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Pet Grooming Tools: The Best Ones For Dogs And Cats

From the Mother Nature Network's Morieka Johnson:

If spring cleaning in your home means trading dust bunnies for billowing pillows of pet hair, it may be time to step up your grooming routine. An unseasonably warm winter in most parts of the country also means that the fleas and ticks will be in full force this spring and summer, so grooming helps you regularly check your pet for issues. Try these grooming tools to keep your pets in top shape from nose to tail.

Regardless of what tools you choose, be sure to incorporate grooming into your regular pet care routine this summer. It can lead to less expensive sessions with professional groomers.

“Bathing and being able to brush and care for a dog is part of companion dog training,” Hendricks says. “It helps you maintain a rapport with the animal; otherwise those grooming sessions are a shock for them and a hassle for you.”

List and captions courtesy of MNN

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These flat brushes typically feature fine, stainless steel bristles that help remove dead hair, mats and tangles from a pet's coat. Victoria Park, owner of Park Pet Supply in Atlanta, says self-cleaning varieties get top billing during this time of the year, particularly for longhaired dogs. Regardless of which version you choose, regular brushing is essential if you want to fight shedding and tackle tangles before they get worse.

"Grooming is so much more important once it does get hot," says mobile pet groomer Michael Bryant of Snazzy-Pet USA in Atlanta. "To help an animal stay cool, you don't always have to shave them down. You can also increase the grooming frequency."

Brush dogs before bath time or your daily stroll around the neighborhood. Cats also need regular grooming, and Bryant recommends starting early so they get acclimated to the process. In addition to having much thinner skin than dogs, cat bites can cause more harm, so it pays to proceed with caution.

"It's crucial to keep a cat calm during grooming," he says. "A cat can make itself very, very sick during the grooming process, especially geriatric cats. I can't stress enough how important it is to maintain that animal's state of calm -- with no jerky movement, no sudden noises, nothing that makes a cat agitated; and start when they are young."

Groomer Philip Hendricks of Preferred Pet Grooming recommends creating a routine that begins with brushing and ends with a bath. Use that time to examine your pet.

"Grooming is not just for aesthetics," says Hendricks, who grooms at The Ark Animal Hospital in Atlanta and often alerts veterinarians when he detects health issues. "During this time of year, feel around and make sure there are no ticks or parasites on the animal."

Flickr image courtesy of Shmoomeema
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Filed by Jessica Leader  |