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Honesty with your groomer

Posted on January 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM Comments comments (0)
When making a grooming appointment for your dog it is very important to be honest with your groomer. Any issues that your pet may have whether it be behavior, health or a flea problem. Your groomer needs to know about these issues to better care for your pet. It’s the best rule to follow to build a good relationship between your groomer and you’re pet. Sticking with the same groomer if at all possible builds trust.

 Fleas: If you think or even know that your pet has fleas PLEASE tell your groomer ahead of time. There are precautions that need to take place before taking your pet to be groomed. Depending on the severity of the problem… it can be from using medications ahead of time to just a good bath. In any case this should be addressed ahead of time to prevent the spread of fleas to other pets or in my case my home.

  (Medications: Capstar starts working in 30 minutes, Comfortis flea control works in 30 minutes and last for one month, Frontline or Advantage used 48 hours before the groom) If using both, use Capstar before the groom and the topical treatment 48 hours after the groom. 
 I recommend that while your pet is at the groomers use this time to wash the pets bedding and spray your home. Start with drapes then furniture and carpets. Fleas jump so you want to start out high and work your way down. Put an activated flea collar in your vacuum to kill any fleas you may still have when vacuuming. It’s also useful to use a flea treatment in your yard if it’s warm weather, if it below freezing that is not necessary.

 Health problems: All health problems should be addressed with your groomer before dropping off your pet. If it’s a physical problem the groomer can take special care not to harm or cause pain paying special attention to the problem area. Your pet may also have anxiety issues or even suffer from seizures.  Most groomers know the signs and can deal with them before it becomes a more serious problem. 

 Behavior Problems should always be something you tell your groomer about. If any other groomer has told you of any behavior problems PLEASE tell your new groomer. It may just be that the previous groomer did not know how to handle the situation properly or your pet may have some sensitive problems such as pain you are not aware of. Most issues can be dealt with by taking a little extra time or some positive reinforcement. If it’s fear, that can be resolved in most cases by your groomer. If its aggression you may need a trainer before trying to have your dog groomed. In any case the groomer should know about any problems.If your dog came from a  reputable rescue all these issues will be found out before adopting them.They test the dogs and recommend training classes that will help.train your dog with simple commands that can help while grooming. If you received your dog from a household, it has not been tested and if its aggressive PLEASE seek help and advice from a trainer before taking your pet to a groomer or  around children.You could have potentially have a problem on your hands so be careful. . If issues are not dealt with at an early age it can turn out to be very costly if you need to have your dog groomed by a veterinarian.   

 If you were to take your dog to a groomer knowing that your dog has aggressive behaviors and you do not tell your groomer you could be asking for some real problems. Not only can it be unsafe for your dog but it can be VERY unsafe for your groomer. A dog bite from an aggressive dog can be costly for the owner and can end a career and livelihood of a groomer.      

This is a well written article by a fellow groomer; every dog owner should read it.

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)
“The last groomer shaved my dog”. Humanity before Vanity
by Tina Standing
A sentence I am sure every groomer has heard many, many times in their career.
It’s disappointing as a groomer when someone comes in and wants a fluffy haircut and you feel the dog’s coat and it is matted beyond any hope of achieving such a look. The only option is a “smoothie”.
You want to give the client what they want but the dogs comfort always comes first. “Humanity before vanity” is a slogan many groomers quote.
I can remember a few times I have had to shave a dogs coat and explained to the client why and showed them the knots and they agree but then you never see that client again.
I offer the option of a free brushing session to my clients to help them keep the fluffy look; if that is a look they want. Brushing isn’t rocket science, of course but there is a trick to it. A lot of times clients do a terrific job of keeping the top coat knot free but the undercoat is a solid knot and then the dog gets a bath and once the knots get wet, they tighten up even more, which can cause the dog discomfort, create sores etc… I often tell my clients, brushes are great but combs won’t lie. A good stainless steel comb is a valuable asset to a dog’s coat, if you want a longer style.
“My dog acted funny after it was shaved”. Dogs do feel different after a shorter haircut, especially if they had a lot of hair previously. Think of how you’d feel if you had a pile of matted hair on your head and it was suddenly gone. It would probably feel itchy once the air finally got to it.
It’s never in the groomer’s best interest to not give a client what they want, within reason. I’ve built up a wonderful clientele who trust me and they know if the dogs ears were shaved, it’s because I had to do it for the dogs comfort.
If the clip is shorter than the usual, it was because the condition of the coat warranted it. Most breeds of dogs with the exception of short haired dogs do need regular grooming. Even the short haired breeds require regular nail trimming and brushing to remove dead coat. I recommend long haired dogs get professional grooming at least every 4-8 weeks. Depending on the style you chose and how much maintenance you do at home.
Even those so called shed-less breeds require professional grooming. Shed-less breeds, in my opinion don’t exist unless you have a hairless dog. Dogs labeled as shed-less still lose hair, it just sticks in the coat which does mean they will require regular grooming. I have curly hair so I don’t shed as much but if I don’t brush my hair, I will get knots. If I washed my hair without brushing out these knots, I’d have to get a shorter hair cut also!
So my advice is find a groomer you trust and ask their advice on how to achieve the look you want for your pet. If your dog has to be shaved, it’s not the end of the world as it will grow back faster than you realize.

