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Pet Grooming—Everything You Need to Know About Clipping

When it comes to grooming, there are two methods that we commonly use to keep your pet’s coat in tip-top condition - clipping and brushing. By striking the right balance between clipping and brushing, you can ensure that your pet's coat remains healthy, shiny and free from matting. (Bonus benefit: there will be less fur stuck to your clothes and furniture too!)

So, what’s the difference between clipping and brushing, and how do you know which grooming method you should be using on your pet?

Clipping vs. Brushing

Clipping involves trimming or cutting the hair to a desired length, while brushing focuses on removing loose fur, tangles and debris from the coat. Both techniques serve unique purposes and are influenced by factors such as the type of hair and the specific needs of your pet's breed.

Coat Type and Length

The type and length of your pet's coat play a significant role in determining whether clipping or brushing is more appropriate. For example:

  • Long-haired coats - Breeds such as Persian cats or Afghan Hounds have long, dense fur that is prone to matting. Clipping may be necessary to prevent mats and maintain a manageable coat length.

  • Short-haired coats - Breeds like Beagles or Boxers have short, sleek coats that typically require less clipping and more brushing to remove loose fur and promote healthy skin.

Breed characteristics

Each cat or dog breed has unique grooming requirements based on their genetic characteristics. For example:

  • Double-coated breeds such as Siberian Huskies or Golden Retrievers have a thick, double-layered coat. These breeds often benefit from regular brushing to control shedding and maintain a healthy coat.

  • Curly or wiry-coated breeds such as Poodles or Wirehaired Terriers often require clipping to maintain a specific haircut and prevent their hair from becoming tangled or matted.

If maintaining a clean and hygienic coat is your primary concern, regular brushing can help remove dirt, debris and dead hair, keeping the coat fresh and healthy. Clipping can be beneficial for preventing mats in long-haired pets, and trimming the coat can help keep it tangle-free and easier to manage, reducing the risk of discomfort or skin issues.


Long-haired cats

  • Long-haired cats, such as Persians or Maine Coons, require regular grooming to prevent their fur from matting and becoming unmanageable.

  • Typically, long-haired cats may require clipping every 4 to 6 weeks to prevent mats and keep their coat in good condition. However, the frequency can vary based on factors such as the cat's grooming routine, activity level and the rate of hair growth.

  • Specific areas which are prone to matting and hygiene issues include the belly area, hindquarters and the tail.

Short-haired cats

Short-haired cats, such as Siamese or Abyssinians, generally require less frequent clipping compared to long-haired cats. However, there are certain instances when clipping may still be necessary for the well-being of the cat. For example:

  • Although less common in short-haired cats, matting or tangles can still occur, particularly in areas with longer fur, such as the underarms or behind the ears. Clipping these areas can help resolve matting issues.

  • In some cases, short-haired cats may require clipping for medical procedures or to manage skin conditions. Clipping allows better access to the affected area, promotes healing and makes it easier to apply medications or treatments.


Long-haired dogs

Long-haired dogs often require regular clipping to maintain their appearance and overall coat health.

  • In general, long-haired dogs may require clipping every 4 to 8 weeks. However, the frequency can vary based on factors such as the dog's individual coat growth rate, lifestyle and specific grooming preferences.

  • Some examples of dog breeds that often require regular clipping include Poodles, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers and Bichon Frises.

Short-haired dogs

Short-haired dogs generally require less frequent clipping, however, there are instances when clipping may still be necessary for short-haired dogs.

  • Clipping can help manage excessive shedding by reducing the amount of loose fur in the environment and minimising the chances of hair accumulation on furniture and clothing.

  • Although less common in short-haired breeds, matting or tangles can still occur, particularly in areas with longer or denser fur, such as the ears, tail or underarms. Clipping these areas can help resolve matting issues and prevent discomfort.

  • If a dog develops a skin condition or infection, targeted clipping may be necessary to treat the affected area or facilitate the application of topical medications.

  • In certain situations, for example if a dog gets excessively dirty or soiled, clipping specific areas may be necessary to maintain hygiene and facilitate ease of cleaning.

It's important to note that while short-haired dogs may not require routine clipping for coat maintenance, regular grooming practices such as brushing should still be followed to keep their coat and skin healthy.

Remember, when clipping any pet, it's important to be cautious and use the appropriate tools and techniques. If you're unsure or uncomfortable performing the clipping yourself, please consult with a professional groomer or seek advice from our qualified veterinary team.


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