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|Posted on 5 January, 2015 at 13:49||comments ()|
Our dogs and cats are like family to us. Kids with four legs and a whole lot of personality! As pet parents we have make sure that we pay particular attention to their sensitive feet in extreme weather. Walking on heated asphalt or concrete is just as painful as snow and ice. Salt and excessive heat can cause the pads to blister and crack. Here are some helpful hints to get you through the weather.
Have you ever tried walking barefoot over an asphalt driveway at high noon? If you have, you know how uncomfortable that can be! Dogs feel the heat times 4! In extreme heat temperatures, try to walk your pet either in the early morning, or late in the afternoon. Please keep in mind that the streets and sidewalks are still extremely hot after the sun sets, so keeping Fido in grassy areas will help to protect their feet from burning.
Your best protection is a good pair of waterproof boots. Similar to the ones wore by sled dogs. They have a nice warm insulated lining and will keep Fido's feet warm and dry.
If your dog is not a boot person, try using some paw wax or petroleum jelly on their pads before allowing them to go out. It will prevent the formation of ice in between the paw pads. It also gives a moderate protection against frost bite. Paw wax and petroleum jelly is a bit messy, so be keep a towel on hand to wipe their feet before entering the house.
As for cats, the best advise I can give you is...don't let them outside during harsh weather! Cat's feet are very sensitive. Cats lick themselves so cremes and waxes may cause a problem with their digestive and immune systems. If your cat MUST go outside, try leaving a cardboard box that has been flattened. Although it is not recommended to leave your house pets out for more than 10 minutes at a time, cats are not the best at the recall command. The cardboard will insulate their feet temporarily until they are ready to come back inside.
During the month of January 2015, when you book your mobile grooming appointment with Clean Paws Mobile Grooming Salon you get our Frosty Paws Spa FREE with any full service spa! It includes our:
Spaw Pad Hydration Treatment Helps to soothes dry cracked/irritated paw pads
Paw Message A soft gentle paw massage helps Fido reach his "zen" spot
Pad Pad Protection Creme Our paw pad creme adds a layer of protection to keep Fido's tootsies soft and supple! .
Book your appointment online today!
|Posted on 2 November, 2014 at 11:18||comments ()|
November is great month! It is the kick off of the holiday season, as well as deer and coyote season. Coyotes are usually timid,noturnal and generally tend to shy away from people. However, they become more aggressive during the "heat or rutting" season. Humans have invaded many natural habitats for wildlife, pushing them in our neighborhoods and backyards. Coyotes natural diet ranges from small rodents, rabbits and deer. They have no problem making a meal out of a small dog, cat or toddler if they can get to them. If hunger pushes them far enough they will attack an adult.
Please exercise caution when walking with your pet, or allowing them to run in their back yard particularly in the month of November thru early December. Their main intent is food for survival. Unaltered male dogs both large and small, are at risk during this time of year. They hunt in packs.You may only see one, but rest assured that their are more waiting for the bait to be drawn in. Most times, a female that is in season to lure the male into the frenzy of a hungry pack, he is killed and eaten. It is a harsh reality of the circle of life. If you walk your dog, try to do so before it gets dark. They are more active at night and the twilight hours before sunrise .It is not uncommon to see them with a fresh kill during the day. . Keep your pet on a non-retractable leash at all times. Too often dogs see something that we are not paying attention to, and the chase will begin. It is the natural predator/prey instinct that we take for granted that gets our canine companion in serious trouble! In the face of a coyote, a cat's nine lives bank account is emptied immediately! Be safe and bring your indoor/outdoor cats in at night to avoid an encounter.
Remember, wild animals are just that! They rely of their wits and instinct to survive. A domestic pet does not have a chance, even the strongest of dogs is no match for a pack of hunger jaws!
|Posted on 24 October, 2014 at 12:12||comments ()|
We are at that time of the year again! Fall brings the beautiful colors and skunks! We get more calls in the early spring and fall for dogs that have been sprayed by these cute but stinky little creatures. It is usually a good idea to keep your dog on a lead when you are letting them out. A frisky dog bounding after a skunk has no idea what they are in for! The initial chase trips the predator prey instinct until the predator comes running back to your door with an odor that they can not run from!
