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Grooming 101 | Tips for Caring for Your Pets

All dogs and cats need regular grooming to stay happy and healthy. Proper grooming includes keeping your pet’s eyes, ears, skin, nails, teeth, and fur clean. While all pets benefit from regular grooming, pets with long hair need a little extra attention to prevent their fur from getting tangled or matted.

Brushing your pet’s hair regularly does more than keep their hair tangle-free. It also removes dirt, spreads natural oils through their coat, and helps keep their skin clean. Brushing your pet’s hair is also the perfect time to make sure there are no fleas or ticks on your pet. Even dogs and cats who shed should be brushed 1-2 times per week.

Short-Haired Dogs
Dogs who have short hair and shed should be brushed once a week. Regular brushing can even help prevent the frustration of finding loose hair all over your home. Some dogs shed year-round while others shed seasonally in the spring and fall. If your canine companion is in a heavy shedding period, you should brush them more frequently than once a week.

In addition to brushing, your dog should be bathed at least once every three months. Consider bathing more frequently if your dog spends a lot of time outside or has skin issues.

Long-Haired Dogs
Dogs with long hair will need to be brushed daily to remove tangles and prevent matting. If you come across a tangle, gently brush it out. For tougher tangles and matts, carefully clip the hair instead, but be sure not to cut the skin.

Dogs with long, silky coats will also need to visit a professional groomer to have their hair trimmed approximately every 4-6 weeks. These breeds include Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzus, Poodles, and Maltese. In addition to a haircut, your pet’s groomer will also bathe them and trim their nails. It should be noted that dogs who have long hair and a double coat should never be shaved down, including breeds like Huskies, Golden Retrievers, and Pomeranians.

Short-Haired Cats
If your cat has short hair, you should comb their hair 1-2 times per week. Removing dead or loose hair through brushing will help prevent your cat from hairball issues. Cats are mainly self-bathers: they use their tongue and teeth to bathe themselves. However, if your feline friend is overly dirty or gets into something sticky or smelly, you may need to give them a bath.

Long-Haired Cats
Cats with long hair will need to be brushed every few days to keep their long locks tangle-free. If you come across a knot, you can put a little talcum powder on the knot and use your fingers to tease it out. Just like short-haired cats, our long-haired friends are great about bathing themselves. However, if your cat is matted you may need to visit a professional groomer.

Professional Grooming Services
As mentioned above, keeping your pet properly groomed includes not only brushing their fur, but also trimming their nails, bathing them, and keeping their eyes, ears, and teeth clean. You may choose to purchase all of the necessary equipment and learn how to do these things on your own, but you should also enlist the help of a professional groomer when needed.

When to Groom at Home:
– You have the proper tools and supplies
– You feel comfortable using cutting shears, nail clippers, etc.
– Your pet is calm and cooperative

When to Contact a Professional:
– You don’t feel confident grooming your pet
– You do not or cannot invest in quality grooming equipment
– Your pet is uncooperative

Grooming your pet can be a difficult process at first, but with time and patience, it can become a great bonding experience.

Need help finding a professional groomer? Check out our list of recommended groomers here.