SCAA currently recommends two locations for grooming your pets. We welcome recommendations for other grooming services by our members and will list them on this website after thorough investigation.
PAW Contact Information
No. 15, 722 Xin Hua Lu, Shanghai
PAW Phone: 5254-0611
After Hours Emergency: 13816685486
Below is an article about Grooming by our PAW Veterinary Clinic adviser, Dr. James Holder:
GROOMING – Bathing, Brushing and Clipping
Why do animals groom themselves?
They do this so that they can keep themselves healthy. It helps get rid of dirt, matted hair, dry skin and parasites such as ticks and fleas.
Now, an animal’s standards of cleanliness may not be the same as our own, but most can do enough to keep themselves healthy. The more highly bred by humans an animal is, especially in the case of cats, the less active are their instincts. This is why you often get long haired, lazy cats that need a lot of extra grooming. They can’t be bothered to do it themselves. In the case of fat cats, they often are physically unable to groom themselves. Also, they like the contact and bonding they gain by someone else doing it for them.
Humans, as care givers for their pets, often take the place of social mates. In both domestic cat and dog societies (they both like to live in groups), mutual grooming is a large part of intra-species communication and bonding, so we often have to do the same thing.
We now know why we need to groom our animals: to get them a little bit cleaner to fit into our lives and to bond with. Both of these things will make our animals and us, usually, a lot happier and healthier.
How should we groom our animals?
First of all, we need to readjust our expectations of what a clean animal is. Our own standards don’t work for animals. Yes, we need to wash them occasionally, especially if they have rolled in something smelly. But most importantly, if we wash our animals every day with soap then we will cause major skin problems very quickly. We cannot effectively moisturise our pets’ skin after washing and keep it from getting dry and itchy. All mammals have a small population of bacteria that live on the skin. You, your pets and I are the same in this regard. However, the grease that animals produce on their skin is much more, and much more important than ours. This is their natural defense against skin infection. Take it away and all sorts of problems arise.
So accept that they are different and the care they need is different.
If you want to wash your pet, use water. Never use shampoo, or use it as infrequently as possible. If you are using a shampoo, an oatmeal based product that is not too drying is very helpful in keeping your pets’ skin healthy. Contact allergy is more common than you might think and many shampoos will irritate the skin of many animals. A trial on a small patch of skin and hair is a good idea before you use it all over. Check for redness, itchiness and dryness of the skin and hair.
Obviously, hair is a big issue for many owners. A few cats and a few dogs naturally do not shed; however, most do and a lot! Brushing can help you to reduce the amount shed around the house. This is also a very important bonding activity between you and your friend. It also helps you to find any problems that may be hiding under all that hair. Looking for lumps and bumps, cuts, infection, parasites and sites of soreness is a good idea whilst brushing.
The hair type of your pet should determine the type of brush and/or comb that you use. Short haired animals still benefit from brushing. Just use a soft short bristled comb or brush…almost like a massage glove! The hairier your animal, the more industrial your equipment will need to be to deal with the problem. It is difficult to over-brush a pet. However, you should take their temperament into consideration and not force the issue too much too quickly. The earlier you start the easier it will be for you to continue with good habits for both of you later in life.
Many animals do not need to ever be clipped in their lives. Often people clip because they find it easier to manage their pets’ coat. This is fine. Whatever the haircut, thinking of the practical and health benefits for your pet is a good idea before you proceed. As an example, when it is very hot and humid, sometimes a non-conventional haircut can be a saviour for your best friend.
Be sure to use a groomer who is gentle and careful. Do not necessarily try to do this at home unless you have the right equipment and know what you are doing. Clipping is not an excuse to stop brushing. Those animals that need clipping are the ones that need brushing too. Clipping just makes it more manageable.
Plucking of the ears
This is a controversial practice. Some people think that the hair in the ears causes infection; therefore they pluck it out. Ow ow ow. This is painful! I am sure most people know how painful pulling hairs out of their own body is. This often leaves a red inflamed ear canal. This ear canal is therefore no longer normal. Discomfort or infection can then readily occur.
The hairs are naturally there. Leave them there…trim them, clip them and keep it more manageable by all means. If your animal does have hairy ears then you have to be more vigilant. Once an infection has started then plucking may be necessary to allow treatment to be effective as the hair does mask signs of infection and makes treatment more difficult. Many animals will go their whole lives with no ear problems and do not need their ears plucked. So please, think about this before you let someone do it to your friend’s ears!
In conclusion, grooming is very important but each animal is an individual with individual needs. Work out what yours are, theirs are, and try and fit them together so that everyone is happy and healthy.