Grooming doesn't mean your pooch has to be coiffed and decorated but regular brushing is vital for your pet's health
Most pet owners make sure their pet have the right vaccinations but not all necessarily realise there's more to keeping their pet healthy.
The grooming process is about making sure cats' and dogs' coats and those of other pets are untangled and flea-free. Grooming needs to regularly be done for your pet’s health and comfort.
What happens if you don't groom pets?
Animals that aren't properly groomed develop matted areas in their coats; this is unhealthy and can cause a lot of discomfort and anxiety when they need to be untangled.
Regular brushing ensures your pet won't find the process painful; you're able to check your pet's clean and well, and he or she will have a shiny healthy coat.
Dog grooming tips
Dogs should be groomed regularly, even on a daily basis if you have a long-haired breed whose hair easily gets knotted. There are a wide variety of brushes available to suit your dog.
Slicker brushes are popular with owners of medium-length coats, bristle brushes can be used on all coats especially shorthaired breeds, while undercoat rakes are helpful for dogs who shed thick coats.
For curly or wavy coats, use a curved wire slicker brush.
Start grooming regularly from when your dog's young, so he or she grows up familiar with the grooming process and unafraid of it.
It builds trust between the dog and the owner and not only untangles fur but stimulates blood flow and distributes the natural oils. Try not to rush it; take your time and make it a relaxing experience for your dog.
Cat grooming tips
Cats are self-reliant creatures in many ways but some do need extra help with grooming. A cat with a very short coat may need very little grooming. Lightly brush them with a bristle or short-toothed comb on a regular basis.
Cats with denser short fur need more regular attention and those cats with semi-long haired or long-hair cats, may need grooming daily, always seek advice if you're not sure.
When grooming longer, denser, coats, make sure you’re brushing through every layer. Use a metal comb with alternate long and short bristles.
Keep your cat in a relaxed state and make sure it’s comfortable before you start the grooming process.
Rabbits grooming tips
Rabbits shed their hair on a regular basis. Like cats, rabbits tend to lick their coat to keep clean, however unlike cats, they can’t vomit up fur balls, meaning that if too much hair's in ingested, it could harm the rabbit.
It’s therefore important to brush them regularly to get rid of shed hair.
Every so often, rabbits will shed a whole lot of hair. In these periods, try and brush them every day.
Long-haired rabbits need close attention. Daily grooming may be recommended and bristle brushes are preferable due to the fragility of rabbits’ skin.
What if the hair is matted?
When a pet's hair gets matted and twisted, it can be time-consuming for the owner, let alone painful for the animal, when the time comes to untangle it.
Don't be tempted to cut off matted hair; this can easily lead to injury, as pets aren't going to sit still while you wield the scissors.
Cutting it out won't solve the problem in any case, as you won't be able to cut out the top part of the tangle, as it's right next to the animal's skin.
In cases like these, it's best to consult a vet about having your pet shaved and getting advice about a proper grooming habit for when their fur grows back.