Caitlin UltimoPet Lovers / Pet Parenting

Grooming, Petting & Beyond: The Importance of Touch in Building Strong Bonds

When you’re welcoming a new dog or cat into your home, bonding with your dog or cat is an important first step. Spending time grooming and petting your new four-legged family member is a very effective way to establish that bond. Depending on your pet’s temperament, it might be a longer process, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort.

Why Is Pet Grooming So Important?

Pet grooming is more than making sure your pet looks as handsome as possible. It is about keeping your companion healthy and building trust. Daily physical contact is essential for establishing a relationship with all pets.

Regular grooming removes dander, dead hair and dirt. For animals like Maine Coons that have dense coats, brushing may be the only time you’re able to see any skin issues, such as a tick, scratch or rash. A pet grooming routine also helps distribute natural oils throughout the coat, helping keep it soft and preventing it from getting too dry.

For double-coated breeds, such as a Pomeranian or Husky, grooming is necessary to keep mats from developing. If neglected, the coat can form clumps. Over time, these mats can harbor dirt and germs or pull and pinch the skin, causing your pet discomfort.

If your pet is not fond of being brushed, start slowly. Introduce brushes very gently, just barely touching the coat. Reward the animal with lots of praise and a treat. Soon, they will learn to associate brushing with a positive experience and will look forward to their grooming sessions.

Why Is Grooming So Important to Bonding With Your Dog or Cat?

Your pets crave quality time with you. Taking just 15 or 20 minutes a day to sit down with and brush your cat or dog can be a peaceful way to unwind and spoil her. Regular sessions can fulfill your pet’s need for affection and can lessen destructive behaviors.

Necessary Tools

Building a basic kit with the necessary cat or dog grooming supplies  does not need to be expensive or super fancy. A few simple tools are all you need to keep your pet healthy and happy:

• Pin Brush: These gentle brushes have wider-set bristles that reach down to the skin to get through tangles and remove debris.

• Slicker Brush: Perfect for removing dead and shedding hair, a slicker brush has tightly packed pins that pick up the loose hair. These brushes are ideal for long-haired or double-coated animals.

• Undercoat Rake: If you have a dog with a double coat, an undercoat rake is essential. It helps remove the loose undercoat without damaging the top layer, minimizing shedding.

• Mat Remover: If your pet has developed some mats, you may be able to work them out without cutting them off. A specially designed mat remover can take out any tangles or mats without causing your pet any pain.

• Comb: A comb is perfect for pets with long hair or tails. The comb can gently work through any tangles and leave the coat smooth.

• Mitt: For cats and sensitive dogs who are nervous around traditional brushes, a mitt can be a good compromise. The sensation is similar to regular petting, but the nubs help remove dead hair and dirt.