What cats and dogs need now

Optimal care during the moulting season

Over the next few weeks, cats and dogs will need some extra grooming to keep their skin healthy and their coats shiny.

Cats and dogs shed their summer coats to allow their winter fur to grow. Pet owners know that it’s that time of year again when clumps of fur suddenly appear in their home and their pet starts scratching more than usual. When this happens, you need to pay particular attention to your cat or dog’s coat and skin care.

Support for cats
If you think that cats can groom themselves you’d be right, but they still need some extra help during the moulting season. This is especially true of long-haired breeds. These animals need to be brushed daily, and more thoroughly at this time of year, to comb out the excess hair. Otherwise you run the risk of their coat becoming matted and tangled, which prevents the air from reaching their skin. This can lead to the build-up of bacteria and fungi, or even eczema. You can avoid this by combing your pet daily with a wide-toothed metal comb to untangle any matted hair. For the final finish, brush through the coat with a fine-toothed comb.

Actually, grooming is not only beneficial for long-haired breeds – in the moulting season, short-haired cats need to be brushed daily too. For these breeds, use a grooming glove to gently remove dead hair.

You can also help your cat in the moulting season by giving her nutritional supplements. High-quality fatty acids are particularly important, along with biotin and other vitamins. Copper and zinc are also essential. You can get special food additives in specialist stores to cover these requirements. If your cat ingests fur, this can cause her to vomit. To avoid this, it is important to give your cat special pastes that prevent the formation of hairballs in the stomach.

Grooming dogs
If you live with a dog, you will know that regular brushing helps prevent wads of fur in your home, meaning you don’t have to get the vacuum cleaner out so often. Right now, you need to brush your dog’s coat more thoroughly to keep his skin and coat healthy. Although short-haired breeds generally need to be groomed once a week, in the moulting season you need to upgrade this to twice a week. Do exercise caution when using metal brushes though, as they can damage the skin of short-haired dogs. A soft brush is preferable, such as one made of wood, or else try a grooming glove.

Long-haired dogs need to be combed every day in this season. Ideally you should use a soft brush to untangle their fur and then a metal comb to prevent matting. Before you comb your dog’s coat, carefully remove any knots by hand – this will make the treatment more enjoyable for your dog.

In the moulting season, you can also help your dog by ensuring he gets the right nutrition. At the moment he especially needs B vitamins, zinc, biotin and highly unsaturated fatty acids. You can also put a spoonful of oil in his food every now and then, such as salmon oil, as this is high-quality and tasty, plus it supports your pet, keeping his skin healthy and his coat glossy.

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The moulting season

… Cats and dogs moult twice a year in spring and autumn. It can take a few weeks for your pet to shed his old coat and for the new one to grow. The entire process usually lasts about six to seven weeks.

Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts

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