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New Year's Resolutions Series: 4. Creating a grooming routine

Regular grooming is essential for your pet's health, and a chance to give your cat or dog some well-deserved attention. Not only that, a foolproof routine and basic equipment will leave your furry friend feeling superb. Here's how to get organised.

Coat and skin

Your pet's coat protects them against the environment and is a good indicator of their overall health. Keep it clean and tangle-free by using the right brush. Brushing also promotes natural oil production, which is beneficial for their skin. If your cat or dog has:

Short hair: brush at least once per week with a bristle brush, comb, or rubber glove.

Long hair: brush daily with a deshedding tool, slicker brush or wide-toothed comb.

Nails

Trimming your pet's nails may seem a little tricky at first, but all it requires is a little practice. Besides, daily exercise and clawing will naturally wear your pet's nails down, so you may only need to give them a trim once or twice a month. Get cats used to you handling their paws and find a position that's comfortable. Good-quality nail clippers are key, and don't worry if it takes several sittings! The number one rule is to stay away from the blood vessel. Press on your pet's paws gently and trim a small amount off the tip. Cat parents: remember, scratching posts are your friends!

Eyes, ears and teeth

Your pet's eyes should be clear and bright, and free of signs of infection like swelling, redness or discharge. As for ears, it's helpful to monitor them for any sores, odours or discharge. Pet wipes are great for cleaning sensitive areas, but consult your vet if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above.

When it comes to oral hygiene, daily brushing is ideal. Although we get if this is not always possible. Do remember to check your pet's mouth regularly for any ulcers or lesions. And give your pup chew toys, bones and dental chews to keep their gums and teeth healthy.

Bathing your pet

Loved by some, loathed by... well, most cats! We know bathing is not for every pet, but sometimes it's necessary. Especially when you're coming back home from the park with a muddy pooch or when your cat's coat is matted and oily. The frequency will be highly individual: from once every month to once a year. The most important thing to keep in mind: pick a mild shampoo that's adequate for their coat. Did we say our Animology shampoos are 15% off right now?

Fleas, ticks and worms

Fleas and ticks are common in cats and dogs. These pesky little crawlers can be present in even the most spotless home. And although the peak season is from end April to end November, it's best to treat pets all year round. Our recommendation is monthly protection, plus using a fine-toothed comb to check for parasites and droppings.

Signs of a worm infestation range from a bloated belly to constant hunger, diarrhea or visible worms in your pet's vomit or faeces. But some pets may not experience any symptoms at all, which is why some owners choose to treat their pet with a dewormer regularly. Choose a worming tablet that is suitable for your cat or dog's size.

As you can see, regular grooming becomes a lot easier when broken down into smaller tasks. It can help you spot, prevent and treat several health issues while making your pet feel happy and loved.