What does pet health look like?
Welcome to the June edition of our ‘What does pet health look like?’ series where we draw on insights and experiences from real pet owners. This month we will be looking at grooming your pets to make sure they both feel and look their best all year round.
We spoke with pet owner Adele Knight about how and why she grooms her cat, Willow, and the difference it can make.
Why do you groom Willow?
I groomed Willow as soon as I got her, so she is used to it now. Grooming daily helps prevents hairballs and knots. It helps to spot fleas, skin conditions and lumps and helps to give Willow her lovely soft, shiny and healthy looking coat.
What is the best way to groom Willow and when do you groom her?
You can get big knots out just pushing your finger through them starting at the root. I groom when Willow is relaxed or sleepy, so it is not such a struggle.
If you want to let us know your top grooming tips you can tweet us @IheartmypetUK. The next instalment in our series will look at travel healthcare for pets.
Kelly Davis, former Chair of the British Dog Groomers’ Association also has some excellent recommendations on keeping your pet’s coat in tip-top condition. See below for her top 5 tips:
1.) Grooming your pet is more than just vanity but serves a diverse range of health benefits both physically and mentally. Use this time to scan for fleas, skin conditions or any lumps and equally as important, to bond with your pet.
2.) Grooming can help establish and build on your relationship with your pet. It helps set boundaries, build mutual trust and respect between pet and owner and it’s a great de-stressing activity.
3.) Professional grooming can provide a selection of services that you might not be able to deliver quite as well at home. For one, groomers can spot things that may go unnoticed during a health check, such as early stage ticks. Also, if your pet is a particularly difficult breed to groom professionals can undertake the challenge and, in some cases, can create a fancy hairstyle in keeping with you as the owner’s lifestyle. Nail trimming and ear cleaning - which are hard to do to the untrained professional - are just another day in the life for a groomer. So, seeking outside help isn’t a sign of defeat! Most importantly if you do seek outside help be sure to do your research before deciding on a someone. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as it takes to be assured they are the best fit for you and your pet.
4.) If you are going to groom your pet at home, make sure you seek advice on how to use the equipment correctly and safely. Be sure to choose a time where your pet (and yourself!) are not stressed or rushed be tuned into their body language and do not force grooming time on them if they aren’t in the mood.
5.) Start grooming your pet from a young age to develop a routine and they grow accustomed to it. If, however, you get an older pet then start by introducing grooming gradually into your routine and rewarding their positive behaviour is sure to help your pet adjust and even start to look forward to the one on one time with you.
To find out more about professional groomers in your area, as well as other pet services, take a look at My Pet People, produced by the Pet Industries Federation.
The full ‘What does pet health look like?’ series includes a range of relevant topics throughout the year such as ticks, fleas, worms and skin conditions; responsible feeding, diet and exercise; and dental care; travel healthcare; and the importance of companionship. If you are looking for more health tips click here for dogs and cats. Or to read more about NOAH’s research on pet owners and their grooming habits, take a look here.