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GROOMING THE FAMILY PET

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When choosing a dog or cat many people make their first decision on the appearance of the animal and it is often the pretty fluffy ones which have the most appeal.

However, the pretty fluffy ones often have special grooming requirements which may
be more than the owner bargained for. Long coated dogs and cats require a routine of
regular grooming which may extend for 15 years.

Week in week out, year in year out, you must find hours per week to wield a brush. Clipping the coat will only eliminate the brushing for approximately 8 weeks and then only if the coat
is shaved to the skin - as the coat starts to grow back it will need grooming long before it reaches full length again.

Even short coated dogs and cats require regular brushing to remove dead hair and to keep the skin healthy and the pet comfortable.

There is no age too early to commence grooming as both puppies and kittens need to learn to accept brushing and combing and to remain still while you do it. Grooming must be made very pleasurable for the puppy or kitten - make sure you are gentle.

The first consideration - where are you going to groom?

Sometimes the best way way to face the chore is to groom in front of a television during a
favourite show. That is an excellent way to ensure that you stick to a routine- decide that Wednesday Midweek Movie is grooming time. Outside grooming is pleasant on a sunny day but wind can play havoc with attempts to be thorough.

Grooming in the garage or a shed is ideal as any mess is kept outside the house.

To groom your puppy or kitten correctly you will need a ground sheet or an old bed sheet if you intend to groom on the floor, or a table which is much better for your back.


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It is very important that the puppy or kitten be taught to enjoy being groomed and it must be given every chance to relax. Do not attempt to groom it while children are playing in the room or while there are other distractions. Choose a quiet time, spread the sheet on the floor collect all grooming instruments and put them within reach and then bring the pet into the room. Quieten it down, talk quietly to it, pet it and cuddle it and, when it has settled and is over the excitement, put it gently on its side and commence brushing or combing. Be sure to layer the coat on long coated animals and brush from skin to end of coat, removing any tangles as you go.

Never drag a tangle out with a comb, but gently tease it apart with your fingers and then brush or comb gently to remove. Never try to cut tangles out as it is easy to cut the skin.

The instruments you require will vary depending on the type of pet, the breed, and the type of coat. The breeder, your local pet store, veterinarian or groomer will be able to advise on what is needed.

Some breeds of dogs require regular clipping and this is usually done by a professional groomer.

To keep the coat clean between baths, short coated dogs may be rubbed with a damp towel or chamois or "dry" cleaning products can be purchased at pet stores. White dogs and cats can be cleaned with a sprinkling of talc which is then brushed completely out of the coat.

Summer time brings the hazard of grass seeds so it is important to check ears and paws daily.

A regular brushing will ensure your pet has a healthy coat and minimizes the shedding of hair within the house.


Further Information
  Products - Grooming Supplies
  Books - Grooming



Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 22/05/07 23:23 Views: 4181

OzPetShop - Pet Products, Supplies and Accessories