This article appears in Pets 2018 magazine.
The pet grooming industry is a $42.8 billion market that includes both groomers’ services and at-home products, according to market research firm Packaged Facts.
“Contrary to popular belief, grooming your pup is easy once you have the correct tools in place,” said Kimberly Topuzes, spokeswoman for Muttropolis, an online retailer of premium pet supplies. Basics like shampoo, conditioner, scent spritzers and wipes help families keep their furbabies not only clean but good-looking, too, she said.
“It may have taken a while, but do-it-yourself, at-home grooming is really taking off with people,” said Rudy Vollero, co-host of PetLife Radio’s Groomer Humor show with his son, Anthony. The pet owners and professional groomers focus on the latest products with a light-hearted take on how to groom pets for better health.
Grooming for health
Even if your pet regularly enjoys professional grooming, owners need to develop their own at-home regimen to keep pets’ hair free from tangles and pests like fleas and ticks, Vollero said. A simple knot in a cat’s hair can quickly mat, become painful and lead to a loss of blood flow to the skin, Vollero said.
“More than that it’s a time to bond with your pet,” Vollero said.
In addition to brushing, owners can check pets’ ears for infection, trim nails and bathe cats and dogs depending on their experience and confidence level.
For tips, ask your groomer or veterinarian and watch YouTube tutorials to learn how to up your grooming game, Vollero said.
“We wash our cars more than we wash our pets. Take five to 10 minutes to groom your pet. Dogs look forward to it. They enjoy being doted over,” Vollero said.
Create a pet spa
Human spa treatments like aromatherapy and massage are increasingly being incorporated into pet care, Vollero said.
“To create your own pet spa, find a shampoo and conditioner with a scent that appeals to you, a great wood or wire-pin brush, spritzer and wipes for both the eyes and tush,” Topuzes said.
A grooming table or at least a dedicated space in the house is essential, Vollero said.
“A grooming table can be bought for under $60,” he said.
Always remember, safety first: Never leave a pet unattended on a grooming table, Vollero said.
Becsuse you’ll be using water make sure the space can get wet, such as a bathtub or a backyard, Topuzes said.
“Using a shampoo and conditioner that best fits your dog’s needs is super-important as well. Finishing off with a brush or a spritz after the bath will give your pooch the final touch, just as they would at a groomer,” she said.
Massage therapy oils made of cannabidiol, or CBD (a non-psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana), are trending now and are said to help with arthritis, Vollero said. All-natural oatmeal and yucca-based shampoos are great for pets with dry skin and other health issues, he added.
“Take the time to do what you can. Acquire the tools — table, brushes, combs, shampoos — to groom your pet at home. It will increase a pet’s overall health and there will be less visits to the vet,” he said.