If your curious canine should meet the pretty black and white kitty on purpose or by accident. You have 48 hours to get the oils out of their coat before it seeps in! Most often the spray is a direct hit to the face! Here are a couple of things to keep on hand during the fall and early spring to help eliminate the odor until you can get an appointment with the groomer.
A bottle of gentle/sensitive skin disposable douche. The proper mixture of vinegar and baking soda with help to absorb the oils and neutralize it.. Use a paper towel and gently wipe around the face paying close attention to the muzzle,stop, top of the head and ears. Avoid getting the product in the dogs eyes.
Artificial Tears You will want to flush the skunk oil out of the eyes and tear ducts as soon as possible. The dog maybe a little resistant as he or she has just experienced a very unpleasant encounter. If so, simple wet a paper towel with the artificial tears and gently wipe their eyes.
Baking Soda. Sprinkle a healthy mixture of baking soda in the coat around the neck, shoulders and sides. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. The longer it sits the better.
De-Greasing Shampoo or soap. Get the dog in the bath as soon as possible. A de-greasing shampoo or soap is your best defense to break down the oils from the skunk spray. Wash 2-3 times thoroughly and rinse completely.
Distilled Vinegar Spray. In a spray bottle mix approximately 40% vinegar 60% water. Spray the coat generously. Towel dry the dog. If you have a forced air dryer, dry the coat completely to avoid. You want to avoid the dog getting a chill.
That should hold you until you can get to the groomer to get a thorough bath for the dog. The smell of skunk perfume will stay in your nose for a couple of days. Even after a professional grooming you make still have an occasional stink spot that may pop up in the face, The face especially around the eyes is the most difficult place to get the smell out. Just be cautious and make some noise prior to letting your pet out to avoid a confrontation with the pretty black and white kitty!
Enjoy the Fall!
|Posted on 27 May, 2014 at 21:28||comments ()|
They are still counting votes! The City of Gary, Indiana has been entered into a national PetSafe Brand Bark for your Park competition! The grand prize of $100,000.00 will to be used in the development or enhancement of a community dog park! Four runner up cities could qualify for $25,000.00 each! We are still in the hunt, but we could use your votes! Please vote for Gary, Indiana 2 times per day until June 7th! You can vote once on Facebook and again on the website: www.petsafe.net/barkforyourpark
Help us take our dog off the leash and run for the money!!!!
Thanks for your support!
|Posted on 16 March, 2014 at 11:53||comments ()|
Finally! Spring is making a slow, but long awaited comeback! As spring approaches it wakes up sleeping flowers and insects. Ticks are the first line of the more unpleasant arrivals of spring. It is time to prepare for these aggressive little relatives of the spider. If you suffer from arachnophobia ticks are not a welcomed friend to you or your pet!
Having your dog or cats treated now will give you a jump on tick season before they can get a lock on to your pet. A good quality topical treatment will kill eggs and larvae up to 4-5 weeks, however, they will not stop them from attaching themselves to you or your pet. You may decide to add a non pesticide spray on solution for that one two punch! Treating your own yard with a lawn insect killer is helpful too! In you are having it done by a professional lawn care service they will know when to apply the treatment. If you are doing it yourself,be careful to read and follow the instructions for application, otherwise you can kill beneficial insects like bees as well! While some plan of attack, topicals, collars,powders, or sprays are better than none, using them all at once can make your pet very sick. Work with your groomer or vet if you pet has had problems with certain products and choose the best option for you baby!
Remember to check pet and yourself when coming indoors for ticks. At this time of the season they will be as big as a watermelon seed....that crawls! If it has attached itself DO NOT use matches,motor oil, or more pesticide laced products to remove it, as that can be dangerous to the health of your pet! Get a zip lock sandwich bag, a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, and a pair of tweezers. Get the tweezers as close to the skin where it is attached. Use a rocking motion while grasping it to remove the head of the tick from the skin. Most times it will come out with some skin attached. That is okay! Place the tick in the sandwich bag with cotton ball and seal it tight. The alcohol will kill it, and you can take to the vet to be tested for lyme disease. Do not squeeze or "pop" the tick, especially if it is blood engorged, you can contract lyme disease(if infected) by coming in contact with the fluid. If that happens clean it up immediately with rubbing alcohol and wash your hands thoroughly with a mild soap.
