Taking care of your dog or cat’s hygiene at home is easier than your think! The key is to follow certain rules to make sure the experience is pleasant for both you and your pet. Globalvet explains how to pull it off.
Here are the basic rules for grooming your four-legged friend.
1. Get your dog or cat used to being touched
Frequent and gradually longer sessions
Regularly touch the parts of your pet’s body that you would like to groom. Start by touching them for just a few seconds, and gradually increase the length of time. Do short sessions several times a day.
Gradually up the intensity
Gently handle the area you need to groom so that your pet is comfortable being touched on that part of their body. For example, if you need to get to your pet’s claws, start by touching their shoulder, then move down to their elbow, the tip of their paw, and finally their claws. Move a bit closer only once your pet is comfortable with where you’re touching them.
Once your pet is comfortable with you handling them, introduce the tool (e.g., clippers, brush) that you will be using and let your pet sniff it. After that, start gently touching your pet with the tool. For example, if your pet is comfortable having their paws touched, gently run the clippers over their claws. Then, hold your pet’s paw and pretend to clip their nails. Slowly move the clippers closer to their claws as you do this.
Whenever you are handling your pet, make sure the experience is fun and positive. Give your pet treats throughout the process. You can find everything you need in our stores to pamper your pet. You can also spread some wet pet food on a flat surface (e.g., yogurt cup lid for small animals, cookie sheet for large animals). For dogs, you could also use a toy you can put treats in, like a Kong®.
Back off if you see signs of stress
Make sure your pet is comfortable at all times while you are handling them. If they shows signs of stress such as dilated pupils, ears back, struggling or trying to run, tail down if it’s a dog or thrashing tail if it’s a cat, take a break and go back to the previous step.
2. Place the animal in a natural and comfortable position
At all times, keep your pet in a natural position that feels comfortable for them.
- In your arms
- On your lap
Avoid stretching your pet or pulling excessively on their legs or ears.
3. Always associate care with something positive
This rule applies during your warm up exercises but also in the long term. When grooming your pet, give them treats before handling them, while you’re handling them, and after you’re finished. You always want them to associate the grooming with something they enjoy!
4. Always groom your pet at a time when they’re calm, and take breaks if you need to.
Obviously, if your dog or cat is very worked up or excited, it’s not a good time to clip their nails or clean their ears. You can plan to do these things late in the evening, or a little while after a play period. If your pet gets impatient while you’re grooming them, take a break and pick it up later!
HOW DO YOU PROPERLY LOOK AFTER YOUR CAT OR DOG’S HYGIENE?
Now that you know the basic rules, you can do a lot of your pet’s grooming from the comfort of your home. Read our articles about: