Grooming Your Pet Rabbit

Like cats, rabbits pride themselves on cleanliness. This is why it is so easy to teach them to use the litter box, and why they spend several hours a day keeping grooming themselves, maintaining the quality of their skin and coat. However, just because your pet rabbit spends a large amount of its day grooming itself, this doesn’t mean that you are absolved from pet grooming. Rabbits, like all pets, rely on their owners to set a grooming plan and then stick with it.

One of the most important things to do is to brush your rabbit at least once a day. The time you spend brushing your pet bunny will go a long way in establishing a lifelong bond. The health benefits of brushing your pet rabbit include the removal of any dead hairs that your rabbit might other wise swallow. Once swallowed these hairs could form a hairball that can compromise your rabbit’s digestive system. If a hairball creates a blockage, your pet rabbit will have to go to the veterinarian where the resulting surgery could cost several hundred dollars. When you are brushing your rabbit bear in mind that the average rabbit sheds its old coat approximately once every three months. During this period of time, increase the frequency of your brushing, and prepare to vacuum your house more often. You’ll be amazed at how much hair comes off of one tiny rabbit. Rabbits have very delicate skin so look for a brush that has soft bristles and won’t harm your pet bunny’s skin. Some rabbit owners prefer a plastic wide toothed comb for their grooming.

When properly groomed and cared for, long haired rabbits, like Angoras, are simply gorgeous. The problem is that keeping all that hair combed, clean, and free of mats is quite a chore. If a rabbit owner isn’t showing their long haired rabbit competitively, they typically trim the hair so that it is only about one inch long. This helps to keep the rabbit’s coat clean and free of mats while keeping the rabbit more comfortable during the hot summer months. If you have never trimmed a rabbit’s long hair before, you might want to take your rabbit to a professional pet groomer and watch how it’s done before you try it yourself. When using the clippers or scissors, be very careful that you don’t damage the rabbits skin.

If you find a spot where the rabbit’s hair has become so tangled that it has turned into a mat, refrain from using a pair of scissors to remove the mat. It is better if you use a comb and patiently work the mat loose, a few hairs at a time. If you find that this is too trying on your patience, you might want to take your pet rabbit to a professional pet groomer and have them remove the mat with a pair of electric clippers.

Every few weeks, check and make sure that your rabbit’s nails haven’t gotten too long. If you think they are looking long, or notice that they are starting to catch on your carpeting, it is time to trim them. If you have never done this before, take your rabbit to a pet groomer or veterinarian and watch how it is done first. If you are comfortable on your own be careful that you don’t trim the nails so short that you cut the wick and cause injury.

To Muzzle, Or Not to Muzzle?

Home pet grooming can be a harrowing experience for both animal and owner. The activity stresses out some dogs and cats and, as such, they behave differently when they are getting a bath or having their nails clipped. They may snip or bite at the pet groomer even if they familiar with the human grooming them. A loving, docile pet can become all teeth and nails if they do not want to be groomed. The best, most humane way to protect both human and animal during pet grooming is to use a muzzle. Though some people think that a muzzle is cruel, it can keep the animal restrained and stop them from possibly doing harm.

A muzzle fits around the dog’s mouth and is secured around the back of the head with ties or straps. Pet grooming experts agree that the animal feels no discomfort when wearing the muzzle. It leaves enough room for the pet to breathe and at the same time restricts the animal from biting. Muzzles are made in many different sizes. Even small dogs with tiny mouths can inflict a nasty wound. There are no muzzles for cats but there are “head bag” contraptions that fit over the entire head, restricting biting. Pet grooming experts say that the bag is thin enough for the cat to breathe, but will keep the animal from biting the groomer.

There are many styles of muzzles the home pet groomer or pet grooming expert can use. The most popular one is called the softie. The softie is made of a pliable, soft, but resistant material that gives your dog the ultimate comfort as they are being groomed. The DuPont fabric is tear-resistant and durable, able to hold up during any pet grooming experience. It is stain resistant and can be machine washed. If you are grooming several dogs in succession, it is wise to wash the softie between dogs or to use another muzzle so diseases or bacteria will not be passed on.

