Large or small, short coated or long, every pet benefits from grooming. Whether you do this yourself or have your pets professionally groomed, remember that part of having a pet means keeping them healthy, comfortable and happy.
Short Coated Breeds: Short coated cats and dogs (Labs, Pugs, Pitbulls etc) need to be groomed about every 8-12 weeks. Typical grooming for a short coated breed includes bath, nail trimming, ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and a good brush out. The best type of brush to use for a short coated breed is a rubber curry brush. This brush is like a massage, most dogs and cats love it! Grooming your pet gets all the dead hair out and not only cuts down on shedding for you, but keeps your pets’ skin and hair healthy.
Long Coated Breeds: Long coated breeds cats (Persians, Himalayans, etc) and dogs (Yorkies, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus and most terriers and poodles) need to be groomed on a daily basis. Matting can result if long coated breeds are not kept properly groomed, and mats are very uncomfortable for your pet. There have been many cases of pets being taken away in abuse situations even though the pet is well fed and cared for just because they are so severely matted and neglected grooming-wise. Wire slicker brushes and metal fine tooth combs are the best tools to use for long coated pets, if you can’t run the comb completely through the pets’ coat…they are matted. Matted dogs and cats often have to be shaved down by a groomer very close, and this puts the dog at risk for cuts and razor burns. Shaving down a matted pet is uncomfortable for them, and often very costly for you. Regular baths, nails, ears and teeth cleaning is also recommended, and long coated breeds should see a groomer every 6-12 weeks depending on the amount of between groom-care you give them and the length you like the coat to be.
Double Coated Breeds: Double coated dog breeds such as Poms, Samoyeds, Collies, Shelties and Akitas need to be groomed on a weekly basis. The undercoat of a double coated breed can become very matted easily, and it is very painful to brush out a neglected undercoat. Undercoated dogs that have to be shaved down often do not grow their coats back properly, and can suffer from sunburn and windburn if they must be shaved short. Double coated (or matted) coats that are neglected put your dog at higher risk of getting sick as well…when a neglected coat gets wet, it takes a long time for it to naturally dry, which makes your pet more susceptible to catching colds. Double coated breeds should be kept up on a weekly basis, and see a groomer every 8 -14 weeks. The best types of brushes to use are undercoat rakes and slicker brushes.
Cats: Many people think that cats should not be groomed or bathed, but this is not necessarily true. Cats do groom themselves, but even the most attentive cat is not going to be able to remove all the dirt and dander that can accumulate. Most cats love to be brushed, and daily or weekly brushing is not only good for their skin and coat, but it cuts down on the amount of hair in your house, and helps prevent hairballs. Long haired cats are very prone to matting, and need brushing often.
While most cats do not like water, there is nothing wrong with bathing your cat. Make sure the water is not too hot…cats are more sensitive to water temperature than dogs. Be sure to rinse the shampoo out well so your cat doesn’t ingest any residue when grooming. Use only shampoos formulated for cats or both cats and dogs, as some dog shampoos are not safe for cats.