Keep tails wagging and kitties purring with our quick guide to dog grooming and cat grooming – which is not simply a matter of dashing good looks, but also important for a healthy, happy pet!
Some pets may require expert attention, in these cases we can help you to find the purrfect groomer – just call PetsPyjamas concierge on 0845 154 2104 or click here.
Dogs don’t tend to self-groom in the same way that cats do, so they require a helping hand with keeping on top of their cleanliness levels. All dogs should be bathed when they are dirty, muddy, shedding or smelly. However, bathing too often (more than once a week) will dry out their skin, so don’t over do the dog grooming. In order to encourage your pooch to enjoy the process it’s a great idea to get into the habit of grooming your dog when it is still a puppy if possible.
When/whether to groom your pooch’s locks depends on the type of hair and breed of dog.
Dog grooming for dogs with long coats or dense double coats: Should be brushed or combed every few days with a pin brush or a long-toothed metal comb. Hunting/working dogs also usually have to be given a brush regularly or after a particularly muddy outing. Longer-haired dogs are usually groomed against the lay of the hair. Bathing every month or so with shampoo specifically created for dogs will remove dead hair, dirt and get rid of the ‘doggy smell’. Unless your pooch gets particularly dirty this should be enough. After a bath, dry your pooch thoroughly with a towel and make sure they’re not let outside until all the moisture has gone, never use a hairdryer on a dog as this can burn their delicate skin.
Dog grooming for dogs with short coats: Only require an occasional going-over with a soft bristled brush. Short-haired dogs are traditionally groomed in the direction the hair grows. Bathing every few months with shampoo specifically created for dogs will remove dead hair, dirt and get rid of the ‘doggy smell’. Unless your pooch gets particularly dirty this should be enough. After a bath, dry your pooch thoroughly with a towel and make sure they’re not let outside until all the moisture has gone – never use a hairdryer on a dog as this can burn their delicate skin. Canines with very fine coats or hairless breeds may only need a rub-down with a damp towel every now and again instead of a bath. We advise any dogs with matted coats be taken to a seasoned professional as soon as possible.
Routine nail care should consist of trimming, filing or grinding the nails, approximately once or twice a month. Active dogs may need fewer nail trims; whilst sedentary dogs may need more. Nails should be trimmed with clippers especially made for dogs. Only clip the jagged sharp part at the very tip of the nail, right before it starts to curve downward. This should avoid cutting the quick (where the nerves and blood reach the nail), which would hurt the dog.
Ears & Mouth
Dog’s ears should be cleaned every few weeks, however they are a very sensitive area and only a vet should attempt to clean the inner ear. Using a clean damp cloth, you should only clean the part of the ear that you can see – any further can push dirt into the ear and encourage infection. Never use alcohol – warm water or a specific pet ear cleaning solution is fine. It is recommended that you brush your dog’s teeth and gums once or twice a week, using a brush and toothpaste made for dogs. However, if the dog is fed a healthy diet and doesn’t chew splintering or overly hard toys this can be done less often. Professional dental care is often the best way to manage your pet’s oral health.
Cats are extremely clean animals, but can still benefit from some regular maintenance, especially if they have long hair. As with dogs, it’s a good idea to introduce grooming your cat from an early age.
If your cat is longed haired you should brush or comb her approximately once or twice a week, whilst short hair cats should only need to be brushed a few times a month. If your cat’s fur is matter or unmanageable it is important to book in a session with a professional groomer. Shorthaired cats do not need to be bathed unless they are very dirty or have allergies. Long-haired breeds may need a bath occasionally to help maintain a good coat and prevent dirt build-up. Your vet can advise you on how to bath your feline friend with special cat shampoo, or you can book a session with a specialist cat groomer. Make sure to wrap your cat up warm as soon as she is out of the bath and do not let her outside until she is completely dry – never use a hairdryer on a cat as this can burn their delicate skin.
Cats scratch to wear down their nails, however they may need an occasional trim – especially if they are house cats. Similarly to dogs, cats claws need to be carefully cut avoiding the ‘quick’. Only trim the tip of the nail and please ask your vet to show you how this is done if you’re unsure.
Ears & Mouth
The inner ear should never be investigated by anyone other than a vet. You can help keep your cat’s outer ear clean with a damp, gentle cloth or cotton wool used to carefully wipe away any wax or dirt. Do not attempt to clean the ear canal as this can cause infection. Using a small toothbrush and tube of toothpaste formulated for felines, you can keep your cat’s gnashers pearly white and strong by giving them a brush every week or so. Ask your vet to suggest the brushing supplies that he trusts, and never use toothpaste designed for people. For help finding a local grooming salon for your furry friend, please call PetsPyjamas Concierge on 0203 642 3162 or click here.
The information contained in this article is advice, but does not substitute visits to and recommendations from your vet. Please consult a professional groomer or veterinarian before undertaking any grooming procedures yourself, and if your pet appears to be in any pain or distress please take them to a vet surgery straight away.