RINGING THE FESTIVE BELLS: MAKE YOUR POOCH SPARKLE AND SHINE
Grooming is close-knit bonding time for you and your pet. Gently massaging is known to lower their blood pressure, and needless to say it’s the best kind of therapy for you as well. So it becomes a double whammy! -by Manvi Pittie
Stepping out or staying in, don’t you always want to look your best? The same goes for your pet. Grooming is an indispensible part of pet care and these are the few basic aspects you need to take care of.
Start with short grooming sessions and reward your pet with treats so he associates grooming in a pleasant way.
Keep that coat soft and cuddly
Your pet’s coat tells a lot about their overall health and is directly affected by his diet. Feeding your pet advanced nutritional food has many benefits for improved overall health, like a shinier coat, strong muscles, and healthy teeth and bones. Regular brushing is great, regardless of the length of your pet’s coat, because it removes dead hair, distributes the natural oils for a clean and healthy coat, stimulates the surface of the skin, sloughs off dead and dry skin, and helps you become familiar with your pet’s body.Before you begin brushing, mist your pet’s coat with a spray-on conditioner. This helps the brush move smoothly through the fur and cuts down on static electricity and broken hair. Long-coated breeds line Shih Tzu and thick-coated breeds like Pomeranian or a Husky can be prone to matting. Follow a weekly routine to help control matted hair. Use a slicker-style brush to remove tangles, and use a comb for any mats left.
Early bird catches the ticks
Get your puppy accustomed to grooming early in life. Begin gradually by handling your puppy often, touching his ears and paws gently. Check for ticks and fleas on a regular basis. Take the pet’s collar and put a few drops of eucalyptus, tea tree, citronella, lavender or geranium oil. This should be done weekly. Be careful to use these essential oils, just a few drops are effective. Tea tree oil especially can cause nausea, lethargy, and general weakness if used in excess. Consult a vet for a flea collar.
Healthy solution to shedding management
De-shedding tools provide a healthier solution to shedding management. While shaving may seem like a good fix for your pet’s shedding, it can change the texture of the coat, interrupt the natural shedding cycle, and impair your pet’s ability to regulate body temperature. Some people feel they must shave their Labradors because all that hair makes the dog feel hot. This is WRONG. The undercoat actually keeps the dog cooler. Some pet parents say that if they shave their pets, especially with double-coated dogs like Labradors, Golden Retrievers, etc, they can control their shedding. Your pet will still shed. Shedding is natural. What it will do is instead of shedding normal undercoat which is fluffy and soft, your pet will shed short, prickly hairs which will poke your skin if you make contact.
Bath time fun
Talk to your vet about the frequency of bathing your pet. Always use a premium quality shampoo for your pets and a tearless shampoo for cleaning the muzzle and face. By bathing and grooming your pet on a regular basis you can usually find any skin growths or hot spots before they become a bigger concern.
Care for ears
You should check your pet’s ears on weekly basis. Breeds with long droopy ears are especially susceptible to fungus, waxy ears, and ear mites. If your pet constantly shakes his head, has soreness or redness in ears, or if the ears smell bad or have a discharge, it is a sign of ear infection. Take him to the vet to get the ears checked.
Take care of paws and nails
An integral part of grooming is ‘nail clipping’. Do it every two to three weeks. Start clipping your pet’s nails from puppyhood, so that he gets used to his paws and nails being touched. If nails are left to grow too long, the vein in the nail will also grow out making it difficult to cut the nail to the proper length. If you force your pet to walk on untrimmed nails, it can cause problems like joint issues, deformities of the foot, etc. Paw care shouldn’t be ignored. A light coating of petroleum jelly can help soothe dry or cracked footpads.
Keep their pearly whites shiny and clean
Brush your pet’s teeth once in two days at least. Always use dog paste for brushing his teeth. Human paste contains fluoride which if ingested by your pet may be harmful. By the time dogs are three years old, most of them show signs of gum disease (also called periodontal disease), so make sure dental check-up is a part of your pet’s annual health check-up.
Don’t let it be a bumpy ride
Attention to the tail is most vital. Fur must be trimmed around the anus and beneath the tail to prevent faeces from sticking and clogging the anus opening, which will lead to infection and inflammation of the anal glands, not to mention a smelly, unhygienic dog. If your pet starts scooting around on his bum a lot, be sure to have his anal glands squeezed.Keeping your beloved pets happy and healthy is the prime responsibility of a good pet parent. So, go on and implement these to make 2020 even a better year!
(Manvi Pittie is a professional pet groomer certified by Nash Academy USA. She is working as a consultant groomer in the pet industry, offering unmatched quality and understanding for pet grooming needs.)