Time to spruce up the family pet for holiday company

(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

“With all the effort put into holiday preparation, we want everything looking its best,” says Traci Simo, head of grooming for Canine Company. “After vacuuming and polishing to get the house ready, who wants to turn around and find the rugs and furniture covered in pet hair!”

A thorough pre-holiday grooming session will get pets guest-ready and help keep the house clean. She suggests following:
• Begin with a deep brushing — preferably outdoors — to get rid of loose or shedding hair. For longer haired dogs, it’s important to work out any knots. A steel-pinned comb will help with removal and an untangling spray can make the process more comfortable for the pet.
• Shampoo and condition. Apply pet shampoo (never use human products) and massage well to remove remaining loose hair; after rinsing, apply a moisturizing treatment, massage and rinse. Towel dry, then brush or comb through. For safety, it’s best to let the dog air-dry. But, if you use a home hair dryer, choose the coolest setting and hold the appliance away from the body so you don’t burn the dog’s skin.
• Trim nails. No grooming is complete without a manicure. To prevent bleeding, use only a nail-clipping tool specifically made for dogs, taking off a small amount at a time and staying away from the “quick.” Be prepared with a styptic product in case you do clip into the blood vessel.
• Do a last-minute touch up on the big day. Pet grooming wipes are perfect for a refresher before guests arrive. Add a spritz of doggy fragrance, a special holiday collar and your pet is company-ready!

The process can take several hours so plan ahead, notes Simo. “If you’d rather put the mess in the hands of a professional, make an appointment soon. Groomers book up quickly for the holidays.”

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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