Tips and Advice

How old should a dog be before he has his first grooming appointment?

Even though a three-month-old puppy is not usually in need of grooming, he should be taken to your groomer to get him used to full grooming gradually. This way, he will learn to accept grooming as a happy experience that he will enjoy. I offer free puppy grooms for dogs less than 16 weeks of age so take advantage!

Should I bath my dog before taking him to my groomer?

One of the worst problems that confront groomers is that of working on a dog that has been bathed without being brushed out completely. The result is a coat that is so firmly matted that clipping off short is the only solution. If bathing at home prior to grooming, always brush your dog properly before and after and make sure he is dried properly too.

Why should I have my dog groomed and clipped?

Some pet owners confuse clipping with grooming. Clipping, which is done to dogs whose hair continuously grows, is only one step in the grooming process. Grooming includes combing and brushing, clipping nails, plucking hair from ears, and parasite control. Although the most obvious result of these procedures is an improved appearance, the major benefits to your pet are increased comfort and perhaps even improved health.

Do all dogs need grooming?

All dogs need an occasional bath, but it is more important to keep your dog combed and brushed, especially if he or she has long hair. Matted hair can easily cause skin problems and unnecessary discomfort for your pet. If neglected for too long, it might eventually need a lengthy grooming session, which could be uncomfortable for your pet and expensive for you. Regular brushing on the other hand improves his skin and his circulation and makes his coat healthier and more attractive.

My dog doesn’t behave when I try to brush him. How do you get him to stand still?

Most dogs tend to be on their best behaviour with groomers, especially when they sense the firm yet gentle touch that marks the experienced professional. It is rare for a groomer to encounter a dog with a drastic temperament problem. Many times, a dog that reacts badly to grooming at first, will learn to accept and enjoy the process as he realises nobody wants to hurt him.

My dog scratches all the time, but I can’t see any fleas on him. What’s the problem?

Scratching is sometimes caused by dry skin, not fleas. This could be the result of excessive bathing, dry climate, nutritional deficiency, or the wrong type of shampoo. Discuss this problem with your groomer.

Should my dog be groomed even though the weather is cold?

A big YES! It is not kind to your dog to have a long, matted or dirty coat during the colder months. Your groomer can leave your dog’s coat longer while removing dirt, fleas and tangles. Professional dryers ensure that your dog dries quickly and thoroughly, thus eliminating the chance of your dog becoming chilled. Matted coats hold the water and mud. Body heat cannot dry their coats quickly keeping you dog cold and wet longer that a groomed out coat would. Leaving your dog ungroomed during winter may mean a clip off in spring!

Why do my dog’s nails get so long?

If he isn’t on hard surfaces often enough to keep them worn down, you should have them checked at least once a month. We have a free nail clipping service here so you’re welcome to pop in at any time!

Bathing your dog

Many people like to bathe their pets in between their grooming sessions. This is a wonderful way to keep your pet clean, but you must remember that there is a right way and a wrong way to bathe at home.

Always remember to brush out your pet’s coat BEFORE you bathe him or her. Most people don’t realize that this is the number one reason your pet’s fur becomes matted. If there are any knots in his or her coat, the water will make them become tighter and tighter until your groomer has no choice but to shave the coat short. Brushing before the bath will prevent this situation.

Brush the coat out first with a brush and then go through it with a comb to make sure all the matts are out. Most times the matting will be close to the skin so you must make sure you are not just brushing the top coat. Be sure you do not brush super hard next to the skin so as not to give your pet a brush burn. After you are sure all of the matting is out, you can proceed to the bath. It is important to brush your pet after the coat has dried as well but this will be much easier since all of the knots were taken out prior to the bath.

Do not attempt to cut any mats out at home with scissors. It is VERY easy to cut your pet’s skin and should be left alone until your groomer can shave it out.