In terms of basic skincare “requirements,” each person has a relatively different understanding of what that means. The primary pet care industry giants provide a wealth of products that help give dogs and cats the healthiest life possible. While we understand that wiping a dog’s face daily or rubbing balm on a cat’s paws might not be a matter of life and death, these are still important aspects pet healthcare. Certain breeds call for regular “grooming” while others can get by with the occasional moisturizing shampoo. Whatever the case may be, use the list below as a reference point of what items to keep handy when your kitty or pup needs a bit of special treatment.
- Disinfectant Wipes: These are an absolute necessity for any pet parent. The wipes help remove pesky dust, dirt and grimy from your cat or dog’s eyes, face and ears. Wrinkly dog breeds especially require attention to the creases in their face and skin.
- Tear stain removal: Some dog breeds are prone to tear staining beneath their eyes. While there are treatments and home-made recipes available to address this problem, using a daily cleansing wipe would brighten the stain, and remove the yeast and bacteria contributing to the condition.
- Moisturizing Shampoo: Keeping a good pet shampoo in your cupboard is an important tool for all pet parents. Though pets should take baths infrequently (so as to protect their skin from dandruff), the right care products must be used to promote scalp health. (You’d be surprised how many people just use highly fragrant human shampoo or even dish soap as in inexpensive substitute!) Dogs and cats have sensitive skin, and if it is dried out or irritated, can cause them to scratch incessantly, causing hot spots, hair loss, or dandruff. Moisture-intense shampoos, or gentle hypoallergenic pet shampoos are the best options for bathing your pet. Some pet owners even run a soft conditioning bar of their pet’s coat to help it glisten, and hold onto that long-lasting moisture.
- FURminator De-Shedding Tool: This brush not only strips the coat of any excess dust and hair on the top layer, but also removes loose hair on the second layer. The result is a clean, neat coat and increased blood circulation for your pet’s body. The brushes come in all sizes, tailored to match your dog or cat perfectly.
- Pet Sunscreen: It might be hard for us to image that our fur-clad pets need sunscreen. However, there are multiple circumstances wherein an animal will need to protect his skin from sun exposure and harmful UV rays. Melanoma is a deadly kind of cancer that affects both dogs and cats.
- Hot Spot Salve: This thick and soothing ointment targets the sore areas that dogs and cats repeatedly scratch. Many salves have antibacterial properties to speed the healing process, while others have hair growth stimulants to help solve the problem of patchy hairlessness.
- Fish Oil: You’ve seen those little human tablets that look like translucent gold jelly beans? Dogs and cats also usually need to take similar products to increase of oils in their diets and help their scalp and fur stay moisturized. Feeding pets omega-3 oils through salmon oil soft gels or oil sprays on their food will greatly improve the condition of their coat.
- Paw Moisturizing Balm: Chapped or dry skin doesn’t just impact a fur coat; cats and dogs also experience dryness on their paws. Walking on hot surfaces, frequent paw-chewing, or simply having an oil deficiency will cause the skin to dehydrate, crack or peel. Balms sooth the rough paw pads and elbow skin on cats and dogs.
- Flea Shampoo: Whenever dogs and cats come into contact with other animals, they run the risk of getting fleas. Because you will most likely not know if another animal is infected, having a strong anti-flea shampoo will help nip the problem in the bud before other pets and furniture can become hosts as well. If you suspect an early flea infestation, have the shampoo ready to go.
- Tick Kit: Cats and dogs can get ticks from walking outside, standing under tees, digging under bushes, or even sitting in their home if the bug has found his way indoors. Instead of subjecting your pet to a disease carried by these little bugs, have tick-removing supplies in your medical cabinet!
- Antibacterial wipes and topical ointment: In the case where your dog or cat has a scrape, cut, hot spot, or bug bite that could easily get infected, be sure to keep antibacterial wipes and ointment to protect the wound as it heals.