It is that time of year again, the blissful, non-shedding days of the wooly winter coats are over. The warm weather and beautiful blossoms bring with them burrowing burrs (which means matted fur), increased pollen (which equals *itch-itch,scratch-scratch* for many pooches) and unfortunately the dreaded paralysis ticks and fleas.

The spring season translates to groom-time for many of our furry friends and we know what a daunting task that is. Whether you choose to DIY it or send them to a groomer there are all these decisions to be made- how close? full body or not? what shampoo? how often? etc. So we thought we would include some great grooming tips for you in this newsletter.

Let us start with the most basic, but most vital of them all – DAILY BRUSHING.
We could not recommend this highly enough because
a) It gets those burrs and pollens out
b) It means you’re looking for paralysis ticks and fleas while doing so and
c) It means your fur baby gets some extra TLC and the shiniest coat in the neighbourhood!

It should take you only five minutes/day on average, and will decrease the frequency of washes and grooms, so why not? The type of brush you use will depend on your pet’s coat type, please ring us to find out what type to get.

Next comes BATHING and the most common query that goes with it is “How often?”. Most pooches will need a wash every 2-4 weeks. The frequency depends on your dog’s environment and activity level – inside only dogs may require less frequent washes and puppies that go beaching or roll around in the mud at the dog park may require a few extra wash es than most other dogs.

We recommend Aloveen shampoo or a Malaseb shampoo soak followed by a pyohex conditioner if your dog has problematic skin. Your bathing routine should go hand in hand with a nail clip post-wash and an ear clean using a vet-recommended ear cleaner only (paw Gentle Ear Cleaner, Otoflush or Epiotic are the ones we recommend). Please ring us if you have any questions about which product will best suit your pet or book in for a nurse demo on the “how to” aspect of ear cleaning. The same goes for the nail clips!

Knots and tangles = no fun for anyone!
We do not recommend tackling matted fur with a brush or a pair of scissors. This is hard to do and more importantly VERY painful for your pet. You also risk cutting their skin. This problem is best answered by a good GROOM. Grooming your pet is a mission, even with a helping hand from a friend. I speak from personal experience (my fur baby is a very fluffy golden retriever!).
We suggest leaving it to the professionals. We unfortunately don’t offer a grooming service at our clinic but we do know of some great groomers in the area, please ring us to find out.

What about the CATS? We can’t leave our kitty-cat friends out of this article, so a final word on them. If your cat is outdoor – we cannot emphasize the need for tick protection enough. This means frontline plus spray, a groom for the fluffy ones and most importantly daily brushes and tick checks. Cats unfortunately usually go into hiding when they get a paralysis tick and owners usually find them when they are on the brink of death. So please, give your cat a bit of extra care over the spring and summer.