Learning how to groom your pet at home just takes some patience and the right tools
There is something to be said for dropping a filthy dog off at the groomer and coming back an hour later to a clean, nice-smelling pup. That also gets expensive if you have a long-haired dog or cat, never mind the fact that some pets don’t want to go to the groomer. That’s why learning how to groom your pet at home is good for both of you. And done right, it can be a bonding experience that you both could grow to enjoy. Regular grooming can also make those trips to the professional groomer much easier.
Not every pet needs the same level of grooming. A shaggy dog who loves to roll in mud puddles will require more grooming than a short-haired cat who rarely leaves the couch. For any pet, though, grooming can help them stay clean and healthy. Whether they have short or long hair, brushing can help remove dirt and grime from their coat. In addition, clipping their nails can help make dogs more comfortable, and it can save your furniture from your cat's scratching. Home grooming is also an easy way to keep an eye out for fleas or ticks.
How to Groom Your Pet at Home:
What You Need to Know to Get Started
One of the most important parts of learning how to groom your pet at home is setting yourself and your pet up for success. It’s never a bad idea to have a bag of training treats with you when you groom your pet. It helps to be flexible, too. If your cat only takes three minutes of brushing before running off, you may have to groom him in three-minute increments. As you work with your dog or cat, be aware of their comfort levels. Give them treats, and respect the fact that they may be nervous or unsure if they are new to getting groomed. Start with something simple, like brushing.
Brushing is all about using the right tools, and there are plenty to choose from: combs, brushes, the Furminator, rubber curry brushes, and so much more. Glove brushes (gloves with small rubber nubs on the palm side) are an excellent way to get started. For dogs or cats with short hair, a bristle brush can remove loose hair and stimulate circulation. A slicker brush with short, fine wires can help remove hair and some mats from thick-haired pets.
For dogs and cats who shed a lot, the Furminator is a favorite tool for removing loose hair, and shedding blades (which look similar to a whisk) are also great.
As long as you are patient and calm, brushing your pet can do a lot to help them stay clean and healthy, and it can feel good.
There are more than a few difficult ways to give your dog a bath, but it doesn’t need to be hard. A few simple tools can make the task much easier for both you and your dog: a non-slip bath mat, a handheld spray nozzle, and something to keep all that loose hair from going down the drain and clogging your plumbing. In warm weather, you may find it easier to bathe your dog outdoors.
You’ll need the same equipment for cats, plus it’s helpful to have a second person to help hold them and a third person to stand by with plenty of Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment for you. Ok, you might not need the third person, but it’s no secret that cats don’t like water. Fortunately, they also don’t need baths very often since they keep themselves reasonably clean.
You will also need shampoo specially made for dogs or cats; human shampoo can irritate their skin.
Fill your tub or sink with three or four inches of lukewarm water, and use a plastic cup, pitcher, or spray hose to get your pet wet, avoiding their face. Working from head to tail, lather them with the shampoo, then rinse and repeat if needed. Give them a rub down with a towel or two. Give them some treats when you're finished.
Dogs and cats can both build up excessive ear wax, although it is more common in dogs. Using a cotton ball damp with mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide, or a canine ear cleaner, gently wipe away wax and dirt that you see on the underside of the ear.
Trimming nails can be tricky, but it’s not difficult. The hard part is not cutting the nails too short, or you will cut the quick and hurt your pet. Using nail trimmers designed for pets, trim from up and down (not side to side), trimming just the tips of their nails. According to the ASPCA, once you see “the beginning of a circle—still nail-colored,” you are close to the quick and done with that nail.
You don’t have to be a professional groomer to know how to groom your pet at home. The basics are enough to keep your pet tidy between grooming visits, and you can always ask your vet if you have any specific questions or concerns.
At Pekin Insurance, we want to help you keep your pet healthy. Call your local Pekin Insurance agent today to learn more about our pet insurance coverage.