8 suggestions for natural pet grooming

June 23, 2015

Combing or brushing your cat or dog regularly is an essential part of preventive healthcare. Try these 8 tips for keeping your pet’s fur clean and tangle-free while also checking for signs of potential health problems.

8 suggestions for natural pet grooming

A natural approach to pet grooming

  1. Brush long-haired cats and dogs at least once a week to avoid matting. Brushing can become more time-consuming and difficult the longer you leave it, so it's wise to do it regularly.
  2. To untangle your pet's fur, first sprinkle a little corn flour on the matted fur and then brush out gently. While there's no need to buy a commercial de-tangler, fur that is heavily matted may need the help of a professional groomer.
  3. Use a flea comb regularly in warmer weather.
  4. To make your dog's coat smell pleasant and look shiny, apply tea tree oil to the grooming brush.
  5. Check your pet's ears weekly. The ear canals should be clean, with no signs of inflammation, unpleasant odour or redness.
  6. Clean out the ears gently once a month with an equal mixture of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, which you can find at a pharmacy. Soak a piece of gauze in the solution and wrap it around your fingers, gently using it to swab away any accumulated debris.
  7. Alternatively, use one part lemon juice to three parts water, or witch hazel extract for a gentle and effective ear-cleaning solution. Don't probe deeply into the ears or you could damage your pet's hearing.
  8. Gently and carefully clean around the eyes with a cotton wool ball dipped in lukewarm water or warm black tea. You can also use olive oil in place of water, though some cats will not tolerate it.

Top question: should you shampoo your pet?

Dogs and cats have naturally waterproof coats that usually don't need washing often unless the animal has rolled in something smelly or in a substance that irritates the skin.

  • Cats are diligent self-groomers and so they rarely need a wash, whereas dogs – especially outdoor dogs – may need washing two or three times a year.
  • Shampooing too often reduces the coat's ability to repel water by depleting the natural oils in the fur.
  • Be sure to choose a shampoo made specifically for pets or make your own – the pH level of your pet's skin differs from that of humans, so you shouldn't simply use the shampoo that you use on your own hair.
  • Regular brushing will assist in removing dead hair and accumulated dirt.

Keeping your pet well groomed in a natural way is easy to do and good for its health – and it will leave your pet looking its best!

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