Q&A from AAHA Veterinarians: Grooming Tips
Paul West, DVM, owner of AAHA-accredited West’s Animal Clinic in Norfolk, VA, provides the following answers to these common grooming questions:
How often should I bathe my cats and dogs?
I bathe my dog with soap once or twice a year. Bathing with soaps removes the natural oils from a pet’s hair and skin. I am a big fan of frequent rinsing with plain water and lots of brushing. Frequent rinses help the skin stay hydrated, especially in the winter. I haven’t bathed any of my cats in the last 20 years, but I brush them regularly. You may have to use medicated baths for skin conditions, but ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
If my pet’s coat is dry and its skin is flaky, what can I do?
Usually a fatty acid supplement recommended by your veterinarian will help cure this problem. Frequent plain water rinses in the winter time will help hydrate the skin.
What is the best way to reduce shedding?
Daily brushing is the best cure for this problem. If your dogs will allow you to use the vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, give them a good vacuum rub down. This removes loose hair, dander, and dirt. I would not recommend this on cats unless you want to look like hamburger.
This article originally appeared in PetsMatter Volume 3 Issue 1, published by the American Animal Hospital Association. Copyright © 2009 AAHA. Find out more.
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