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Regular grooming is good fur your critter

Grooming pets regularly is necessary for their comfort and good health. Even if you let a professional groomer deal with baths and haircuts, you still should do regular touchups at home. Long-haired pets should be brushed every day; those with short hair should be brushed weekly.

Start slowly if your pet is not used to the process. Work the hair gently to remove knots — matted fur can sometimes be loosened with a drop or two of mineral oil — or cut them out with scissors.

While you work, check for fleas and ticks, and if you're comfortable doing so, trim your pet's toenails. It's safest to have your vet demonstrate this first.

Good grooming makes long-haired cats and dogs less prone to the snarls and matting that can hurt their skin. Pick the right tools to ease the task, and go slowly. Always brush one section at a time, starting at the skin and moving outward.

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