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Pampered Pets: Keeping Your Cat or Dog Well Groomed

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

They bring you so much love; joy and affection and now they’re becoming quite the fashionable “accessory.” From well-coiffed canines to faddy felines, more and more pet owners are indulging their pets with lots of TLC and the luxuries of a lavish lifestyle.

According to grooming professionals, taking care of your pet, is not extravagance, but rather hygienic necessity, much like showering, brushing teeth, and combing and styling hair is for us (humans).

Some suggestions for a sensational salon experience:

1. Coat and Skin: Your dog’s coat will be the determining factor in whether your groomer chooses to use clippers or brushing and scissoring to clip and shape your dog’s coif. Professionals also point out the benefits of routine brushing to prevent matting. Yet, they note, that just like humans, some are more high maintenance than others. Poodles and bichons, for instance, require grooming approximately every eight weeks, whereas retrievers only require (professional grooming every 10 to 12 weeks. Long-haired cats should be groomed every three months. Additionally, it’s recommended that owners pay special attention to the coat on older cats, because, as they age, it becomes more difficult for them to clean and maintain themselves.

2. Nails: According to professionals, dogs’ nails grow quite quickly and long nails may pose potential health problems. Nails that grow too long may get caught, torn, or result in infection. Long nails may also interfere with walking and may lead to the animal accidentally scratching someone.

The dew claw, the claw protruding a bit above the front legs, can curl into a doughnut or grow into the leg if overgrown. Professionals suggest checking your pet’s nails every six weeks to two months to discern if clipping is called for. As for cats and kittens, consider a scratch-post. This piece of “furniture” is ideal for aiding with the claw’s natural shedding mechanism, and it prevents cats from using your rug(s) or your sofa(s) for the same purpose.

3. Ears and Eyes: Professionals stress the importance on cleaning out your pet’s ears to rid him/her of possible ticks and fleas. They also note, that occasionally, hair from the ear canal needs to be removed. Furthermore, it’s imperative to have your pet checked for any abnormal discharge (during grooming), and getting a “referral” for a vet visit.

As far as proper pet care is concerned, experts agree that a general rule of thumb is giving your pet (close to) the same attention you give to yourself and the other members of your family.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Pampered Pets: Keeping Your Cat or Dog Well Groomed

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