PESTICIDE FREE FLEA & TICK SPRAY
20 drops of Lemongrass oil
20 drops of Eucalyptus oil
16 oz of water in a spray bottle
Shake before using
Apply liberally on yourself from your thighs down to your feet
Spray all over your dog, especially the legs and tummy
Although Eucalyptus has great soothing properties for the skin, the spray do not last long, you may have to re-apply a few times on your walk or outing
DO NOT USE ON CATS!!!!
Essential oils can be fatal to cats as their liver can not break down the enzymes.
Flea & Mosquito Spray
8 drops of Lavender oil
8 drops of tea tree oil
8 oz of water in a spray bottle
Apply liberally all over yourself and your dog.
Lavender is calming on both dogs and people! It is also great for soothing minor skin irritations like Eucalyptus oil.
DO NOT USE ON CATS!!!!
*Both sprays can be used on color safe fabric, including bedding and furniture. Test a small area first before applying.
Spring is out there, and the ticks are waiting!
|Posted on 24 January, 2014 at 15:14||comments ()|
Well, there is a lot to be said about adversity. It will either make you stronger or it will break you. It can make you question your sanity ,and make you fall back into your comfort zone. Success is what you make of it! Some people's view of success is a big car, fancy house, or lots of money in the bank. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but some things require baby steps and a lot of recognition to achieve! Some people want to be famous! Being in the spot light has it's up and down side too! You have to decide what success is and what it looks like to you! We all have dreams, and it is okay that they are not the same as someone else. That is what makes life interesting! Can you imagine if EVERY SINGLE PERSON had the same dream, the same goal? If EVERYBODY looked the same, talked, walked, and acted the same? It would be maddening! We would have no diversity, no style, no personality! If EVERYBODY invented the wheel, our world would be crowded with that one particular item. We would not have iPhones, stereos, television, books about adventure, mobile groomers, creative groomers, world class chef's or any other type of artist! We would be stuck with a world full of rock wheels!
I read a book by Burke Hedges called "You can't steal second with your foot on first base". The teaching from that one little book taught me a lot about pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. Also that you have to celebrate the small accomplishments that get you to the overall goal. If I make at least 3 contacts each day when I go out, that is a success! If I totally rocked a Bichon Frise breed cut....you got it! That is a celebration! Break out the Pepsi it's party time! Not all of the celebrations come from a positive event. Sometimes you have to celebrate your resilience over a not so positive event. Being self-employed in a mobile grooming business, time is definitely money, when you get a call from a client cancelling their appointment as you pull up in their driveway, and you don't go home a quit give yourself a pat on the back! When sub
zero winter weather is making the waterlines freeze or break in your truck. If insane howler monkey winds are blowing that make mobile grooming impossible. Maybe it was that ninja cat that tried to gingsu your face off when you tried to fluff- dry it. You know the one.....the one the parents told you that she gets groomed all the time, the only to discover that it pretty much boiled down to the "kids" throwing her in a tub of water. Now you are trapped in a box with this she-devil growling at you like a mountain lion. If you can survive tire blow outs, running out of water, air conditioners breaking down or side swiping a brick wall trying to get a 10 and half foot tall truck out of very tight parking space. Then you have what it takes to make it in the business or any other. Sometimes we can run ourselves into a brick wall without realizing it. It was said that insanity is doing the same thing the same way expecting a different outcome. If you find yourself running into the same brick wall over and over again. It is time to stop, take a deep breath and take a look at the situation. Somebody maybe try to tell you....HEY look at this for a minute. Down time can be a positive instead of a negative. Give your self a chance to take your eyes off the problem for a moment and come back to it again. You could be completely overlooking the simplest solution right in front of your face!
Getting bogged down in the what you may think is a mountain of problems can make you lose sight of why you started you venture in the first place. Every cloud has a silver lining. You have to be willing to wipe your eyes and check out of the pity party room. Turn those lemons into lemonade and keep it moving. Remember if you are going thru hell whatever you do.....DON'T STOP THERE!!!!
|Posted on 3 September, 2013 at 21:39||comments ()|
YYES!!! It's that time again! Clean Paws Mobile Grooming's Annual Fall Bath N Brush Special! Enjoy $15.00 off our Bath N Brush Special for all short flat-coated adult dog breeds. That's right! Big or small, we are bathing them all! The Fall Bath N Brush special includes:
Oatmeal Facial Scrub
5 Minute Hydro-Massage
*DeShedd Treatment, Extra Brush-Out, or other Specialty Spa services are available, but are not included in the special. Special is limited to short and/or smooth coated adult dog breeds only. By Appointment only. Limited to 15 mile radius from 46404. Current rabies vaccines required. New Customers only. No substitutions or other offers available with the special.
