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Cat & Dog Grooming Basics

Your dog or cat's grooming routine is an important part of their routine Today, our Murfreesboro vets offer some tips on grooming basics for both dogs and cats, and advice about how to groom your pet at home. 

Grooming for Dogs

While each pet's needs will vary, basic grooming for dogs typically includes bathing, brushing and nail trimming. Your pooch may also need haircuts depending on his or her breed. 


To help remove dirt, debris, and other things from your dog's coat to ensure their skin stays healthy, bathing is key. Bathing your dog, however, too often can damage hair follicles, irritate skin, and increase the risk of fungal or bacterial infections. 

Most dogs will require a bath between once a month and once every three months. Use a shampoo specially formulated for dogs and warm water. The water shouldn't be warmer than the dog's skin. 


Brushing helps remove dead hair from your dog's coat. This can prevent matting and skin irritation. Brushing can also helps reduce shedding, which means you'll find less random tufts of dog hair around your house—a battle that most dog parents know a lot about! 

The longer your dog's hair, the more frequently you'll need to brush it. While some dogs need daily brushing, others can do with a monthly brushing. 

Nail Trimming

Use a nail clipper designed specifically for dogs to trim their nails. While a rotary trimmer can be a safe alternative, it might take more time to get the job done. If you're not comfortable doing the job yourself (or if your dog isn't able to tolerate it), consider having a qualified professional trim your dog's nails. They should have the tools and experience needed.


Speak to your vet to determine exactly how often (if at all) your dog needs haircuts, and how best to get this task done, as different breeds will have different needs. 

First, give them a bath with a good quality dog shampoo before towel drying and brushing. Then, with sharp scissors, trim the fur around the face and feet. Then use electric clippers for the rest of the body. 

Grooming for Cats

Grooming for cats usually involves brushing, bathing, nail and paw care, ear care, dental care, and eye care.


Brushing your cat removes dirt, grease, skin flakes and dead hair from the coat, and it helps to stimulates blood circulation and improve overall skin condition as well.

Brush your cat once or twice a week with a metal comb (thick or thin teeth are both fine, whatever works best for your cat's fur). You might find that these regular brushing sessions are particularly beneficial as your cat ages and can't groom themselves as meticulously anymore.


It's no secret that most cats hate water, and so you'll be pleased to learn that most cats don't need a bath regularly. Cats can more or less take care of their own bathing, and will only need help if they get extra filthy, or get into something sticky.

Bathe your cat using special cat shampoo and warm, but not hot water. Keep in mind that there's a good chance your cat will not want to cooperate, so be sure to shut the bathroom door before you begin, and consider wearing gloves and long sleeves.

Nail & Paw Care

It’s important to regularly examine and clean your cat’s paws and make sure they’re wound-free and free of debris.

Trimming a cat's nails can reduce scratching to cut-down the destruction of your furniture. For cats that dislike you nail trimming, spending some time getting them used to their paws being touched (without trimming) can help.

Professional Grooming Services at Animal Medical Center.

In case grooming your pet at home becomes too time-consuming, or difficult, or you would rather a professional do the job, we are here for you. We offer professional grooming services to help pets in Murfreesboro and beyond put their best paw forward. Contact us today to book your appointment. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking for advice on your pet's grooming needs, or would you rather our dog and cat groomer complete the task? Contact our Murfreesboro vets today for tips or to schedule an appointment.

New Patients Always Welcome

Animal Medical Center is happy to welcome new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Murfreesboro companion animals. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment.

Book Online (615) 867-7575