Pet Grooming: Things You Should Never Do
If your pet is looking a little untidy, her coat seems too long or her claws too sharp then you may be thinking about grooming your furbaby. Although grooming your pet may seem like a purely cosmetic act and is definitely a great way to get your precious pal looking fabulous, it is actually extremely beneficial for her overall health and wellbeing too. This is because:
- Regular brushing gives you the opportunity to remove dead skin, hair and tangles from your pet’s coat, leaving it looking shiny and feeling fresh. You will also be able to check over her body for any unusual lumps or bumps, or signs of fleas or ticks.
- Trimming her nails can stop her from scratching up your flooring and furniture and prevent her from suffering from ingrowing nails. It will also help protect you from accidental scratches.
- Ear and teeth cleaning can be tricky tasks, and some people prefer to leave them to the professionals. However, both can stop your pet from developing problems such as ear mites and infections and dental disease.
What is involved in pet grooming?
If you were to go to a pet parlour and ask about grooming, you will almost certainly be given the option of a ‘package’, which includes multiple aspects of care. However, each element of pet grooming can be performed standalone, and although some people prefer to use the services of an experienced professional, they can also all be carried out by a confident and competent owner.
Pet grooming services usually include some or all of the following:
- Bathing (with shampoo)
- Fur trim
- Nail trim
- Ear clean and check
- Professional dental clean
What not to do when grooming your pet
Many of the most common aspects of pet grooming can be performed by yourself in the comfort of your own home. Nevertheless, if you are an inexperienced groomer, you could potentially harm your pet if you are not careful.
Here is our guide to what you should NEVER do when it comes to self-grooming your pet.
1. Wash the insides of your dog’s ears
While you may think this is a great way to keep the ears of your furbaby clean, by washing the inside of their ears you are actually more likely to cause an infection. This is because it increases moisture levels inside the ear canal, which combined with rising temperature and humidity, can make it a haven for bacteria and subsequent infection. Instead of using water, use a little pet ear cleaner, massage into the ear canal and use a soft clean cloth to wipe away any visible dirt. Never stick anything into your pet’s ear, especially a Q-tip!
2. Brush your pet’s hair after a bath
Many owners mistakenly believe that it is going to be easier to brush wet/damp fur than dry. In fact, the opposite is true. Water can make knots and matted areas much harder to deal with and you may end up damaging her fur and/or hair follicles. Instead, give her a good brush before her bath to remove any excess dirt and hair before she gets into the water. Then once you have bathed her, dry her as much as possible before gently using a wide-tooth brush or comb to gently brush her hair in the direction of growth to remove any tangles and stimulate the production of oils that keep her coat healthy and shiny.
3. Bath too often
We might like to bathe or shower every day, but the same needn’t be said for your pet. Not only is it a big effort on your part, but it can actually do more harm than good to her skin. Bathing too frequently can dry her skin out and cause irritation. Again, your pet needs natural oils to keep her skin and coat healthy. Unless our vet recommends otherwise, a single bath each month should be sufficient.
4. Not using sharp enough clippers and rushing nail trimming
Clipping your pet’s nails is a challenge and one that most owners like to leave to the professionals. Nevertheless, with patience and practice it can be something that you can do yourself. Make sure you have the right type of clippers and that they are sharp enough to cut through the nail in one move. Dull clippers will crush rather than cut your pet’s nail. Take your time, go slowly and make sure you don’t cut the quick. Our vet will be happy to give you a demonstration if you ask.
If you would like further information or guidance on the best way to groom your pet, contact us and speak to our veterinarian.