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Don't forget to groom your pet!

27 November 2017

Owning a pet comes with all kinds of responsibilities, whether you have dogs, cats or smaller animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

You'll often be busy feeding, cleaning or walking your four-legged friends, but there's another important job that sometimes gets sidelined - grooming.

We say 'job', but in fact grooming your pet can be a real pleasure. Most animals (not all, it has to be said!), love to have their coats brushed. It can be relaxing for you and your pet and, most importantly, grooming offers considerable health benefits to animals.

Lucy Ross, our Head of Training and pet health expert, says: "Grooming can help prevent hairballs in cats and rabbits and in all animals it will keep the skin in great condition, promoting good circulation and the production of natural oils which is important for healthy skin. Regular grooming also helps keep the coat in its best condition, shiny and glossy.

"Although animals will groom themselves, they can't always stop hair or fur from becoming tangled and matted. This is especially true in long-haired breeds. Matted hair causes discomfort and anxiety, and removing it can be distressing for both pet and owner! The best scenario is to stop hair becoming matted in the first place by grooming regularly."

Lucy added: "When animals self-groom they inevitably swallow some hair, which leads to hairballs building up in the digestive tract. In rabbits this can be particularly dangerous, as they have such delicate digestive systems and are unable to expel hairballs by vomiting like cats can. The more you are able to brush out loose and shed hair, the less chance animals have of developing a hairball and suffering from future health complications."

So how often should you groom, and what's the most effective way of doing it? Our tips will help you to develop an effective grooming routine:

  • Start grooming your pet from a young age. This will help build trust and get them used to the process
  • Aim to groom once a day if possible, especially if your pet is long-haired
  • The best time to groom is after your pet has been fed and/or exercised, so that they are feeling contented and relaxed
  • Use grooming tools that are the right size and design for your animals. There are a huge variety on offer – one of our favourites is FurFixer, a professional-standard grooming tool that gives amazing results and is suitable for many coat types! 
  • As an occasional treat, take your pet to a grooming parlour for a professional service and advice on home treatments. Pets Corner's Dogwood Spa is available in our Ferndown, Camberley and Thatcham stores. 
  • If your pet does not enjoy grooming and won't stay still, try to encourage them by offering just a few strokes of the brush, and then a treat. Gradually increase the amount of strokes, until you are able to groom properly before finishing with a treat to reward good behaviour

If you have any questions at all about grooming, or need help in choosing brushes and combs, don't hesitate to drop into your local Pets Corner store for a chat with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. To find your latest branch check out our store finder page.