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Pet Hygiene and Health    

By Dr. Al Townshend

We define the word hygiene as the practice of maintaining health and preventing disease, primarily through cleanliness. Our pets are no exception, their health and happiness are, in large part, dependent on hygiene and the sanitation of their environment. Keeping our pets clean and healthy is also an essential factor in human health. Pets can not only carry diseases humans can get; they also carry vectors that transmit human disease. Internal parasites can spread to humans, and fleas and ticks carry disease that we can contract.

Fortunately, the time it takes to provide proper hygiene for our pets takes a lot less than the time we spend on our cleanliness. We don’t have to bathe our pets as often as we wash, their grooming is less frequent, as long as it is done regularly.

Training your pet to allow you to provide proper grooming and hygiene may take time. Some pets are reluctant to sit still and allow you the time to do it, and some just don’t like the things we have to do to ensure proper hygiene. It is always best to begin training early with puppies and kittens. They are most impressionable when they are young, so have patience and stick with it to assure the pet is properly trained to accept whatever the pet needs, like nail trimming, ear cleaning, brushing out and bathing.

Groomer Recommendations

While, regular brushing should always be done daily to help maintain your pet’s coat, it may be necessary to schedule a professional grooming appointment. This service is often done to remove excess hair from sensitive areas and can help with seasonal changes. There are experienced professional groomers to provide this service, to ensure it is done properly and safely.

Many retail pet stores have grooming services or have a resource list of groomers they recommend. Several Pet Planet locations offer these services, contact your local store for more information.

Do It Yourself

If there is a preference to provide grooming and personal hygiene yourself, there are many options to help with the tasks:

  • The Pet Planet stores can provide much of the equipment from shampoos, ear cleaning tools, sanitizing agents, clippers and expert advice.
  • Select Pet Planet stores have professional groomers on staff that can provide their services to train and make recommendations.
  • Some Pet Planet stores have self-wash facilities that provide all the tools necessary to bathe and dry a pet and keep the mess out of the home.

Be Prepared and Have the Right Tools

The right equipment makes the job easier, safer and more effective. The best advice comes from those with experience in pet grooming. The staff at Pet Planet have the expertise or can provide information about those that are able to make the best recommendations based on your specific pet’s grooming needs.

A clean, well-groomed pet is a happy and healthy pet.


Additional Resources:

Pet MD; American Humane

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