Saturday, April 24, 2021

Introducing your new puppy to grooming

Puppies are very much like babies - they are cute, adorable and need a lot of looking after!  Puppies are also very sensitive and need to learn about the world around them and the rules that go with that world.

Every dog is different and their personalities can vary as much as peoples can.

I have had pups as young as 4 months sail through the whole grooming process without a whimper, but equally I've had pups that are very frightened of the whole process.

The grooming salon can be a scary place for a nervous dog.  There's lots of smells, sounds, sensations and it can be very overwhelming.  Dogs that are overwhelmed can get too stressed and can start to snap and bite. I don't want them to get that fearful, as I'm sure you don't. 

My ideal scenario with anyone with a new puppy is to introduce them to  the grooming salon as soon as they've been fully vaccinated. Even if its just to pop in and say hello. Let the dog have a sniff around the salon, say hello to Larry (the mini poodle). If the pup has a happy first visit, it'll help with future visits.

Now, I know that different dogs have different needs. Some dogs need regular professional grooming (every 6-8 weeks) others will be 3 or 4 times a year, some dogs I see once a year.  

There's a lot of new sights sounds and smells in the dog grooming salon.  Theres a lot to get used to... 
The bath. The shampoo,  being washed all over. The sound and sensation of the water. 
The towel dry, again being touched all over. 
The dryer, loud warm air blasted all over. 
The table, the brush, comb, clippers, scissors,  nail clippers. 
All while being handled, moved around, having to stand still. 

Young puppies get used to things a lot quicker than older dogs. The younger the puppy, the less that has to be done.

For a curly haired puppy 12 - 16 weeks old,  a bath and brush is the perfect introduction to grooming. But if the same dog is left till its 8 or 9 months old, chances are the adult coat has started coming through and matting has started happening around the bum, belly, ears and maybe more. Now the dog HAS to be clipped (shaved).  This is awful for any dog because the mats are pulling on the skin and can be painful. But for the puppy who has no previous experience of the grooming salon it can make the dog fearful of the grooming process. 

For a puppy that's going to grow into a large breed like a German Shepherd,  Golden Retriever,  Newfoundland,  Labrador and such, they can be very jumpy, and the bigger they are, the harder they are to keep calm and under control.  So by introducing them when they are small, they get used to the process quicker, so by the time they are bigger they'll be a pro at it. The dryers used for a larger dog are much more powerful than the one used for smaller dogs and puppies. But by getting them used to the noise and sensation of the smaller dryer, they adapt to the bigger one as they get older much quicker than a large dog that's never been groomed before.

So, regardless of the breed of puppy you've adopted into your family, introduction to the dog grooming at a young age is going to help the confidence of the dog. 

If you'd like to introduce your new puppy to grooming,  phone me on 08238133238 or call to the salon with your puppy and we can have a chat about their grooming needs. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

How often should a dog be washed? How often is too often?

Lets deal with the first question first, how often should a dog be washed.  There's no quick answer to that, because it really depends on the breed of the dog,  It also depends on the dogs lifestyle including any health issues they may have.

Here's what I recommend to my clients - most dogs, regardless of breed or size, should be groomed at least once a season - every three months.  This will deal with the dead hair and skin that's your dogs been shedding every day for the last 90 days.  Even if you brush your dog regularly, there will be a build up of  dander and oil from the skin that you wont be able to get with the brush.

However, if your dog is a house pet and sleeps indoors, then you may want to wash your dog more often.

Once or twice a week is perfectly fine to wash your dog - as long as you are using a gentle shampoo - (designed for dogs, not babies,) that is kind to their skin.  If you find that their skin is red and itchy, you may want to change the shampoo.  I have high quality shampoo for sale in the salon that is Aloe Vera based and very gentle on all skin types.

There is an exception though - curly coated dogs like Bichons and Poodles (including mixes of these breeds)  have hair that mats very easily.  Unless you are willing to brush your dog more than you wash it, I'm afraid that you'll end up with a matted dog - hair like dreadlocks that pull on their skin and generally make life very uncomfortable.  Best leave it to the professionals if this is happening regularly. 

So, how often is too often?

  • It's too often if the dog is getting matted between grooms. (More on matted dogs another time.)
  • It's too often if the shampoo is not suitable for dogs skin and causes irritation. 
  • If the dog is getting snappy or grumpy at bath time - it could be too much for your dog.

