Pet owners need no convincing of the tremendous benefits that come along with living their lives amidst their furry friends.
Even for those of us who aren’t able to have a pet of our own, assuming that we are fond of animals to begin with, being in their realm has measurable therapeutic effects. This explains why pets and therapy animals are often used in hospitals and care facilities for lifting people’s spirits. And they do lift our spirits.
They also lower our blood pressure, lessen anxiety, ease loneliness, improve cardiovascular health, and encourage exercise and playfulness, all while boosting our immunity. Apparently, they even have the ability to make us look more attractive to members of the opposite sex. Animals are sentient, intelligent, perceptive, funny and entertaining. For all intents and purposes, pets are magic and it’s incumbent upon us, as owners, to provide them with the proper care.
Pet ownership is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.
One of the ways that we can significantly improve the lives of our pets is through regular grooming. To find out more about this, I contacted Pet Connection Sidney and certified groomer Holly Worobec stressed the importance of regular grooming including brushing, nail trimming and dental care.
Brushing, which should be done at least a couple of times a week, increases blood flow to the skin and promotes circulation while distributing natural oils that keep the coat healthy and shiny. It also reduces the need for frequent bathing (which can be drying) and keeps shedding under control. Brushing helps regulate body temperature and lessens the chances of matted fur, particularly for cats and dogs with thick coats, and it keeps them looking and smelling good.
Dogs can get quite stinky and that’s just a fact. Our black lab has a special love for rotting seal carcasses and feels the need to take a hard shoulder dive into their putrid remains. A thorough deep cleaning (using a good quality dog shampoo) and a brush and he’s good to go again – but stand back for the zoomies.
Tub time is also the perfect time to check your dog for ticks, scratches and other skin issues.
Cats, on the other hand, are very good at keeping themselves clean and generally don’t require bathing unless particularly elderly or chunky, then it’s time to visit the professionals. However, most love being brushed frequently and this is a perfect time for checking over.
Keeping dogs’ nails trimmed is also essential as dogs can rip or damage longer nails, which can be extremely painful and can lead to injury. Now, before you go rolling your eyes at the thought of the dreaded nail trim, remember you can always pop by your local pet groomer for a word or two of advice on exactly where on the nail to trim. Worobec says being confident in exactly where on the nail to trim helps with alleviating the stressful toenail trim caper. Of course, even the best-behaved dog isn’t too keen on the procedure, but if you start when they’re young, they become more comfortable and used to it.
Treats also help.
Cats love scratching and they do it to keep their nails healthy and short. If your cat is scratching the furniture consider buying a good scratching post. Our cat is extremely fond of his and uses it frequently, and with great enthusiasm throughout the day.
We are understanding more and more about the importance of taking our dog’s dental health seriously. Brushing three times a week with a canine toothbrush and delicious-tasting dog toothpaste is important. Edible dental chews help remove tartar buildup and chew toys do as well. Veterinarians recommend regular professional dental cleaning as part of your dog’s care routine.
Pet care is a responsibility of pet ownership, but it’s also very rewarding.
Simply being around a pet lowers the stress hormone cortisol and when we care for them a mutually beneficial phenomenon takes place that sees humans and their animals experiencing an increase in oxytocin, known as the feel-good hormone.
Grooming also goes a long way toward establishing a trusting and forever relationship with your four-legged bestie so make it a habit, you’ll both be glad you did.
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