Grooming Your Pet

Taffy the Schnoodle  Photo by Jana E. Pye

Taffy the Schnoodle
Photo by Jana E. Pye

Grooming is an important part of caring for your pet and keeping him or her healthy. Both cats and dogs need regular brushing, and animals with longer hair (e.g., poodles, Yorkshire terriers, and Schnoodles like Taffy) require frequent trips to a professional groomer. Fur that becomes matted can cause serious health issues for your pet. Dirt and oils can accumulate under mats and cause painful skin infections, and the mats themselves can be painful as they pull and stretch the skin underneath. Severe matting can even affect your pet’s ability to see, walk and eat normally.

Long- and medium-haired pets generally require daily brushing. Short-haired pets should usually be brushed once or twice per week. The frequency of professional grooming and haircuts varies depending on your dog’s breed. Consult your groomer or veterinarian for a recommendation.

All dogs also require regular bathing to keep their skin and hair coat clean and healthy. The frequency of bathing depends on your dog’s lifestyle, breed and coat type. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the best bathing regimen for your dog. Also, always use a shampoo specifically formulated for dogs. Many human shampoos can be too harsh for your dog’s skin. If your dog has itchy, red, dry, flaky or oily skin, you should consult your veterinarian.

Since cats groom themselves, they generally do not need to be bathed, unless they have fleas or a medical condition that warrants it. Before bathing your cat, always consult your veterinarian.
Pets also require regular nail trims. For dogs and cats, long nails can become painful and interfere with their ability to walk. Keeping nails short also helps you protect your floors and furniture from being scratched and your clothes from being snagged. Here’s what you need to know to groom your pet’s nails.


Author: Jana Pye

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