Having a well-groomed pet is not only important for their looks, but it's also an important component in their overall health. Our Citrus County vets are here to give you some basic grooming techniques for cats and dogs to help you keep them in great condition at home.
Grooming A Dog
While the specifics vary depending on each pet's needs, basic grooming for dogs usually includes bathing, brushing, nail trimming, and (depending on the breed) haircuts.
Bathing helps remove dirt and debris from your dog's fur and keep their skin looking and feeling. However, bathing your dog too often can irritate the skin, damage hair follicles, and increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
For typical dogs, bathing should take place anywhere between once a month to once every three months. Always use shampoos that are specially designed for dogs, and warm water, but not warmer than your dog's skin.
Brushing helps prevent skin irritation and matting by removing dead hair from your dog’s coat. It also helps reduce the amount of dog hair around the house.
The longer your dog’s hair is, the more often it will need to be brushed. Some dogs need to be brushed daily, while others can be brushed once a month.
To trim your dog's nails, use a clipper designed specifically for dogs' nails. A rotary trimmer can be a safer alternative, but it can take more time. If you’re not comfortable trimming your dog's nails yourself (or if your dog won't tolerate it), consider having it done by a qualified professional.
Different breeds have different needs when it comes to haircuts. Talk to your vet or a professional groomer to find out exactly how often (or if at all) your dog needs haircuts, and how best to go about it.
To cut your dog's hair, bathe them first using good quality dog shampoo, and then towel dry and brush. Use sharp scissors to trim the fur around the face and feet, and electric clippers for the rest of the body.
Grooming A Cat
Cat grooming involves brushing, bathing, and nail and paw care.
Brushing your cat removes dirt, grease, skin flakes, and dead hair from the coat, and it helps to stimulates blood circulation and improve overall skin condition as well.
Brush your kitty once or twice a week with a metal comb (thick or thin teeth are both fine, whatever works best). You’ll find that these regular brushing sessions are particularly beneficial as your cat ages and can't groom as meticulously anymore.
It's no secret that most cats hate water, and you'll be pleased to learn that most cats do not need to be bathed regularly. Cats can more or less take care of their own grooming, and will only need help if they get particularly filthy, or get into something sticky.
Bathe your cat using special cat shampoo and warm, but not hot water. Keep in mind that there's a good chance your cat will not want to cooperate, so be sure to shut the bathroom door before you begin, and consider wearing gloves and long sleeves.
Nail & Paw Care
It’s important to regularly examine and clean your cat’s paws and make sure they’re wound-free and free of debris.
Trimming a cat's nails can reduce scratching, and mitigate the destruction of your soft furnishings. For cats that are unwilling to tolerate nail trimming, spending some time getting them used it their paws being touched (without trimming) can help.