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Grooming Your Pet

By: Shae Anderson and Danielle Gardos

Giving the gift of a furry companion this year? Of all the exciting things to consider when bringing your new puppy or kitten home, grooming is something you may have overlooked.

When should I start getting my pet groomed? Are there things I can do at home to prepare them? Do shorthaired pets need grooming? These are all questions new pet owners may be unsure about.

It is important to start your pet in grooming as soon as possible. This not only introduces them to a new experience that can be stressful if implemented in later stages of life, but it also helps socialize them with new people and environments. Like children, as to many of us our pets are, puppies and kittens must take new experiences in small, but frequent doses in order to feel comfortable.

There are some methods you can use at home to ensure your pet is agreeable when handled prior to or between grooming. Have your groomer recommend the proper brush for your pet’s coat and squeeze this into your weekly routine. This helps to maintain their coat as well as provides a bonding experience. Also, rubbing between their eyes or massaging their feet as frequently as possible creates a positive association for this type of attention easing nervousness for newcomers.

For long haired breeds such as golden retrievers or Persians or other breeds that fit the grooming stereotype, like poodles or Shih Tzu’s, it is recommended for your pet to be groomed every four to six weeks in order to maintain a manageable coat for you and your groomer. This helps to prevent undercoat build up, matting or tangling that may create an uncomfortable experience.

Some owners of shorthaired breeds such as a Labradors, Dalmatians or even a shorthaired feline, believe that grooming is not necessary. On the contrary, which shorthaired pet owners could vouch for, they shed just as much, if not more than those with longer hair.  Taking them to a groomer to receive a good brushing, especially during shedding seasons can assist in minimizing unwanted hair by removing the dead hair or undercoat that occurs. Not to mention taking care of the much dreaded job of trimming those sharp toenails. While shorthaired breeds may not need grooming as often as some of the other breeds mentioned, with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season who wants their pet’s fur decorating their furniture and floors?

Giving the gift of a pet is the most lovable and loyal gift you can give a loved one for the holidays, but don’t forget about giving your new pet a gift as well, the gift of a lifelong, enjoyable experience at the groomer’s.