Grooming your dog helps your buddy to stay comfortable but also gives you the chance to look for any underlying health issues. Begin by brushing your dog’s coat as this prevents the coat from becoming matted as it becomes worse once the coat is wet. Bathing your dog will keep your dog smelling nice. It is important to clean around your dog’s eyes to remove any build up of discharge. Only use a damp washcloth or cotton wool and wipe in a gentle downward motion. It’s also a good time to check to see if your dog's nails need clipping (this should be done at least every 6 weeks). If you feel nervous about doing this, contact a good groomer as they should be able to help you and make it a positive experience for your dog.
Cats on the other hand are very good at keeping themselves clean and generally will groom themselves. However there are times when they may need our help particularly if they are being bothered by fleas or if they have very long matted hair. You can start by brushing your cat’s hair, especially if it is long, matted hair. Start by using gentle slow strokes and talk to your kitty in a gentle voice. Offer your fur baby treats as you go. There could be occasions when your cat needs to be bathed, particularly if your cat has been outside. Remember that bathing can be very traumatic for your kitty so it’s important to bathe them when they are feeling relaxed. Trim your cat’s claws if you are worried about being scratched.
For both cats and dogs put a rubber bath mat in the sink or tub so that they don’t slip. Only use lukewarm water. Use either a hand held spray hose or cup to wet your pet. Use one part pet shampoo to five parts water. It’s important to use a damp washer on their faces. Avoid getting shampoo in their eyes. Praise your pet the whole time and offer them treats as you go. Afterwards you can wrap them in a nice big towel and let them dry in a warm place. If you are short on time you may want to visit a pet groomer.
Do use bath time to check for any other health issues such as fleas or ticks. Your vet will be able to recommend a good flea treatment. It’s important to get rid of them ASAP because fleas can cause a lot of discomfort as well as skin problems or even tapeworms. Ticks are another area of concern as they feed on our pet’s blood. They can cause paralysis and even death if left untreated. If you discover a tick on your cat or dog it is important to remove the tick and take it with you to the vet to have your pet examined. Ear mites if left untreated can lead to skin and hearing problems. Your vet will be able to give you a treatment to get rid of the mites as they are contagious for any other pets which you may have in your household. Lastly check inside your fur babies mouth to make sure their gums are pink and not swollen and that their teeth are clean and not broken.
Use bathing and grooming time as a bonding experience with your pet. Remember to use treats as a reward and show your four legged companion how much you love them.