There are several sizes of softies even for little breeds like Yorkies or Chihuahuas. Pet grooming experts do emphasize to not keep the muzzle on for an extended period of time. The muzzle could interfere with the animal’s natural cooling system.

The softie should not be used with overly aggressive dogs. When grooming an animal known to bite or attack, a leather muzzle is best. The leather will have enough strength to restrain the dog’s jaws and keep the groomer from getting bit, while having adequate space for the dog to pant and cool down. Besides pet grooming, these muzzles can be used during walks. They will warn passers-by that the dog is not friendly while protecting the public from a dog who doesn’t get along well with strangers. The drawback of the muzzle is that if your animal is attacked by another, it will have no way to defend itself.

Whether you are pet grooming or just worried about the disposition of your animal, the muzzle will protect you and your pet. Remember to look into multiple muzzling options before settling on any one model – find out what variety works best for your pet.

Home Grooming Tips

So, Fido is getting a little scruffy. Pet grooming professionals can be very expensive and sometimes all you need is a quick touch-up. Home pet grooming has gained popularity in the last 10 years. The dilemma faced by the novice pet groomer is where to find the right pet grooming supplies — you’ll need a variety of clippers, scissors, brushes, and combs. The supplies you need vary with the type of dog you have and whether that dog has long or short hair. The thickness of the coat also plays a role.

Pet grooming supplies can be found at your local veterinarian’s office. Here you can find clippers, nail clippers, and even small, little clippers that can cut ear hair. This is not your best bet in respect to expense. The veterinarian usually has a high markup in all their pet grooming supplies. The advantage is that you will find veterinarians close to your home and will not have to mail order or order the supplies off of the Internet. You might want to call ahead to make sure that your but veterinarian has the proper pet grooming supplies for your breed of dog. Different breed sometimes require different supplies, and if you have a rare breed for that area of the country in which you live, it may be hard to find the proper grooming equipment. Veterinarians will also offer a dearth of valuable information for the curious first-time pet groomer.

If you’re looking for more value, and a larger selection, many online pet grooming supply companies exist. Some offer next day delivery and though the shipping cost might be expensive, the quality of the product and the assurance that the product meets your pet grooming needs is worth the cost. Online pet grooming sites offer tips on how to groom your pet, and they also offer tips on trying different styles and cuts. Online pet grooming sites also offer a variety of products like shampoos, conditioners, and products that remove vermin such as fleas and ticks. Be careful if your animal has sensitive skin. Some products may have an acidic quality that may leave rashes or irritating marks on your animal’s skin.

If you live in a large urban center, a large pet outlet store may be the right fit for you. They carry pet grooming supplies as well as other supplies your pets might need. These stores often have professional groomers with whom you can make an appointment or discuss grooming techniques. Some have a walk-in policy, while others need an appointment well in advance. The store personnel will offer advice on pet grooming tips that match up with your dog’s breed, size, and hair type. They will also have a large assortment of shampoos, brushes, clippers, and scissors.

No matter what venue you explore to find the best grooming supplies for your pet’s needs, make sure you ask questions and investigate the proper techniques to keep your pet looking and feeling great.

Guinea Pigs: A Great First Pet

The sight of a guinea pig nosing around in a pile of fresh shavings is an image that brings a smile to both parents and children alike.

A large population of adults have fond memories of the guinea pig they raised as a child. It doesn’t take a lot of encouragement before they are describing the way it looked and recounting the adventures they shared. Most parents who had guinea pigs during their childhood are normally quick to make sure that their children have a pet guinea pig to call their own.

Parents like the idea of guinea pigs as a child’s first pet for a variety of reasons. Compared to cats and dogs, guinea pigs are a cheap pet. Even rescuing a kitten from an animal shelter can cost more than fifty dollars. However, a young, well-cared for guinea pig can be purchased for around fifteen dollars. The average guinea pig doesn’t need as much veterinary care as a dog or cat. A guinea pig can be kept in the child’s bedroom, lessening the impact on your furniture and shoes. In short a guinea pig is a smart choice to teach a child about the responsibility needed to care for a pet.