What you might not know is that despite advertising claims

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 12:44 PM Comments comments (4)
What you might not know is that despite advertising claims,
the majority of commercial pet foods are not optimally healthy for your dog or cat. Just asmost processed, convenient “people food” is devoid of nutritional value, so ismuch of the dead, dry pet food sold commercially today.
The pet nutrition industry is very similar to the human food industry – full of hype and false claims, peddling inferior nutritional choices. Much of the so-called “healthy pet foods” on the market contain inferior meat meals, cheap grains like corn and soy, fillers, by-products, food coloring, pesticides,preservatives, and other contaminations.
Good nutrition is a fundamental requirement to keep your pet in top physical shape,and improve his or her chances of resisting disease and other degenerative conditions. And when it comes to protein levels and organ health, the more we learn the better..
Many Commercially Available Pet Foods Can Destroy Your Pet’s Health
Commonsymptoms associated with regular consumption of commercial pet foods include:
  •        Diarrhea
  •        Increased flatulence
  •        Dull coat
  •        Intermittent vomiting
  •       Prolonged scratching
  •       Kidney disease
  •       Heart disease
  •       Other diseases
There are the two major problems with an entirely dry food diet.
1.     Protein quality~
The biological availability of certain protein sources actually determineshow easy or difficult they are to metabolize. For example, snouts and feathers,although 100 percent protein, are not nearly as digestible as lean muscle meat.
The quality of protein your pet eats is critical to reduce organ stress over time.The scary truth is that the majority of commercial pet foods on the markettoday are using rendered meats that are not approved for human consumption.Because kibbled foods made with these poor quality meats are so difficult todigest and assimilate, they can actually cause organ disease.
2.     Moisture content ~
Moisture content  in a mainly dry fooddiet. Carnivorous (dogs)  were designedto consume non-dehydrated foods. Foods free of corn, wheat, rice and soy -Thenatural diet of dogs and cats is up to 70 percent water?
* NOTE:eating crunchy granola doesn’t brush or clean your teeth. You have to brush your teeth. Likewise, eating crunchy kibble doesn’t brush or clean your pet’s teeth. You still have to brush your pet’s teeth.
What are the most notable physiologic changes when our companion animals consume an all dehydrated, poor quality protein diet?
  •          Kidney stress
  •          Liver stress
  •          Metabolic stress
  •          Obesity
Because most pets consume anabundance of high carbohydrate, empty calorie dry foods, the pet obesity issue is quickly rivaling the human obesity epidemic.
A lifetime of minor dehydration is stressful to multiple organ systems. It’simportant to realize that this can easily be remedied by feeding canned or homemade food diets in addition to the dry food will help feed your pet a more appropriate  diet that is required for optimal health benefits .
Our pet’s bodies are resilient. They can eat a variety of sub optimal, metabolically stressful foods on occasion and be fine, but because it’s our goal to provide a diet that most closely fits our pet’s biological requirements, it is not recommend that a lifetime of dry food be consumed by your pet.
NOTE: you would not feed your children cereal three times a day so why would you feed your pet nothing but kibble all day?
Ingredients to avoid in commercial dog food:
Meat by Product (protein source) Pet grade meat by-products consist of organs and parts either not desired, or condemned, for human consumption. This can include bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feet, and feathers. – This can also include the dreaded 4 D’s – ( Dead, dying, diseasedor dying prior to slaughter). The animal parts used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. road kill, animals euthanized at shelters and so on. It can also include pus, cancerous tissue,and decomposed (spoiled) tissue.
BEEF TALLOW (fat source): Used to make lower quality dog foods palatable, instead of using quality fat sources such as nutritionally rich chicken fat, or human grade vegetable oil.
ANIMAL FAT (fat source):Animal fat is a “generic” fat sourcethat is most often made up of rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or otheroils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans. Look for a named fat source,such as poultry or chicken fat, that is naturally preserved
