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Today is May the fourth, a yearly milestone for all Star Wars fans and a nod to the phrase ‘May the force be with you’. One of the most beloved characters from the franchise, Chewbacca, is a gentle creature with bright eyes, lustrous fur and a big heart. Sounds like a certain (furry) someone you know? We thought so! Which is why today’s grooming tips are dedicated to our favourite Wookiee.

The truth is, the character of Chewbacca was inspired by George Lucas’s own dog. The Alaskan malamute – named Indiana – used to sit up next to Lucas on the front seat of his car, making the perfect furry co-pilot. And the rest is history.

So here they are: four grooming tips that will have your own personal Chewie looking stellar.

1. Find the perfect food

Not many pet parents know that the right nutrients (or lack of) can greatly affect your pet’s health, including their skin and coat. An example is protein deficiency: your furry friend’s coat is mostly made of protein, so a lack of this essential nutrient can result in brittle hair and dry skin. Similarly, a diet high in carbohydrates or sugar can trigger yeast growth, leading to itchy, inflamed skin (something Westies are prone to). Your vet can help you choose a balanced formula, but keeping an eye on how your pet reacts to different ingredients will also give you a clue as to what their body likes most. Sadly for Chewbacca, Porg-flavoured food hasn’t been commercialised yet. But there are many great options for cats and dogs. Our pets love Canine Choice and Feline Choice, two high-quality, natural formulas with 60% and 75% protein respectively.

2. Make grooming enjoyable

By being gentle and not stressing out every time we have to bathe our pup or clip our cat’s claws, we can gradually teach them to love grooming. The key is in starting young, as the rituals will grow on them as something natural and relaxing. But even if this isn’t the case, there is still hope. Start with short sessions (5 minutes or so), be generous with praise and reward their patience with a tasty treat at the end.

3. Use an appropriate brush

As every Wookiee knows, choosing the right weapon can add greatly to your powers. However, we’re not talking about bowcasters here, but about getting hold of some great combs and brushes. Long- or medium-haired cats and dogs will benefit from regular grooming with a deshedding tool like a FURminator, a slicker brush or wide-toothed comb. On the other hand, short-haired pets can be brushed twice per week with a bristle brush, standard comb or a rubber glove. Of course, if your moggie loves to be brushed, there’s nothing wrong with doing so daily! Their coat will be extra soft and glossy.

4. Know that one extraordinary product

While diet and grooming alone can make your pet’s coat look great, knowing the products specifically designed for them will give you a great advantage. For some pets, it may be Animology Derma Dog Shampoo for sensitive skin; for others, YuMEGA Cat supplements. The point is, that the difference is in the details – and that using that one special product can give your pet an extra bit of oomph. It seems Chewbacca himself has a few beauty secrets up his, erm, furry arm.

So there you go: four simple tips to help your sidekick look (and feel) the part. Although, in our eyes, they will always be the brightest star.