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Health and Behavioral Information

Health and Behavioral
Information

CHOOSING A GROOMER

Imagine how you would look and feel if you never bathed, brushed your hair or trimmed your nails. To be healthy and happy, your companion animal needs basic grooming, too.

You can handle the basic brushing and other simple grooming procedures yourself. This type of regular grooming helps to develope a close bond between you and your pet, and keeps you informed of the condition of his fur, skin, teeth, nails, and ears. In fact, it is not uncommon to discover lumps, infections, and other problems during a thorough grooming routine.

SHOULD YOU TAKE YOUR PET TO A PROFESSIONAL GROOMER?

The answer depends on the type of pet that you have and your comfort level. For example, many people feel comfortable grooming their short- haired cats at home, while owners of long-haired dogs prone to mats opt for professional grooming. If you fall into the latter category, this need not be a "hair-raising" experience for you, your pet, or the groomer. The key is finding the RIGHT groomer to provide QUALITY grooming care for your pet.

WHAT IS GROOMING?

Grooming is more than just a hair cut, it may include bathing, combing, brushing, clipping nails, cutting or shaving mats, cleaning ears, expressing anal glands, and controlling external parasites.

WHY CHOOSE A GROOMER?

You may not have the time, tools, experience, or physical ability to adequately groom your pet. For example, some pets (like poodles) have their fur groomed into paticular styles that require a professional. Or a pet may require regular or seasonal clipping, medicated or flea bath, removal of skunk odors or harmful substances, or removal of matted fur. Typically a trained professional can more safely and humanely handle tricky procedures and tempermental or frightened animals. (Removing severe mats should always be done by an experienced groomer to avoid accidental cuts.) Keep in mind, however, that professional groomers aren't miracle workers (even if thats the company name ;-) ) its up to you to stay on top of your pet's grooming needs.

HOW DO I EVALUATE A GROOMING FACILITY?

Before selecting a groomer, tour the facility. Here are some factors to consider:

Is the facility well lit? - Does it look and smell clean? - Does the staff appear knowledgeable and caring and do they handle pets gently? - If applicable, are cages adequately sized and are dogs and cats caged in seperate areas? - Are pets monitored regularly to prevent overheating during blow drying? - Does the groomer keep complete pet records?

Cost of grooming will vary according to the facility, where you live, your pet's species and size, the severity of matting and the simplicity or difficulty of the cut. Mobile grooming will generally cost about $10 to $15 more because they come to your home. It is advisable to call the facilities you are considering for price quotes.

HOW CAN I EASE MY PET'S FEARS?

It's important for your pet to tolerate being groomed, regardless of how often you take them to a professional. To train your pet, groom them briefly when your both relaxed. For example, begin by gently massaging his coat each morning as you feed him. Gradually introduce a brush or comb. Each day, increase the grooming time and work on different areas. Reward your pet for cooperating. The more comfortable your pet feels with home grooming and around strangers, the better he'll tolerate professional grooming.

WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE THE FIRST VISIT?

Make sure your pet is up to date on veterinary treatment for the safety of both your pet and your groomer.

When making the appointment, inform the groomer of your pet's needs. To provide special handling, the groomer must know in advance whether your pet is geriatric or has a chronic health condition. Also, warn the groomer of any habits your pet has that may interfere with safe and successful grooming. Finally, when dropping your pet at the groomer, BID YOUR PET GOODBYE QUICKLY. Emotional departures will increase your pet's stress level. When you pick up your pet, both of you will enjoy that clean, mat-free coat that makes pet's - and their people - more comfortable.

The Humane Society of the United States

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