I love my groomer.
Angela of Pampered Paws takes great care of my dogs. I met her when my Schnoodle Maxie was just a puppy. I got her flyer at the opening of the local dog park and I haven’t looked back since. I can tell she takes a personal interest in my dogs and their well-being. When I pick the two rascalsup after their appointments she always updates me on how they’re doing, how they behaved, and if there’s anything that needs looking at by the vet. She also laughs over anecdotes like how Maxie (after 6 years) finally gave her kisses and sat in her lap or how Zeppie the Shih-Poo fell asleep while she was brushing him (Every. Single. Time. Dude, it’s a groom not a massage.)
Zeppie’s got a case of bed head
Angela and I have a great relationship and she’s a wealth of information. That’s why I trust her with the care of my dogs. As much as I trust my own hairstylist or manicurist with my own beauty routines in fact.
Last time I was there Angela and I got to talking. She said that while so many dog owners love their pets, they don’t recognize that they need the same (or better) level of personal care and hygiene as we humans do in order to stay healthy and strong. I was intrigued so I asked her to share what she wishes every dog owner knew.
Maxie’s fave place: my lap
1. Groom Regularly
Long Haired Dogs like poodles, shih-tsus, Maltese, Schnauzers, Collies, Cocker Spaniels, and Newfoundlands should be groomed every 6 to 10 weeks to avoid getting an uncomfortable build-up of knots and matts. Matting gets tighter and tighter as time goes on and the dog will find it very annoying and will begin to scratch, which can result in skin irritations. It will awful for the dog when you finally decide to brush it out and the groomer may have to shave all the hair. Also, this extra long coat makes it that much harder to notice skin infections, irritations, lumps or bumps.
2. Get a manicure
A dog’s nails should be clipped every 6-10 weeks. If you don’t trim their nails regularly the nails can grow so long that they might curl and grow into the paw. This is extremely painful for your pet. As a dog ages, long nails can press into their paws and become present similarly to a human’s ingrown nail. This condition can lead to pain and infection, and can limit the dog’s everyday activity, all of which will result in less exercise, muscle tone and an unfit dog.
3. Wipe those eyes
If your dog is prone to tear stains or “eye crusties” you need to clean the area thoroughly every 2 to 5 days. Not only is this condition unsightly (especially on white dogs) the crusts can be very uncomfortable for your pet. If you wait for your groomer to do it then the skin can get irritated underneath which can cause skin and eye infections.
Maxie fresh from the groomer
4. Brush your dog
Most people like their dogs long and fluffy and looking like magazine photos of cute teddy bear dogs. What they don’t realize is that those dogs are being brushed and groomed very regularly. To keep a dog’s coat shiny and healthy owners need to brush them at least once a week. If your dog has long hair and you want them all cuddly like a stuffed animal you need to brush them and remove their knots even more frequently, like every other day. Don’t wait 3-4 months to get your dogs groomed, and even worse, not brush them in between visits! If you do that, your soft and cuddly pup will most likely need a shave down or several excruciating visits to get dematted and deknotted.
5. Brush those teeth
When you get a puppy start brushing his or her teeth from day 1 to get them used to the activity. Just like humans, dogs should have their teeth brushed on a daily basis. If your dog won’t let you brush their teeth or if the tartar is bad, get them a professional cleaning at the vet every year. Poor oral health care can lead to many health issues as your puppy ages.
6. Get Regular Check Ups
Groomers might be good at assessing general health and spotting potential problems, but they’re not vets. Just like you do with your human kids, dogs should be checked by a vet on a regular basis and all of their shots should be kept up to date.
7. Go for a walk.
Dogs need exercise! Period! In fact everyone needs exercise so kill two birds with stone and take your pet for a walk.
8. Oh, behave!
No groomer wants to work with a dog who bites, nips, barks, or is aggressive on humans other dogs. In fact, nobody wants to be around a dog like that. Most dogs are trainable but behaviour management has to start at home. Bad habits can be corrected in 99% of dogs! If your dog nips at people or is aggressive do not ignore or cater to the bad behaviour. Hire a professional trainer to help you learn together how to adjust and become better socialized. The work will be worth it and everyone will be happier in the long run.
Zeppie loves going to the groomer
9. Stop the worrying
Just like in humans, mental health issues can be debilitating. It’s very common for dogs to suffer from anxiety. If you want your dog to be better adjusted, don’t cater to their anxieties. Instead, walk them through situation with firm affection, and help them learn (with a trainer if necessary) how to get through or deal with the situation. When you cater or enable their anxieties you’re making their lives more difficult.
10. Stick with your groomer
Once you’ve found a groomer that both you and your dog like stick with them instead of switching around constantly. Just like you build a trusting relationship with your own hairstylist, so does your pet with his or her groomer. Plus, dogs really like routine, especially in potentially stressful situations. When they visit the same groomer, in time the grooming process gets much easier, especially for dogs with anxiety or those who are aging and may also be dealing with loss of vision and hearing. Keep in mind that some dogs just never get use to the grooming process.
So what do you think? Are you living up to your groomer’s expectations? I know I’m not. I’ve got a little work to do.
This post was generously sponsored by PC Nutrition first. Let’s spread the word that we humans need to take just as good care of our pets as we do ourselves. I recently switched my dogs to PC Nutrition First Chicken and Brown Rice for small breeds and they’re literally eating it up. What I love is that it has the same wholesome, nutrition ingredients that we humans enjoy in our own food.
For more information visit the website.