Grooming Your Pet


Of dogs and cats, we usually groom only dogs. Cats are rarely groomed. This is because, cats have a knack of cleaning their coat by themselves. Very long-haired cats may occasionally require combing and inspection of its coat. But on the other hand, dogs require regular grooming. Grooming helps in: a) detecting presence of parasites or skin diseases early and take remedial measures   b) shedding of hair is considerably reduced  c) improves overall appearance  d) matted hair is straightened - avoiding future difficulties associated with it  e) dog will be relatively clean by getting rid of its dead cells of its outer skin  f) improves blood circulation of skin which results in healthy skin and coat.

Grooming can start immediately when you start owning him. Pup easily learns that grooming is regular and accepts it. Frequency of grooming depends upon its coat. A short-haired animal require grooming only twice in a week. Ideal grooming frequency in long-haired breed is every day. But if you find it difficult to your routine, a thorough grooming- three or four times a week should suffice. But dogs that are clipped regularly, needs only 2-3 times a week. But in a climate where the temperature and humidity is high, parasitic infestation and skin ailments are more, and hence frequent grooming is recommended.

For short-haired dogs, only a piece of chamois leather is what is required. Chamois leather is one you find in the jewellery shops which is used to polish jewellery and diamonds. If you find it expensive and hard to get, different types of grooming-gloves are also available. Assistance from pet-shop may be required for this. For long-haired dogs, you will require wide, wire-brush with many teeth, set at an angle and wide, blunt-tooth comb. It should be noted that a wide variety of grooming accessories are available now-a-days and a good pet accessories showroom should be able to help you to select the best suited for your pet.

Grooming a short-haired dog will start with examination of the coat for parasites like ticks, lice or fleas. Also, for the presence of foreign bodies like thorns, burrs or seeds of certain plants that easily get attached to the hairy coat. Remove them and rub his coat briskly till your hand becomes warm. Then use chamois to stroke the coat to add sheen to it. In the case of a long-haired dog, the first step is to run your finger through its coat to find out matting. If there are matting or knots, locate them and then try to separate them using your fingers or gently using a comb. You may use de-tangler spray or special comb if available with you. Next, look if there are any foreign objects like thorns, skin ailment and parasites. Now, comb your pet thoroughly making sure that it is right down at the skin.

Ensure that the following parts are included: chest, armpits, inside of hind limbs and tail. Brush the coat vigorously and fluff the coat with the upward motion of the brush. If your pet is wire-haired, fluffing is needed only for the legs. Infrequent brushing of long-haired dog can result in matting of hair-coat badly. If you cannot remove the matting with fingers, de-tangler sprays or by gentle combing, professional assistance may be sought. Do not ignore severe matting. Remember that it can lead to shaving off your pet's hair-coat which is a laborious and skilled job. Hence, do not neglect regular grooming.

It is a practice to cut the coat of dogs in very warm or hot climate. But this is rarely practised in our country. A mild trimming is done by the owner himself if properly instructed by the vet, kennel manager or a pet-shop assistant. Always use the right tool. Dogs especially the breeds with long hair, may shed more in the summer since it no longer needs heavy protection from the cold winter. This is more pronounced in places where all the four seasons like spring, summer, autumn (fall) and winter are distinct. 

Grooming gives the best results only if the pet is in good nutritional status. There are exclusive coat-conditioning products to impart healthy hair-coat that are given as feed supplements. They contain specific nutritional components that are required for good, lustrous hair-coat. Bath your pet preferably once in a week. Use specific shampoos intended for different hair-coats or use good quality dog-soap.

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