At Home Pet Grooming Tips

Pomeranian sitting outside on a deck

While some of our furry companions may not enjoy the act of being groomed, it’s very important in maintaining their overall health and keeping them (and your home) clean. As many of us pet parents will now need to groom our pets at home during this unprecedented time, it’s important to be prepared to keep them as happy and comfortable as possible. 

Brushing

While one of the most basic aspects of a grooming routine, regular brushing is also one of the most important. 

  • Regular brushing helps remove excess hair from your pet's coat and distributes their natural oils. For obvious reasons, pets with long hair need to be brushed more frequently as they shed more, and the hair can get tangled more easily. However, even short-haired pets need frequent hair brushing to reduce shedding and dander. 
  • When it comes time to brush your four-legged family member, the most important thing to remember is to be gentle. If you’re too rough when trying to untangle the coat, it’s possible that you could damage and break your beloved companion’s hairs. Always be sure you are brushing in the direction that the coat grows and away from the skin to prevent brush burn. 
  • Brushing your furry friend at least once a week is also a great way to identify potential health issues. While brushing through your pet’s coat, keep an eye out for any lumps, dry patches or anything else that could be a cause for concern. As the weather continues to get warmer, we’ll also see a higher risk of flea and ticks and you’ll be able to do an in-depth search for these pests while brushing your pet. 

For more tips and tricks on brushing your pet at home, check out this video from Professional Groomer Wynne Wong:  

Nail Trimming

For many pet parents, the thought of trimming their pet’s nails is often a scary one as the last thing we want is to accidentally hurt them. However, as nails that are too long can be bad for your companion’s health, it’s important that you are trimming them regularly during this time. When your pet’s nails become too long, they will begin to walk on these instead of on their paw pads which can cause pain and discomfort. For cats, regular use of a scratching post can help keep their nails at an appropriate length. However, they can sometimes miss a nail which can end up curling and puncturing their paw if it gets too long!

During this time when you’re unable to take your pet to be professionally groomed, here are some tips for trimming their nails at home. 

  • Many pets do not enjoy having their nails clipped and will likely squirm and move around as you attempt to do so. As this can be quite dangerous and lead to more of the nail being cutting off than you had planned on, it’s important to do your best to keep them calm. If there is another person in your household, ask them to hold your furry friend while you trim their nails. If you live on your own, don’t fret. Try holding your pet in your lap if they are small enough to do so. Lift their paw gently but firmly and move any hair out of the way before you trim the nail. And of course, praise and reward them after each nail!
  • When trimming your pet’s nails, it’s important that you are very careful about how much you are cutting off so that you don’t hit the quick. The quick inside your pet’s nail contains a nerve and blood vessel that can cause both pain and bleeding when cut. If your pet has light coloured nails, you will likely be able to identify the pink quick in the center of the nail. If your pet has dark coloured nails, it will be much harder to identify the quick and therefore it’s important to be extra careful. Regardless of the colour of your pet’s nails, try trimming them weekly to start so you can be extra cautious and just cut a little bit off each time. 
  • Having styptic powder on hand when cutting your pet’s nails can be very helpful in case you do happen to accidentally hit the quick. This topical powder can help to instantly halt minor bleeding if your pet’s nail has been trimmed down too much. 

For more at home nail trimming tips, check out this video from Professional Groomer Wynne Wong (skip to 3:47)

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