Feb. 10, 2020
Regular grooming should be an essential part of your pet’s health care routine and grooming is a good opportunity to give your pet a good check over for fleas, signs of irritation or any lumps that may require veterinary care. All dogs and cats require some brushing but the amount of time spent each week varies hugely between breeds and type of coat. Some long -haired breeds require brushing nearly every day, while those with shorter coats may only need a brush once a week.
A good time to brush your pet is when they are relaxed. For dogs, this is usually after a walk and for cats when they are chilled out and ready for a nap. Get them used to being handled all over from a young age and keep grooming sessions very short when you start. A grooming mitt, like the Oakwood Pet Grooming Glove is the perfect tool to help get puppies and kittens used to being brushed. The glove is gentle and removes loose hair as it massages the coat. This glove is also great for adult pets that are wary of regular brushing.
Your grooming routine should also include and cleaning ears and trimming nails as necessary.
Ears - The ear canal of a dog is shaped in such a way that it is easy for dirt and debris to build up inside. This is especially a problem for dogs with pendulous ears like Cocker Spaniels because the ear flap hangs down and helps to create a warm, moist environment inside the ear canal, which is the perfect condition for bacteria to thrive. Ears should be checked weekly at grooming and any dirt removed by using cotton wool pad. You can buy ear cleaning products from your vet or pet store. It is important never to stick cotton wool buds in your dog’s ear as you can easily damage the ear drum.
Nails- Many people assume that their dog’s toenails are naturally worn down by day to day activities but this is usually only the case for dogs that do a lot of outdoor activity on hard surfaces. Many indoor dogs have overgrown nails and these can easily break resulting in pain and infection. Overgrown nails are also uncomfortable for dogs to walk on.
Teaching adult dogs to have their nails trimmed can be a little tricky and this is a task that is much easier taught to a puppy. The key is to teach your puppy (or dog) to associate nail clipping with something positive, such as being rewarded with treats.
Start by rewarding your dog with a treat, just for letting you touch their paws and feet. After a few days of getting your dog used to having their feet touched all over, start touching the nails in return for a treat. Then, touch the clippers to the nail an reward with treats, Once your dog is happily accepting treat and comfortable around the clippers, clip just one nail and give a treat. Clip another nail and give another treat. Just do a couple of nails at a time, until you are confident your pet is relaxed.. Always end with a treat and a game.
There is a blood vessel that grows within the nail called the quick and this can easily be seen in dogs with pink nails. You must trim the nail on the other side of the quick to avoid pain and bleeding. Some pets have black toenails making it hard to see the quick, so just trim the very tip off or consult with your vet or groomer about how far to clip. Cut the nail no closer than 2 millimetres from the quick.
Ears - check that the ear flap is clean and has no signs of redness soreness. Then, gently fold back the ear and look into the ear canal. There should be no odour and minimal ear wax. If you see a build up of wax or debris, then best to get a vet check.
Nails- The best way to raise a cat that is comfortable having their claws clipped is to get them used to having their feet handled as a kitten. Each night, when your kitten is relaxed, gently touch the feet and legs all over and massage the paws. Once they are comfortable with having their feet touched, gentle press the toe pad to extend the nail. You can then clip the end of the claw.
As with dogs, you must avoid cutting the pink part of the nail where the nerves and blood vessels run (the quick). Trim only the white tip of the claw and err on the side of caution.
Regular grooming helps keep your pet in tip top condition and this time spent together can also wonderful bonding time for you both.