The Importance of Grooming your Pet

Without a doubt, our favorite pet to interact with is a well-groomed, delicious smelling pet.
Unfortunately, not all pets are proficient at self-grooming. (Those pesky shampoo bottles are tricky to open.) Even cats, typically the cosmetologists of the pet world, will need help from time-to-time.
There are obvious benefits that we, as pet parents, can gain from a good grooming session

  1. Improves pet’s appearance and odor (or “cuddlability”)

2. Cleaner homes

3. Enhances our bond with our pets

But the most important reason to groom our pets?  It allows pet parents to identify possible health issues before they become serious.   Anything from skin tags to cataracts or even foul breath. 

In order to make grooming a regular part of your routine with your pet, start when they are relaxed with some gentle brushing and work your way up to the tricky nail trims.  The more relaxed everyone can be the better the experience for all involved.  If you start a grooming regimen when your pet is in dire need (after a vigorous mud romp, or a skunk encounter) it is more than likely that both you and your pet will not enjoy the process.

We encourage starting at a young age, if possible, by gently holding and stroking your pets’ toes, ears and around his muzzle and tail.  A pet that is used to you holding its paw will be less likely to resist nail trims.  It is when we approach our pet with INTENTION and a BRUSH that they may become agitated.  Partner grooming is a very natural part of the animal psyche, it is a natural and often enjoyable process for both cats and dogs.  However, humans tend to approach grooming as a battle to be waged.  Allowing our pets to approach us and initiate the ritual (licking or kneading with cats; nudging or licking with dogs), then holding the brush stationary for them to investigate and likely rub against will establish that grooming can be enjoyable with their human as well.

Certain cat and dog breeds may also have specific grooming needs; for example, if your pet has medium to long fur, it is important to be on the lookout for matting in the fur.  Mats can cause extreme discomfort, and if they remain for too long, will need to be cut from your pet’s fur.  Bulldogs and other breeds that have skin folds will require frequent cleaning so that food or other substances do not become trapped, causing infection.  West Chester Vet Center has a groomer on location for breeds with more vigorous grooming needs.  Nancy is an experienced and gentle practitioner.  She works closely with our Vet Techs and Veterinarians if she notices anything of concern.  Also be sure to inquire about our nail trim service the next time you have an appointment.  Our Vet Techs can expertly trim your pets’ nails without the drama that most of us experience at home.

Talk to your veterinarian if you notice anything that is causing your pet discomfort during grooming.  It may be nothing, but it is important to be aware of any changes in behavior when our pets cannot verbalize what may be ailing them.

Enjoy the post grooming cuddles with your pet… it is only a matter of moments until they find the next mud puddle to investigate!