Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dog Grooming 101

Being that I am a Proffessional Dog Groomer, I felt it neccessary to share a few basic Dog Grooming tips with my readers here on Le Blog. As we all know, owning a pet is very costly, & time consuming, but can be a very special and rewarding addition to most family's households.

 Some people think the only cost to owning a dog is purely food...then there are a few more who believe that the cost is food & vet costs. 

Then there are my favorite type of pet owners, the smartest pet owners, who believe that pet costs come from food, vet, & grooming!

Yes, even if you have a cute little short haired chihuahua or a gorgeous pit-bull, Grooming should be included in the cost and time it takes to owning a pet.

Here are the grooming tips I feel that EVERY dog owner needs to know:

Slicker Brush
Tip #1: Brushing! No matter long or short haired: Brush your dog with a Slicker Brush. I've heard owners claim it "looks" like it would hurt the dog, let me tell you, it does not. In fact, it helps every type of coat on any type of dog, because the wires or bristles, are designed to massage the scalp of the dog and release natural oils from their skin into their coat. These natural oils keep the coat conditioned and silky smooth, as well as keep matting off of long haired dogs. This is the ONLY type of brush designed to reach the scalp of a dog & with long-haired dogs, if you are not brushing your dog DAILY, and TO THE SCALP, it is guaranteed that you will have a matted dog within days. Matting will start from the scalp and work its way to the ends of the hairs. It is very painful for a dog. Imagine your hair covering your entire body & being in a huge knot that spanned across your back to your legs & every time you walked, it pulled REALLY hard with every step. Ouch, huh?  I've actually had a client drop off a dog that didn't look matted at all; even to pet the dog, you'd never guessed it was matter. They even showed me the ball point tipped bristle brush they brushed the dog with. I ended up having to chisel my clippers through the dogs coat to get the plates of matting off the dog because even though the owner brushed their dog daily, it was never brushed to the scalp. Hence a fully matted dog.
So, this tip, is #1 on the list, because it has multiple reasons as to why it is the most important grooming tip for Dog Owners everywhere.
Golden-Doodle completely matted & the outcome.

Tip #2: Ear cleaning and ear plucking! Yup, that's right, I said ear plucking. Every dog owner should always keep on hand some sort of ear cleaner. Whether or not it is purchased from a store (please no Hartz products should ever be purchased or used on your dog) or you prefer an all natural home remedy, it is something that should be in your pet's weekly grooming routine. Home remedy items include things such as: witch hazel, vinegar, peroxide or simple saline solution. Soak a cotton ball with whatever it is you prefer to use and wipe the inside of the dog's ear until the cotton ball[s] come out clean. Keep using more cotton balls until the ears are completely clean. If you keep up on this process, they should not be that dirty as time goes by. Now, if you notice a pungent odor and what looks like wet coffee grounds inside the dogs ear, it's safe to say your dog has ear mites. Ear mites are not serious and can be treated without a trip to the vet. Simple purchase Ear Mite drops and apply as directed. If they do not get better, then your next step should be a visit to your dog's vet.
Ear Mites in a dog's ear
Any long haired breed, such as: ShihTzu, Poodle, Yorkie, Havanese, Bichon Frise & others, grow hair inside the ear canal. This hair, if it isn't plucked or pulled out, can trap dirt & bacteria causing ear infections and other problems. It sounds quite painful to most people who aren't familiar with this hygiene process, although it is about equivalent to human eyebrow plucking. Just like with eyebrow plucking, a dog will become accustomed to it and overtime it will not affect them. Unlike the hair on the rest of the dog's body, the ear hair is not rooted deep and will come out very simple. My advice is to start messing with a dog's ears as young as possible (6-8weeks). I once had a poodle who I could pluck her ear hair at anytime without the slightest yelp, twitch, or her pulling away; she would lie there and allow me to do it by the age of 6 months. I started ear plucking at 6 weeks old on her. If you take your dog to a professional Dog Groomer and you see hair in their ears, the groomer is not doing their job and you should definitely ask them about it. Also, know that that this task is not something a professional must do, it is simple and can be done by anyone.

