Springtime is finally here. After many cold months of enduring the snow, and less frequent lingering outdoors, pet parents and their pets are delighted to see the sunshine and spend more time bonding, playing and doing what they do best…having fun! As with all good things, some precautions should be taken as you and your pet delve into springtime and out of the snowy mess, beginning with getting your pet groomed for the occasion.
When it comes to essential spring grooming sessions, Christine DeFilippo, Owner/Producer of Intergoom, says, “Grooming Salons will always have those certain clients who want their dogs looking great all of the time and can afford that luxury. The vast majority of pet owners are coming off a winter full of snow and snow removal charges, and are looking for a simple, clean clip with no fancy extras added to their grooming bills. In other words – clip it short and do not spend time trying to salvage hair that has become matted from playing in the snow!” She notes, “Short-haired breeds need frequent grooming, whatever the season” and “long-coated breeds (ie. the Bearded Collie, Newfoundland, Briard) need to get a good spa day in a grooming salon to get all the dead coat out, revitalizing the skin and giving a healthy coat sheen.”
So help your pet feel good, look great and stay healthy with these grooming tips, that will make them look so fancy, neighbors will turn heads:
Cleanliness with Bath Time
In the same way pet parents feel amazing when they are clean, pets also enjoy the sensation of being clean. Cats are generally very good at grooming themselves, spending up to 50% of their day cleaning themselves and other cats. Dogs, on the other hand, need a lot of help in the cleaning department, as they generally aren’t as thorough. Depending on your dog’s activities, they may need a bath every 1-3 weeks, using a mild shampoo and doggie dryer, to avoid skin irritation. For dogs that become overexcited, putting a toy in the bath can help them focus, and a bath mat can prevent slipping. Embrace the season and go with pastel-colored toys to liven the experience.
Christina Pawlosky, Oster® Professional Master Groomer, adds some bath time tips, “The fact is most pet parents do not get their pets’ clean skin clean. It is hard to get shampoo and water through the coat to the skin so the dead skin cell, oils and debris can be washed away. I recommend two things: either get a Quick Bath Unit or get a tub and try soaking the pet. By placing water and shampoo together, you will break up the oils and debris faster and truly get the dog clean to the skin with less rinsing. This will also loosen the dead coat making it easier to brush out, provided it is not already matted.”
Get up close and personal when grooming and be sure to do a through visual check around your cat or dog’s body, moving fur as needed to be sure nothing is missed. Check for anything that could be a sign of illness or infection. Swelling, cuts, heat, scratches, limping, temperament change, as well as regular inspection of eyes/teeth and ears can save a medical condition from worsening (such as ear infection), and will hopefully catch any problems before they become serious. A great time to do visual check-ups is right before you slip your baby into an adorable springtime outfit for a stroll around town.
Dental disease is uncomfortable for both cats and dogs. By cleaning your pet’s teeth regularly, not only is their breath more pleasant for cuddle time, but it can prevent them from experiencing pain. Checking in regularly can also alert a more serious illness, where dental disease is a symptom. If your cat or dog doesn’t like getting their teeth brushed, try feeding treats that promote dental health once a day. In addition, it is also essential to visit your veterinarian regularly to check your pet’s teeth for unforeseen problems.
Bonding with the Brush
When both you and your pet are relaxed, consider having a brush bonding session. Brushing removes dirt and spreads natural oils around the coat, preventing tangling/matting and keeping skin clean. Therapeutic for both pets and their parents, brushing in a calm environment is a pleasant experience, which will make your pet feel closer to you, aside from providing health benefits. Shorthaired pets may only need to be brushed once a week, while longhaired pets may need to be brushed once a day. Different breeds require different brushes, so be sure to select the right brush for your pet. Also, pay attention to your pet’s paws and eyes, brushing away excess fur that could impair vision or bring discomfort.
Reducing Parasites and Skin Infestation
Nobody wants their pet to deal with the discomfort of being bit by a flea, tick or other parasite, nor does the thought of parasites being transmitted to pet parents/children leave room for anything but caution. Ideally, using preventative products will keep your pet from harm’s way. When not taking that route, checking the head, neck and paws regularly—particularly during tick season—is imperative. Your local pet groomer will also be on the lookout for parasites on your pet, informing you of any unfortunate finds and removing them.
No matter what kind of grooming you are doing, it’s always good to keep sessions as short and enjoyable as possible. As your pet associates grooming with a positive experience, anxiety will lessen and regular grooming will become easy for both pet parent and pet alike. Pawlosky adds, “We suggest grooming your pet often, so it’s not as traumatic! Also, bring the pet into a professional groomer and ask for tips on what worked best to keep your dog calm. The experts may have some good tips.” When grooming, be sure to focus on a different part of your pet each time, and most importantly, after every good session…give out a springtime treat!