Grooming Do’s and Don’ts for Your Pet This Holiday

As the holidays approach, it’s time to make sure everyone in your home looks spiffy—and that includes your pet.  But if you’re considering giving your pet a major makeover or a new, snazzy cosmetic treatment, here are some critical do’s and don’ts of grooming your dog.

Do use grooming as a time to assess your pet’s health. Grooming should be an enjoyable time to spend with your pet. But as you spruce up your pet, look at his or her coat—is it shiny or dull? Are your pet’s eyes alert or runny or cloudy, indicating an illness? Are your pet’s paws healthy or cracked? Does your pet have parasites embedded in the coat? Daily grooming is a first step in maintaining your pet’s health and determining if any problems exist.

Do brush your pet’s hair daily. Regularly brushing your dog or cat’s coat removes loose hairs, dirt and debris, and keeps hair detangled. Daily brushing also cuts shedding and pet dander, reducing the amount of loose hair your pet swallows during self-grooming. Your vet or pet groomer can recommend the best type of brush for your pet’s coat type—whether a short or stiff bristled brush or a long-toothed comb.

Do use proper shampoos at bath time. While it may be tempting to use baby shampoo or whatever shampoo you have handy, it’s best to use shampoos that are specifically formulated to be gentle and nondrying to a dog or cat’s sensitive skin. Dogs usually more tolerant of baths than cats. If your cat needs bathing, but is unable to self-groom or is resistant to a bath, you may want to go to a professional groomer.

Don’t skip teeth brushing. It’s normal to put off areas of grooming your pet may be less than fond of—and the brushing of teeth is often one of them. However, two-thirds of dogs over the age of three have periodontal disease, which can lead to gum soreness, loss of appetite and eventual tooth loss and illness. Your pet’s teeth should be brushed regularly, and it may take time to gently help your pet adjust to the process. If you are unable to brush your pet’s teeth regularly, it’s a good idea to have a groomer perform this service.

Don’t forget nail trimming.  Overly long nails don’t just scratch. They can tear and become infected. They can affect your pet’s gait and traction. Many pets (and pet owners) fear nail trimming. Vets suggest a gradual adjustment using treats and rewards to help your pet get used to nail trimming, but this may best be a service performed by a professional groomer.

Don’t use human hair dye or nail polish on pets. Even if you want your dog or cat to sport colors of the season, be aware that using human products can be dangerous. Hair dyes can irritate your pet’s skin. Both hair dyes and nail polishes intended for humans can make your pet sick if inhaled or ingested.

With these do’s and don’ts of grooming in mind, your pet will be the hit of the holiday season.

Questions about dog grooming or professional dog grooming services at our pet spa in Chapel Hill, NC? Give Dogwood Veterinarian Hospital & Pet Resort a call at 919.942.6330 or email us at

By |2019-01-23T08:39:09-05:00November 18th, 2015|Uncategorized|