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Healthy Pets

Best Pet Deshedding Tools

Tired of finding pet hair here, there, and everywhere? These tools may do the trick.
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4 Quick Tips for Good Grooming continued...

Short-haired cats and dogs benefit from weekly brushings, while most medium- or long-haired dogs may need grooming several times a week. All long-haired cats and some long-haired dogs, like Yorkshire terriers or Afghan hounds, do well with daily brushing.

Stop brushing when you can no longer pinch out a tuft of hair, says Bird.

Avoid brush burn. Your precious pooch and feline friend need gentle care. Don't press the bristles of any brush hard against your pet's tender skin or tug at knots or tangles. When grooming, be aware of -- and stay away from -- warts, moles, whiskers, and any lumps or bumps your pet may have.

Think about bathing your dog. Washing your pooch can be a helpful prelude to a serious grooming session, helping to soften the coat and offering maximum release of hair, Bird says. Most experts don't recommend bathing your pooch too often (you risk drying out your dog's skin) or bathing your cat at all unless kitty is extra dirty -- think grease, grime, or something sticky.

Calm the coat. For grooming sessions without a bath -- for cats and dogs -- try a coat spray that reduces static cling and softens the coat, suggests Bird; many leave-in conditioners will do the trick. "Just mist lightly and stroke in the misted area. The more you mist and stroke the more the overcoat hairs let go so that the fuzzy undercoat slips out," Bird says.

When to Worry About Shedding

Although shedding is perfectly normal for cats and dogs, excessive shedding or shedding to the point of bald spots may point to a more serious problem, such as skin parasites, hypothyroidism, excessive grooming, cancer, or nutritional issues, Bartges says,.

"Dogs and cats that exhibit these problems," he says, "should be examined by a veterinarian."

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Reviewed on March 02, 2011

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