#3: Bathing! If you are not taking your pet to a groomer every two weeks for a good bath, then it is recommended to bathe your dog about once week. Indoor dogs that do not get dirty or who are outside any length of time could go two weeks. Never groom a dog more than once a week unless otherwise directed by a vet for some sort of skin condition. Even if your dog has fleas, giving it a flea bath everyday will NOT keep the fleas off. When bathing your dog, make sure not to get shampoo or water in the ear canal of the dog or in the dog's eyes. It's recommended to use a puppy tear free shampoo only on any age dog's face to protect their eyes. Also, never use any Hartz products and keep in mind most shampoos purchased from Walmart or other like department stores will probably not yield the best results. I recommend Tropiclean™ products. Not only do they smell divine, but they are also all natural and work wonders for cleaning and brightening the coat!

I will continue these tips in later the comments section feel free to ask questions, recommend another tip or ask to clarify on anything I may have talked about in this post. I think these 3 tips are the most commonly needed or asked tips I can give as a dog groomer.

Please take care of your pets....Oh, and one more thing - human food is for HUMANS. Not Dogs!! If you feed your dog table scaraps or treats from a fast food joint or even share your ice cream with them - you aren't being their best are killing them.
Not only is it bad for their health (in SOOO many different ways) but you are causing them bad breath, tooth decay and their coat will always look dingy and dull and won't grow to it's potential. It's not cute to let the dog get it off the floor and it's not sweet to reward them with McDonalds or an ice cream. It's sad and mean. If you went through Dog Grooming school or Veterinary school (at any level) you'd feel sorry for dogs you see getting ANY type of non dog food. Do some research - it's GROSS!

Love & Grooming,


Sarah Evans said...

Ear mites are so itchy and sore for the little critters too :(


Camille said...

Thanks for sharing! I usually clean my dogs ears with a dry tissue. I didn't know I should be doing anything else. Learn something new every day!

I hate seeing dogs who are supposedly beloved family pets who have unbrushed fur, unclipped nails, dirty ears, and aren't fed a good diet. :( Makes me so sad. I even groom my dogs while pregnant and don't even have the energy to clean my house. They are living creatures, don't get one if you're not gonna take care of it, ya know?!

k9toronto said...

Dog grooming products help you to keep your pup looking good and feeling healthy. Regular grooming is important for all dogs not just because no one likes a smelly pup but also to make sure their fur does not get matted or dirty.

Dog Grooming Toronto

nutrendmedia said...

One of the most important things you can do for your dog is maintain a consistent and proper dog grooming routine.To keeping your dog clean and smelling good, for both you and your guest's sake, there are many health concerns that proper grooming address.

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Anonymous said...

Regular dog grooming will provide your dog with a shinier coat and a healthier lifestyle, plus it gives you the opportunity of spending some 'one on one' time with your dog. It is an essential part of looking after your best friend and his well being.

Dog Groomer

Victoriaaa said...

My spaniel loves being brushed, but bath time? no way.. we use the dry shampoo on her and that seems to work. Her ears take most of the work as the dangle in her food but she's worth it :).. tempted to do a grooming course to learn to trim her though as she is scared of strangers and most people so has yet to ever be trimmed.. oh dear! x

torontodoggroomer said...

Learn the important basic dog grooming supplies you need to take care of your dog even if you do not have the money to pay for professional grooming. With the economy today, there are ways to do it yourself dog grooming just like the grooming salons if you just arm yourself with these essential supplies.

Toronto Dog Groomer

Michael Johhnsen said...

A regular at-home dog grooming routine is the perfect way to treat your pet to a spa day, and also protect him from periodontal disease, wax build-up, ear infection, yeast infection due to matted hair, dirt, bacteria, and any number of ailments resulting from poor hygiene.

Dog Training Los Angeles

Ashi khanvilkar said...

Good information on
dog grooming supplies

Irene Straight said...

Vets North Somerset
It's a good thing for your dog to get a proper grooming because it is very important to make them healthy and well groomed. Thanks for sharing this one.

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