At-home pet grooming that’s easy and safe

Groomingdales of Lakewood provides guidance for dog and cat care

By Melissa Renahan on February 15, 2012

Having a kid is a big investment and by that same token, so is having a pet. In addition to training classes and veterinary bills, there's also the grooming component, which not only leaves your dog or cat looking cute, but also helps to maintain their good health. Luckily, if you need to trim the budget every once in awhile, there are some grooming practices that are easy to handle at home.

For starters, pet owners can brush both their cats and dogs every other day to ensure that they look their best, not to mention that it brings their skins' oil to the surface, creating a shinier, healthier coat. Plus, frequent brushing is likely to cut down on the shedding that keeps you vacuuming.

Speaking of brushing, dogs' teeth need that almost as routinely as yours do, in fact, groomer Deanna Clarke recommends doing it on a daily basis. Be aware though if your pup starts to be sensitive during teeth brushing or if their breath smells rotten even after brushing - that could indicate a larger problem and require a more serious level of dental care, as provided by vets.

"People need to be very cautious when cutting their dogs' nails at home," advised Clarke, who has been in the grooming business for 20 years and is the proprietor of Groomingdale's pet salon in Lakewood. "It is so easy to slip and cut their foot pads, injuring the animal and almost guaranteeing that they will be scared of nail cutting in the future."

However, cleaning ears, which is especially necessary for dogs with ears that hang down, is fairly simple and can prevent painful ear infections. Most stores with pet departments sell relatively inexpensive solution that can be used on a cotton ball or pads that already have the solution soaked in.