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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