Becoming a pet owner is an honor and responsibility—for everyone and everything involved! Cuddles and treat time come at a price, especially when you have furry companions. Their food can fur and get everywhere, including places around the home you don’t usually pay attention to.
Playtime outside can also leave muddy pawprints you don’t want to deal with. While you advocate for your dog or cat’s exercise routine, how do you strike a balance between love and cleanliness?
Well, for many homeowners, it means turning to home pet grooming, but beware—it’s easier said than done. A clean home doesn’t necessarily follow a clean pet, and vice versa, so you’ll have to actively work on achieving both.
We hear you, though! As pet lovers ourselves, we’ve taken on the arduous task of finding the perfect balance between both. Here’s what we found out:
Safety First: What to Do When Grooming Your Pet
Grooming done at home? You betcha! But there are things to remember, so for dog and cat parents, scroll down to see essential reminders:
For Dog Owners
Brushing and bathing
Thankfully, dogs aren’t that tricky to work with when bathing. They’re often tolerant around water, and the only thing you need to watch out for is potential matting. Before allowing them to splash around in the tub, brush their coats. Any matting can cause discomfort and later lead to hair loss. This is especially true for curly hair breeds, such as Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Cocker Spaniels.
Golden tip: If you need to do it often, offer treats! Brush time will easily become a favorite bonding session for either of you.
We’re all about welcoming hugs and pounces, especially during zoomies. But your dog’s nails can cut through skin, so it’s important to clip them regularly. The general rule of thumb is to cut only the white parts—you’ll quickly see the pink areas, so make sure to avoid them. These are blood vessels, and they will bleed easily.
We recommend you check out professional YouTube videos to understand how best to work with your dogs, but remember that your success will rely on their tolerance! This particular video by atDove can prove to be helpful.
If you have reason to believe that you’ll both end up getting hurt through the process, it’s best to leave nail trimming in the hands of experts.
For Cat Owners
Brushing and bathing
Unlike dogs, cats aren’t so tolerant. You’ll likely need to build a ritual before getting them anywhere near water or a brush, so start by associating these elements with treats or food. Bathing can be more complicated, so start by brushing them while eating food. For the best results, you may want some Churu around.
Begin by brushing their cheeks and the top of their head because this is where cats are most comfortable. They like rubbing their heads on most things, so the key is to make them like the brush! Eventually, work your way down towards the back, limbs, tail, and tummy. Never attempt to brush matting, though—this can be extremely painful.
Once they get comfortable, you can introduce them slowly to the water—again, by using treats and patience!
Once you’ve gained their trust through brushing and bathing, you can introduce nail clipping. Unfortunately, this can be challenging, and you’ll need to pack in just more patience trying to gain their trust.
Besides treats, consider clipping their nails during downtime—possibly when they’re sleeping or extremely sleepy. Lift a paw and gently push out the claw, so you can clip just the tip. Be careful not to touch the pink parts!
If you need a more visual tutorial, we’ve found that this tutorial by Healthcare for Pets can help!
Home, Squeaky Home: How to Keep Your Home Clean When Grooming
Apart from your pet’s usual antics, all that brushing, bathing, and nail trimming will eventually lead to a messy place. Here’s how to prevent that from happening:
Have a Designated Grooming Area
After an adventure outside, your dog or cat will likely sport muddy coats topped with items like leaves, pests, and other “gifts.” You wouldn’t want that anywhere near your home, so when grooming, create a “cleaning station” by the entrance or outside your home.
You can invest in a durable rug they can stand on, topped with a bathmat that can catch the dirt and debris being washed off. You can also brush their fur, wipe their paws, and gingerly (but stealthily) get rid of their gifts—but only after saying thank you!
By having a cleaning station outside, you’ll keep your home from becoming an extension of the outdoors!
Have Your Vacuum at the Ready
Even with regular brushing, fur can still get everywhere. You’ll want to invest in a good vacuum and then create a routine where you vacuum twice daily in various directions. Opt for something lightweight and powerful, one that can work on all surfaces, including hardwood floors.
You’ll be shocked at how much hair your pet can shed, but hey, it’s all part of the deal! So long as you have a vacuum by your side, they can roll, cuddle, and zoom around the house to their hearts’ content.
Golden tip: We recommend brushing in the early morning and later in the evening. In doing so, you can enjoy a fur-free space as you begin your morning or end the day!
It takes a ton of work, but you can enjoy the best of both worlds—a cleaner home and an even cleaner pet!
Home grooming is a skill you’ll eventually get the hang of, but never rule out a trip to a groomer—there may be areas outside your basic grooming skills, such as matting. As for your home, nothing beats having a designated cleaning area and a vacuum!
From what you can gather, being a pet owner can indeed be tiring—but as soon as you’re greeted by wagging tails or purring, you’ll find your responsibilities just melt away.
For more tips, tricks, and general knowledge about your beloved pets, sign up on PetPal today!