Basic pet grooming should be in every animal lover’s repertoire.

Everyone needs to get dolled up a little now and again. Sure Fluffy or Fido looks best with a freshly shampooed coat and neat nails, but keeping your pet well-groomed is a matter of health, too. Basic pet grooming should be in every animal lover’s repertoire, and Bayside Animal Hospital is here to help get you up to speed.

Basic Pet Grooming

You don’t need to put a lot of time or effort into basic pet grooming. Keep up with the little things on a daily basis, and a good grooming session doesn’t need to be a big production. Pay attention to:

  • Coat – Brushing daily to weekly can keep the mats down, spread natural oils, and minimize hairballs. Frequency depends greatly on your pet’s coat.
  • Ears – Check the inside of the ears frequently to catch signs of trouble like pain, discharge or redness. Read on for cleaning tips.
  • Eyes – Gently wiping the corners of your pet’s eyes with a damp cloth can reduce buildup and staining. Long hair may need to be trimmed to prevent irritation.
  • Nails – Trimming your pet’s nails is an important part of keeping the gait normal and comfortable and preventing breaks and snags.
  • Teeth – Regular tooth brushing can help to ward off dental problems. We are happy to team up with you to keep your pet’s chompers in tip top shape.

How To Do the Important Stuff

Most of us are comfortable giving our pet a bath, but can you properly clean your dog’s ears or trim your cat’s nails? While these tasks can be a bit intimidating, you are more than capable of helping your pet in these departments.

Pet ear cleaning — Be sure to gather your supplies before you start and work in a well-lit area that provides easy clean up (ears can get messy). Start by filling your pet’s ear canal with an ear cleaning solution (ask us for recommendations) that has been slightly warmed in a bowl of warm water. Allow your pet to shake and loosen any debris, then gently wipe the visible ear canal with some clean, dry cotton balls. Let us know if your pet seems to be painful or you notice discharge, a bad odor, or redness as these can all be signs of trouble.

Trimming nails — When trimming nails, it is also important to work in good lighting and be prepared. Having a steady hand and moving slowly is important, as many pets become worried about having their nails trimmed. Use lots of treats and praise. Review your anatomy and make sure you don’t cut into the quick (blood vessel that runs part way down the nail). Visualize cutting around the quick and use many small cuts rather than a large, aggressive one to minimize the chances of cutting too short.

Some pets may not take well to your efforts due to previous bad experiences, lack of practice having these areas handled, or pain due to other problems such as arthritis. In these instances, we are happy to help. Sometimes time and training techniques can be helpful, but other times we may need to provide a small amount of anti-anxiety or pain medication to accomplish the task.

Keeping your pet well groomed is an important part of caring for your pet. If you need help or a demonstration, our expert staff is here to help you. Keeping your pet happy and healthy is what we do.