Pet grooming trends and techniques – Part 1

One of the easiest ways to cut costs on pet care is to do your own grooming. The only problem is that it can often be confusing when you first walk down the grooming supply aisle in your local pet supply store. To help you out, here’s a list of some basic supplies to purchase and how to use them.

Short coated dogs or cats generally don’t need much in the way of grooming. It does help, however, to purchase a grooming glove that will allow you to “wipe down” your pet, taking away any loose hair and dirt.

Medium and long-coated dogs or cats usually need a good grooming once or twice a week. Most dogs don’t need to be bathed more often than once a month. Most cats don’t need to be bathed more often than once every six months unless they live with a human who has allergies. Before bathing, it’s best to take a comb to the coat and tease out any snarls or mats in the coat. If you get a comb that has wider spaces between the teeth on one end and narrower on the other, you can start with the wider spaced end to help break up the tangles.

When you bathe your dog or cat, make sure you use a gentle shampoo formulated specifically for cats or dogs. If your pet has problems with allergies, a good option is to use an oatmeal-based or hypoallergenic shampoo. Rinse your pet thoroughly then start shampooing around the pet’s neck to discourage fleas or other parasites from escaping. Once you’ve thoroughly soaped your pet up (taking care to avoid getting soap in your pet’s eyes or ears), make sure you rinse the soap out thoroughly. When the rinsing is done and the water runs clear, use a towel to wipe away the majority of the moisture. If you have access to a dryer, you can use it but there are some cautions. First, don’t use a high heat setting. Use warm or cool heat settings. Second, it helps to remove any remaining excess hair if you blow the dryer against the grain of the pet’s coat. Finally, make the experience a positive one for your pet. Start with a low speed and work as far away from the pet’s head as possible. Give your pet treats for holding still and keep them coming as you work toward the front of your pet.

There are a lot of other brushes and combs available. A flea comb has especially narrow teeth which are designed to trap the parasites and remove them from the coat. If you don’t have a very bad problem with fleas, this might be a good, environmentally sound option for you. A slicker brush can be useful to help remove the undercoat from double-coated

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