How to Choose a Dog Groomer

When you need to find a dog groomer to keep your pet looking its very best, a good place to start is with your regular vet. A lot of veterinarians, especially those with larger facilities or animal hospitals, also offer dog grooming. The groomers employed in facilities like these are professional dog groomers, trained in the correct methods of grooming all breeds of dogs. While keeping your dog looking its best, you’ll also feel safe knowing your pet is receiving the best care available while getting its “haircut.”

There are some important questions you should ask a prospective groomer before committing your pet to the scissors.

(1) What breed or breeds of dogs do they personally own?
(2) Did the groomer go to school to learn dog grooming or did they learn it ‘on the job?’
3) How long have they been grooming dogs?
(4) What breeds do they feel comfortable with and which breeds are they best at grooming?
(5) Do they have more than one style of grooming for different breeds?

Questions to ask the staff at the facility:

(A) What hours does the groomer work?
(B) How are dogs checked in and will they call you when it’s time to pick up your pet?
(C) How far in advance do you need to make an appointment?
(D) What is the fee for grooming and what does the fee include?
(E) What type of shampoos and conditioners are used?
(F) Is the ear hair plucked from breeds with hair in their ear canals?
(G) If your dog refuses to willfully submit to a grooming and needs to be sedated during the grooming, what safeguards does the facility have in place for sedating a dog and is there someone who will monitor your pet during the process?

The relationship you will want to develop with your dog’s groomer should be professional yet friendly. The answers you receive to these questions should help in choosing the best groomer for your pet.

Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments


It’s fairly easy to determine whether your dog is suffering from allergies. Dog allergies can affect any breed of dog, no matter where you live. The symptoms of dog allergies are the same for all breeds and the treatments for those allergies are usually the same.

Some of the symptoms of dog allergies are: excessive scratching, pawing at the face or eyes; excessive sneezing, continual runny nose, watery eyes, acute coughing, skin rashes or dry, crusty skin, continually rubbing its face on the floor or furniture , and chronic ear infections.

Seasonal allergies affect many dogs and are caused by spores or pollen grains in the air. These allergens are inhaled and sometimes are able to penetrate a dog’s skin.

Seasonal dog allergies usually occur when a dog is between the ages of 1 and 3. However, some dogs don’t develop seasonal allergies until they are 6 to 8 years old.

If you notice allergy symptoms in your dog you’ll need to schedule a vet visit to have blood tests performed. This is the only way to confirm if the dog really does have seasonal allergies or if the symptoms could be related to a disease that has infected the dog.

Two methods veterinarians use to determine if a dog is suffering from allergies are an ELISA test, the most commonly used test to diagnose allergies; and intradermal testing.

To effectively treat seasonal dog allergies, the vet first has to determine the cause of the allergy, and then you’ll need to limit or eliminate exposure to that allergen. Most dog owners whose pets suffer from seasonal allergies will keep the dog out of grassy or flowered fields during pollen seasons and will also keep the grass on their lawn cut short.

The vet may recommend topical ointments to relive the dog’s itchiness and the other symptoms of seasonal allergies. In addition, regular bathing of the dog’s skin will help reduce allergic reactions.

Some dog owners have reported that a change in their dog’s diet reduced the allergies by strengthening the dog’s immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help in boosting a dog’s immune system.

The vet may also prescribe antihistamines and steroids if the dog’s allergies continue to worsen.

Some vets also use immunization therapy to reduce a dog’s allergic reactions. This is accomplished by injecting the allergen in small amounts in the dog’s system and after a few shots, the dog will begin to build an immunity to the allergens.

The symptoms of dog allergies should not be ignored and treatment should begin as soon as you know for sure that your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies.

How to be a Pet Groomer

Are you thinking about starting a career as a pet groomer? Pet grooming is ideal for people who love animals, but make no bones about it, a career in the pet grooming business can be difficult to get started in. But once you’ve established yourself as a qualified and experienced groomer it can be a very rewarding career and a lot of fun working with dogs of all sizes and types of coats.

To become a successful pet groomer you’ll need to enroll in a professional grooming school. These schools can be found in the yellow pages of your local directory, or for quicker searching use the internet. Professional schools provide their students with the tools, techniques and skills needed to break into the pet grooming profession.

