Ask the vet: grooming tips
PUBLISHED: 17:47 03 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:49 03 June 2016
Andrew Wills, veterinary surgeon and owner at Toachim House Veterinary Surgery, on regular grooming
Q: Why is grooming my pet important?
Regular grooming is very important, it keeps the coat clean and manageable and helps your pet stay in the best condition possible. You will also get to know him or her better, both physically and mentally.
Most pets live indoors and so moult most of the time. If not brushed out regularly, heavy mats can form which can pull the skin, causing sores and skin complaints. As well as detangling the coat, brushing promotes good blood circulation and helps to keep grease levels down. Grooming reduces stress in both parties, helping you both relax and build up a close bond.
Set aside some time each day for grooming and make it part of your daily routine. The types of brushes you need will depend on the coat type. Choose a time to groom when your pet is relaxed and settled. Lots of praise and a few treats can help make it more pleasurable. Try to start grooming a young pet as soon as you bring him or her home, this will help them get used to being brushed.
Grooming isn’t just about looking and smelling good. It’s also the perfect opportunity to check your dog over to ensure he or she is healthy. First check for any lumps and bumps, cuts and grazes or skin problems. Also check for fleas or ticks and dirty ears, the eyes and general overall condition. Hairy feet can hide long or ingrowing claws and other paw problems, so check your pet’s claws every week. Check for any balls of matted fur between the paw pads, which can cause discomfort.
Some pets need to visit a professional groomer, depending on their coat type. Long-haired dogs and cats or those with active lifestyles will need to be groomed more frequently than shorter-haired breeds or those less active. A professional clip will enhance your dog’s coat and the tools and equipment used in a salon are generally better and more high tech. Smooth-haired dogs such as Staffordshire bull terriers, Jack Russells or whippets can usually be done at home by their owners.
If you need more advice ask at your vets, the staff there will be able to provide lots of useful tips. They will be able to let you know what sort of brushes you require or give you details about a reputable groomer in your area. www.thvs.co.uk