Hair Comes Trouble: Why Pets Need Regular Grooming
Hi friends – Tuki here from my perch at the Potter League. I’ve had been listening to the staff members talk about the stay-at home quarantine order. They said that since they were home most of the time, they didn’t have to do things like shower as often or get dressed. Well, I was surprised to hear that since I’m always grooming my feathers to keep them looking good – you never know when a photobomb opportunity will pop up, and it got me thinking! Even though you humans might not be keeping up with your grooming – it’s important for you to keep with up your pets’ grooming!
Regular brushing helps remove dead hair, dirt and dandruff, and brings out the natural oils in a dog’s fur. Brushing gives you the opportunity to look at your dog’s fur and skin for any issues that may affect their health and need veterinary attention, such as injuries or skin rashes. It’s also a good time to check for fleas and ticks, especially at this time of the year. Brushing regularly gets your dog used to being handled which can make trips to the vet or a groomer, if needed, easier. Dogs with a short coat, like a beagle, chihuahua, or Labrador retriever, can usually be brushed once a week. For dogs with a longer coat like a Yorkshire terrier or collie, it’s a good idea to brush them daily to get rid of tangles and prevent matting. Matted hair can cause skin irritation or infections and severe matting may cut off blood circulation so you’ll want to prevent it, and regular brushing can help. Most dogs should have a bath at least once every three months, but if your dog has skin issues or spends a lot of time outside, they may need to be bathed more often.
Some people prefer to have their dogs groomed by a professional groomer. If you prefer to have your dog groomed professionally, ask friends or your vet for a recommendation to find the best groomer for your dog.
Cleaning your dogs’ ears, brushing their teeth, and clipping their nails should be a part of their regular grooming too. Ask your vet or groomer to show you the best way to do these for your dog.
Most people think that cats don’t need to be groomed and while most of them groom themselves very well, they still need some attention to keep them healthy and looking beautiful! If your cat scratches or bites when you are trying to brush or groom them, contact your vet or a professional groomer for help. After all, taking care of your cat should not require a trip to the emergency room for you!
Brushing your cat removes dirt and dead skin cells from their coat and helps stimulate blood circulation which can improve the condition of their skin. Short-haired cats can typically be brushed once a week while longer-haired cats may require brushing more often. As with dogs, brushing is a good time to check your cat for any signs of skin problems like ringworm, skin rashes or fleas. Even if your cat is an indoor cat, you should check for fleas regularly and use flea and tick prevention since these little pests can be brought into the house in other ways.
Most cats don’t require regular baths but if they get into something smelly or sticky, they may need one. Your cat may tolerate a bath better when they are a bit tired so a play session before a bath may be helpful. It’s also best, for your own safety, to trim your cat’s nails before bathing! If your cat won’t tolerate a bath or nail clipping, contact a professional groomer or your vet for help.
Cats need their ears checked for infections or ear mites. The inner surface of your cat’s ears should be clean and pink. If they have any redness, swelling, are sensitive to touch, or your cat is scratching them, contact your vet. You’ll want to brush your cat’s teeth and gums regularly to keep them healthy. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for cats or a cotton swab and salt water. It may take a few sessions to get your cat used to having their teeth brushed.
Yes, rabbits need grooming too! Like cats, rabbits will groom themselves and they ingest fur during grooming. Brushing your rabbit about every 3 days can prevent ingestion of too much fur which can cause intestinal blockages. If your rabbit is shedding, you may need to brush them more often. Just like with cats and dogs, brushing is a good time to inspect your rabbit’s skin and paws for any irritation, injuries, or pests like fleas, ticks, and mites. You’ll also need to trim your rabbit’s nails and check their ears for wax buildup. Your vet can show the best ways to do this if you’re not comfortable with it or are new to rabbit grooming!
Hope you are all staying healthy and safe!
‘Till next time, your friend