for pets is a good idea.
Tips For Grooming At Home
You’ve got the tools you need, but how do you properly proceed to groom your pet? Here are some helpful tips for the various forms of grooming you can perform.
How To Brush Properly
Getting your pet accustomed to brushing is not a quick process. It can take weeks if not months. Start out with short intervals of brushing every week or two, and move on from there. Soon your pet will learn to stay still and let the brushing routine run its course, similar to them learning to stay still when you’re putting on their collar. Always brush with gentle long strokes. What kind of brush you use depends on the type and length of fur being brushed. Your vet can help you pick out the brush that would be most effective for your pet. Use short strokes to straighten out the fur, and then long strokes to give it its shape as well as to brush out dust and fur.
How To Clip Claws Properly
Clipping your pet’s claws can be a bit trickier than brushing their fur. You have to be sure to use a sharp clipper to avoid chipping, but also need to be mindful of the sensitive nerves just behind the claw. Some people may prefer to use a nail grinder to slowly file away the claw. Both methods work fine. You have to have started clipping your pet’s claws from a young age else they might not ever get comfortable with you handling their paws and cutting their claws. Cut or file the claws to the point where you see a pink spot at the tip (black if the claws are black too). If you end up cutting this part of the skin it will not only bleed but also be painful to the pet. So you have to be extremely careful when doing this. If you are not comfortable with the prospect of clipping their claws, get some professional to help you.
How To Wipe Properly
Very often you will notice that your pet has had some filth accumulate around their nose and on the corner of their among some other places. Using wet wipes to clean this off is a sound decision, though wet cotton buds can work too. Simply ready the wet wipe on your finger and gently wipe away the filth. It may not come off after the first wipe, and so repeated and firm wipes are often required. The hardest part of this is trying to get your pet to stay still. Once that hurdle is overcome it is quite a simple process.
How To Properly Clean The Teeth
It is important that you use specific toothbrushes and toothpastes tailored towards pets. Other brushes may damage the teeth or gums, whereas regular toothpaste can irritate your pet’s stomach. Once you have the proper tools, gently brush their teeth with circular motions. It is unlikely that a pet will be very welcoming of this the first time you do it, which is another reason that said pet should be very comfortable with you before you begin. Brush the teeth for a minute or two or until all the residue has been removed. Done properly, this will help your pet not contract any teeth or gum problems.
How To Properly Bathe Your Pet
Bathing your pet can be very difficult in the beginning. Most pets will try to get as far away from the bathtub as possible. Over time however, just as with collars and brushes, your pet will learn how to deal with bath time. For a proper bath, fill up a bathtub to 2/3rds of it being full. Place your pet in it and then completely wet it with a spray hose. Then simply apply the shampoo and rinse it. If your pet has long fur consider using conditioner after the shampoo as well. Be sure to use good quality pet specific shampoos to avoid any harm to the pet’s skin and fur. Brushing your pet before bathing it is a good idea as it gets any excess dust out and doesn’t dirty up the bathtub. When done, use a towel to dry your pet’s fur. Stroke the towel in straight lines to avoid knotting.
Pets give us unconditional love, it’s only right we give it back. Be sure to conduct regular checkups on your pet and groom them every week. Brush them, wipe them clean, and bathe them and they’ll be a happy, good smelling animal that looks dazzling.