Does a Pet Need Grooming and a Groomer?
A Good Groomer is an Important Support for a Pet Parent
All pets need grooming, because it’s not just about beauty, but also about health. A well groomed pet is a healthy pet. Proper grooming protects your cat or dog from a multitude of health problems and prolongs its life. But who to entrust this responsible business?
It’s always best to do both at-home and professional grooming. You can do the basics yourself at home, such as brushing. But trimming and clipping are better left to professionals. A professional groomer will not only “groom” your pet, but will advise you on the condition of his skin and coat, and recommend treatments and products specific to your pet.
Professional grooming is especially important for dogs and cats participating in shows. Mistakes by the owner in the care of the pet can cost him a low rating or disqualification. But that’s not all. Improper pet care can trigger serious dermatological conditions, allergies, and even trauma. Let’s talk about that in more detail.
The Pitfalls of Home Grooming
Here are the basic mistakes of home grooming that every beginner owner faces. Remember them so that you don’t repeat them.
- Non-compliance with the dog standards
The creative dragon haircut looks fun and dramatic, but is it allowed by your pet’s breed standard? By giving your dog the “wrong” shape, you run the risk of ruining the best qualities of your breed which are so valued in dog breeding. The wrong haircut can disqualify a dog from a show and make him ineligible for competition.
Not all dogs need a haircut. There are dogs (like coarse-haired ones) that shouldn’t get a haircut because it will worsen the coat. They need hand stripping and trimming instead.
There are dogs who have fur that looks like it’s looming over their eyes, covering them completely. A concerned owner’s first instinct is to trim the hair so that it doesn’t obstruct his vision. But take your time: such dogs can have very sensitive eyes. Plus, with working dogs, their coats can protect their eyes from debris and dust.
Before you give him an in-home haircut, it’s important to understand all these nuances. Is your dog definitely need a haircut? Is it all over his body or just certain areas? Exactly how and with what tool do you cut? If you’re aiming to be your dog’s groomer, it’s best to talk to a groomer first. He can advise you on the right course of action.
- Absence of quality tools
You can’t have quality grooming without quality tools. You’re probably aware of that yourself. For example, if you use a nail clippers instead of a claw clipper, it can start to split and crumble.
There are a myriad of grooming tools that would be difficult for a novice to understand. Each one is designed for certain breeds of dogs and has its own special features. Without the proper experience, you stand a good chance of wasting money on the wrong tool and having a substandard procedure.
Before making a purchase, it’s best to consult with a groomer who specializes in your breed.
- Poor-quality cosmetics
A basic set of dog grooming products includes ear and eye lotion, shampoo and conditioner for washing, and moisturizer for brushing. But if your dog’s coat is white and stained, if it’s frizzy or waxy, if he dandruff, dull colour or other issues, he’ll need specialised professional care products.
You’d be surprised how easy it is to keep your dog looking his best with the right products. And vice versa. Even the best-looking and best-natured dog will quickly lose his looks, and in the worst cases, develop serious dermatological problems because of improper care.
- Improper eye and ear care
There are many important points that a newcomer to the world of doggie care may not be aware of. For example, different wipes are required for your dog’s eyes – each eye requires its own clean wipe. It may seem like a non-issue, but if you use the same wipe on two eyes and one eye gets infected you can easily move your hand to spread the infection to the other.
- Shampoo or conditioner in dog’s eyes
When you’re washing your dog yourself at home, it’s hard to keep track of everything. Sometimes shampoo or conditioner ends up in his eyes while he’s bathing. How will your pet react?
The road to perfect pet grooming is long and arduous. There are a lot of details you have to learn to take into account. For instance, remember to place an anti-slip mat in the bottom of the tub. Ask a family member to hold your dog while you brush. Choose a claw trimmer that’s the right size so he won’t get hurt. And stock up on anti-bleeding powder in case you accidentally nick a blood vessel while trimming a nail. It’s best to think through and prepare for all grooming procedures well in advance.
- Ignoring cuts and sores
Dog handlers have a keen eye. They can tell a dog’s health by the look of his coat and skin. While a mild abdominal irritation may seem like “just a rash that will go away,” a groomer can quickly spot an allergic reaction to a new shampoo and change the product before it gets worse.
Sometimes owners can be overly obedient. For example, they try to clip all his claws now, even though he’s trying his best to break free. This is not a good strategy. If your dog’s stressed, if he’s scared and struggling to finish the procedure, meet him halfway and finish it a little later.
Your goal is not to make your dog obey you, not to make him endure an unpleasant action, but to make him enjoy it, one more opportunity to bond with his master. Coercion is not the point, but a little affection, understanding, composure and treats are helpful.
For successful grooming, you and your dog have to have total trust in each other. If there’s no contact with your dog, even a simple ear cleaning can be very frustrating for both of you. In such cases, it’s best to entrust the job to a handyman. You’d be amazed at how easily a good handler can get to know his dog, and how silky even the toughest of rogue dogs become.
Stock up on the contact of a trusted handyman and a couple of links to grooming forums. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask experienced people. That’s how newbies turn into the world’s best dog groomers.