The Importance of Grooming Your Kittens and Puppies in Rutland, VT
Ah, pet grooming. It’s one of the most important pieces of the pet care puzzle. For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word grooming is a hair dryer and a pink bow. However, grooming is so much more than that and is essential in maintaining your dog or cat’s health in tip top shape.
You might not realize it, but starting your kitten or puppy on a grooming routine as early as you can will help with their health and well-being down the road.
Here’s what you need to know about grooming your puppy or kitten in Rutland, VT.
Start Grooming Your Kitten or Puppy as Early as Possible
Not only is grooming essential to keeping your pet healthy, it’s also a great way to bond. When you first bring your puppy or kitten home, you should immediately start the process of teaching them how grooming works.
The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. If you’re getting your puppy or kitten from a breeder, they’ll likely have already started training for grooming. Once a cat or dog gets too old, they won’t be interested in brushing and may even lash out.
What Goes Into Grooming Your Kitten or Puppy?
The grooming process is more than just brushing. It needs to include dental care, nail care, baths, ear care, and eye checks. Essentially, you’re giving your puppy or kitten a once over like a vet would do. This helps catch health issues and diseases early on. In most cases, the earlier you catch a health problem, the easier it is to treat.
Also, if you don’t feel comfortable with doing these things on your own, don’t hesitate to contact your local vet or groomer to get an appointment set up.
More Than Just Brushing Your Pet’s Fur
Brushing your pet is not the only part of grooming, but it is probably the most time consuming and is important. Brushing benefits your pet’s health and creates a time for bonding between you and your pet.
If you start brushing consistently at a young age, it can be a relaxing activity for both you and your kitten or puppy. The health benefits of brushing is that it removes dirt, dandruff, and dead hair from your pet’s coat and helps keep them clean. The natural oils brought out through brushing keep the coat shiny and pretty.
Different Strokes for Different Coats
Each type of coat requires a different brush style or technique. For short haired cats, use a metal comb and brush through from head to tail. Always brush in the direction that the hair grows so that it’s not uncomfortable for your kitty.
Make sure to get her chest, abdomen, and tail. If you have a long-haired cat, you may try out different brushes and see what works best. Their hair tends to tangle and mat easier than short haired cats, so they need to be brushed more frequently. Plan on at least every few days.
If you do run into a mat, don’t try to cut it out yourself. Mats are painful and cause skin irritation and can even lead to infection if left untreated. Finding a mat in your pet’s fur is a sure sign you should schedule a grooming appointment with a professional.
More About the Different Coat Types for Dogs
Dogs come in a few different coat types, so it’s important to know what kind you have in order to give the best care. If your dog is a smooth coat breed, they are the lowest maintenance type of coat. They do require regular brushing every few days but won’t need to be trimmed.
Dogs with double coats require a little more care. These breeds shed their undercoat and can mat easily, so make sure to brush every couple of days, similar to the long-haired cats.
Wire hair is best tamed with a slicker brush and a stripping comb. If your breed of dog has a curly coat, say a Bichon Frise, they will need to be taken to a groomer for regular clippings.
Long haired dog breeds may also benefit from a professional since they’ll need to be trimmed occasionally as well. Plus, they have a ton of fur to tackle, so it may not be something you want to mess with.
Baths Are Important for Kitten and Puppy Grooming
Baths are another important grooming tool. Bathing your dog gets all of the dirt and grime out of their fur. If your dog or cat has seasonal allergies, baths are also a great way to alleviate itchy skin.
Hairless varieties of dogs and cats can’t be brushed, so baths are the only way to clean them. However, you can very easily over-bathe your dog. This will result in itchy, dry skin and possible infection.
You should talk to your vet or groomer about a bathing schedule that’s appropriate for your breed of dog or cat.
Don’t Forget About Nail Trimming
Nail trimming can be intimidating, but it’s necessary to keep your dogs claws at a short length. Long claws can cause an in-growing nail or injury. For older dogs, short nails help alleviate arthritis and joint pains they may be experiencing.
Cats are good at maintaining their own nails, but you should keep a scratcher so that they can sharpen their claws. This will also prevent them from tearing up your furniture. If you don’t want your cat to have sharp claws, you can absolutely clip them, or use ‘Soft Paws’ that are essentially nail caps for animals – these are fashionable and practical, and can be applied at home or by a veterinarian.
Starting nail trims on kittens and puppies from a young age makes a world of difference. The earlier they’re trained to sit still for a clipping, the better.
Teeth Cleaning is Part of Grooming Your Pet
Regular teeth cleaning is important to avoid periodontal disease. By age 3, almost 80% of pets have gum disease or tooth decay. By cleaning at least twice a week, you’re keeping your pet’s mouth healthy and avoiding plaque and tartar build up.
For some smaller dog breeds and even cats, you may want to have your vet professionally clean them every couple of years or so. They’ll have to administer anesthesia, but then you’ll know that the teeth and gums are professionally cleaned.
Checking Your Kitten or Puppy’s Ears and Eyes
Finally, do a quick check of the ears and eyes. In the ears, you’re looking for waxy build up, a bad odor, or any sign of an infestation like redness or swelling. Make sure the eyes are clear and bright. If they’re watery or red, you should talk to your vet. Any hair that is blocking the eyesight should also be trimmed.
Proper Grooming for Kittens and Puppies Helps Overall Health
By creating and maintaining a grooming routine with your kitten or puppy, you’re setting them up for long term health.
At Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center, we’re proud to offer pet owners in Rutland and the surrounding areas with professional cat and dog grooming so you can get your new puppy or kitten on the right track to a happy and healthy life!
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About Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center
Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center provides top-quality veterinary care to the Rutland, VT pet community.