One of the skills that children will develop when they are raising a guinea pig is pet grooming. Despite their diminutive size, guinea pigs, like dogs and cats, need to be groomed on a regular basis.

Parents who are concerned that their child will be lax about grooming their pet guinea pig should make sure that they purchase a short haired breed of guinea pig. The short hair will not tangle and mat like their long haired counterparts. Brushes that have soft bristles are the best for brushing guinea pigs, the soft bristles won’t hurt the guinea pig’s skin.

When your guinea pig comes home, teach your child how to examine its eyes, ears and nose, to make sure that they are clean and free of debris. Show them how to use a warm slightly wet washcloth to gently wipe any mucus that might be accumulating in the corners of their eyes.

Guinea pigs don’t require a great deal of of brushing, and they shouldn’t be bathed. They do need to have their nails clipped. This is an activity that the parent needs to supervise. Explain to your child that they are not suppose to remove the guinea pigs entire nail, that the only thing that is going to be removed with the nail clippers is the sharp tip of the nail. On a guinea pig that has white nails you should be able to see the tiny blood vessels that run through the nails, explain to your child that the blood vessels represent a living part of the nail, that the goal is to trim the nail with hurting the tiny blood vessels. If your pet guinea pig has dark nails, your probably won’t be able to see the blood vessels. On dark nailed guinea pigs, the rule of thumb is to trim approximately 1/4 of an inch of the guinea pig’s nail.

The biggest problem with guinea pigs is that they can smell quite offensive if the cage environment is not cleaned regularly. The scent of an unclean guinea pig cage can quickly drive the entire family from the house. It is important to make sure that your child understand that it is extremely important to clean the guinea pig’s cage on a regular basis. Explain that the health of their guinea pig as well as the family harmony depends on them keeping the cage clean and the bedding fresh.

The History of Pet Grooming

Pet grooming is a common practice in our society. People don’t even think twice about spending hundreds of dollars having their pets groomed and bathed by a pet grooming professional. It is such a common convenience that many people forget the history of what made this profession what it is. If you look at the paintings of the Elizabethan era you will see pets portrayed in paintings that are well groomed and clean. Who did the grooming? Was grooming a pet an actual profession in days gone by? Was the local barber responsible for pet care as well as cutting human hair and juggling various medical responsibilities? Would the local Lord or Lady have their hair cut alongside their pet?

As domestic breeds and house pets became popular in the 17th century, poodles in France received recognition for being the dog of the court. References also record that professional grooming parlors were open for dogs at that time. In 1879 Vero Shaw wrote a book called The Book of the Dog, which discussed dog grooming in England and gave helpful hints of how to clean, groom, and keep your dog healthy.

As animals became more a part of society, the appearance of pets and work animals became more important. Animals were groomed, either by their owners or professional pet groomers. Animals such as horses were groomed by stable boys or their owners as a kind of offshoot of the owners taste and wealth. As animal labour was replaced by automobiles and machines, the grooming of the animal took on a more personal reflection of the owner, particularly in high society. A well-groomed and clean animal was a sign of wealth and prosperity.

In today’s perception of pet grooming, the animal is considered part of the family or something to show as a source of pride. Organizations such as 4H incorporate pet grooming into their program so that not only the health of the animals is displayed but also the owner’s attention to the animal. Special events are organized to present current animal grooming techniques and the products of the pet grooming industry. Horses and other livestock are adorned during parades and rodeos making the animals a showpiece. There are even pet grooming conventions that meet periodically around the United States and the world to present the newest techniques and equipment used in the pet grooming industry.

There are thousands of web pages dedicated to the art and fashion of grooming and as with many long-standing professions a rich history of pet grooming dictates pride and self-achievement in the professional. So the next time you visit your local pet grooming expert, remember that they are not just a service, but they have been backed with centuries of expertise, refinement, and dedication to the art. The next time you drop off your animal to a pet grooming expert, remember your animal will be taken care of with pride and integrity.

Sale! February Only, all Tropiclean Products 15% OFF

We love savings at Bow Meow Pet Care! Stop by today to browse our selection of Tropiclean Water Additives to help your pet’s breath stay fresh — for the month of February, all Tropiclean products are 15% OFF!

