The nature and amount of grooming needed varies greatly from
pet to pet. The benefits, of bathing and brushing/combing, however, are
universal. Whether one decides to do it them self, or have it done professionally,
it is good to begin grooming your pet at an early age. Routine grooming
will likely improve acceptance by your pet.
Requirements for brushing will vary. Longer haired pets and
dogs with an undercoat will generally need the most frequent brushing.
Brushing helps prevent matting as well as skin problems. Moisture build
up that often comes with tangled fur on long haired dogs can lead to hot
spots and skin infections. Brushing also helps reduce shedding by removing
dead fur before it gets spread all over your home. This is a frequently
over looked with cats. Since many cats keep themselves well groomed, owners
may feel that they don’t need to brush them. However, frequent brushing
can reduce the amount of fur shed. And, if your cat is accustomed to brushing,
this can be helpful if it encounters burs, dirt, leaves, etc.
Bathing your pet is often needed too. Dogs rarely need to be
bathed more than once a month. Cats can be very difficult to bathe. Many
choose not to bathe their cat because cats tend to keep themselves so clean,
and putting a cat in water can also lead to a battle which the owner often
loses. However, if your cat gets into something that shouldn’t be
licked off a bath may be necessary. Again, pets that are introduced to
bathing at a young age will usually be easier to bathe when they are older.
Nail trimming is particularly important to begin while your
pet is still young. Overgrown nails may be a nuisance and can impair walking
(particularly on tiled floors). Many adult pets - unaccustomed to having
their nails trimmed when young - will put up a fight, if a first attempt
isn’t made until they are full-grown. While it is good to keep nails
trimmed throughout a pet’s life, it is often necessary, as they get
older. As pets get older nails can become thick and brittle causing problems.
Potential health problems can be caught early if a good grooming
routine is followed. Grooming can also help detect and treat parasite problems
that may arise. A good grooming routine helps health and will likely make
pet care easier in the long run.