Brushing 101 For Dogs And Cats

According to Professor Bonnie Beaver of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University, pets are living longer, healthier lives as a result of advanced medical care, better nutrition and better grooming.

There is no shortage of excellent grooming tools to keep both your dog and your cat looking good and, most importantly, free from matted hair.

With regard to dogs, the type of coat your dog has will dictate your grooming schedule and the tools needed. It’s a really good idea to take advice from a breeder or from a professional groomer.

Some coats require more upkeep than others. For pets with coats that require more upkeep, it’s a good idea to schedule regular visits to the groomer and maintain your pooch’s coat at home in between visits.

When it comes to felines, while cats are very efficient self groomers, they need a little help from their favorite people, too. This is especially true if they have a safe indoor-only lifestyle because they tend to shed all year round. Ingesting too much hair can be very dangerous as it can cause internal blockages.

It’s important to note that as cats get older, they lose mobility and are less able to groom themselves efficiently. Step in and help your kitty out!

Grooming tool basics for both dogs and cats consist of a deshedding tool that helps to remove dead hair and their thick under coat. There are different tools for short haired and long haired dogs and cats so be sure to purchase what is most appropriate. A slicker brush is another general-purpose tool for keeping fur well cared for; it spreads the natural oils in the skin while preventing mats in the fur.

Never take an ordinary pair of sharp-pointed scissors to your pet’s coat to cut out a mat as it’s very easy to nick the skin and cause serious bleeding. There are special blunt-nosed scissors for such a job. And do it slowly, cutting through the mat from the top and holding it away from the skin to prevent accidents.

It’s a good idea to invest in good-quality tools and build up your toolbox over time. After basic brushes and deshedding tools, consider adding a fine-toothed comb and a medium-toothed comb to the toolbox, too. Such tools are ideal for ears and feathers on the legs of certain canine breeds.

It’s important to note that some cats don’t enjoy being brushed. In which case, try a grooming glove as they often enjoy the massage that comes with using the glove over the coat.

An excellent nail trimmer for dogs or cats is another essential tool to prevent ingrown nails, which can be very painful to walk on!

Where you groom will have a lot to do with your success rate. Let your dog and cat “audition” certain places to find the perfect spot. Some small dogs and cats may like to sit on your lap while a bigger dog may be more comfortable on the lawn under a tree. If they are comfortable, they are more likely to let you take your time and groom for longer periods.

But here’s the bottom line. Never consider grooming a chore to get over and done with. Rather, consider it a great way to spend quality time together.

And remember to treat!

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