Intro: Have you ever watched that film where a cat and two dogs are inadvertently abandoned by their family, embarking on a cross-country journey filled…
Take a moment to think about how you feel when you step out of a cleansing shower. Now, think a bit further to the moment you look in the mirror: you’re dressed in a fresh outfit from head to toe, your hair is combed, and your face is moisturized. You feel revived, rejuvenated, and ready to seize the day, right? The same applies to your pets; a good grooming session leaves them literally bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
There are a myriad of benefits associated with grooming your pets and it is imperative to have the correct tools for the job. At the very least you should invest in a brush to groom their coats. Removing old fur prevents matting, stimulates new growth, and allows for natural sebum production which keeps the skin hydrated. Brushing your pets also creates bonding time with them. If you’re not sure what bristles are best for your pet, speak to your local pet shop owner or vet for advice.
They will explain the differences between small, hard brushes suitable for animals with longer hair, or those with softer bristles, such as horse grooming brushes for larger animals. Just as cleaning your pet is important, so too is it to clean and store their grooming tools once you’ve finished using them.
Regular grooming sessions allow you as a pet owner to check for anything untoward such as wounds, scratches, and skin irritations which sometimes occur in dogs or horses as a result of chafing from walking harnesses. As you interact with your pets regularly, they will become accustomed to being handled. This often makes them more people-friendly; animals that are not used to physical contact are inclined to be difficult during vet visitations and may even bite, or in the case of horses, kick. A dog bite will require a tetanus injection, and a horse kick most certainly a visit to the casualty department.
Just as clean ears and clear eyes are important for us as pet owners, so too are they for our pets. Vets recommend checking your pet’s ears at least once a week for any signs of discolouration or discharge. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, there are liquid remedies available from your pet shop. The same principle can be applied when checking their eyes. If there is a dullness in their colour or seepage from the tear ducts, a vet visit may be required.
Another important aspect of grooming for both humans and pets is healthy feet. If you walk your dog regularly, their toenails will remain short. Trimmed nails prevent infections in your pet’s footpads. With larger equine animals, regular hoof checks and picking will keep their feet healthy and avoid ailments such as hoof rot, which can spread quickly among animals stabled in close proximity.
Grooming not only keeps your pet in healthy physical shape, it also maintains a high level of mental health because it relaxes them. The bonding session between you and your pet will likely also increase your serotonin levels too, so allocate time in your schedule to spend with your best four-legged friend.