Routine professional grooming services are not just about what your pet looks like, nor is professional grooming the once a year shave down. In fact…at home bathing does not replace professional grooming. Professional grooming is about your pet's health and comfort first, looking good is an added benefit!
All dogs, regardless of breed or coat type, require maintenance grooming services to be in optimum condition. Some dogs require clipping, scissoring or shortening and shaping of the coat to make the pet a better representation of its breed; to allow for easier care at home; or to treat skin problems or parasites, but all dogs require brushing, bathing, conditioning, nail trimming, and ear cleaning.
Many of our first time clients with bichons, maltese, havanese, shih-tzus, yorkies, maltipoos, shihpoos, cockapoos, doodles, etc., arrive with their pet covered in felted matting. The pet was shaved down to the skin three to six months earlier, has now grown out and is matted all over again. There was apparently no dialogue between the client and previous groomer about how the pet got in this unhealthy and painful condition and what the owner could or should be doing to prevent the matted-dog-cycle.
So to prevent YOUR matted-dog-cycle... here is what you need to know and do:
This does not necessarily mean a hair cut or shave.. this means maintained for health and comfort. We offer a service for these pets called our "BB and 3 F's" (bath, brush, feet, face and fanny). The cost for this service is generally less than a grooming that includes the all over haircut, and includes ALL of these procedures: bath, conditioning, hand drying, anal glands, nail trim and file, ear cleaning, clipping paw pads, shaping paws, sani, trimming the fanny to protect against dingle-debris, shaping face and clipping under the eyes to reduce tearing and eye debris. It is the maintenance your pet requires for good health and comfort!
A typical scenario for most of the new clients with breeds listed above goes like this: The initial appointment requires a short style due to the matted condition of the pet. The grooming visit may cost $50 to $65 (this price is just an example). The guest books the next appointment for a BB and 3 F's in four to six weeks. This BB 3F's visit may cost @ $30 to $35 (this price is just an example). The pet now has a nice covering of coat. The pet is fluffy, the pet parent happy. The next appointment in four to six weeks will require a full grooming with haircut, but because the coat was maintained, it will not need to be clipped so short or cost as much as the initial grooming. There are many variables though, so the prices listed are just examples. This is a win-win-win for you, your pet and the groomer.
We know you mean well, but here is the process that creates severe matting: you place the pet in the tub without thoroughly brushing and combing first. You use a harsh grocery store brand of dog shampoo that strips protective natural oils from the coat and skin. You vigorously rub the hair and skin to cleanse. You don't condition the coat after shampooing which leaves the cuticle open, creating a rough texture on the hair shaft. After rinsing, you rub the coat with a towel. Then you put your fur baby on the floor where he rubs and rolls and continues the knitting of the hair together that begins the matting process. You meant to brush him thoroughly after the bath, but there is not enough time in the day, so you will get to it eventually. Repeat this each week and pretty soon, you have a pet that is incased in a cast of matted hair. So you take him to the groomer. Because he is so matted he has to be clipped to the skin. Clippers do not cut through matting, they cut under matting. You arrive to pick him up and are shocked to see your little one dressed in his birthday suit. Since you don't like the way he looks, you decide he won't need to be groomed again for six months... so you start bathing him at home... and there you have it. In the meantime his nails grow painfully long, the hair in the pads of the feet become matted and hold moisture against the skin. He starts licking and chewing his feet to soothe the discomfort. Hair grows, and fills the ear canals so that wax production is increased and he develops an ear infection. The hair grows in and around his eyes, irritating them, increasing tear production and staining. The acidic discharge collects under his eyes and creates a painful skin irritation.
We know that pet parents truly want to keep their pets happy, healthy, safe and comfortable and just need some gentle guidance and instruction in the area of grooming to understand the impact regular professional services have on the quality of their pet's life.
Brushing your pet's coat, routinely and thoroughly, is the most important grooming procedure you can provide him at home. Brushing cleanses, stimulating sebum production while distributing natural oils throughout the coat. Brushing separates top coat while grasping and removing undercoat. Brushing is a wonderful bonding time, while allowing you the opportunity to inspect your pet's coat and skin, and other areas of the body for subtle changes and potential health problems.
Now, brushing is not play time, nor is it snuggle time, so you will need to get your pet off the floor and out of your lap. Place him on a raised area, perhaps a counter top or washing machine, where you have put a rubber bath mat or other non-slip surface. Folding grooming tables are not that expensive so you may want to invest in one. You will need to use the correct brush for his coat type and use the correct technique for the brush. Unless you have a smooth coated breed, the human bristle type brush will be useless. Most coated breeds require a slicker brush, used by parting the hair and brushing from the skin out. A comb is used to test what you have brushed. You would always use the brush first, followed by the comb.
We are very happy to show our pet parents the correct tools and techniques to properly care for their most precious furs in between professional grooming visits.