CORN (filler/fiber source/vegetable):*NOTE: no redeemable nutritious value in any dog food listing this as their first ingredient. It is a useless fillerthat is a known cause of allergies and is difficult for dogs to digest.
CORN OR WHEAT GLUTEN MEAL (Binder):This is the remainder of the cornafter the best parts of the corn have been removed.It does absolutely nothingfor the animal and actually is difficult to digest and is used as a cheapbinder
* In additionto its use in pet food it’s also used in herbicides
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR (fibre source): Wheat if the leading cause of dog allergies. Absolutely useless with no nutritional value what so ever
FOOD FRAGMENTS (filler/fibersource/carbohydrate source): Low cost by-products and left over’s from another foodmanufacturing process. Examples include WHEATBRAN and BREWER’SRICE (a waste product of the alcohol industry). Also look for and avoid fragments which are labeled POTATO PRODUCT, MIDDLINGS/MIDSor MILL RUNof any kind. Unspecified grain sources like CEREAL FOOD FINES, CORN BRAN, OAT HULLS, RICE HULLS, PEANUT HULLS, DISTILLERS GRAIN FERMENTATION SOLUBLES, and last but not least CELLULOSE (which iswood which is dried and ground up)
SOY FLOUR (filler/carbohydrate): Another cheap allergy causing ingredient used as filler. This is the leftover “dust” after the healthy cleaned and dehulled soybeans are processed. Sometimes sweepings from the factory floor.
BREWER’S RICE (carbohydratesource): A cheap substitute for whole grain rice.
SUGAR (flavour soure) : Also listed as Cane molasses , corn syrup in any form,sugar, sorbitol, sucrose, fructose, glucose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, propyleneglycol.) : Useless, unnecessary and adds empty calories. Bad ingredients used by companies to make food more palatable to the animals if the ingredients themselves aren’t enough to make the dog or cat actually want to eat it.Used to cover up rotten and rancid foods, and is known to cause hypoglycemia, obesity,nervousness, cataracts, tooth decay, arthritis allergies.
ANIMAL DIGEST(flavouring agent): Unspecified parts of unspecifiedanimals, cooked down into a goopy broth and used as a spray on or addeddirectly to the food.No quality control is used and this can include “4-Danimals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs,horses, rats, misc. road kill, animals euthanized at shelters, restaurant andsupermarket refuse and so on.
COLORING (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Titanium Dioxide):
Any coloring is completely unnecessary and should be avoided. Your dog doesn’t care about the pretty colored shapes,and artificial dyes and coloring agents are known cancer causing agent, andalso cause allergies.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL (additive):Used in antifreeze solutions, inhydraulic fluids, and as a solvent. May be toxic if consumed in large amounts,and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will eat dailyfor weeks, months or even years of its life. This is not allowed for use inEurope as the findings have shown it to be dangerous.
BHA (Butylated Hydroxysanisole), BHT(Butylated Hydroxytoluene), and ETHOXYQUIN (Preservatives): Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. Possible humancarcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. Ethoxyquin has alsobeen used as a pesticide for fruit. It has never been proven to be safe for thelifespan of a companion animal. It has been linked to thyroid, kidney,reproductive and immune related illnesses as well as cancer.
HYDROCHLORIC ACID: Used in Kibbles n Bits – The reason for using this is unknownbut it is a caustic chemical agent used in the production of chlorides,fertilizers, and dyes. Hydrochloric acid can cause immediate pain and burns ofthe mouth, throat, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. Simple common sensewould indicate not to use this as a pet food ingredient!
*NOTE:MENADIONE SODIUM BISULFITE This synthetic version of vitamin K has not been specificallyapproved for long term use, such as in pet food. Dog food products that contain menadione are linked to liver toxicity allergies and the abnormal break down of red blood cells
The MSDS guide states -“PotentialChronic Health Effects:
CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: 3 (Not classifiable for humans) by IARC.
MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, and mucous membranes.
Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organsdamage.”