Pampering your pets: At-home grooming tips for dogs and cats

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — More than one-and-a-half million dogs and two million cats are living as pets in the U.S. That’s a lot of love, but also a lot of pet hair and expense.

Misty Thomas, a professional groomer at Health Mutt Pet Store in Seminole Heights, is used to handling all types of dogs and sometimes even cats. Misty suggests placing your pet on a table for home grooming. It changes their familiarity within your environment, and they tend to focus on you more.

When grooming a dog, Misty recommends using a metal comb to clear any hidden mats after using a slicker brush. Many times the brush will slide over the top of the fur without clearing deeper matting.

Misty adds it’s important to have the correct size blade when shaving your dogs hair. Each blade is specific for different types of dogs and their hair length. And when shaving your pup, it’s best to go with the grain of the hairs, not against it.

When clipping nails, use a professional nail clipper on dogs because their nails are very thick. Clip tiny bits at a time to avoid hitting the quick of your dog’s paw, and accidentally causing bleeding and pain.

When clipping your cats nails it’s best to do it when they are tired or sleeping.

Misty says ear grooming can prevent irritation and infection. Ear wipes are an easy way to clean their ears. There is also a liquid formula available to assist with ear cleaning.

Cats can be brushed with special round metal cat combs that trap the hair or with self cleaning wired brushes. It’s recommended to only have a cat shaved by a professional. A cat’s skin is much thinner than a dog’s skin. When it is nicked, it can tear into a huge severe cut or sore. Trying to shave your cat could land you an expensive trip to the veterinarian.

A grooming session typically costs between $45 to $80. You can save money over time but the initial home grooming materials could set you back at least $200 and you have to decide if saving the money is worth the time and the patience needed for home grooming.

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