Last year, NOAH’s research of more than 2,000 pet owners revealed the surprising statistic that one-in-seven pet owners (13%) would pay more for their pet’s grooming than their own. This year, to highlight the importance of keeping your pet’s coat in tip-top condition and the relationship of grooming to your pet’s overall health and wellbeing, we’ve teamed up with Kelly Davis, Chairman of the British Dog Groomers’ Association to give us her top tips on how to make the most of your pet’s grooming regime.
Why is grooming your pet so important for their health?
Grooming isn’t just about your pet looking good – it has a whole range of diverse benefits which can contribute to your pet’s physical and mental wellbeing. Ultimately, the purpose of grooming is to maintain the condition of the skin and coat, but it can have so many more advantages – for example, it’s a great opportunity for health checks to be carried out and it’s also a fantastic time to focus on bonding with your pet. Check out NOAH’s health tips for dogs and cats.
How does grooming help improve the bond with your dog?
There are several ways that grooming can contribute to establishing and improving a bond with your pet. Firstly, it helps to establish boundaries. Secondly, grooming is important as it helps to build trust between you and your pet – it’s a great way to de-stress for both. Finally, it contributes towards mutual respect.
What are the advantages of having your dog professionally groomed?
Professional groomers often go the extra mile and do things that if you were grooming your pet at home may be missed out. These added bonuses can include spotting something that might be easy to miss during health checks (for example early stage ticks are very small), ensuring your pet’s healthy coat and skin is maintained even with more difficult to groom breeds and even creating bespoke styles to suit a pet’s and owner’s lifestyle. If necessary they can carry out nail trimming – which can be notoriously difficult to do without an untrained eye - as well as ear cleaning – and they will be able to advise you if a trip to the vets for to investigate any potential problem is needed.
What’s the best way to groom your pet if you’re going to do this yourself?
Make sure you’re fully prepared before you get started. The most important thing when getting ready to groom your pet is to make sure you seek advice on how to use the grooming equipment correctly and safely BEFORE attempting to groom. Choose a time when both you and your pet are not stressed or rushed – if your pet is more in the mood to play then maybe go out for a walk first. Then you can both better enjoy the time together. Be respectful and watch body language – trust is needed and don’t try to push if your pet has had enough.
It’s good to start with a routine from an early age if possible, but if your pet comes into your home in more advanced years, then start to introduce gradually, for a short time initially as part of your routine. By starting small and rewarding positive behaviour then your dog – and even your cat – will soon come to welcome this bonding time together.
Any other tips?
If you decide to use a professional groomer, make sure that you carefully research before selecting the right person. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, including checking that they are qualified and finding out whether they have insurance. Always make sure that you only go to qualified groomers, so it’s very important to do this research first.
To read more about NOAH’s research on pet owners and their grooming habits, take a look here. If you’re thinking of putting the tips to the test, don’t forget to share pics of your perfectly-groomed pet via Twitter (@IHeartMyPet) or upload them to our happy, healthy pets gallery.