If you want your pet to look great and be healthy, you should regularly groom them. This includes brushing them often (many pets grow to absolutely love being brushed, but they have to get used to it first), and giving them an inspection to make sure they aren’t in need of treatment for a small injury or infection. Checking regularly for small things can prevent them from growing into big problems later.
Areas to Check:
- Ears – Check the ears for infection, if you see any discharge or odor take your pet to get checked out by a vet.
- Eyes – Animals tend to not enjoy getting their eyes checked but a quick peak can be very useful in maintaining their health. This is also a good time to trim any hair that might get into their eyes.
- Feet – Just like us, our pets have toe nails that grow over time. Even if you use a scratching post or similar tool to help your pets take care of their nails, you may have to trim them from time to time. The key here is to check regularly so that the nails don’t get in the way when they walk or grow into the animals paws, which can happen over time and is painful to your pet to fix. When trimming their nails, be sure not to cut the nails too close as that will cause the animal to bleed and likely be very upset with you. Nail trimming is essential for maintaining good health. If a dog’s nails are allowed to grow, they will curl over into a spiral shape; walking will become increasingly painful to the dog as they grow, putting pressure on the dogs toes (a bit like walking in shoes that are too small). Uncut nails may curl so far that they pierce the paw pad, leading to infection and debilitating pain. If one does not trim a dog’s nails on a monthly basis the quick will grow along with the nail, making it nearly impossible to cut properly. Owners may choose to trim nails themselves or may opt to take their pet to a groomer or veterinarian.
Nail trimming is done with a nail clipper. There are two main types of nail clippers, the guillotine clipper and the standard scissors nail clipper.
- Teeth – The health of your pet’s teeth is vital to the long term health of your animal. Over time plague and wear can cause disease to your animal, leading to infection of the gums and tooth loss. Just like us, our animals should get regular dental checkups.