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Just as we brush our hair and teeth, trim our toenails, and get regular skin checkups, our pets require the same attention and care. It’s not just a matter of a cute post-grooming photo op, either (though the pictures are always very adorable). Rather, grooming is important to your pet’s general health and wellbeing, and it will help them live happy, healthy, and comfortable lives. Below are the top five reasons why a consistent grooming regimen is a must.
Grooming Time Equals Bonding Time
Taking time to groom your pet — which includes everything from brushing their teeth to combing their fur to trimming their nails — helps your pet feel safe and closer to you. Make grooming time even more fun by offering treats during and after and by showing lots of affection.
Your Home Will Smell and Look Better
Grooming removes loose hair, dandruff, and any particulates in your animal’s fur. (And let’s be real, sometimes they can bring in some stinky and gross stuff.) If it’s removed from their fur, it won’t linger in the house.
Consistent grooming also helps reduce pet-related allergies. In terms of keeping your pet’s coat clean, dogs require more attention compared to cats since cats are obsessive self-cleaners. How frequently your dog is bathed depends on its size; lap dogs should be bathed once a month and larger dogs every other month. It also depends on their fur type. Wiry or coarse fur doesn’t hold onto particulates as well, whereas soft fur gets matted easily.
It Gives You a Good Chance to Inspect Their Skin and Body
In the same way humans have to keep tabs on their bodies, it’s important to regularly examine your pet’s skin and body for any abnormalities. This is a bit tricky due to all that fur, but you’ll want to be on the lookout for atypical lumps and bumps and report them to your vet immediately. These abnormalities are often benign, but can sometimes be indicators of cancer, an infection, or disease.
Trimmed Nails Prevent Painful Complications
When a cat or dog’s nails are left untrimmed things can take a turn for the worse. First, the nail can break or tear off if it gets too long, which is very painful. Second, untrimmed nails can grow so long that they curl and grow back into your pet’s paw. This is also painful and can result in split claws and many complications down the road. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting your pet’s nails, then you can take them to a grooming salon. Your vet will also be glad to help.
Grooming Reduces Their Chance of Contracting Fleas and Mites
In addition to looking good and smelling great, a clean coat means a reduced likelihood of contracting fleas and ear mites (which appear as black dots on the inner ear). These unwelcome critters can take refuge on your furry friend’s body at any time, but consistent grooming means you’ll catch them early.
Good Oral Health Can Lead to Better Health Overall
Oral health is also very important for both cats and dogs. Brushing their teeth at least once a week is recommended, and can reduce their risk of gum disease, cavities and tooth absorption, and other maladies. Better breath is also a bonus. Dogs tend to be more amicable to having their teeth brushed than cats, but both require upkeep on their dental hygiene.
The bottom line is that a consistent grooming regimen for your pet will keep them happier, healthier, and yes, prettier. It also means a cleaner environment for you and your family, a stronger bond between pet and parent, and fewer instances of tiny invaders. It’s a win for everyone!