It may surprise you to know that many people who work as dog groomers haven’t attended a professional school, but instead learned the grooming procedures and techniques by taking correspondence courses or night classes at their local college.

As a new dog groomer just starting in the business, it helps to get a job with an established grooming shop as a trainee or assistant. Working for a good dog grooming service will provide you with hands-on experience and the additional training needed to assist you in propelling your career forward in the pet grooming business.

There are many different breeds of dogs, all requiring special techniques for proper grooming. As a dog groomer you’ll have to know how to groom every breed of dog. For example, the grooming style of a Golden Retriever is very different than that of a Yorkie.

When you have been trained and are starting your career, you can ask friends and family if they will let you practice your grooming skills on their pet dogs at no cost to them. This will help you in improving your skills and your friends and family will probably be eager to give you a good reference when you’re searching for the right place in which to begin your career.

When you’re finally ready to be a pet groomer and you feel comfortable enough to proudly say so, you can choose whether you want to work in an established grooming shop, work from home, or even set up a mobile dog grooming business and travel to a client’s home.

Professional Dog Grooming

Some dog owners enjoy grooming their pets at home, while other owners don’t want to go through the hassle and work involved in keeping their dog looking its best at all times. Long haired dogs are the most difficult to groom at home and for these owners a professional dog grooming service is a good alternative.

The grooming needs of a dog vary according to factors such as the breed of the dog, the type of coat, how many layers the coat has, the hair length, and whether the dog spends more time indoors or outdoors.

Some grooming activities like brushing the hair and the cleaning the teeth and ears, can easily be done at home, while professional dog grooming services may be desired for nail trimming and haircutting.

Most dogs will need the following grooming tasks, but at different intervals, depending on how many of the factors listed above apply to your dog :

* Brushing the dog’s coat and removing any matted hair
* Teeth cleaning
* Nail trimming
* Ear cleaning
* Haircuts (necessary only for certain dog breeds that have continually growing hair)

    There are several grooming tasks that should be performed by a professional dog groomer:

* Nail Trimming. The nails of a dog are very sensitive. They have abundant nerve endings and can easily bleed if they’re cut too short. This can be a difficult and stressful task for a dog owner unless they have adequate experience in trimming a dog’s nails. The procedure also requires special tools to cut the nails and grind them smooth using a power nail grinder. Professional dog groomers are trained in the best methods of trimming and styling a dog’s nails and provide assurance that your dog’s health and well-being are the primary concern.

* Cutting a dog’s hair should always be done by a professional dog grooming service because it takes special training to know exactly how a dog’s hair should be cut.

* A professional teeth cleaning appointment should be scheduled once a year, the same as you would schedule with your own dentist. A thorough teeth cleaning can only be done by a professional dog groomer. It cannot and should not, be performed at home.

Professional dog groomers are trained in correct and painless methods of dog grooming with your dog’s safety in mind. Unfortunately, many dog owners have discovered that when they attempt to perform some dog grooming techniques at home, they end up hurting their dog.

The next time you take your dog to a professional groomer take the time to ask them for tips on how to best take care of the simple pet grooming jobs at home in between your appointments with the groomer.

How to Control a Dog’s Shedding Hair

Dogs shed their hair as a natural process, but for some owners with allergies, this can become problematic. All dogs shed their hair, some breeds more than others. If you have a problem with dog hair, there are several ways to control a dog’s shedding hair.

Brushing your dog on a regular basis is the best way to manage shedding. Careful brushing daily will remove all the loose fur and prevent hair from ending up on your clothes or furniture.

You’ll need to buy a brush or comb that is suitable for your dog’s coat type and length. Petco and PetSmart sell a variety of brushes for any type of dog’s hair. If you’re unsure of which brush or comb is best for your dog’s coat, be sure to ask because using the wrong type of brush could pull out your dog’s hair and cause injuries.

Short haired dogs will need less brushing, while long or wiry-coated dogs need brushing daily.

Bathing your dog also helps to control shedding. A clean coat and skin results in less shedding. While bathing your dog, it becomes much easier to remove loose hair.

Most dogs should be bathed once a week or every two weeks. Some breeds require less frequent baths and can be bathed once a month. The frequency will depend upon several factors including whether your dog is strictly an indoor one or whether it spends most of its waking hours playing or resting outside.

