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More Pet Grooming Tips
Eyes to See & Ears to Hear - Additional Pet Grooming Tips
We've covered the basics of bathing and brushing; now we'll take a look at some of the other grooming necessities.
Keeping your pet's ears and eyes clean and free of debris is more important than most people realize. Serious infections can be avoided very simply with a little preventative maintenance.
Pet Grooming Tips - The Eyes
Some pets have naturally "weepy" eyes. Make sure you gently wipe away anything heavier than tears every day. A damp washcloth to wipe the face clean and any matter around the eyes is usually sufficient. If debris and other 'gunk' are allowed to build up in or around the eye, it can manifest into an infection before you know it.
An irritated eye can cause your pet to claw or scratch at his eye in order to reduce the irritation. The animal can innocently scratch the surface of the eye causing an ulcer or infection to develop. Left unchecked, this can lead to costly veterinary visits, surgery, or worse.
One minute of daily maintenance doesn't seem like much when you consider the possible problems that can result from neglecting the eyes. Purchase an approved pet eye wash to keep on hand to rinse the eyes with if necessary. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
Pet Grooming Tips - The Ears
The next important area to cover is your pet's ears. Check them regularly, especially if you have a dog with droopy ears. Droopy ears that are not exposed to the air are especially vulnerable to ear infection as moisture can be easily trapped. Lift your pet's ear to expose the ear canal and smell to check for any foul odors. That's the biggest signal there's a problem developing.
The ears should never have a foul odor. Another sign of problems is if you see your pet digging at his ear or shaking his head excessively. Even if you can't see anything in there, go and have it checked by your veterinarian.
If there is nothing requiring veterinary attention, you can clean his ears monthly using an approved ear wash for pets. Ear wash should be used during his regular grooming sessions to help loosen debris and wax build-up. Follow the package directions for cleansing the ears.
Never probe the ear with any kind of an instrument or cotton swabs. Leave the probing to your vet. Wipe out the outer ear with a damp cotton ball.
Pet Grooming Tips - Feet & Nails
Feet and Nail grooming can be a game of push and pull! But it doesn't have to be a stressful experience for either one of you. How often to trim your pet's nails depends on how rapidly their nails grow. Monthly or bi-monthly is common. With a little training, you can master this yourself, but if you prefer, take him to your veterinarian or groomers.
Nail trimming is important for healthy feet. If a pet's nails are neglected, they will continue to grow. This can affect his feet and how he walks. If the nails are left to long they can literally grow completely around and dig back into the dog's foot pads. This is extremely painful for the pet.
If you're grooming at home, you'll need the right tools for nail trimming. There are several options and styles. What you choose depends much on the size and type of pet you have.
Ask your vet for instructions on how to trim nails, how much to safely cut off, and what type of nail trimmer is best suited to your pet. I can't stress this enough! Most vet's or vet techs are happy to educate you in the art of pet nail trimming.
Begin trimming your pet's nails when he's young or you first bring him home. Keep a regular schedule (the same day every month for instance). This way you can better judge how much to safely cut off every time. Unless the nails have been neglected for a long time, you should only need to cut off the tips (sharp points) of the nail each time you trim. I like to finish up with an electric dremel-like file to smooth the sharp edges.
Make sure you keep styptic powder or jell on hand in the unlikely event you cut the nails too short and bleeding occurs. It's very difficult to stop a pet's nail from bleeding without styptic (a blood coagulator).
The pads of your pet's feet (especially dogs) need regular attention also. Some longer haired breeds grow hair between their toes and down the pads of their paws.
When the hair gets too long it's like wearing slippers on ice when walking on slick surfaces. Simply trim the hair hanging between the pads off flush with the foot pad so your pet has the ability to grip on slick surfaces like kitchen floors.
Additional Pet Grooming Tips -
Brushing your pet's teeth is a regular part of your grooming maintenance, however unlike other grooming tasks, your pet's teeth should be done daily, not monthly or bi-monthly. Because of this, we've covered pet dental care in a separate article
(click here for pet dental care)
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