Maintaining a pet’s hygiene is a part of overall healthcare owners are responsible for. Problems with hygiene can alert pet owners to potential health issues. Keeping pets clean and tidy also makes them more pleasant to live with. A well-groomed pet is more welcome inside the home and will most likely receive more of the loving attention it deserves.
Many aspects of pet hygiene can and should be done at home, but others may require professional assistance. At Woodside Animal Clinic, our goal is to help keep your pet healthy on every level. We’re happy to answer your questions about pet hygiene and to provide our professional services as needed.
Let’s take a look at some of the basic hygiene care your pet should be receiving regularly.
Anal Sac Emptying
If you’ve ever seen your pet scoot its bottom across the floor, it may have a problem with its anal sac. Small glands or sacs, on either side of your pet’s rectum fill with a smelly liquid which is usually expelled during a bowel movement. However, sometimes an obstruction or other issue may prevent natural expulsion. Learn more from Dr. Simon’s article Anal Sac Disease. Emptying or “expressing” the anal sac is job that requires training and is best done in our veterinary office on a semi-annual basis.
Ear infections are easier to prevent than they are to treat, and healthy ears start with proper care. Our doctors recommend a weekly ear cleaning to remove excess wax and dirt. We can also recommend a cleaning solution that removes debris while preventing the growth of bacteria and yeast.
Some pets wear down their nails naturally though use, but trimming is essential for those who don’t. Untrimmed nails can break, become excessively long or ingrown. Nail problems can be painful for your pet and they can lead to an abnormal gait which may cause a variety of other structural problems.
Bathing, Combing and Coat Care
Frequency of bathing depends on the breed, activity level and lifestyle. However, combing and brushing can be performed daily. Brushing removes dead hair and prevents matting. It also keeps the coat shiny and healthy and reduces body odor. Learn more about it by reading Dr. Simon’s article Body Odor. Many pet owners find brushing to be a nurturing, bonding time their pets enjoy.
If your pet’s coat remains dull or dry even with basic care, medicated shampoo or nutrient supplements may be needed. We can recommend Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid supplements to combat itchy, dry skin and improve your pet’s immune system.
Fighting a flea infestation is an expensive, time consuming, frustrating task that requires hard work and chemical foggers. A once-a-month flea preventative not only keeps your pet healthy, it saves you time and money in the long run. The prescription-only preventatives we offer are far more effective than products found at the pet store. Please ask about our professional flea preventatives.