Regular grooming does more than just clean your dog or cat. It also helps:

  • Strengthen the bond between the owner and pet.
  • Promote the animal’s health by improving the coat, paws, teeth and other areas.
  • Promote good health for the owner by removing allergens and dirt.
  • Allow owners to check the animal for anything unusual that should be discussed with a veterinarian.

How often should you groom?

Unless your pet has gotten into something extremely dirty or smelly, you should be able to get by with periodic bathing sessions. Bathing too frequently can dry out the animal’s skin and remove natural oils. However, owners should consider brushing their dog or cat every few days to remove hair mats, control shedding and distribute the beneficial oils around the skin or coat. In addition, you should periodically clip the animal’s nails, check ears for dirt and insects, and brush teeth.

To make the session more comfortable, don’t force the animal to do something that makes them scared or aggressive. When they’re a puppy or kitten, familiarize the animal with the tools you will use. Softly touch the areas to be groomed and brushed with your fingers — especially the face, ears, paws and teeth/gums — and start small. It can sometimes help to tire the dog or cat out before a grooming session and to include lots of treats.

Tools of the trade

The tools you will require will depend upon the type and size of animal you own, but here are a few common items:

  • A comb
  • A brush
  • A pet-focused shampoo and conditioner, plus lots of towels, for bathing
  • A toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for your pet
  • Nail clippers

Consider an expert

If you’d prefer to have a professional groom your dog or cat, talk to family, friends and your veterinarian for suggestions. When visiting the facility, look for cleanliness, a knowledgeable and caring staff and an appropriate sized grooming area. Inform the groomer of any special needs you will require and help acclimate your pet to the facility.