While the nation is coming to terms with the fact that their trusted barbers and hair salons won’t be reopening for some time; we’ve started to notice more of our friends and family are sporting an array of DIY buzz cuts and home colouring experiments. And, dare we say it; some are definitely more successful than others!
Our faithful felines, playful pooches and small furries may also be feeling the effects of not going for their regular visit to the groomers, but help is at hand for pet parents who want to give their animals some much needed TLC. Here’s our guide to getting grooming right.
Tools for the job
As with human grooming products, it’s essential to choose the right tools for the job. You may think the kitchen scissors or your own nail clippers will do the trick, but you could risk injury either to yourself or your fur baby. Do some research, or even better drop your regular groomer a message, as we’re sure they’d be happy to help as an interim measure.
The most important thing to remember is to only groom when you and your pet are nice and relaxed, and to stop when they begin to show signs of stress such as lip licking or panting. Start by letting them sniff and get used to all the tools you are going to use. By rewarding them with small tasty treats and lots of gentle praise they will soon start to associate grooming with the positive bonding experience it is.
Did you know there are five basic types of dog coat and therefore specific brushes to suit? It’s always a good idea to brush before bathing too.
1. Smooth coated dogs such as Jack Russells or Dachshunds tend to need the least amount of grooming. Try a bristle brush first, for conditioning, and then a pin brush to remove loose hair. Our 2 in1 double sided brush is ideal for this.
2. Double coated Collies or Newfoundlands have both soft, insulating undercoats and tougher water repellent topcoats. Use a self-cleaning slicker on a shorter undercoat or a rake comb for longer haired breeds.
3. Curly coats, found on Poodles and Bichon Frises, can easily get tangled as they don’t shed fur. Use a soft slicker brush going against the lay of hair to fluff the coat and help detangle.
4. Long coated pooches require daily brushing and those with an undercoat such as German Shepherds require a slicker brush to remove fur, a dematting comb to reduce tangles and a bristle brush to finish and condition.
5. Wire coated terriers are susceptible to tangles so need a combination of a fur-stripping comb with a slicker brush.
When brushing, look out for unwanted hitchhikers such as fleas or ticks. A sign of fleas is usually when you spot black flecks of flea waste in the coat. These can be safely removed with shampoo treatment and a flea comb, while ticks can safely be removed with a tick remover. But don’t forget to also treat the house and pet bedding; plus, apply a suitable treatment to help prevent the pet from becoming reinfested.
When it comes to our kitties, they are generally very clean animals and spend about 10% of their time self-cleaning, but they sometimes need a bit of extra help especially if they are long haired or older cats. Be extra careful around the chest and tummy if you want to avoid being scratched or bitten though.
1. Short haired cats only need to be brushed once a week. First, use a moult stoppa, working through the fur from head to tail, before finishing with a bristle brush.
2. Longer haired felines ideally need to be brushed every day, a bristle brush used in an upwards motion on their body will keep the coat tangle-free. Pay extra care around the tail by parting down the middle and brushing either side.
It might be tempting to use your own shampoo when it comes to your pets - but hold fire - even sensitive shampoos can irritate your animal’s skin. Check the water temperature with your elbow rather than hands, as this gives a true reflection of how it will feel to your four-legged friend. Try this nifty 2 in 1 bath and groom brush to solve the challenge of getting the right amount of soap around the body easily. It dispenses soap at the touch of a button, whilst its bristles and rubber teeth clean and massage at the same time - heaven!
If like us, you’ve struggled to keep your dog happy and controlled in the tub whilst trying to juggle the shower, shampoo bottles and the towel at the same time, then looking for multi-purpose products that keep your hands free will really help. The Aquapaw Bathing Tool is the world's first wearable combination sprayer-scrubber that you wear like a glove and fits onto your shower or outdoor hose. The water supply is turned on and off by simply making a fist. This unique design allows you to stay in total control over your pup and the flow of water during the entire bathing process. Preventing mess and saving water at the same time!
Top tip: Bath like a pro - use a non-slip bath mat to avoid panic scrambling and distract them with the Aqua Paw Slow Treater, spread their favourite treat (ours love peanut butter) and stick to a smooth surface within easy reach.
Some pets may be pretty relaxed when it comes to touching their feet and clipping their nails, but for those that aren’t, start off touching their paws and get them used to massage. We’d recommend watching some tutorial videos if you are new to this, and of course having the right clippers is essential. Guillotine clippers are ideal for cats as they are easy to control for accurate clipping. As cats tend to be out and about and use scratching posts (or the sofa), their claws might not need trimming as regularly as dogs, if at all. But with more time spent indoors and potentially less walking, our pooches’ nails may be starting to get a little long - but how can you tell if they need clipping? With your dog standing in front of you, and with their front legs under the shoulders, the nails should not touch the ground: a piece of paper should fit between the dog’s nails and the floor. Otherwise, they are too long. As a general rule, if you hear the nails clicking or their nails turn sideways, then it’s high time to trim those nails.
Even your small furry friends may benefit from a little pedicure and our deluxe Claw trimmers are paw - fect for little feet!
Last on the list for our beloved canines, is a good old fur cut! Make sure your dog is brushed and bathed first, take a look at what areas need a trim and then work slowly. Again, choosing the right scissors is important, shorter ones are ideal for the face and ears. Keeping long hair around the eyes shorter can help reduce eye irritations. Trim body hair first with scissors and then tackle the more sensitive areas such as ears, tail and paws last. Practice makes perfect with this skill, but your pooch will thank you for helping to lighten the fur load, however questionable the styling is!
Unless your cat has some matting or tangles that brushing won’t help with, then we don’t suggest trimming, and regular grooming should also help avoid the need for this.
How are you keeping your pets looking dapper during isolation? We’d love to hear your tips and see your grooming pictures. Share on our social channels @rosewoodpet.
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