We all know how to groom ourselves (hopefully), so how hard could it be to groom our pets? We put them in a bathtub, grab a little shampoo, lather and rinse. Easy peasy! Well, not so fast.
By learning just a few basics of pet grooming, you can not only learn the best ways to care for your pet, but you can also make the grooming experience much for pleasant for your furry friend.
Be sure to follow the advice given to you by your veterinarian or vet tech on how to properly groom your pet.
Here are a few common pet grooming blunders to avoid.
- Using the wrong products.
Sure, the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo you have lying around is cheaper (and promises “no more tears”) than buying a pet shampoo, but are human products safe to use on animals?
According to an article by petMD, dogs and cats have a different pH balance than we do. Without going into a chemistry lesson, the pH balance refers to the thin, acidic layer that covers our skin and protects it from contaminants. Shampoos, lotions and other skin products we use are formulated to complement and preserve this balance.
Thus, human shampoos are not formulated to work on animals. Rather, they disrupt the pH balance of animals and leave their skin susceptible to bacteria, parasites and viruses. Their skin can also become dry and itchy, creating even more abrasions for bacteria to invade.
Long story short: Use grooming products specially designed for your pets. They will thank you for it by way of a healthy coat and plenty of sloppy kisses.
If you’re grooming your pet at home, why not pretend you’re as good as a professional groomer? One of the biggest differences between a professional and an amateur is attention to detail.
Our pets have lots of little nooks and crannies that need to be washed. Areas like their faces, tails, bums, bellies, legs and ears can often get overlooked, but are secretly begging for a good scrub-down. Be sure to give them plenty of praise and treats throughout the process.
Part of being thorough also includes regularly examining your pet for lumps, bumps or other abnormalities that may arise. A regular grooming schedule can make detection much easier and prevent any issues from getting worse.
Websites like ASPCA are chock-full of pet care advice.
- Ignoring your dog’s teeth.
Dogs are at risk for a variety of health problems when their mouths get neglected. Try to brush your dog’s teeth at least two to three times per week to prevent periodontal disease, which could lead to kidney and liver troubles later in life.
It’s best to get your dog used to brushing as early on as possible so that it becomes part of a familiar routine. If this didn’t happen for your dog, get started now maintaining his or her oral hygiene. It’s better late than never, and it could be the difference between a healthy, happy dog, and an unhealthy, miserable one.