But if your dog is happy and healthy - go for it.

The benefits of grooming your dog regularly, whether you do it yourself, or get it professionally groomed, go further than simply cleaning your dog and having it smell nice.  It can also highlight any issues that may be going on that you haven't noticed.  For example, when the dog is being washed from tail to nose, you may notice a lump that wasn't there before.  You may notice that he won't let you touch a leg, or paw or an ear.  An indication that something isn't quite right.  In which case you take the dog to the vet and get it checked out.  It may just save your pets life!

Remember, this is just my opinion and not to be mistaken for medical or veterinarian advice.

Enjoy your pets!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Introduction and DIY Dog Wash

Hello, and welcome to my first blog.

My name is Sinead Lee and I am the owner of For Mutt's Sake Dog Grooming Salon, Unit 8 Millennium Court, Foxhole, Youghal, Co Cork, Ireland.  I have two dogs, Rosie a 7 year old Staffie and Larry the mini poodle aged 2.

I am going to start by giving you a brief history of my dog grooming life.

I started a dog grooming course in 2013 primarily to be able to groom my own wire haired terrier, (Buddy, who has since passed) and to help out the DAWG charity by grooming their rescued animals.  Once I was a few weeks into the course, I found my passion.  I just loved the dogs, loved washing them and making them look and feel better. Everything else faded away and I was in my zone.  I did work experience with Deirdre at a local dog grooming salon Just 4 Paws, and worked there for over a year after I qualified.

In January 2016 I opened my own salon For Mutt's Sake Dog Grooming, and haven't looked back!

The purpose of this blog is to communicate what life is like owning and working in a dog grooming salon.  I will give tips and tricks to grooming your pet at home between visits to the groomer.  I'll share the good, the bad and the funny stories of day to day life of a dog groomer.  I promise I will be honest, but NO REAL NAMES WILL BE MENTIONED.

I welcome your comments and suggestions - don't be shy.

Something I've been asked a lot about recently is the SELF SERVICE Dog Wash.  What is it, how does it work etc.  So here it is.

SELF SERVICE dog wash is, as the name suggests, wash the dog yourself, in my salon, using my equipment.

You bring your dog and I'll provide everything else you need and I'll show you how to use them, shampoo, towels, shower, dryer, tables, brushes etc.  The benefits of this service are many and I'm not sure why more people aren't using it.
  • The bath is height adjustable, so it's a lot more comfortable than kneeling on the bathroom floor leaning over a bath.  
  • There is restraints on the bath and on the table, so the dog can't run off on you, getting water all over the house.  
  • The bath is large enough to hold even Giant breeds and its very sturdy.
  • Use top quality dog shampoo that is gentle on the skin.
  • Conditioner is an optional extra that really benefits the coat.
  • Use the salon microfiber towels that soak up excess water, making the drying faster and easier.
  • You get to use proper dog grooming dryers that can separate the hair making it easier for loose hair to escape and therefore easier to brush them.
  • Use a good quality grooming brush, suitable for your dogs coat type to finish off and make the dog look it's best.
  • Best of all, you get to leave all the mess to me.  You walk out with your clean dog.
  • PLEASE NOTE: you do NOT get to use any other grooming equipment such as clippers or scissors. This is a wash, dry and brush service only.
When is the service available?
The service is available during opening hours Tuesday - Friday 9.30-4pm and Saturday's 9.30 - 2pm.

However, because space is limited in the salon, it is advisable that you ring ahead and make sure that there's a space available.  Small dogs can be fitted in quite easily, but it's a bit more difficult for larger dogs.  I only have one large table and it's safer for everyone if there isn't too many large dogs in at the one time.  

How much does it cost?
Small dogs €10           Jack Russell, Westie, King Charles etc
Medium     €15           Cocker Spaniel, Cockapoo, Collie etc.
Large         €20           Labrador, Golden Retriever, Huskey etc.
Giant         €30           Mastiff, Akita, Samoyed, Newfoundland etc.

How do you book?
As I said previously, it is advisable that you ring ahead, not just turn up at the salon.
Phone 083-8133238 and speak to me, Sinead.
Book online through the website, click the Book Appointment
Book online through Facebook, click Book Now on the main page

Select SELF SERVICE DOG WASH and pick your preferred time.
Simple as that.  Give it a go, you may find it's way easier than you think.

Let me know what you think.