In Part 4 we talked about making sure that your pet gets regular exercise so let go on to Part 5.

Grooming Your Pet
Regular grooming is a way to show affection for your pet. It also improves the health of your pet’s coat. Taking care of basic doggie hygiene will help keep their overall health in check to.

And as noted earlier, regular grooming can help you detect the presence of fleas and
other pests.

Most dogs tend to endure grooming better than cats. However, if you get your pet accustomed to regular grooming at an early age, you’ll get a more positive response with either animal.

Proper grooming involves more than brushing your pet’s coat. You’ll need to check your pet’s ears, mouth, trim its nails, and give it an occasional bath. Here are some grooming guidelines:

1. Brush or comb your pet gently to remove shedding hair. Such brushing also will help distribute skin oils throughout your pet’s coat. Daily brushing is especially important with long-haired dogs, to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Brushes designed for grooming pets are available at pet stores. I find for me, the best type of brush is one that is two sided; wire pin on one side to get deep into the coat and remove any debris and loose fur and soft on the other side
2. Remove excess wax from your pets ears with a cotton ball, moistened with mineral oil or alcohol. Grooming time is a great time to check for any kind of ear problems or infections.

3. Remove plaque from your pet’s teeth by wiping them with a damp washcloth or gauze pad. Be sure to institute a regular brushing routine as well. You can find some great tips and information on taking care of your dogs teeth here.

4. Use clippers from a pet store to trim your pet’s nails. To avoid cutting to the quick, clip only the curved tip of each claw. It’s also a good idea to have a supply of blood-clotting powder (also sold at pet stores) handy. The nail clippers I use actually have a ‘guard’ to ensure that you don’t cut too far. Regular trimming every two weeks will keep the task manageable and also make sure that your dog get used to it.

5. Regular grooming sessions are also a good time to check your pet’s skin for any fleas or ticks during the flea and tick time of year.

5. Give your pet a bath whenever it is noticeably dirty or when there is a medical problem such as parasites or dandruff. Ordinary baths can be done in a large washtub or a bathtub. For medicated baths, it may be best to turn your pet over to your vet or a professional groomer.

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