Book your appointment online or call 888-648-7256 today!
Offer ends 10/31/13
|Posted on 7 July, 2013 at 13:27||comments ()|
This is one of my least favorite subjects, but I am compelled to share my thought and knowledge on this. Fleas,ticks and mosquitoes are a way of life in the insect world. Although the many animals including ourselves may not appreciate their existence. They are here for a reason! Protecting ourselves and our pets from them is something that we really have to face whether we want to or not.
Protecting your pets and your home from fleas can be an take only a few minutes. In your yard you can either use a ground insect killer that is usually spread in the grass. Depending on your preference it comes in a hose-end spray or granules that can be used in a spreader. The cost is typically less than $10.00 and it can last up to four weeks. If you have a landscaper or lawn care service you can talk to them about using an insect killer to protect your pet. If you or your pet have sensitivity issues to certain chemicals organic preventatives are also available. One is planting lavender, lemon balm and spearmint in your yard and around your home. Using a mixture of tea tree oil, lavender and water in a spray bottle, and applying liberally to you and your pet before going outdoors can be effective as well. The most popular treatment is a topical. It is applied down the back from the shoulders(withers) to the rump. But all topical treatments are not the same. While many pets have little to no reaction to a topical treatment, others have a variety of reactions from redness, irritation to seizures and even death. It is best to consult with your vet which is the best treatment for your pet.
Since I entered the animal care field, I have encountered different experiences with pet owners and fleas. Let me share what I have learned both thru training and dealing with pet parents that are overwhelmed with these creatures.
Flea Collars: Some people believe in them. They are inexpensive and for the most part ineffective! The collar will only kill the fleas that it comes in contact with around the neck and just to the shoulders. It was not uncommon to see a pet come into the shop with a flea collar on the front end and a colony for them living and building condos on the back end of the pet! Fleas are not stupid! They will move away from areas that are tainted with pesticides. That includes your home! Typically the collar will last about thirty days according to the package. What I have found that most fleas will build a resistance to the collar after the second cycle hatches(about two weeks).
Flea Dips: I am not a particular fan of this treatment. In most cases the treatment is very hard on the pet's skin. The user has to wear heavy rubber gloves to protect their body from the chemical. It made me wonder what it was doing to the organs of the the poor dog that had to be the recipient of the treatment. It typically lasts 15 days, however , it does not kill the fleas in the home and/or sleeping area.
Topical Treatment: This is a touchy one, because all topical treatments are NOT created equally! The old adage"you get what you pay for" it very true. Cheaper treatments can be water based with very little power to them. They will kill the adult fleas but have little or no affect on the eggs and larvae. There are quite a few topical treatments on the market, however, I have found that K-9 Advantix works the best and last longer than the other ones. It is also the treatment that we use in our Flea Fighter Spa Package with Clean Paws Mobile Grooming. I must warn you to be careful purchasing discount flea treatments online. I have personally had the experience of getting a bad or out of the country batch of flea treatment that made my dog very ill. When I took the package to the vet, he had pointed out to me that the batch I had received was not made in the United States. To the untrained eye the packaging looks exactly the same, but the formula is different. So please be careful. I am hearing more and more stories of pet parents who have lost or almost lost their pets like this. This treatment usually last 30-45 days. It kills the adults, eggs and larvae.
Flea Shampoo: A flea shampoo will kill the adult fleas, however, if you are bathing the dog/cat at home the problem is three fold. First the ENTIRE house and the pet's bedding must be treated. You can not spot treat. Fleas NEVER read their lines! They go everywhere! You can carry them on your clothing through out your house with out even knowing it. By the time you feel them biting you, you have a REAL problem! 10 adult female fleas can lay up to 90,000 eggs in a 30 period. Unfortunately fleas are a friendly community bunch, and they don't like to travel by themselves. So imagine if you found 40 dead fleas(that is a VERY LOW number) on your dog after you administered a flea bath. Let's say that 20 of them are females. You have been noticing your dog scratching like crazy for the last couple of months. You have well over a millions fleas bouncing through your house without even realizing it has happened. Second, sorry to say most pet parents bathing their dogs at home are not able to address the problem properly. In a lot of cases the the majority of pet owners don't realize that fleas will run in ANY opening to survive. So when the bath is over they just come back out to a clean house and start the party all over again! Third, if you have not rinsed the pet properly, the pet can suffer from hot spots from either product being left on the skin or an allergic reaction to the flea bites or both. Some people get carried away and will bathe the dog too often. Flea shampoos can have a drying affect on the skin which can only make your pet's skin problems worst.
