How to Bathe Your Pet

One of the keys to successfully bathing your pet is to make sure that you are in a safe environment. If you are putting your dog or cat in a tub or sink while you bathe them make sure that they aren’t going to slip. Placing a rubber mat in the tub or sink will give your pet a sense of security; rubber door mats work really well for this purpose. Also make sure that you aren’t going to slip if water gets splashed on the floor. If you are using a hose to bathe your dog outside, make sure you are in an area where they feel secure, and that, if they pull away from you grasp, they won’t be able to run out into traffic.

Before you start bathing your pet make sure that the shampoo you are using is very mild. Shampoos that are specially formulated for your pet’s species are best because they wont strip your pet’s coat of the natural oils that they need for healthy skin. If you have to use a human shampoo, try to use one that is meant for infant children. Make sure that the shampoo you are using to wash your pet is unscented. Washing your dog with shampoo that smells like lilacs is only going to encourage him to find a dead fish to roll in to cover the scent. Perfumed shampoos can also dry out your pet’s sensitive skin.

Before you begin bathing your pet, sit down and thoroughly brush its coat. This serves two purposes. First, it helps relax your pet, not to mention yourself. More importantly, running a brush through your pet’s coat will rid it of all dead and loose hair. This is hair that will no longer be around to clog your plumbing system.

Try to use lukewarm water. Hot water can burn your pet’s sensitive skin. Cold water can chill your pet. Both situations can make the bathing experience miserable. If you are bathing your pet in a tub, do not completely fill the tub. Too much water will make your pet nervous, and increase the amount of water that gets splashed on the floor and on you. Use a minimal amount of water when bathing your house pet.

When using a hose or sprayer to spray water over your pet be very careful not to spray water into their ears, which will irritate your pet’s ears may even cause pain. Also try to avoid spraying water in their noses and mouths, for obvious reasons. Getting water in the ears, nose, and mouth will not give your pet pleasant memories of the bathing experience.

When rubbing the shampoo into your pet’s coat start just behind your pet’s ears and work your way towards the pet’s tail. Use a circular motion to rub the shampoo into the pet’s coat. When you are done massaging the shampoo into your pet’s coat use the sprayer or hose to rinse your pet. Make sure that you get all the soap out of your pets hair. Soap that doesn’t get rinsed off will irritate your pet’s skin and cause them to rub and scratch. If the soap irritates the pet enough you could find yourself treating your pet for sensitive skin issues.

When you are done bathing your pet, use a large towel to dry them off.

After bath time is finished, take some time to play with and cuddle with your pet. This will assure them that you still love them, and confirm in both of your minds that bath time doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience.

Grooming Your Cat to Reduce Hairballs

Cat owners know that where there are cats, there are also hairballs. Cats’ oral grooming habits involve swallowing large quantities of hair. Most of the swallowed hair passes harmlessly through the cat’s digestive system, however, problems occur when instead of passing through the cat as usual, the hair becomes lodged in the stomach. As time passes the undigested hair collects with other undigested hair, and food particles, until a hairball forms. The larger the hair ball becomes, the greater a risk it poses to the cat’s health and well being.

A vast majority of cats are able to rid themselves of a hairball by hacking it up. The sound they make when trying to bring up a hairball is similar to a person suffering from dry heaves, although the noise is slightly higher pitched. Most cat owners report that their cats find the best time of day to extract a troublesome hairball is in the middle of the night so that sound can wake the cat’s entire family. Cat owners also find that their cat is very clever at depositing the hairball in places where it’s humans frequently walk barefoot, like on the bathroom floor, directly next to the shower.

As unhappy as cat owners might be about having balls of half digested hair littering their house, they are even less happy about large hairballs that remain in their cat’s digestive tract. When a large hairball makes its way into the cat’s intestine it can create a blockage that frequently means a hasty trip to the vet for an emergency surgery. This surgery can cost several hundred dollars.

Signs that your cat is suffering from a hairball include your cat ignoring their personal grooming regime and allowing their coat to become dirty and matted, constant coughing and hacking, loss of appetite, constipation, and depression. Long haired cats, because of the length of their coat, are more prone to hairballs then their short haired contemporaries.

Pet grooming is a wonderful way for cat owners to prevent the unpleasantness of hairballs. Brushing your cat once a day will remove dead hairs from the cat’s coat. These dead hairs won’t be around to stick to the cat’s tongue and later be swallowed to form a hairball. Although any brush can be used to groom your pet cat, a cat brush purchased from pet store has bristles that are specially designed for cat hair. Daily grooming routines will strengthen the bond between you and your cat.

If you have a long haired cat, or even a short haired cat that seems prone to hairballs, you may want to consider clipping your cat to remove excess hair. Hair that is no longer on the cat’s body can not wreak havoc on their digestive system.

Another thing that cat owners can do to prevent hairball is to purchase cat foods that are specially designed to prevent hairballs from forming in the cat’s digestive system. If your budget won’t extend to purchasing expensive anti-hairball foods, you may want to consider other commercial hairball remedies or even some homemade solutions – many cat owners have had success with feeding their cat a small amount of butter, pureed pumpkin or squash 2-3 times per week.

Cat owners should consult their veterinarian to discuss methods of hairball control.

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