Make Your Pet Look Sensational and Charming with these ‘Sweet 16’ Grooming Tips

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Priya Narsimhan
Introducing your pet to grooming at the right age is very important. Taking small steps right when your pet becomes a part of your family will go a long way. Regular grooming plays a pivotal role in keeping your pets happy and healthy, both physically and mentally. – by Priya Narsimhan
Just like you make lifestyle choices for yourself – eating healthy and clean, working out, self-care, the same holds true for your pets. The amalgamation of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and grooming will keep your pup cheerful and active.
Here are few grooming tips for you:

1. Woosh goes the brush:
Brushing your pet at least once in two days helps in keeping the coat healthy and shiny. It’ll improve circulation and make their coat tangle-free.
2. Choose the right tools to see magic!: There are multiple kinds of brushes and combs available in the market. Choose the right one that suits your dog’s coat texture and length. Long haired breeds need more care while short haired breeds need a different kind of brush. Talk to your vet or a professional groomer to know which tools are best suited for your pet.
3. Be gentle while brushing: Once you have the right tools, always brush in the direction of the hair growth. In case of long coat breeds, section the coat and take portion by portion to remove any tangles or knots. Do this gently and make sure not to tug or pull.
4. Take care of those pearly whites: In order to prevent the development of any plaque or tartar, brush your pet’s teeth every time you bathe them. Always use a pet friendly toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Gradually introduce your pet to brushing their teeth from an early age.
5. Floppy ears bring all the cheer: Using gentle ear wipes, clean the ears by wiping out the dirt in outward direction. Avoid going deep down the ear canal as it may cause damage to the ears. Do not use any cleaning agent or ear drops without consulting your vet.
6. Let those eyes sparkle and shine!: Gently wipe the corner of the eyes, first using an eye wipes and then a dry and soft cotton cloth to keep the eyes clean. You can also ask your vet for special eye drops if your pet is facing any kind of irritation or itching.
7. Click Click all over the house: Time to trim their nails: Keep an eye on the nail growth as longer nails can result in breakage and can cause severe pain. Just like you give yourself a manicure, you can do that with your beloved furry friends as well. Make sure to leave a considerable amount of gap to avoid cutting the ‘quick’ (nerves).
8. Make them your Goldilocks: Taking care of their hair: Always research on the shampoo that’ll be best for your pet based on their skin needs, coat length, and any other medical condition. Natural and organic ones work the best, you can also choose aloe-vera or oatmeal based shampoos for extra love and care. Pro Tip: Never use human shampoo for your pets. It’ll do more harm than cleaning.
9. Adding shine to hair and life with the right conditioner: Like your shampoo routine is incomplete without a conditioner, so is for your pets. Shampoo followed by conditioner will make their coat super soft and silky. If your pet is a long-haired breed use a conditioner that provides moisturisation and softens. Remember not to apply the conditioner on the roots, just on the length of the coat, and then wash it off thoroughly.
10. Say a big ‘Yes’ to Sanitary Hygiene: Maintain the sanitary areas of your dog clean at all times. If you feel you’ll not be able to clean it yourself, ask for help from your vet or a professional groomer.
11. Regular Sanitary Clipping is a good idea: For dogs with longer coat, I recommend sanitary clipping to be done periodically. This will keep them clean, maintain hygiene, and reduce risk of infections.
12. Thy shall keep them dry: Towel dry your pet after bathing them using a pet towel. This helps in absorbing excess water from the coat. You can use the highly absorbent microfiber towels that are soft on the skin and don’t cause any rashes or irritation. However complete drying (blow drying) of the coat is important as a damp coat may lead to fungal infections.
13. Post blow dry- bliss and happiness!: Introduce your pet to blow drying at a young age is important as that is the time when they start learning things. This can avoid anxiety and stress later. Take them to a professional groomer once every few months so that your pet is used to high pressure blow drying.
14. Ticks and Fleas on your Radar: Watch out for any ticks or fleas which your pet might pick up when playing outdoors, going for a walk, or from socializing with other pets.
15 Keep ticks, fleas, and mites at bay: Use spot on drops every 45 days to keep ticks, fleas and mites at check. You can also use anti-tick shampoos.
16. When all else fails, trust the professional groomer!: Grooming along with the right diet and supplements will work wonders to maintain your pet’s coat.
However, it is always advisable to pay a visit to a professionally qualified groomer once in every month. Groomers also understand each dog’s need based on their breed and temperament and are able to effectively groom without causing stress, making sure that grooming is a happy experience for your pet.
(Priya Narsimhan is a professional groomer and founder of Wizard of Paws Pet Grooming Salon and Spa in Bengaluru)