As April starts to take hold so many pets start to shed their winter coats in preparation for the warmer days ahead. Moulting is common across most species, and even those that are kept indoors will show a vestige of change over these months. With most dogs, cats and small animals, this is a time when a thorough groom is important. There are a number of reasons for this. When small pets like rabbits, or cats self groom, loose fur and hair can be swallowed and cause problems. Fur balls can lead to a cough and possibly retching. They can go on to prove a problem in the digestive system.
With dogs, the issues tend to arise when fur or hair does not shed properly and becomes matted. This often happens in sensitive areas like the area behind elbows. This can result in pulling which may make the skin sensitive and sometimes develops into raw patches. So Spring is a good time to consider going to a reputable groomer. If you are going to take the DIY approach, a good grooming kit will pay dividends. This could include either a slicker or a deshedder – which thin out the coat and help the loose hairs on their way. A good brush with pin heads will keep the coat free from tangles, and a bristle brush helps distribute the natural oils through the fur which improves the overall condition of the coat.
For shorter haired dogs, the answer is often as simple as a good wash and a thorough dry off. This will remove any loose hairs and while your pet is wet, you can check the skin to see if there are any lumps and bumps that shouldn’t be there. If you find them, it may be best to check with them out with the vet. Then a quick dry off, ideally with one of the brilliant new micro-fibre towels available. They lift an amazing amount of water and this avoids any chance of your pet getting cold after the wash.
For more information on grooming, visit the Oster Animal Care website or ask your vet, rescue centre or local groomer for advice.