Oz: A groomed pet is a healthy pet

A groomed animal is cleaner, less smelly, sheds less fur and is overall more pleasant to be around.

  • Nov. 5, 2013 7:00 a.m.

Grooming your pet on a regular basis can significantly improve its quality of life and wellbeing.

The term grooming typically includes some or all of the following—caring of the fur, keeping it clean by brushing and/or bathing the animal, cutting the hair, trimming the nails, and removal of any dry or crusted discharges from areas like the eyes, ears, skin folds, etc, and if possible,teeth cleaning.

Grooming your pet often will benefit both you and your pet.

The cosmetic advantages of frequent grooming are pretty obvious and straightforward.

A groomed animal is a cleaner animal, less smelly, sheds less fur. A clean and well kept animal is overall more pleasant to be around.

Furthermore, regular grooming also delivers medical advantages.

Spending time brushing and cleaning your pet makes you go over its body and detect any new or existing abnormality that requires medical attention.

Animals with long hair benefit greatly from frequent brushing. Many animals with long hair tend to very easily develop mats that are very painful and uncomfortable to the animal.

Getting rid of the mat once they have formed is very challenging because they cause extreme pain when being brushed. (Think how you would feel if someone would pull your hair so hard).

Often, cutting the mats can only be done when the pet is sedated or anaesthetized.

Bathing pets is controversial.  Most animals should only be bathed very seldom if not at all.

Bathing your pet too frequently can actually harm its skin and fur. In a normal urban lifestyle, most pets do not required to be bathed more than three or four times a year.

Here are some key points on sage grooming.

There are numerous types of pets brushes. Consulting the salesperson in a pet store can help you choose the most suitable brush for your pet’s fur. Make sure your pet also approves of the brush and its not causing it pain or discomfort.

Only bathe your pet with a pet shampoo. Animals have different skin requirements than humans and any other soap or shampoo other than pets, shouldn’t be used.

Animals have a blood vessel in their nails. Cutting the nail too short will cause a bleeding that may require a trip to the vet office to be cauterized. If your pet has white nails, your task is easier because the blood vessels are visible and only the white tip should be cut.

Owners of pets with black nails face a bigger challenge. You can either skip attempting cutting the nail and get it done by a groomer or veterinary staff member or try it yourself. If you want to try it, you should cut the nails slowly, step by step, only cutting a really small part of the nail. In calm animals, once you get closer to the nail quick the pet will react by a sign of pain or discomfort.

If you did cause bleeding, try to apply ice on the nail. If you can’t stop the bleed, take your pet to the vet  to get the nail cauterized.

Be careful with cleaning the ears. Do not use Q tips nor cotton balls. If you want to clean the ears use a gauze square. These are available in any pharmacy.

Wrap the gauze around your finger and clean the ear. The gauze can not break down, so you wont leave any foreign material in the ear and you can’t get too deep into the ear canal with the gauze on your finger. Any foul odour, redness of the ear, discharge other than normal wax or pain re action while cleaning the ear, are signs of possible infection that requires medical attention.

Be careful of using ear cleaning solutions. Excessive moisture in the ear canal is a common reason for infection. There are numerous products out there for ear cleaning.

Not all products are suitable for your pet specific condition. Consult your veterinarian about cleaning our pet ears with a solution and get specific recommendation for a product and a protocol that will be safe for your pet.

Brushing your pet teeth is very recommended, however most pets will not allow it to be done properly. Remember, the physical brushing of the teeth is far more important than the chemical effect of tooth paste.

Even wrapping a gauze or face cloth around your finger and rubbing it against the teeth can be beneficial. Pet stores carry tooth brushes that can be worn on the finger and flavoured toothpastes to pets liking.

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