Tropiclean’s natural Water Additive is developed to provide dogs and cats with essential daily oral hygiene care. Without proper dental care, 70% of dogs and cats start to show signs of oral disease by age 3. Oral disease can eventually lead to tooth loss or other serious health problems. Tropiclean’s natural Water Additive promotes healthy gums and eliminates bad breath for up to 12 hours. With natural aloe vera and green tea leaf extract, Tropiclean does wonders for the dreaded “doggy breath” while maintaining good oral health. Simply add a tablespoon to your dog’s drinking water.

For the month of February, all Tropiclean oral care products are 15% off! Ask any of our knowledgeable groomers for more advice concerning your dog’s oral health – there are many products on the market today to help Fido’s breath stay fresh!

Choosing a Cat Groomer

When considering pet grooming options, one must decide which pet groomer will best suit your needs. There are many dog groomers out there, but very few cat groomers. If you have a cat, you should look carefully at what specific facilities offer cat grooming expertise. Cats are finicky animals and they can be very hard to groom, putting the groomer at risk for bites or scratches. Choosing a professional cat groomer is a important decision the pet owner must make to ensure the health and happiness of their cat. As with all animals, a quality grooming service helps put your pet at ease and makes the grooming experience a positive one.

Cat pet grooming is a difficult job and not many people are up to the task. Some of the best dog groomers refuse to groom cats due to the fact of the danger to both themselves and the animal. Most cats do not like water and bathing them can be a adventure as both cat and human fight for dominance. Most cats become emotionally distraught when immersed in water, and it takes a experienced pet groomer to calm the cat and at the same time protect both parties involved.

Pet grooming techniques have been designed to keep the animal safe and give the animal confidence in the groomer. A good cat groomer will use the necessary gloves and other equipment to make bathing a more pleasant experience for the feline.

Another aspect of cat grooming is to cut mats off long-haired cats. Breeds such as Persians and Blue Hairs are notorious for having big mats several inches in diameter which are tightly packed against the skin. Grooming these types of animals requires diligence in finding these mats and cutting them short enough to brush out without actually shaving the hair off of the skin.

To ensure less frequent trips to the grooming expert, it is advisable to brush your cat out daily and avoid the unsightly mats as they appear.

Grooming and Your Pet’s Mental Health

How is pet grooming important to the mental health of your animal? Whether you own a cat, dog, our gerbil the mental health of your animal reflects the physical condition of that animal and the relationship between pet and owners. Having your pet properly groomed is essential to maintaining a healthy balance of cleanliness and mental health. The dog who’s hair is too long for the summer or a cat whose nails are too long and need to be clipped are animals who may be experiencing an undue amount of stress. Proper pet grooming can be a practical way to show your pet that you care.

The simple act of creating a bond that is fostered between an animal and their owner during grooming is the most important aspect of encouraging the mental health of your animal. While grooming, you are constantly hands-on, stroking your animal and pulling out mats and snags in their hair that may have been a source of discomfort. As you groom your animal, the animal becomes more placid and at ease. Your pet’s grooming method may include using brushes, clippers or a variety of other instruments. Let your pet smell the instrument before you start applying it to their hair or skin. The more familiar they are with the tools that you use, the less stress they will feel having an unknown object or structure near and on their body.

If you are using clippers that make a noise, turn them on a good distance from your pet. Turn them off again and walk toward your pet, turning them on and gently putting the vibration next to their body. When they realize that the clippers will not hurt them, they will be more comfortable allowing you to cut their hair.

Any pet grooming must start with gentle words and soothing sounds. After a while, when grooming becomes a daily routine, your pet will be more at ease with you grooming them, plus they will become interested in the daily routine. With the dual purpose of both grooming and bonding, the grooming session will produce a animal that a deeper bond with their owner and better mental health. They will feel more secure in their home and will have trust in their owner as they find out that this new experience will not hurt them. If you happen to cut your pet’s nails too short or cause any other kind of discomfort to your animal, make a big deal over it by giving them extra hugs and more attention.

They will realize that it was only a mistake, and you will quickly rebuild trust.

As your confidence in the pet grooming process grows, so will your pet’s trust in you as a responsible owner.

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