May 13, 2020 Responsible Pet Ownership

Grooming Your Pet During the Pandemic

A woman bathes a golden retriever in a bath tub

Grooming Your Pet During the Pandemic

During the Animal Medical Center’s Facebook Live and Zoom sessions, grooming has been a common question from our audience. Since many groomers are closed, DIY grooming has become the norm. Home grooming has resulted in some pet injuries and AMC’s emergency room has had to patch up a few pets after grooming mishaps. Here are some tips for grooming your pet safely at home.

Hair Mats

Before bathing, check your pet all over for hair mats. They are common under the chin, in the armpits and behind the ears. Clip these mats off before a bath. Mats left in place during a bath tighten as they dry. The skin under the mat stays moist and can easily become infected. Never use a scissors to trim hair mats, only a clipper. Too often, scissors cut the underlying skin in the process. Now is not the time for an ER visit due to a scissor laceration.

Eye Protection

Getting shampoo in the eyes is very irritating for pets and can cause painful corneal ulcers. The AMC ER recently treated a dog with a shampoo-induced corneal ulcer. The family knew something was wrong when the dog couldn’t open its eye after the bath was finished. Ultimately the ulcer will heal, but only after several trips to AMC’s ophthalmologist. To protect the eyes during a bath, squeeze about ¼ inch of sterile ophthalmic petrolatum into each eye. This medication is available over the counter at your neighborhood drugstore. Avoid washing your pet’s face with shampoo – use a wet washcloth instead.

Pet-friendly Shampoo

You might be tempted to use human shampoo on the family pet to avoid a trip to the pet store. Bad idea. Human shampoo is designed for humans who do not groom themselves by licking their hair. Only a few human shampoos are the “No More Tears” variety. Some ingredients in human shampoos are not pet-safe. Simply said, use pet shampoo on pets.

Is it safe to have my pet groomed during the pandemic?

COVID-19 is a disease that spreads from humans to humans. Pets rarely contract the disease. The positive cases in dogs are literally one in a million. Three million humans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and only 3 dogs have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The virus is not believed to spread from pets to humans or be carried on pet fur. The greatest risk in visiting the groomer is your exposure to other people who might transmit the virus to you. If your pet is heading to the grooming parlor, check the precautions being taken at the grooming salon before you go, wear a mask and maintain social distancing for yourself and your pet. Here’s hoping these tips will result in a safe bath and a sparkling clean pet.

Tags: coronavirus, COVID19, dog grooming, pet quarantine, pet shampoo,

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