From cats and dogs to birds and bunnies, animals do seem to take a certain pride in their appearance and work hard to look good. But for all animals, preening is not about looking good, it’s about staying healthy.

For most animals it doesn’t take much effort to groom, but dog breeds, such as Poodles, Schnauzers, and Shi Tzu’s may require regular trips to a professional groomer. Regardless of your particular breed, all animals can benefit from basic grooming and hygiene care.

Follicle and Fur

Brushing your pet regularly is one of the best things you can do for him or her. Not only will he or she enjoy the attention, but it gives you a chance to inspect your pet’s skin and coat as well. Often, one of the first signs that something is amiss with your pet’s health is a change in his or her hair and skin. Taking the time to brush your pet will not only keep you familiar with the norm, but will also increase the odds of you noticing any untoward developments before it’s too late.

Likewise, regular brushing can cut down on hairballs. Most cats and dogs will usually eliminate hairballs in their own (unpleasant) way. However, it is possible for a severe hairball to cause an internal blockage, resulting in preventable and expensive veterinary care.

Tooth and Nail

Caring for your pet’s dental health and claws is an essential part of healthy hygiene, too. While it is recommended that your pet receive regular dental checkups, brushing your pet’s teeth is vitally important as well.

Again, this is an excellent way to monitor your pet’s overall health, as many early signs of chronic illness can present in the teeth and gums of pets. If, while brushing your pet’s teeth, you find your pet’s gums are bleeding, their breath is uncommonly bad, or that they have developed any lumps or bumps on the gums or tongue, you should bring them in for a wellness check.

Likewise, keeping your pets claws trimmed is important to your pet’s health, as long nails and dewclaws, can grow into toe pads and skin. This causes pain and infection.

Should you need assistance in keeping your pet’s nails trimmed or teeth brushed, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment.

Eyes and Ears

While there isn’t much you can do to keep your pet’s eyes bright and shining, it is important to keep your eyes open for potential problems. Should you notice any redness, irritation, or cloudiness, it’s likely time to call your vet for an appointment, especially if the condition becomes chronic.

Similarly, it is important to check your pet’s ears on a regularly basis as well. This is particularly true if you notice your pet scratching at his or her ears incessantly, or if another pet in the house is constantly licking at the ears of another pet. Just like us, pet’s can get ear infections that can require treatment to clear up. Ear mites may be the culprit and will need to be dispatched as well.

These simple, at-home hygiene and grooming practices should help most pets remain happy and healthy on a daily basis. Not only is do they allow you and your pet to spend some one-on-one time together, but they also allow you to have a hands-on approach to monitoring your pet’s overall health.

Should you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for a professional grooming and hygiene consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help.