Having a well groomed dog is not just about coiffed poodles with top knots strutting their stuff at Crufts. Keeping your pet well groomed makes them feel happier and healthier.
Every time you groom your pet, give it the full once over- check the eyes, ears and skin for infections, lumps, bumps, fleas and ticks. Have a good look at the teeth for tartar build up and gingivitis. More often than not, with regular grooming you will probably find a potential problem when it can be sorted out as a minor issue.
Here are our tips for making it easy…
Shampoos and conditioners
Firstly, always make sure you are using pet friendly shampoos and conditioners when you bath your pet. Cats and dogs have thinner skin than we do, and as a result human products can often irritate their skin. Pet shampoos are designed to be kinder to your pet’s skin.
Choose a well known brand, and make sure it is suited to your pet’s skin, i.e. if your pet is prone to a greasy coat or yeast infections then a medicated wash such as Malseb may be better, whereas if your pet has sensitive skin an oatmeal based shampoo such as Aloveen may be more suited. If in doubt, feel free to ask our nurses or reception staff, they will be hapy to recommend the most suitable product for your pet.
Always brush your pet to remove knots and as much dead hair as possible before putting Fido in the tub.
Use warm water and a pet friendly, soap free shampoo. Our pets do not like being hosed down with freezing cold water any more than we do! Lukewarm water, similar to that which you would use for a baby, is ideal.
Wash twice – once to wet the coat through, and the second time to get all the dirt out of the coat. Massage the shampoo in, paying extra attention to dirty areas such as in between toes, the tummy, and around the bottom and tail.
Use a conditioner to help you untagle the knots if your pet has a long coat or if it knots easily. Some medicated shampoos need to be in contact with the skin for 5-10 minuites to take effect. Make sure you have read all instructions carefully.
Brush as you dry if you can. This makes the coat less likely to be knotty and gives the coat that fluffy “professionally groomed” look.
Do not let the dog dry out slowly in the hot sun as it heats up the layers of the skin and predisposes to “hot spots”.
Do not use a very hot hairdryer.
Leave scissor clipping to the experts unless you have a flare.
If you need to remove a knot with scissors, never cut across the knot (you will have a good chance of cutting the skin). Always slide one side of the scissor blade into the knot, splicing it length ways (several times if necessary) before brushing the knot out.
A smaller pair of nail clippers gives more control as long as it is strong enough for your pet’s nails. Find the spot where the nail curls downwards, and clip just below this spot, in a straight up and down direction. This way, you will get the nails nice and short, but avoid the blood vessel.
If there is a waxy brown discharge around the ear canal, you can clean it off gently with a mild ear cleaning solution and a ball of cotton wool. Never use cotton tips as they can be dangerous for beginners. If the ears are smelly, see your vet.
If you notice inflamed gums and a build up of yellow/brown tartar on your pets teeth, you should have the vet check them as a professional dental may be required. To keep clean teeth in condition, you can brush your pets teeth daily or weekly with a soft child’s toothbrush and water or pet toothpaste (never use human toothpaste as it can make your pet sick).
Never use chemical preparations for cleaning the eyes as they can damage the eye and surrounding skin. Use warm water and cotton wool to gently sponge the stained areas. Regular cleaning will cause the stains to fade.
Posted on 18 July 2018
Last updated on 11 December 2019
Tagged with: grooming