As Lindell Zieg, who runs Celebrity Paw Spa and the OC Academy of Pet Styling, says grooming your pet provides “special time together that can bring gorgeous results and a well-trained pet that enjoys being touched and pampered.” Just like with humans, it’s important to remember that good grooming is not only aesthetic but has a very real and important effect on a pet’s health and outlook.
“It’s not just beautification,” Zieg said, “but is necessary for health and hygienic reasons.”
So, to begin with, you’re going to want to deal with your pet’s hair. But do you comb or do you brush? The answer is: yes.
“Combing gets down to separate the undercoat and brushing loosens and removes dead top coat,” said Zieg, who said that you should always remember to comb and brush your pet before bathing. Now, when it comes to bathing, Zieg graciously agreed to walk us through it. To wit …
“First, thoroughly wet coat with water and then massage the shampoo down to the skin. Be careful to avoid getting soap and water in eyes and ear canals. Pets may need two or more washes to ensure cleanliness. For long and thick coat types a conditioner may be applied as directed as a final step to the bathing process. Be sure to rinse your pet well leaving no soap residue behind. Clean ears with pet ear wash then wipe them out with a cotton ball removing debris and leaving a clean, dry ear canal. Towel dry most of the water off your pet then blow-dry the rest. Brush and comb pet again after fully dried.”
Even if you choose to wash your dog yourself, Zieg strongly recommends taking your pet to the groomer every four to six weeks. There they can get procedures that are a bit dicey, such as nail trimming, taking care of while also receiving a hairstyle that best serves you and your pet’s lifestyle.