Bonjour! It is I, Fifi the Fabulous! You may recognize me by my glamorous coat and perfectly poofed topknot, which gives me a certain je ne sais quoi. Oui, poodles like me rule the runway in the furry fashion world, and while the average canine companion can’t reach the levels of my grandeur without a visit to a talented professional groomer, today is your lucky day. My friends at Town and Country Animal Hospital have enlisted my expertise to share at-home grooming tips for your pet. I take grooming very seriously, and when you follow my tips, your pooch will go from drab to fab. 

#1: Brush your pet’s path to best in show 

Start your pup’s makeover with brushing. You may think that brushing is simple, but when you want your pet to look as good as me, you must take your brushing to the next level. Oui, brushing your pet regularly keeps their coat looking fabulous, and helps release dead hair, reduce shedding, remove tangles and mats, and distribute their skin’s natural oils. Follow the Fifi Regimen—named for yours truly—to keep your pet looking and feeling runway ready:

  • Choose your brush wisely Never underestimate hair care tools’ power. Choose the brush that is right for your pet’s coat type: 
    • Slicker brush — If you are lucky enough to have a poodle, use a slicker brush, which has fine, short, close-together wires. The slicker brush is ideal for pets with medium-to-long and curly hair. 
    • Bristle brush — A bristle brush removes loose hair, stimulates the skin, and is good for short-haired, smooth-coated pets that shed frequently. 
    • Pin brush This oval-shaped brush has loosely arranged flexible wires topped with pinheads. A pin brush is useful for lifting away loose hair as you finish the grooming process.
    • Rake brush — This brush penetrates thick coats and removes tangles and dead undercoat near the skin.
  • Brush like a professional — When brushing your pet, you are the artist, and you must use the right technique to transform your pet to a makeover masterpiece. Brush in the  direction of their coat’s growth. Avoid brushing against the coat’s growth, because doing so is uncomfortable for pets. If your pet has snags or mats, apply a coat conditioner or detangling spray, and gently work through the tangle with a wide-toothed comb. 

#2: Bathe your pet beautifully 

When your pet looks good, they feel good. Give them a luxurious bath so they are squeaky clean and feeling their fiercest. A fancy pet like me looks forward to their baths, but your pooch may not be quite as enthusiastic. While pets don’t need to bathe as frequently as humans—too much bathing can cause skin dryness—regular bathing is essential for cleansing and hydrating their skin and coat. Follow these pet bathing tips: 

  • Use pet shampoo — Use a shampoo that is specifically designed for pets to enhance the grooming experience and maintain their fur’s beauty. 
  • Gently lather and massage — After your pet’s fur is thoroughly wet, apply the shampoo, and gently massage their body, avoiding their ears and eyes. While your pet may not love bath time, by massaging in the shampoo, you help them relax and ensure the soap is evenly distributed. Always thoroughly rinse all the shampoo from your pet’s fur.
  • Dry your pet well — After their bath, dry your pet thoroughly with a warm towel—preferably one on which their name has been embroidered, which makes them feel fancy! 

#3: Give your pet a marvelous manicure 

A full head-to-tail makeover must include the smallest details, including your pet’s nails. Overgrown nails not only look unattractive but they can irritate your pet. Left untrimmed, their nails can curve under their paws and dig into their skin, making walking painful. In addition, when your pet’s nails become too long, they can damage your floors, carpeting, and furniture. If possible, introduce your pet to nail trimming when they are at a young age, so they become familiar with the process. As with brushing, your tools are important, so use pet clippers that work well for your pet. Pet clippers come in many sizes and pressure levels, and your veterinarian can recommend the right tool for your furry pal. Ensure the nail trimming process goes smoothly by following these tips:

  • Find a quiet spot where your pet feels comfortable.
  • Take your time to avoid cutting too far up the nail bed, and causing bleeding.
  • Watch your pet for stress signs, and trim only a few nails or one paw per session.
  • Reward your pet with praise and delicious treats.

#4: Let the professionals express your pet’s anal sacs

This topic would have me blushing if that were something pets could do. Alas, even the fanciest furry companion may need some help in this department, and you must leave this part of the grooming process to the pros. Anal glands are two small, oval-shaped sacs that sit inside your pet’s rectum, on both sides of the anus. If your pet is emitting a strong, fishy odor, is excessively licking their hind end, or scooting along the ground, they likely need their anal glands expressed. Using an incorrect anal sac expression technique can cause your pet pain or injury, so schedule this quick procedure with our Town & Country Animal Hospital team professionals. 

Merci, for taking the time to learn grooming secrets from me—Fifi the Fabulous. Follow my grooming regimen with your pet, and they too may one day rule the furry fashion runway. If you have more questions about pet grooming, or your pet needs their anal glands expressed, contact my friends at Town & Country Animal Hospital. Au revoir!