Low Cost Pet Grooming Tips & Tricks
Published on November 8, 2018 by A. Rothstein
Different animal breeds can have very different grooming needs. The nearly hypoallergenic Poodle, for example, doesn’t shed much, but this dog does need daily brushing and regular coat clips to keep that curly coat under control. The almost hairless Sphynx cat, on the other hand, barely has any coat to groom, and the Cornish Rex cat is famously non-shedding. Regardless of the pet breed or even the species, there is always a way to save money on pet grooming without sacrificing any of the care your pet needs.
Grooming your pet requires regularity to reduce resistance. If you try to brush your dog’s teeth every 10 days you will get more resistance than if you did it every day. Your pet gets used to the toothbrush and goes along much easier. A simple daily routine that includes dental hygiene, hair combing and a brief nail inspection will reduce odors in your home, keep your pet’s teeth clean and eliminate bad breath. Be patient with this process–it requires consistency to acclimate the pet.
Tip #1: Use the Right Pet Grooming Brushes for Coat and Skin Health
Different pet coat types will respond better to certain brushes and grooming tools. Using the right brush and grooming tools can not only reduce the time spent on these maintenance chores but can also improve the final result.
Dogs like the Golden Retriever, a breed known for its water-resistant, heavy, double-layer coat, often require use of a slicker brush and an undercoat rake to keep the coat healthy and maintain owner sanity during the twice-yearly sheds or “coat blows.” An undercoat rake can penetrate all the way down to the skin level, easing out shed and dead hair and massaging the skin to spread skin oils. Coat rakes also remove trapped dirt and debris and aerating both skin and coat to promote good health. A slicker brush is one particularly popular type of rake and many of these have self-cleaning features to make post-brushing cleanup easy.
These tools are not price and can help owners avoid an urgent and expensive trip to the veterinarian. You may need to see your veterinarian when your pet’s coat gets tangled, matted due to improper or neglected brushing and grooming. Teaching clients how to properly brush their pets at home and making sure they have the right tools can also make a professional pet groomer’s job easier when it comes time for a grooming appointment.
Tip #2: Nail Trims Done Right Are Simple, Safe and Quick
Many pet owners are nervous about even attempting to do nail trims at home. They worry about nipping the nail and drawing blood, wondering if their pet will ever trust them again. A key to mastering the art of the simple and safe nail trims is making sure the pet owner has the right tools. These tools are not expensive and are typically quite durable and long-lasting.
There are several options, from rotating electric nail files to manual nail clippers and trimmers. Sometimes both tools are used together to keep nails short and smooth. The key to success here is not to rush or wait until the situation is out of control, for example the nails are long and hampering movement. Start with just one nail. Let your pet see the pet grooming tool and explore it. Do one nail and then take a break, then repeat. Offer lots of praise to your pet throughout the process.
A dog or cat that is able to run around and play on a hard surface indoors or outdoors will also have less of a need for maintenance nail clipping. Daily friction on hard surfaces is an easy way to slow your pet’s nail maintenance.
Tip #3: At-Home Eye Cleaning That Is Easy and Cheap
Some dog and cat breeds have a specific muzzle type known as flat-faced (brachycephalic). Examples of these breeds includes Persian and Himalayan cats and the equally popular English bulldog and pug dog breeds. These breeds tend to experience more eye tearing because of their short, flattened skull shape and shallow eye sockets. This face shape causes difficulties with eye closure, eye dryness and excessive tearing.
Today affordable and reputable pet grooming products are available both to help clear away dried matter from around the eyes and to lessen the visual appearance of tear stains. For severe stains, trimming the coat around the eyes quite carefully with delicate clippers is also a method for improving a pet’s comfort and appearance. Supplements are also available to help manage excessive tear duct production and many of these are available over-the-counter with no prescription needed.
Tip #4: Brushing Teeth Correctly at Home Reduces Periodontal Risk
According to the American Veterinary Dental Association, most pets show some signs of gingivitis or early stage periodontal disease by the time they are three. Establishing a regular tooth brushing routine early in life can go a long way towards preventing painful and costly treatments later on in your pet’s life.
Unfortunately, many well-intentioned pet owners simply don’t know how to brush their pet’s teeth. For new owners of adult rescue pets, there is an additional intimidation factor that may prevent at-home brushing. A vet tech will help teach a pet owner how to brush their pet’s teeth and make sure they are using the right tools. Those pet grooming tools include a pet toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for pets. This can save pet owners lots of cash and heartache and help the pet’s teeth stay intact and healthy.
One of the best ways to begin brushing your pet’s teeth is simply by smearing a bit of peanut butter or sardine juice on your fingers. Move your fingers gently over the pet’s gum line until your pet tolerates it. This will make it more like treat time than tooth brushing. As your pet becomes more comfortable, you can transition to a finger toothbrush and some flavored pet toothpaste. From here, it becomes possible to transition yet again to a real pet toothbrush if needed.
These pet grooming tricks and tools are easy to find, inexpensive and can save on veterinary treatment later in your pet’s life.
Tip #5: Ear Cleaning Keeps Infection at Bay
All dogs and cats need regular ear cleanings. Dogs and cats with long, floppy ears that hang down over the ear canal need ear cleaning even more than most to stay healthy. The Scottish Fold cat is the best feline example of this. Basset Hounds, Beagles and Cocker Spaniels are some canine breeds with drop ears.
Often the best time to clean the ears is on bath day. Veterinarian-approved ear cleaning solutions are affordable and work well with simple cotton pads or cotton balls. The vet tech should not recommend Q-tips, as these can force debris deeper into the ear canal. Regular ear cleanings can prevent the need for costly treatment of ear infections.
Tip #6: Home Bathing Brings It All Together
It is true some dog and cat breeds are fonder of water than others. Creating a safe, fun environment for bathing at home can go a long way to convince your pet to participate willingly and help you save on professional bathing. A non-slip bathmat and a detachable hose shower head makes for an ideal pet bath setup. Always use pet shampoo and conditioner, as “people” products are not pH balanced for pet skin.
Bundling ear cleaning, eye cleaning, nail trims, tooth brushing and other necessaries in with bath day can make short work of these necessary tasks and keep costs well in hand.
Interested in learning more about pet grooming tips and tricks? How about starting a program to become a veterinary technician? With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to start an entry-level career as a veterinary technician. Broadview University has been part of the community for more than 40 years, so we’ve developed connections that can help move your career forward. After completing our accredited degree program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passing the VTNE allows you to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), a designation that will give you a competitive advantage when you enter the job market.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming a veterinary technician and working in veterinary technology.
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