Grooming ~ Make It Happy.

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Do You Dread Grooming Your Pet?

Right off the bat I’m going give you one word – FURMINATOR. It will save your life. Don’t struggle anymore with only a conventional bristle brush or comb that pulls and tears at your pet’s delicate skin. Add the Furminator to your grooming toolbox. It has razor blades safely buried deep into the teeth that gently slice away the knots as you comb, without all the pain. Life just got a whole lot more comfortable for both of you. Knots and mats will become a thing of the past. But, if your pet is already a bit matted, start with the Furminator or similar functioning tool. Save the conventional brush and comb for simple maintenance grooming later when his coat is all tangle-free again.


Okay, so much for plugging a product. Let’s get down to the “knots” and bolts.  🙂

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!

When you groom away loose fur and dust and dander in your pet’s coat, his coat will flow more freely, stop itching, and be overall healthier. And big bonus – you’ll want to snuggle and cuddle and love on him again, too. Everyone’s happy! 🙂 And, grooming also stimulates your pet’s skin surface and makes him feel refreshed and revitalized – that is, if you’re using the right tools that promote gentleness instead of ripping and tearing.

Think how fabulous you feel after a shower – you want to give your pet that same wonderful feeling, right. One of my favorite things is belly-laughing at my dog as he zooms all crazy through the house after a bath or a grooming session. He’s so thrilled it’s like he thinks he can run faster. I love making him feel THAT good. You can get that same response with the right grooming practices, too.

First, Protect Your Pet’s Faith In You.

IMPORTANT: If you continue trying to groom your matted pet with the wrong tools, causing him pain and distress, you will eventually lose “pet quality” – that special bond between you. Because he will no longer trust you. He’ll run from you, hide from you, nip at you, pee on the floor, whatever it takes to avoid that terrible thing you’re going to do to him. He doesn’t speak “people” so he can’t understand that the pain you’re putting on him is for his own good. You both are miserable, and you have effectively become the enemy. Let’s avoid that.

Don’t Ignore Your Pet’s Grooming Needs, Not Even For A Day.

I’ve been active in pet rescue for decades, and it’s amazing the number of longhair pets that get surrendered to shelters because someone never groomed them and just gave up. Persians, Himalayans, Maltese, Shih Tzus, etc., are the higher percentage of rescues my organization (Milagro Senior Pet Refuge) takes in, because no one wants to take on all the work of getting them back in good shape … and keeping them that way. If you ever get a chance to see their condition when they come in, it will make you cry. I’ve seen even big grown men brought to tears for what these poor animals have suffered. Heartbreaking.  >> It’s VERY important to recognize that life will be profoundly happier for BOTH of you if you take a brief moment every day to quickly run a comb through her coat to remove any mats or knots that may be starting. Takes no longer than brushing your own hair. A small effort to show a giant expression of love and devotion.   🙂

Does Skipping A Day Or Two Really Matter?

If you have a longhair, high-maintenance pet, and are tempted now and then to ignore its grooming, please reconsider. The cat or dog will suffer untreated itching, matting, pulling, pain; and then suffer through a brutal shave-down session when you finally wake up and realize it’s overdue. So it’s like constant misery for the pet. This is especially true for cats, who are much more sensitive to abrupt and drastic changes. Some folks opt for a yearly shave-down and leave it at that. While not the ideal practice, it’s better than no grooming at all. But, even with once-a-year shade-downs, you still must be diligent the rest of the time to brush regularly and keep any knots from forming and causing her pain in between shave-downs.

Always be thoughtful and aware of her comfort, or lack of. Skipping a day or two can have a snowball effect. For example, you’re tempted to skip a day or two and don’t see a big difference in Fluffy’s coat. So you figure it’s probably okay to skip even another day or two and, next thing you know, you weren’t paying attention and now you’ve lost track. It’s been weeks or months, and now you’re looking at more than simple combing – now you’re facing damage control, unpleasant no matter how you look at it.  Kind of like allowing yourself an ice cream cone today … and another one tomorrow, thinking it won’t really make a difference in your weight.  Same thing next week, another ice cream cone, then another. And all of a sudden, three months down the road, now you can’t fit into your little black dress, or your favorite jeans.  Ignoring responsibilities always catches up with you. In this case, it will be your precious pet who suffers.

It’s very important to know that, when your pet sheds, all that loose fur doesn’t just release and fall away. Lots of what has been shed stays right there in your pet’s coat causing matting, knotting, itching, and even aggravates allergies for both you and your pet. If the mats and knots aren’t removed right away, they become tighter and tighter, making it hard for your pet to walk or even move normally, and causing your poor little pet’s skin to tear and get infected.