During the summer a dog needs more frequent baths due to the heat and humidity. If you give your dog a bath once a week it will moisten your dog’s skin and prevent dryness. Dry skin leads to more shedding, which is what you’re trying to avoid. Using a gentle shampoo will nourish the dog’s skin and reduce shedding.

Many people don’t realize that their dog’s diet can also contribute to the amount of hair shed. A dog with a poor diet sheds more hair so it’s best to feed your dog a balanced diet rich in protein, fat, and fibers, but fewer carbohydrates.

Dogs benefit from a diet rich in Essential Fatty Acids, yet most dog’s diets lack these necessary nutrients. Their systems lack the ability to produce needed Essential Fatty Acids on their own. An excellent high quality EFA supplement like Omega Glo-Coat 3/6/9 helps produce a healthy coat and also reduces shedding. Fatty oils are important for a healthy coat and a hydrated skin.

Ticks and fleas and other parasites will cause a dog to scratch excessively and this may lead to more shedding than normal and result in bald patches on the skin. Fleas and ticks will need to be removed with special formula shampoos.

It surprises many people to learn that a stressed-out dog will lose more hair than usual. Stress in dogs can caused by simple things like a change in the dog’s environment or the loss of a fellow pet or family member.

If you notice that your dog is shedding hair a lot more than usual, schedule a visit to the vet to check for any medical condition that could be causing the excess shedding. Common diseases that cause shedding, besides skin problems, are ringworm, mange or even worse, cancer.

Why Should You Brush Your Dog’s Coat?

Why should you brush your dog’s coat when it’s much easier just to visit the dog groomer once a month?

Regular brushing of your dog’s coat has many benefits besides having a good looking, sweet-smelling companion. Giving your dog regular baths and keeping him or her well groomed, will prevent flea and tick infestations which can cause health problems for both you and your dog. Regular use of the Pet Bath Ultra – Flea Blast brush will leave your pet with a lush coat that smells fresh and clean without the use of products containing chemicals.

Regular brushing removes excess hair from your dog’s coat and cuts down significantly on the amount of hair you need to brush off your furniture, car seats, and clothing. It also helps distribute the natural oils in your dog’s fur and skin. For a truly healthy and shiny coat, use Omega Glo-Coat. Your dog will benefit from this product which is rich in essential fatty acids. Dogs lack the ability to produce needed essential fatty acids on their own and a high quality EFA supplement like Omega Glo-Coat 3/6/9 is essential for superior coat health.

Brushing is also a great way to check your dog’s health. While you brush, look at the condition of its coat. Is the hair matted or tangled? Is it dry or oily? Check for lumps, ticks, fleas, hair mats, cuts, and anything that looks unusual. As your dog ages, you’ll discover a few more bumps and lumps on its body. If you notice that any of these bumps are suddenly growing in size, a trip to your vet for an examination may end up saving your dog’s life.

Depending on your dog’s coat, you’ll need a specific type of brush or a flea comb, available at most pet supply stores. Although dogs are generally capable of keeping their coats neat and clean, they still need your help with brushing which necessitates having opposable thumbs.

Brushing basics
The basics of brushing your dog’s coat depends upon the type of coat your dog has. This will determine how often you need to brush its coat and what type of brush you should use.

• Short-haired breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and Greyhounds, don’t need frequent brushing because their hair doesn’t easily mat or become tangled. You should still brush them every couple of weeks to remove loose hairs. With these breeds it’s best to use a rubber brush which will help remove loose hair. If you prefer to use a conventional brush, dogs with short coats can handle a stiff natural-bristle brush which has little bent-metal pins. Finish by using a soft-bristle brush, which helps distribute the hair’s natural oils.

• Short, wiry breeds, such as Dachshunds and Terriers, need a slicker brush, followed by a once-over with a metal comb. A stripping knife, used by dog handlers and dog show exhibitors, is a good choice to remove any dead hair in the undercoat. Be sure to carefully read the instructions before using one for the first time.

• Long-haired breeds, such as Collies and Golden Retrievers, need to be brushed weekly and sometimes more often if the coat becomes tangled. A pin brush works well for breeds with long hair because the bent-wire bristles grip the undercoat of the dog’s hair and remove loose hairs without causing pain to the animal. Start close to the skin and brush away from it. Finish up with a comb to untangle any remaining matted hair.