Flea Powder: Powders do work, however, they can be messy and some cases if inhaled by the pet can cause damage to their lungs. Depending on your pet's skin it can dry it out as well. Most powders have to be re-applied every couple of weeks to remain effective.
Flea Sprays: Sprays do work, however, you have to re-apply them every week for them to be effective, and when you start to add it up it can cost more than a good topical application.
Organic Flea Treatment: I love organics! That are so much healthier for both you and your pet. In most cases you can and your pet can share treatments! Lavender, tea tree and or lemongrass oil can be combined with water (8 drops of each oil and 8 ounces of water). Apply liberally! The drawback with this method is that it has to be repeated several times a day(depending on the body chemistry and activity level). Planting citrus scented herbs and flowers in and around your home helps. Diatomaceous Earth(food grade) is a great product. It is non-toxic. It can be applied to your pet's food as well as to their body. You can sprinkle it in and around your home and on your plants too! Because it is ground fossil you have to be careful that the dust is not inhaled by your pet, or it could cause some damage. Organic products in most cases do not have a residual effect so they must be applied often.
Pets left with untreated flea infestation can suffer from tapeworms, anemia, hair loss, and skin problems. Always consult with your vet when you pet has been exposed to fleas. By the time you notice them, they have been there for at least a month maybe two. The myth that your dog can not get fleas because he is not around other dogs is NOT true. If you pet goes outside to relieve himself in the grass. Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, O' possums, and mice all carry fleas. They can come in your yard and drop fleas without you knowing it. In addition you can bring them in on your clothes and expose them to your pets. This is especially true with indoor cats. Do NOT use any essential oils on cats! Only use products on cats that clearly stated that it is safe to do so. Products that are safe for dogs can kill a cat. A Cat's immune system is very delicate. Whatever method you decide to use, please do not combine multiple treatments like a flea collar with a topical and powder. Doing so, can put your pet's health at risk. Too many chemicals can over work your pet's vital organs and you could be killing Fido right along with those fleas! The best way to attack the problem is to prevent it before it starts. Start your topical treatment at the Spring thaw to prevent exposure. Once your pet has been expose, have the pet treated in a separate location will the house is being flea bombed, and the pet's bedding is being washed. Add a cup of distilled vinegar to the wash water and let it sit while the house is being treated.
|Posted on 24 March, 2013 at 14:55||comments ()|
In the wintertime, the forced air heating has a tendency to remove moisture from the home. It will cause our hair and skin to dry out and does the same for our pets. I love grooming the drop coated dogs, shih tzu's, maltese, yorkies and such. It is a special joy when the pet parents comb them regularly! A few days ago I was talking to a parent who was becoming increasingly frustrated by the discovery of tangles in her little maltese. She assured me that she was combing her dog at least 3-4 times a week. I know that this was a true statement because the tangles and matts were in familiar places like: the dreaded arm-pit, behind the ears, and the legs. We went into her bathroom, shut off the light and I rubbed my hand back and forth or the dog's coat, and the blue sparks began to fly! A dog with a very fine coat walking around in a carpeted home, or if he lays on the sofa, pet bed or any type of fabric starts to build a relationship with the two characters I like to call Tangle and Matt.
Tangle is the introductory guy. He starts off slow, maybe doing the tango with a couple of hairs behind the ears,in the arm pit and around the rump. He uses the static electricity to draw his partners closer together in an unsuspecting way. He allows you do think that the hair is smooth and silky, when all the while he is playing a silent game of twister. Let's say you catch him at his little game behind the ear and at the rump. He is relentless! The next day he will be back to his old tricks. Now let's introduce the music to the festival......water. Whether it is snow or rain, tangle's new dance partner is now locking those hairs together and forming a new guy.....matt.
