Grooming your pet is a huge part of taking care of your pet. Most animals tend to like the extra attention it gives them and can be taught to love it at any age. Regularly grooming your pet will help maintain a healthy relationship with them but will also give you a reason to check in your pet to see if there are any problems that need medical attention.

When you are grooming your pet it is important to remember to be patient and use lots of treats. Start slow and allow your dog to get comfortable with what you are doing. Keep things positive but don’t be afraid to take them to a professional groomer if needed.

How to groom an animal


Unless your dog is constantly running around in the mud, he will only need to be bathed every two to four months. 1 Bathing too often will dry out their skin and strip away any natural oils in their coat.

To get started make sure you have pet-friendly shampoo and conditioner that is for the animal you have. Human shampoo can be too harsh for animals skin. Have a non-slip surface ready so they don’t fall and make sure the temperature is warm (even in the summer). Lather up their coat and thoroughly rinse. Avoid getting water and shampoo in their eyes, mouth, and inside the ears. Using a dog bathing glove or a cat bathing glove can make bath time easier for you as well as more comfortable and enjoyable for your pets. Try and dry them as much as possible, especially in the cold winter months.


Brushing your pet’s hair should happen several times a week if not daily. Brushing removes the dead hair and tangles. There are different styles of brushes for your pet’s hair and for different purposes. A curved wire slicker or pin brush works well for long, straight coats. Regular wire slickers like the JW Gripsoft Slicker Brush With Soft Pins are for medium-length hair and have a dense undercoat. Rakes are beneficial for brushing the undercoat during shedding season. Short smooth coats can be brushed with a mitt. An all-purpose comb can help get any areas that were missed during the brushing. Pet grooming combs also help detangle hair and remove fleas from your pet. It can be extremely handy to have an arsenal of different grooming accessories to properly care for your dog's fur.


Long nails can get caught and break and lead to pain for your animal. Their nails should be trimmed often and safely. First, you need to get a clipper that is comfortable in your hand and has a clear line of sight for you. Petmate has an assortment of clippers for both cats and dogs. Once you have your clippers, start by getting your pet's foot and pressing out their nail. Look for the quick – where the blood supply starts. If your dog has clear nails, you will be able to see the quick through the nail. If your dog has black nails, clip off a little at a time, looking at the nail tip straight on after each clip. When you start seeing a pale oval in the tip, it means you are near the vein and should stop clipping.


Dogs can get the same dental problems as humans so you should clean your pet’s teeth regularly. Start by getting your pet used to having your finger in their mouth and rub against the teeth and gums. Use a tool that is designed for animals and make sure you use pet-friendly toothpaste. Human toothpaste foams too much and can upset their stomach.


You should periodically check your animal’s ears. If they are clean and free of debris, then give your pet a nice ear rub. A gentle massage is going to give your pet a good association with your touch. If the ears are dirty, smell bad, or look sore, make an appointment with your veterinarian. If you are doing a quick cleaning to healthy ears, start by dampening a cotton ball with appropriate ear cleaner and wipe the folds of skin, starting near the head and cleaning out to the ends of the ear flaps. Do not use cotton swabs because they can reach too deeply inside the ear and cause damage. 2

Grooming can be pleasurable for both you and your pet so enjoy the time you spend together.



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