Dogs and cats require regular grooming to keep them healthy. A major benefit of regularly grooming your pet is that you will quickly notice any changes to your pet's body and so our vets will be able to have a look sooner.
Brushing removes dead hair and skin, spreads out natural coat oils and helps to prevent odours from developing. A variety of brushes, combs, rakes and stripping tools are available at Southern Cross. A weekly brushing may be sufficient for short-haired pets. Long-haired pets and certain breeds may require daily brushing. Brushing your cat helps to prevent hairballs. You will need to brush your pet more frequently during shedding.
Regularly check inside your pet's ears. There are several ear cleaners available at Southern Cross. Our vets will examine your pet's ears if you notice any discharge, odour, pain, head shaking or scratching. If you have noticed that your pet has an ear problem, do not use an ear cleaner until our vets have examined the ear as the cleaner could cause severe damage if the ear drum is affected.
Periodontal disease occurs when plaque and tartar build up on your pet's teeth. This can lead to gum infection, tooth loss and even kidney, heart and liver problems. About 80% of all three year old cats and dogs show some sign of dental disease. Try to clean your pet's teeth at least 2-3 times a week. It is a good idea to start a dental routine with your new puppy or kitten. There are a wide range of products available at Southern Cross including toothbrushes, toothpastes, oral rinses and dental chews.
Some pets do not like to have their paws handled. Try touching your pet's paws (and ears) when you praise him and offer a treat. It is a good idea to get young puppies and kittens used to having their paws handled. Your dog's toenails should not touch the ground when he is standing normally on a flat surface. There are nail clippers of various sizes available at Southern Cross or you may prefer to bring your pet to Southern Cross for a pedicure.
Dogs and cats have very sensitive eyes and soap can damage their corneas, leading to ulcers. There are products available at Southern Cross if your pet struggles with tear staining.
You will not need to bath your pet very often if you have a regular brushing routine. Always brush well before bathing to remove any mats, tangles and dead hair. Protect your pet's ears by placing a ball of cotton wool inside to avoid water and soap getting in the ears. Use a shampoo which is specially designed for your pet's skin and coat as human shampoos will dry out the skin and destroy natural oils. Some medicated shampoos require the lather to be left on your pet for 10 minutes before rinsing. There are many shampoos available at Southern Cross or you may prefer to use our Dog Bathing service.
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