Pet Grooming: Cat, Bird, and Dog Grooming

A groomer’s job is more than just keeping your pet smelling nice and looking good. A groomer can also discover potential health problems such as skin abnormalities, tooth decay or ear infections.

Groomers who are skilled in their profession know the grooming standards of all breeds of dogs and cats. They understand small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds. They are alerted when changes in the pet’s hygiene occur. 

Dog Grooming

When you take your dog to a grooming session, it usually consists of them being brushed, bathed and dried. When the groomer brushes your dog before being bathed, they comb or brush out any mats. This makes the coat easier to lather with shampoo. The groomer will also clean your pet’s ears, remove any wax buildup and check for any ear infections.

When your dog’s coat is dry, they’ll be clipped, trimmed or shaved depending on your request. Be sure that you and your groomer talk about your expectations, so your pet comes out looking how you want them to look. The groomer most likely will trim the hair over your pet’s eyes, around the tips of his ears and the bottoms of his feet around his pads. The groomer will cut your dog’s toenails to a comfortable walking length and even brush their teeth with a toothpaste made just for dogs.

A professional groomer also knows how to clean anal glands, de-skunk a dog and remove fleas or ticks. Plus, if your dog is older, anxious or aggressive when being groomed, he may need to be sedated. Consult your veterinarian if you think this may be needed.

Groomers have shampoos for dogs with allergies, fleas, and ticks, irritations, and dogs who have been sprayed by a skunk. A lot of groomers are familiar with breed show cuts, which require a lot of attention to precise detail.

Your dog should be professionally groomed about every 4-6 weeks. When your groomer sees your pet on a regular basis, they’ll know your dog and are aware of any changes to their body. Since a groomer touches every inch of a pet they groom, they can detect hot spots, sores, lumps, or parasites. Early detection is the best way to take preventive measures. Also, a dog who is groomed every six weeks or so will have a healthier coat and shed less. This is because the groomer has removed all the undercoat which eliminates dander, reduces the chances of hotspots, and lets the skin breathe.

Cat Grooming

You may think that your cat grooms their own body, but they really don’t – what they’re really doing is covering themselves in salvia. Then they ingest a large amount of hair which forms a hairball in their stomachs.

There’s also bacteria and germs from visits to the litter box on their coats. Cats lick their paws to get rid of the litter and dirt, then grooms the rest of her body. But this can change with a regular grooming session with a professional groomer who is trained to groom cats.

A certified feline master groomer (CFMG) is a groomer who has passed a series of exams which are administered by the National Cat Groomers Institute of America. They are trained to handle the feistiest of cats.

Main types of grooming a cat needs:

Main types of grooming a cat needs:

  1. Trimming nails: Your cat needs to have their nails trimmed at least once a month. This is to prevent them from becoming too long. If you can’t trim your pet’s nails yourself, then it’s best to take them to a groomer.
  2. Being brushed: Even if your cat has short hair, she still needs to be brushed. When brushed regularly it prevents hairballs and reduces shedding. A long-haired cat needs even more brushing, so mats don’t form. When your cat’s coat is severely matted, it can become painful.
  3. Bathing: Your cat does their best to keep clean, but salvia sometimes just doesn’t do the job. Salvia on top of a mat can make your cat’s fur almost hard or crunchy.  A bath may be necessary for your cat to be thoroughly washed. A groomer will remove any mats in your cat’s coat before bathing because mats become worse with water.

Bird Grooming and Other Pet Grooming

There are other pets that may require grooming such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and birds. These pets would require:

  1. Trimming small pet nails: Small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, and ferrets, have nails that grow quickly. The nails can become too long, and it’s uncomfortable for your pet to walk. If the toenails aren’t trimmed, they can grow into the pads of your pet’s feet. Most small pets will need a nail trim about every 2-3 months.
  2. Trimming bird nails: Keeping a bird’s nail’s trimmed is essential for the comfort and health of your pet. If you see your bird’s nail’s becoming stuck on the bars of the cage or in your clothing, it’s time for a trim. A good groomer can also round down and file your pet bird’s nails for your comfort during handling. Nail trim is recommended about every 2-3 months.
  3. Trimming wing feathers: This isn’t always necessary for all birds, but it does keep your bird safe when left out of his cage by limiting its ability to fly. To some this is a controversial and unnecessary procedure, so it’s a good idea to talk to your avian veterinarian. When wing feathers are trimmed, several lift feathers are shortened. This prevents the bird from getting a lift to take off. Birds with trimmed wing feathers should be able to flutter or glide to the floor. These feathers will grow back depending on the molting schedule of each individual bird.
  4. Trimming beaks: Your pet bird’s beak continually grows, almost like a fingernail. It does become filed down when your pet climbs, eats and chews on toys. But if your bird isn’t a chewer of his beak grows fast, he may need to have his beak maintained regularly. With proper maintenance, it will help keep your pet bird’s beak the correct shape and length for the species of bird that you have.

It’s not recommended to trim your birds’ nails, feathers or beak yourself. It’s difficult to hold a bird while trying to cut toenails or a beak. They also have veins in each nail that shouldn’t be cut. If you nick the vein, it can cause pain and bleeding which can be difficult to control.

If you cut the wing feathers too short, it can cause problems with your bird. Some birds, to relieve the discomfort of a feather that’s clipped chafing under their wing, will start picking their feathers. Plus, if you trim too many feathers, then your bird goes flying, instead of landing or gliding softly on the ground, he’ll hit the ground hard. Your bird won’t have any control over landing and balance.

A bird’s beak is lined with nerve endings and veins. If you try to trim a malformed beak, extreme pain and bleeding can occur.

When your pet needs to be groomed or have something trimmed, a professional groomer is the best place to take them. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions.