If you are like most pet owners, you love to cuddle with your furry companion. To keep that ever-lasting love and affection relationship with your pet, it’s a good idea to have your pet groomed on a regular basis.
Do it Yourself
If you opt for the do-it-yourself option, invest in a quality shampoo/condition, a good brush and a pair of grooming scissors. Not all dog breeds need hair trimming, which can make the do-it-yourself version a lot easier.
You should always bathe your dog in warm water, partly for the comfort of the dog and partly because shampoos clean more effectively in warm water. Depending on the dog’s size, you may find that it is convenient to bathe him in the laundry tub or the bathtub, or even in a walk-in shower stall. The common habit of washing dogs under the garden hose, using cold water, is not recommended and is often the reason why dogs dislike being bathed.
After you have applied the shampoo, work it through the entire coat to remove all dirt and debris. Some owners of dogs with particularly thick coats find that it is best to dilute the shampoo in some water so that it is easier to apply and rinse out. For routine bathing, you can rinse the shampoo out right away, but if you are using a medicated shampoo, it must be allowed to sit on the coat for 5-10 minutes before being rinsed out. Make sure you read the instructions on the shampoo label for the specific product that you are using, or follow your veterinarian’s directions if you are using a medicated shampoo. Once the shampoo has done its job, it must be completely rinsed out.
If you have a dog breed that needs extensive hair trimming (Poodles, Schnauzers, etc.) or if you don’t have the time or physical ability to wash, dry, trim, brush out your pet yourself, take them to a professional groomer. A good grooming shop uses quality products and equipment, and the expertise of a professional groomer, especially if you have a pet who needs precise clipping, is worth the money.
A well-groomed dog smells good. Bathing with a quality shampoo/conditioner removes dirt, oil, and that “doggy smell.” Most dogs require bathing on an occasional basis, usually when their coat becomes dirty or when they develop a ‘doggy odor.’ Non-shedding breeds that have no health issues usually need to be bathed about every six to eight weeks, at the time of their regular grooming.
Dogs that have a heavy undercoat will benefit from bathing in the spring or fall when they are undergoing their seasonal shedding. If you have a dog who sheds, regular grooming can help keep loose hair to a minimum. Bathing brings loose hair to the surface and brushing captures the hair before it ends up on your floor.
Breeds of cats range all the way from hairless Sphinx cats to fluffy long-haired breeds. Some cats shed very little, such as the Sphinx and the Rex breeds. The majority of other breeds of cats have a smooth outer coat of ‘guard hairs’ and a fine undercoat of soft hairs that provide additional insulation. Long-haired breeds of cats often have very fine silky outer coats that may tangle very easily. Daily brushing will cut down on the amount of hair that a cat swallows during the course of self-grooming with its tongue, thus helping to reduce the number of hairballs your cat may develop.
In addition to benefitting your cat, daily brushing will cut down dramatically on the amount of loose hair and pet dander floating around the home. For some people with mild cat allergies, daily brushing may even reduce the number of airborne allergens enough that they can share their home with a cat. Most healthy adult cats are fastidious groomers and rarely require a bath. How often your particular cat needs to be bathed will vary somewhat with its age, lifestyle, and underlying health status. For example, if your cat has allergies, your veterinarian may prescribe frequent bathing as part of the treatment plan.
A clean pet is also a healthier pet. Grooming your pet gives you (or your professional groomer) a chance to go over your pet’s body, where you are most likely not to notice any issues your pet may be experiencing. Fleas, tick, wounds, lumps etc — all of these can be easily discovered during a grooming visit. Professional groomers are also good at expressing a dog’s anal glands, which can help keep that area clean and free from problems.
Although your pet may not like baths, brushing, or trips to the groomer, these events are important. We sometimes have to do things we don’t enjoy, and that applies to our pets, too. Doing your own grooming at home gives you a chance to spend quality time with your pet. Most pets enjoy being brushed, a good brush once or twice a week is a good way to keep your pets clean and will expand that wonderful bond between you.