Dogs and cats spend lots of time inside with us. They sleep on beds, lie on the lounge, curl up on chairs and as result can leave doggy odour, pet hair or both everywhere. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. With a few minutes a week, you can limit pet body odour and dramatically reduce the amount of hair left behind. Not surprisingly, the hair left behind on your lounge is dead coat, but what many owners don’t realise is that most pet body odour is caused by bacteria feeding on the dead coat and dead skin that is still on your pet’s body.
1. Know your pets coat type
The most important thing to know when it comes to keeping your pets coat in great condition is what type of coat it has. Does it have short hair, long hair, a double coat or fur? This information will help you work out what shampoo it needs, what grooming tools are best and how often it will need to groomed.
2. Use the right tool for the job
Short hair dogs and cats moult continually so they should be given a quick groom for 2-3 minutes every day or two. The best tool to use for this is a de shedding tool. These have lots of tiny teeth that remove the dead coat leaving the healthy coat behind. Be warned, the first time you use one of these you won’t believe the amount of dead coat you will remove!
Long hair dogs and cats can also benefit from the use a deshedding tool. Using a long tooth rake comb will help prevent tangles. If your long haired pets coat has started to knot, then you should use an undercoat rake. This uses concealed blades that safely cut through the knots and pull out dead coat at the same time.
Pets with double or a silky coat can easily become matted and need a daily groom with a long tooth comb. If the coat does become matted then a slicker brush maybe used to help tease these matts out. If you pet is matted, it takes time and patience to remove the matts and some may need to be cut out. Always use pet safe scissors with a blunt tip to avoid accidently cutting your pet. These breeds may also benefit from the use a detangling spray.
If required, you can even give your dog a trim yourself using pet clippers. These are specifically designed for pet hair as opposed to some you may see that are only designed to clip human hair. Use the clippers to tidy up in between visits to the groomer, to trim the fur around feet or to clip your dogs coat entirely. After a few practices you will become more confident and gain more skills. Remember, your pooch won't judge you if you cut too much off and it will always grow back!
3. Be patient and reward after grooming
Where possible you should start getting your pet use to grooming from a young age. This is especially important during the socialising window of 8- 20 weeks of age for both dogs and cats. If you have an older pet that doesn’t enjoy being groomed, a great way to introduce them to grooming is to use a grooming mitt. These fit on your hand and you simply stroke your pet in same way that you would normally do so, but the dimples on the mitt attract and remove the dead coat.
If your pet requires a lot of grooming, try breaking it up into small 5 minute sessions several times a day and always reward our pet with a favourite treat at the end of the session. If your pet is seriously matted, then consider visiting a groomer to get your pet back into top shape!