Matt is a little more intense than tangle. Tangle can easily be brushed/combed out with little or no effort, but matt he is going to make you work! Matt is now locking the hairs that tangle brought together, and using water as the glue to keep their relationship from breaking up. Matt is the guy who will fool you on the surface, making you think that your pet's hair is nice smooth when it is actually clumping underneath. Matt requires a little more force to end his dancing game. If the comb stops in the coat while combing....guess what? Matt is definitely paying a visit! Matt has different levels of intensity, just like some insane work out. There is the beginning matt or "Love Matts." Love matts can be caused by allowing tangle to hang around too long, or by missing a week or two of combing. It can also be caused by excessive rubbing. You know the way you like to jumble fluffy's hair every time you see his little cute face? Well tangle is using his dance partner static to bring his partners closer together faster. The moisture,warmth and oils from your hands spins matt on to the dance floor, but if they are caught in time. You can break their relationship up with the least amount of effort.
Bath Matt- OOOHHHHHHH he can be a NASTY one! This where most of your major problems will begin! Let's say Tangle and Love Matt has gotten together, and your little sweetie pie has decided to step in, roll around in something.....OR....just gotten a dash of that ever pungent perfume from that strange looking black and white kitty that wandered in the yard. Let's say.....you can't get an appointment with your regular groomer, so you decided to wash Fluffy your self. As you are washing you begin to notice small clusters of lumped hair....that is the new character.....Bath Matt. He is taking love to a whole new game! As the clumps dry, they begin to tighten forming a web of knots that have become even more difficult to comb out. If they can be combed out at all. If not caught early, bath matt can break and damage Fluffy's coat. Depending on the amount of bath matt Fluffy has, your groomer may suggest shaving the coat off and starting over to save your pet from a painful and expensive de-matting process.
This last guy is a REAL stinker! His name is Hard Rocky Matt. I don't like him at all!! He is a very serious problem. What has happened is bath matt, has been getting wet over and over again. Now all of the matts have joined one big gang and made a suit of matted armor on Fluffy. Fluffy is now nappy, and everything on his body from his ears to rear-end and ankles are connected. The Hard Rocky Matt suit is now keeping heat and moisture next to Fluffy's skin that can set up different types of bacteria. It will cause your pet to overheat and the warm summer months and freeze in the winter(no matter how thick the hair is). It sets up a breeding ground for parasites like fleas, who can live in the matted coat and feed on your pet at will. It also sets up a nesting place for flies to lay eggs in the matts where maggots can develop to literally eat your pet alive. Hard Rocky Matt twists Fluffy's coat so tight that it literally rips the hair out of the follicle every time he moves. Your once happy bouncy four legged bundle of joy is now snappy and grumpy because every time he moves it hurts. At this point, there is no other option. Your groomer will have to shave the coat down to the skin, and free Fluffy from the Hard Rocky Matt suit. The best way to prevent your pet meeting this nasty character starts this way:
Keep Fluffy on a regular grooming schedule with a professional groomer(whether mobile, stationary or vet's office). Depending on how long or short you like the coat, your schedule could range between 2 to 5 weeks. The longer the coat, the more often Fluffy will have to be groomed.
Combing Fluffy with a fine tooth metal comb often (at least 3-4 times per week). You will chase away that sneaky guy Tangle before he can start his little tricks. If your pet has very fine hair try spraying some coat detangler on the comb(not the pet) shake off the excess liquid and comb thru the pet's coat. Too much detangler on the coat can work against you and cause your minor tangles to turn into a matt. In addition, it can weigh the coat down and make it too oily.
Your overall objective is to break up that relationship between Tangle and Matt, otherwise it will be a marriage that could cost you plenty!!
|Posted on 22 January, 2013 at 20:38||comments ()|
Those are five little words that make every professional groomer I know cringe! It is equivalent to sharp nails going across a chalkboard. When we hear those words on the other end of the phone it almost makes our heart stop. We know that "grooming" a pet is more than just a bath. Sadly, most times it is had to get that across to many pet owners. Some people want a dog because it's cute and fluffy and their intention is to love and baby it until the end of its days. What heart could resist those adorable faces? Those eyes that make you melt, and my goodness if they lift that paw and touch you.....you are a gonner for sure! What most new pet owners don't take into account is that owning a dog is like having a new child. They are a blank slate when you get them. They have no idea what you expect of them so they just do what comes natural to them. They poop, pee, play,eat,sleep and chew on things. They depend on you to know and/or find out what is the best thing for their care, including grooming. Research the type of pet you want and what is best for your household before you decide to get a pet. Knowing your time constraints are so important, as many times you may be the only person caring for the "family pet". I can only urge that if you are looking for a dog or cat that you would try the many over-run shelters and rescues first, but let's face it many people will just go out and buy a dog or cat because it's easier.
