We’ve all watched our cat in fascination during their immaculate self-grooming, and studies have shown that a healthy cat spends up to 50% of a normal waking day grooming themselves – which puts us humans to shame! Cats’ physical attributes are cleverly designed to aid their self-maintenance habits, in particular their barbed tongue which serves many purposes including helping to rid their fur of any fleas or parasites, increasing circulation, speeding up healing and controlling their body temperature. Self-grooming can result in the ingestion of lots of loose hair which can form fur-balls in the cats’ stomach. It’s important, therefore, for cat owners to groom their pets regularly to remove as much loose fur as possible and avoiding the cat ingesting any more than necessary; short coated cats should be groomed once or twice a week and long coated cats daily. Cats, however, rarely require baths or being washed which means that any unusual odours (including their breath) could indicate an underlying issue, and so you should consult a vet upon noticing this.
Dogs, on the other hand, need to be groomed and bathed regularly to avoid giving off unpleasant smells as most dogs groom only their feet and private parts. This means that dead skin cells and dander have a tendency to cling to dogs’ fur which can result in odours. Due to natural oil that their coat produces, dogs are in general regarded as more likely to give off a smell but this is not something you need to put up with as this can be minimised by grooming and bathing by their owner.
Dental care is a necessity for both cats and dogs to encourage cleanliness and avoid any plaque build-up and gum issues. This is one area pets do need a helping hand in, so regular cleaning of their teeth will help to reduce the bacteria in their mouths. Controlling bacteria and mouth odour also helps avoid pets spreading bad breath to their coats through self-grooming.
So now, every time you undergo your own grooming, think about your pets too. Our furry friends rely on us to maintain them and keep them healthy; trust us, they’ll thank you for it!