Litterbox Ornaments: Safe Sanitary Grooming Tips for Dogs and Cats

A cat with a hanging "litterbox ornament"

It’s a dog’s life for people who want their long-haired pet to avoid the dreaded ‘dingleberry’ or other lasting evidence of a healthy, working digestive system. Feces, urine and discharge associated with heats can all pose sanitary, health, and odor issues.

Sanitary grooming with Scaredy Cut is an easy way to keep your cat or dog clean without having to use vibrating clippers, scissors that risk injury, and without cutting a large chunk out of your pets coat just to get them clean.

With Scaredy Cut, you select a guide comb length, attach it to a scissor, and then silently and evenly trim the fur. Whether you want to just trim the surface off with a long comb, or shorten your pet’s entire rear area down to half an inch, it allows for safe and controlled home grooming.

Cutting a mat with Scaredy Cut

Pet Hair and Waste: Seriously Unpleasant Risks

Bodily wastes deposited on pet fur are going to pose a sanitary risk to your pet, family, and home. Everywhere your pet goes, it can leave these substances – on the floor, your couch, your bed, where your children play… the list goes on. Pet feces contain a variety of risky bacteria, including salmonella, Giardia and approximately 23 million coliform bacteria per gram. Not something you want spread around your living space!

One of the worst problems with improperly groomed pets are fecal mats. The fancy name for this is pseudocoprostasis and it can cause serious problems. Fecal mats can attract flies that lay eggs in the mats, causing a maggot infestation on your pet. These mats may also end up blocking the anal area, causing painful constipation.  By the time one of these kinds of mats has formed, regular scissors should not be used, because of the risk of wounding and causing infection with fecal matter. Fecal mats are best prevented by removing fecal matter early while it is still on the furs surface and before it has worked its way into your pets fur.

Urine can cling to long hair and result in unpleasant odors and skin irritation. Extended exposure to urine can even cause skin infections and ulcers. The hair on the abdomen is usually the first to make contact with carpets, furniture, and bedding, leaving the scent of urine all over the house.

For the pet owner with unspayed bitches, blood from heats can be a very messy problem.  Long hair makes keeping a bitch in heat clean even more of a challenge and can certainly contribute to odor and sanitation challenges.

Hygienic Grooming Challenges

Most pets are not naturally coated so that bodily wastes travel away from the fur.  Hygienic grooming and clipping are the solution to what could be a very unpleasant problem, but there are challenges to this. Vibration noise can be disturbing for many pets – even pets normally undisturbed by vibration can be anxious when they are being trimmed ‘down there’!

A “sanitary trim” refers to shortening the fur around the rear of a pet to minimize these problems. The fur is clipped short around your pet’s anus and sexual organs.  The clip provides adequate ventilation of these areas and ensure that hair around them will not catch bodily wastes.

Unfortunately, many pets are sensitive about those areas, even the ones for whom a vibrating clipper would normally not be a problem.  Another issue is that the risk of snipping a tender area is exacerbated by long hair.  One accident can cause a permanent aversion to any handling. Always know exactly where and what you are cutting.  Pinch the fur between your fingers to ensure there is no skin there or better yet insert a comb into it.

One must also be extremely careful if a pet is already suffering from skin conditions that make the skin and coat extra sensitive to manipulation and grooming.  Many grooming tools can make these conditions worse by scraping the skin with sharp edges or pointed ends.

The Scaredy Cut Difference

Scaredy Cut is a tool that pet parents can use to groom without the noise and vibration of electric clippers.  Without the noise and feel of vibration against their skin, many pets are less likely to resent the grooming of sensitive areas.

Scaredy Cut grooms as it cuts, helping you identify any mats and gently clipping away hair without the risk of irritating sensitive skin.  The set of 7 attachments, from ½ to 1”, make it easy to trim away hair to the length desired.  With Scaredy Cut, the challenges of hygienic grooming just got easier.

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Scaredy Cut® is the world's only silent clipper, offering gentle grooming to sensitive pets. Scaredy Cut offers a vibration-free, noise-free grooming experience so you can give your pet an even trim while ensuring that they're calm and relaxed.

Julie MacTire is a writer devoted to the world of dogs. She also writes a blog (shibainus.ca) about her adventures with her Shiba Inu, Tierce, and is a supporter of many pet welfare organizations.

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