Who doesn’t like a spa day? Manicure, pedicure, a nice style to make us look our best can really lift spirits. Looking good can make you feel good and ready for anything that comes your way. Unfortunately, our dogs don’t feel the exact way about their spa day.
As a dog groomer, I deal with this often, very few of my canine clients come rushing in with delight on their appointment day. A few do come running in with excited whines and oddly enough are very happy about it and actually give a big hug or enthusiastic tail wagging. Some actually try to climb or jump on the grooming table (even if there is another dog there), that’s their way of saying “grooming is fine but Not the Bath!!!”
Another very large dog has separation anxiety when his owner leaves. As soon as he exits and closes the door, the dog makes a leap for the raised bathtub and is almost demanding for me to hurry and get it all done so his owner comes back. Poor guy needs a suit of armour to protect himself when he picks up his dog, a little too much jumping is all I can say.
No matter how the dog feels when they arrive, they do have a lift in their step when they leave, even my more senior dogs regain some youthful energy. For as much as they may not want it, they do need it and are definitely the better for it. A clean dog that smells good usually gets more hugs and might even be allowed to share the bed.
There are many benefits to a professional grooming aside from helping some dogs be able to see again.
The washing and professional drying help to maintain healthy skin and coat. It helps to remove the dander and dirt that may be building up and recognize any health problems.
During the drying, the loose undercoat is blown off and the groomer is able to examine the skin for issues such as rashes, lumps, abrasions, ticks, fleas or anything else that might be an issue.
The groomer can also observe if the skin is too dry or too oily and might suggest dietary changes to help the problem.
Regular nail clipping is also essential to maintain a healthy foot structure and posture. If left neglected the nails can grow into the paw pad and lead to possible infection and of course discomfort for the dog.
For dogs with long fur, the trimming can aid the overgrowth around the eyes helping their vision as well as removing the eye discharge that can build up creating sores. For some, the ears can have an overgrowth of fur and earwax build-up that requires plucking and cleaning to prevent infections. The base of their paws also becomes too furry and can lead to a lot of slipping on hard surfaces including carpet free stairs. I have heard often from people who say the dog is very reluctant walking on staircases after a fall. Sanitary issues at the rear are also very important and if not maintained the feces can mat into the fur around the anus creating a blockage. The genital area is another essential clean-up to help prevent soiled fur causing infections.
In the winter, some clients do not groom their dogs as often and feel the build-up of fur is better to keep them warm. Unfortunately, this can lead to severe matting in the dog’s coat. Matted fur can trap moisture, bacteria and parasites. Over time this can cause sores to develop on your pet’s skin. By the spring the groomers only option is to use a close blade to shave off the pelted fur and further irritate the skin issues. Another risk is severely matted ears that makes it difficult to even recognize the ear. The tightness of this matting can pull on their skin creating hematomas.
So, their spa day is more than primping and bows for their fur. It’s also essential for their health and happiness, even if they are reluctant to get out of the car and come into your shop.
With an education in Commerce and career in the banking industry, Angela made the change and became a professional dog groomer, and hasn’t looked back since. With over 10 years as a professional groomer and having groomed her own poodles since age 12, grooming has always been more of a bonding than a chore. A life-long love of animals and natural ability to relate to pets and their owners, has made the business a success as well as a rewarding career.
Over the years the business has also received many requests and inquiries to train and teach grooming so the website, www.thevillagedoggroomer.ca was created to help others who also have a passion for pets and may want to start into the pet industry.
The site has many topics covered from Writing your Business Plan, Health and Safety of a Pet Groomer, Equipment and Supplies, etc. to interest articles on Pet Trends, Summer Safety for your Dogs, and more.
Angela resides in Atlantic Canada with her husband, children and in-home hobby farm of dogs and cats.