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Grooming a pet: here’s how to clean the eyes, ears and nose of your dog or cat

Just like humans, our pets can get dirt in their eyes, nose or ears too. Except they can’t really clean it very well which is why it is important to clean your pet’s eyes, ears and nose on a regular basis. Unremoved dirt or discharge may end up causing problems.

Dog grooming

Dirt that isn’t removed in time may cause irritation or inflammation, which is why it is important to inspect and, if necessary, clean your pet’s eyes, ears and nose.

Cleaning your dog’s eyes

A healthy dog eye has narrow, pink mucous membranes all around. The eyeball is white with a coloured iris and a black pupil. Swollen mucous membranes, excessive discharge or a red or pink eyeball could be indications of a problem. Clean your dog’s eyes on a regular basis. This may prove challenging because your dog is not likely to enjoy it. This is why it is recommended to do it very calmly. You can do it together with someone else, so one of you can hold the dog down while the other cleans the eye. Use water that was boiled and cooled down to make sure the water is sterile before use. Use a cue tip to clean the eye and always wipe in the right direction: from the corner of the eye towards the cheek.

Cleaning your dog’s ears

There are special products for cleaning your dog’s ears. They are mild and will help avoid irritation. Generally speaking, the ears of a dog with hanging ears or a long coat will need to be cleaned more frequently. Drop the ear cleaner drops or boiled, cooled down water into the ear, lightly massage the ears and wipe off the dirt with the cue tip. Never use a cue tip to clean the inside of the ear, to avoid causing hearing damage.

Cleaning your dog’s nose

Dirt or snot can also accumulate around the nose, on the nose itself or in the nostrils. The latter is more common in flat-snout dogs such as French Bulldogs. You can wipe your dog’s nose with a clean tissue. Has the discharge or snot dried up? Then soak it off with a warm, damp and clean cloth.

Cat grooming

The same applies to cats. Inspect your animal regularly to identify any dirt in its eyes, ears or snout. When inspecting these spots for dirt, keep an eye out for ticks, fleas or lice.

Cleaning your cat’s eyes

In order to avoid inflammation of the eyes, make sure to check the eyes of your cat regularly. Do you see any discharge or excessive moisture? Wipe the eyes clean. There are special care products but a cue tip, cotton pad and some boiled, cooled down water will do just fine. Carefully clean the corners of the eyes with the cue tip and tap them try with a dry cotton pad or a tissue.

Cleaning your cat’s ears

A healthy cat’s ears don’t require a lot of attention. Your cat is well equipped to keep them clean. But if the cat is producing excessive earwax, you want to lend a helping hand. Cats do not like their ears being touched, so be careful and calm. Never use a cue tip to clean your cat’s ears. You may end up damaging their hearing apparatus. Use a moist, lint-free cotton cloth or a tissue instead, and carefully wipe from the inside out.

Cleaning your cat’s nose

You might find some dried-up dirt or mucus near your cat’s nose. You can wipe it clean by making it soft and malleable with a cotton pad and some lukewarm water. Once the dirt has softened up, tap with a dry tissue or a dry cotton pad until clean.

What else can you do to take good care of your pet?

In addition to taking care of your pet’s eyes, nose and years, the nails and coat demand some attention as well. A cat will usually maintain its own nails by scratching a scratching post or with certain toys. Walking on a rough surface, such as outdoor pavement tiles, will also help maintain the nails of your dog or cat. But if the nails end up growing too long, you can always decide to trim them. You can buy a nail clipper at the pet shop. Make sure not to trim them too short. If you’re feeling apprehensive about doing this yourself, you can always ask your vet to help out.

Caring for the coat of your dog or cat

Your pet’s coat needs care as well. How to go about it exactly, depends on the breed. A long-haired Golden Retriever will need a different regimen than a short-haired Chihuahua. Ask your vet or breeder about the best type of care for your dog’s coat. Both of the blogs below provide more details on how to care for your cat and dog.

For more reading: 'Caring for a cat, what to consider?' of 'Caring for a dog, what to consider?'

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