Benefits of Regular Grooming

Cuts on a cat should be kept meticulously clean. Cats who spend considerable time outdoors tend to be prone to abscesses. A small cut may appear to be healed, but in fact, remains infected. A pus pocket gradually forms and enlarges. It becomes warm, swollen and extremely painful to the touch. A cat who has an abscess should be seen by a veterinarian. With a high level of bacterial toxins, the potential for tissue damage or even death exists.

Some pet owners say they groom their pet regularly, but their pet's haircoat remains dry and brittle. This condition may result from low humidity, particularly for pets who are housed indoors. Frequent bathing may also be the cause of a dry haircoat. Under normal circumstances, bathing a cat is not necessary. However, cats who spend a considerable amount of time outdoors and sometimes get substances on their haircoat may require baths on occasion. Dogs should be bathed when they look dirty and/or have a strong doggy odor. Show cats and dogs may require more frequent bathing.

If a dry, brittle haircoat persists or if your pet experiences excessive shedding or scratching, consult your veterinarian.

Diet also affects a pet's skin and haircoat. Excessive feeding of table scraps, greater than 10 percent of the pet's total daily diet, or extended feeding of imbalanced pet foods (those that say ""for intermittent feeding only"" on the label) may result in a poor haircoat. Feeding a nutritionally complete and balanced diet that has undergone animal feeding trials is your best assurance of a diet that promotes a healthy haircoat.

A final thought: Ideally, grooming should begin when your pet is a puppy or a kitten. They will become accustomed to regular grooming, and it's easy for you to establish a grooming routine including a health check. You will also find that grooming can strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

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