How to brush your dog
• Brush down and out, away from the dog’s skin. Always brush in the direction the coat grows; dogs don’t like to be brushed backwards.

• When you groom your dog be gentle while brushing or you may damage your dog’s coat by pulling and stretching hairs until they tangle and break. Take the time to untangle any snarls just as you would if your comb got stuck in your own hair.

• If you encounter matted hair, apply a coat conditioner and leave it on for several minutes. Then use a wide-toothed comb to get through the tangle. Be especially careful with matted hairs that are close to a dog’s skin. Removing them can be painful, so proceed carefully. You can cut out matted hair with scissors, but be careful you don’t get too close and cut your dog’s skin. If your dog’s hair is so matted that you cannot remove the tangles or mats, take your dog to a groomer, who will probably shave the area. Some level of skill is called for if your dog’s coat tends to get matted. And if your dog really doesn’t enjoy having you bathe and brush it, experienced groomers are good at sweet-talking almost any dog into relaxing long enough to be bathed and groomed.

Bottom line: Brushing is an essential part of a good grooming routine. Set up a regular schedule to brush your dog’s coat and your pet will stay healthy and look good.

 

How To Choose a Groomer

Have you been grooming your own dog and are now considering using a professional groomer, or do you have a new dog that definitely requires the skills of a trained groomer because its hair is too long, or the dog is too large to handle bathing and grooming it by yourself? If any of these applies to you here are the guidelines on how to choose a groomer.

Whatever the reason or reasons, it’s important that you choose a groomer who not only is convenient to your home and busy schedule, but more importantly, one that will care for your pet as if it belonged to them. Many dogs fear a visit to the groomer because they’ve been mistreated or they were subjected to a groomer who lacked the necessary “dog friendly skills” to correctly handle a pet averse to being bathed or groomed.

Depending on the breed of dog you have, a groomer may be an absolute necessity to keep your dog’s coat neatly groomed and clean.

When searching for a groomer it’s a good idea to first ask your family and friends for recommendations, or ask your vet. Many vets, especially those associated with clinics and animal hospitals, have on-site groomers trained to deal with most any kind of dog – reluctant ones, ticked off ones, and hyper ones.

Before you choose a grooming salon or a groomer in a clinic or animal hospital, ask the person who will be bathing and grooming your dog these questions:

* Does the groomer own a dog? If so, what breed or breeds of dog?
* Do they groom their own dog or dogs and are their dog’s coats kept neat and clean?
* How long have they been grooming dogs?
* Did the groomer go to school to learn grooming or did they learn it ‘on the job?’
* What breeds do they have experience grooming? Be sure your breed is one of them.
* Do they do different styles of cuts for different breeds or are they a “one cut fits all groomer”?
* What hours does the groomer work?
* Will you be notified when to pick your dog up?
* How far in advance do you need to book an appointment?
* What is the fee range for your breed of dog?
* Is the ear hair plucked from those breeds with hair in the ear canals?
* What if your dog ends up needing to be sedated for grooming? Is that service offered?
* If so, will it be the vet who sedates and monitors your dog?
* Will the groomer also trim your dog’s nails during the grooming appointment?
* What type of shampoos and conditioners does the groomer use?
* If your veterinarian recommends a certain shampoo do you need to pay for it?

It is equally as important that you do a self-analysis of the facility you’ll be entrusting your dog to.

* Is it kept clean, neat, and orderly?
* Are there unpleasant odors that bother you? If they bother you, think what the experience will be for your dog with its superior sense of smell.
* Where are dogs kept while waiting for their appointments and also while waiting to be picked up afterwards?
* Are they housed in groups with unfamiliar dogs or will they have their own space? Is it a cage they will be kept in? If so, how large is it and what kind of freedom of movement will they have in the cage? Are the cages or waiting areas clean and free of feces and urine after being used by each dog?
* How are clippers, scissors, nail grooming tools, etc. cleaned between grooming different dogs?

Your relationship with your dog’s groomer should be as important to you as the relationship you have with your own hairdresser or barber. They should listen to what you want and you should get the answers to your questions before making your decision about which groomer fits your needs, and the needs of your dog.