Grooming the Head, Muzzle, Eyes, and Ears

The head can be a challenging area to groom for a sensitive pet. Establishing patterns of positive handling is imperative.

The head can be the most challenging area of a sensitive pet.  You have a lot going on there - ears, eyes, the muzzle area.  Establishing a pattern of positive handling is imperative to a quick and easy head groom.  Here are some tips:

Grooming the Head

Brush and comb the head thoroughly.  Clean hair is the easiest to groom and cut. Be careful around areas where mats form: the collar area, below the chin, around the ears.  Carefully comb through these areas to search for mats. Some mats can be untangled with the help of detangling spray.  Others must be cut out.  Use your best judgment and what your pet can handle. Start from the nose and work your way back to the ears when grooming the head.  It gives you a central point to start from and helps keep your clip even.

Grooming the Muzzle

Grooming with Scaredy Cut

The nose should be clean and free of discharge.  Wipe it down gently with a wet cloth. Pay particular attention to the beard, if your pet has one.  Particles of food and dirt can get trapped in the area around the lips and beneath the chin.  If they are not removed, they can start to rot and contribute to matting and skin conditions, as well as off-putting smells. Prevent food and dirt from clinging around the muzzle with a hypoallergenic baby wipe.

Grooming the Eyes

The eyes are a sensitive area, but you must keep them free of hair.  Carefully wipe away eye discharge and clip away hair that it clings to.

Grooming the Ears

Clip hair around the ears uniformly and neatly to encourage airflow while maintaining the natural protection that the hair affords the ear.  You can swipe the ears with a cotton ball soaked in an approved cleaning solution to get rid of any buildup.

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

References & Resources

Grooming, Stress-Free

Scaredy Cut is the gentle clipper designed for grooming sensitive pets.
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