Although baths are not a good idea for your small pets(See the post "Wet N' Wild"), grooming using a brush and comb is something your pet needs to have done at least once a week. Most pet owners have enough time to do this every other day, but everyone has a different schedule so it's hard to commit to something like that.
Grooming pets not only creates soft, glossy fur, but it can also have other benefits too. For instance, when you groom your pet, he can trust and bond with you better. Petting or brushing an animal releases a substance that calms you and makes you happy, closely related to the effects of chocolate. Best of all, sitting down with your pet and grooming him is another way of spending time with him, and only then can you really enjoy your pet and your surroundings.
Like I said before, grooming also helps your pet's well-being and immunity. Animals involved in neglect and abuse have very dirty, mangled fur because their owner didn't care or had no time to take care of them. Of course, anyone who reads this blog probably doesn't need to worry about that happening, because they surely treat their pets with love.
When It Isn't an Option
Animals with long fur need grooming attention often, likely every day. Most people prefer short-haired animals rather than ones with long fur because it is hard to promise to always care for their fur. That's why people are always rescuing long-haired dogs like Maltese and poodles because they have been running around for months, letting their fur get outgrown and getting moss, leaves, branches, and even live animals live in their fur. A dog held an accidental world record because he had 4 1/2 foot tall, twenty-five pound fur and he couldn't get up! They found mice and bugs in the fur after they removed it. Him and hundreds of others of dogs get outgrown fur just because nobody wanted to take care of the dog and left him.
So hopefully you groom your pet's fur well, especially if his coat is long.
How To Groom Small Pets
Once a week, have a pet "mini-spa." You will need an assortment of brushes: a flea comb, a bristle brush, a curved brush, and a clean bottle-brush or tooth-brush if you have a very small pet like a hamster. You will also need a dry washcloth, a mirror, animal nail clippers, a few baby wipes, a clean nail file, and some cotton swabs.
A Rabbit: For a pet rabbit, put a hand towel on a card table or counter-top, then place your bunny on top. Run your hand over his whole body, feeling for bumps or tangles. Separate every area of fur and look for mites or fleas. Pinch each tuft of fur between your middle and pointer finger, then brush the flea comb through the tuft. Next, use the curved brush to comb down his back, neck, and sides, then take your bristle brush and do the same. Gently take the clean tooth-brush and brush his head, being extra careful around the bump at the very edge of the back of his head between his ears. Now examine his face and use the baby wipe to wipe away any discharge under his eyes.(Brownish-yellow dry crusty stuff under his eyes is normal, like what humans have in the morning, but green liquidy snot stuff in his nose, eyes or ears is bad!) Look in his mouth for a normal pink tongue, gums and cheeks, and good teeth. If not, get a non-scented nail file and file down his teeth. If it is so long that it has cut into his gums, then consult a vet at once. Turn him over and look at his belly and check for bloating. Then examine his tail to see whether it is broken or not. Set him back down and cut his nails, avoiding the white/pink quick. Now he is done!
Any Small Rodent: Put your pet rodent in a plastic Tupperware container without the lid. Do all the yellow highlighted things above. Now, use the tooth-brush or bottle brush to brush his whole body. If you can, cut his nails, but be extra careful not to remove a toe. Look at his teeth and if they are ingrown, file them with a clean nail file. Use the dry washcloth to gently rub his underbelly. Do not use the bottle brush or tooth-brush, because they are very sensitive there.
Chinchillas: Use a chinchilla or pumice-stone brush to brush his fur. Check his teeth and nails.
Thanks for reading Critter Corner! Please comment if you have any questions or other things to say!