Knowledge is power! I run into so many people who thought that they could "save a few bucks" and groom the dog themselves. Only ending up creating a bigger more expensive problem. Grooming and bathing a pet are two very different things. Many pet parents will bathe a double, drop and curly coated do with no idea how to care for the coat before during and after the bath. Nails are neglected and grow out of proportion causing deformation of the feet and unnecessary pressure on joints. Hair growing between the paw pads turn into matts, and become as hard as rocks making it uncomfortable for your pet to walk. Ear hair is overlooked which can grow out of control and cause painful ear infections. Bathing and not drying the coat properly can form matts around the pet's genitals trapping bacteria causing urinary tract infections, or worst matted hair around the rectum can prevent the pet from passing feces. Professional groomers are trained to remove these things before they become an issue. In addition they look for things like skin problems, and understanding dog/cat anatomy helps your groomer to recognize an abnormality that may require a look from your vet. Studying skin care, and health issues, can help to protect your family from something that could spread from animal to people called zoonatic diseases. Such studies can alert your professional groomer if your pet's skin is in distress. I can not tell you how many times pet parents have brought the shaking fire red skin pet to me stating " he needs a flea bath, because he won't stop scratching" only discover that the shampoo they are using at home is burning the poor dog's skin. A shampoo that is either too strong for their skin or not properly dilute can damage both the coat and skin. In most cases it ends up being a skin reaction or "hot spot" from shampoo not being rinse properly from the coat. Teaching your pet how to accept things like clippers and shears near their face can be a smooth transition with a trained professional groomer. Waiting until your pet is a year or older to have them introduced to those things can be traumatic for the pet because they don't understand what is happening. It is also traumatic and time consuming for your groomer because he/she has to spend an enormous amount of time working your terrified older pet thru this process. During this time, most pets turn into a screaming,flipping, snapping, peeing, pooping, frightened creature, instead of your precious little poopsy that you know and love. Neglecting to keep them on a regular 4-5week grooming schedule starts the tasmanian dance all over again, in which case many groomer will begin to turn you away or refer you to vet to have the pet sedated for his own safety. Grooming either at a shop or by your mobile groomer should be a pleasant experience for your pet. If they only see the groomer a few times per year after the coat has gotten out of control it makes your pet associate grooming with pain. No offense to my dentist friends, but who looks forward to a root canal? Not me!
Combing and brushing your pet at home with the proper equipment between grooms makes it easier for everyone! You will have special bonding time with your pet. During the process you can catch any matts/tangles before they get started. You will also avoid extra charges for de-matting, behavior problems and/or sedation. Your pet's grooming experience is faster and more enjoyable! Here are a few hints to find out if your "at home grooming" has you and your pet heading for trouble.
1) Can you part the coat on any part of your pet's body and see his skin?
2) Does the coat feel thick like padding to your touch?
3) Does the coat have cords or knots under the neck or rump?
4) Do you feel rock like lumps behind your pet's ears?
5) Do you see your pet's coat separate in thick sections?
If you answered yes to 2 or more of the above listed questions....it's time to STOP! Take your pet to a professional groomer and start the coat all over again. At any given time you should be able to comb your pet's hair with a metal medium/coarse comb from the crown of his head to his rump without removing the comb. Just like you comb your own hair from root to tip. A double coated dog's coat should have a free flowing bounce to it. You may run into some tight spots around the rump or neck but you should still be able to get the comb thru it. Professional grooming is a necessary part of your pet's health and well being, just like getting the proper vaccinations. It is not something that should be taken lightly. It should be done a trained professional in the field of grooming. It really does make a difference, to your pet's over all look and more importantly their safety. What you don't know can do a lot of damage to your pet, so please leave it to the trained grooming professionals.