Many pet owners will do everything they can to keep their animals in peak condition, whether it's feeding them the best premium cat food, investing in a luxury dog bed or picking out the best cages for their rodents.

But when it comes to cats and dogs, sometimes it's the simplest things that are most important in keeping them happy and healthy - and pet grooming falls into this category.

In general, our four-legged friends are good at taking care of their own grooming as they would have in the wild, but taking the time to give your pet a brush on a regular basis has benefits for both animal and owner alike.

Animal behaviour consultant Dr Candy d'Sa says: "Grooming removes dirt (therefore maybe preventing infection), removes dead hair (therefore stimulating new hair growth) and generally strengthens the pet-human bond."

The precise amount of time you'll need to spend grooming your canine companion or feline friend and how frequently you should carry out this job will depend on their breed and coat type.

But the general rule is that with short-haired pets you can get away with grooming around once a week, while long-haired animals may need a brush down more frequently - sometimes every day.

"Thick-coated/long-haired pets require more grooming, often daily. Grooming is a daily social activity of many animals," Dr d'Sa adds.

"Many pet species/breeds have been selectively bred to have long coats purely for aesthetic reasons - these coats are often not practical and grooming is essential."

But just because you are grooming your pet on a regular basis, this doesn't mean that they need to be treated to a bath just as frequently.

In fact, many experts recommend not bathing your animal more than once a year and only if it is 100 per cent necessary, as shampoos can irritate the skin and strip the coat of oils they need - so if your mutt or moggie is looking a little grubby stick to the grooming if possible.

Written by: Hannah