Once your pet’s coat gets to that point (God Forbid!), it becomes necessary to hire a professional groomer to shave your pet totally down all over so the skin can be treated and start to heal, and the coat can start growing in healthy again. A pet should not have to suffer like that. So let’s share some good and easy guidelines to prevent all that bad stuff.


P.S. Unless you’re experienced with electric clippers, DO NOT try to shave your pet’s coat down yourself. There is a very real likelihood that you’ll cut her skin, even to the point of needing stitches. Protect your pet – don’t take unnecessary chances.

Grooming = Love.

Grooming also helps in more ways than just detangling fur. Grooming your pet promotes a close relationship between the two of you. It’s a time for you to enjoy each other’s company and build trust.

Reminder: As I said above, always protect the trust that exists between you and your pet. Using the wrong grooming tools, causing her pain and distress, or trying to shave her without the proper experience, can cause the pet to lose trust in you and, just like people, trust is difficult to rebuild once it’s lost.

Grooming also is a great way for you to stay up-to-date on what’s happening with your pet’s health. While you’re grooming your pet, you can feel for lumps, bumps, injuries, parasites, over-grown toenails, dry eyes, ear infections, etc. And watching on a regular basis for early signs of such health issues gives you a jump on them, so you can get your pet to a veterinarian before the issues become more challenging and cause your pet to suffer. These demonstrations of care for your pet translate into love, and THAT is a language he understands.

Do-It-Yourself Or Professional Groomer?

If your pet really hates grooming and you just don’t want to be the “bad guy” who puts him through it, then consider having a professional do the grooming for you. That way, the groomer becomes the bad guy and now you’re the good guy, the hero, when you come to rescue him after the session is finished.  And after your pet is professionally groomed, then you can do the easy maintenance grooming in-between professional sessions, and your pet will love you. It’s a win-win!   🙂

If cost is a consideration and you can’t afford a professional groomer on a regular basis, then think about having a professional groom your pet just once in awhile, even if only once or twice a year, with the commitment that you will be conscientious and do the easy maintenance grooming the rest of the time. As long as you keep up the regular at-home grooming in between, that’s still infinitely better than ignoring your pet’s grooming needs altogether. Like I said in one of my other posts about dental care – ignoring the need doesn’t make it go away. In the end, you will only invite a bigger problem upon yourself and more suffering on the pet.

ShortHair Pets Need Grooming Too.

Even though you won’t need a Furminator for grooming your shorthair pet, you should know that shorthair pets still shed as much as longhair pets. And short fur aggravates allergies – yours and his – just as much as long fur. Plus, even tho it may not mat like long fur, short fur causes itching and discomfort for your pet. And don’t forget that grooming revitalizes your pet’s skin surface and makes him feel refreshed – the simple act of grooming/brushing your shorthair pet equals love. These are good things we want to give our pets.

Final Touches.

Your grooming sessions should also include a bath, nail trim, teeth brushing (see my post), ear cleaning, eye drops (see my post), and expressing anal glands.


Okay, expressing the anal glands is “acky” so most people opt to have their veterinarian do it, which is a good idea, considering it typically costs under $20. And usually once a year is enough, unless your pet is prone to infections.  How do you know?  The most obvious sign is if he scoots around on his butt a lot. That’s a real give-away.

Nail trimming is also inexpensive at the vet. But, if you want to do it yourself, here’s the first rule. Look closely at each nail and be very sure that you can see the “quick” – the pink internal coloration that is where the pet’s nerves and soft tissue begin. Be VERY careful not to cut into that. If your pet has dark-colored nails so that you can’t locate the quick, then trim conservatively and take only small amounts off the tip to avoid cutting the quick. Better to trim small bits more often than trying to take big cuts in one session and injuring your pet.

NOTE: A great trick to minimize allergies for both you and your pet is to wipe your pet down head-to-toe after grooming. This removes loose dander, which is what actually causes allergies. As I’ve said in other posts, it’s not the pet that people are allergic to; it’s the dust and dander and pollen in its fur.  So every night before bed, and at the end of grooming sessions, quickly wipe your pet down head-to-toe – first with this handy glove (below) to remove any remaining loose fur, and then with a damp rag to remove leftover traces of dander, dust, and pollen. Then begin to notice the difference, how much better everyone will start feeling.  🙂

Watch for my next post on eye care.

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God Bless and Happy Pet Parenting!

With love and good wishes,
jeannie.   ?

About jeannie:  I’ve been pro-actively involved in pet rescue all of my life. I founded Milagro Senior Pet Refuge© (Phoenix) in 1998, and BareFootPets (TM) in 2008.  Animal welfare has always been and will always be my heart’s work. If my only legacy is that I save a handful of precious souls that would not survive otherwise, I’m good with that.