Sunday, September 11, 2011

Brushing Guide: How to Maintain Your Pet Between Grooms

We attended the MSPCA's Walk for Animals today to donate prizes, clip nails for a donation to the MSPCA and give away brushing guides to Cape Cod dog owners who supported the event by registering their dogs for the walk. The event was graced by superb September weather and Grigri even won second place in the talent contest!

The brushing guide explains the importance of choosing the right location and using suitable equipment. A flat surface at a convenient height is best for your back, but you'll have to keep your hands on him or her to make sure there isn't a fall. If you bought your brush or comb at the supermarket, it may not be the right type or quality to ensure brushing is comfortable for your dog or cat. We recommend our customers visit a full service pet store to choose their grooming equipment. If your pet has been scratched by a too-firm brush he or she may be reluctant to let you get near with that brush again. On the other hand, if your tools are too soft, they won't reach deep enough into the coat to remove snarls and undercoat effectively.

If any mats and tangles present are minor, they can be worked out by gently separating with fingers and a comb and then combing out. Never use scissors to cut out a mat that lies close to the skin. It's far safer to use a clipper. Detangler products can help make hair slipperier but don't overdo. Use both comb and brush to ensure that all tangles and mats are removed; otherwise, they'll just get worse.

Work systematically around the body, not allowing your pet to bite at the grooming tools, or you! It may seem cute but you want to discourage any kind of biting or mouthing behavior. Make sure you address hard to reach areas such as under the arms and around the tail. High friction areas tent to produce the most tangles and mats.

If brushing gets away from you and your dog or cat becomes seriously matted, you can always have her clipped and start fresh with a short coat. More frequent grooming appointments or shorter, more manageable coat lengths are alternatives to thorough regular brushing. Each family has to decide how much brushing they are willing to do and can fit into their schedule.

Ask your groomer for the brushing guide and start connecting regularly in a healthy, happy brushing session with your fur baby.

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