Kenilworth Dog Grooming

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"Lockdown" Quick Grooming Tips

As you know our dogs cannot catch the virus BUT they can carry it on coats, collars, leads etc. It is quite involved for the groomer; wearing PPE, mask, visor, gloves, aprons probably changed or disinfected several times during one dog’s grooming and total disinfection after the groom and for each doggy customer of the grooming premises. We already do the disinfection part but I am worried about to what extent I should do this to protect the dog, my customer, and myself! Hand over and collection at 2 meter distance with your collar and lead swapped for mine at 2 meter distance.

Now some of these things we do routinely and some are quite achievable. But we like to pet our doggy customers when they come to us to make them feel at home etc. They might be quite traumatized by masks, gloves and visors!

The important thing at the moment is keeping them clean and relatively matt free - especially the feet (the only part of a dog that can sweat if you discount panting). If you can get to me I can supply shampoo and conditioner.

In cases where I can loan equipment, all equipment loaned has been sprayed with veterinary disinfectant and put through a sterilizer.

Shampoo is "Double K Groomers Edge Aromatic Shampoo with Citronella and Cedar Oils", mixed with very efficient "Secret Weapon" conditioner. This is the shampoo/conditioner I regularly use on your dog(s), and incidentally on Margaux, my Standard Poodle. The pot contains more than enough for one shampoo session (two washes-through) per dog. It should be diluted 6 to1 in a small container or jug. Dampen the dog, pour your first lot of shampoo over the dog being careful not to get in the eyes. Rub over whole body, rinse and repeat. Let the second lot wait 4 minutes before rinsing very thoroughly. Towel dry and dry with hair dryer whilst brushing, use matt breaker or scissor gently to address matts. Make sure your dog is dry and you can get a fine tooth comb through the fur.

Your dog is now ready to clip or trim:

Bottoms: comb fur away from anus then carefully trim away with round ended scissors.

Ears: check carefully and with finger and thumb pluck any dead hair.

Eyes: clean debris round the eye and bathe with warm water; trim fringe with round ended scissors.

Paws: use emery board on nails, check carefully between and under the toes and remove matts and dead hair. Trim a round shape for the feet.

If I have lent you any equipment, I am not trying to teach you to “suck eggs” but most grooming equipment is very sharp and dogs tend to move quickly (and your own fingers may get in the way!)

Clippers: if you have not clipped your dog before it is not as easy as it looks. The dog has to be clean. This is for several reasons: clippers cut well with a clean coat, it is easier to prepare the coat when clean (break matts, comb through, and possibly trim bits with scissors, and shock horror!! cut out matts). Scissors, tools and clipper blades get blunt very, very quickly if they are used on a dirty coat.

Comb and slicker brush: the most effective tools but use gently - until the fine tooth comb goes through the coat to the skin, brush firmly and gently (practice using a slicker brush on your arm until you know how much pressure / energy you can use without irritating the skin). Just gently cut out any pesky matts.

"Coat kings" are designed to gently draw out dead hair and act like a form of curry comb; you can look up all details on main manufacturer "Mars" web site but generally gently draw through hair - if you encounter a knot try breaking it up with a matt breaker or scissors before continuing.

Your dog will not suffer if he/she gets long and untidy.

VERY IMPORTANT

Dogs will get too hot because the coat is long. Dog’s coats are designed to protect from sun and cold. Dog coats are natural insulation but to make sure this works air must circulate freely. This means the coat must be quite clean either by brushing, or washing and brushing. Matts should be removed - honest!

Yup! Some dogs don’t need regular bathing if exercised and eating the right food and of course brushed through to remove dead hair. If it is hot your dog will get hot the same as you but they can’t handle heat like a human they can only sweat through their paws, and pant, so make sure they have water, shade, somewhere cool to sleep and of course never, never leave them in a hot car.

The most important thing is removing dead hair. Watch out for matts, they can even get quite dangerous, tightening on skin causing irritation, especially on legs, ears, bum, and if grass seeds or other things (yes I’ve seen some odd things) get trapped between knotted coat and skin - ouch! Keep bum, privates, ears and face clean and trimmed. Use an emery board to keep nails in check.

Trim excess hair from paws and make sure there are no matts or debris between toes and between pads (on some dogs you have to look very thoroughly). If there are, gently work them away from the skin and with round ended scissors cut them out. You can remove excess hair from just inside the ears with a finger and thumb pulling gently. This may seem a very long and complicated process but it can be done gradually a bit at a time and when you and your dog spend grooming time together it is a very productive bonding/training session for dogs (and possibly owners!), you will find your dog is happy and possibly tired after each session. Remember dogs often groom themselves or others and enjoy it, but they do mostly need human help!

And most important, ensure your dog is not picking up the wrong message from you! They do pick up messages uncannily quickly. If they are getting untidy don’t tell them, or say "how awful, poor you, you look....." just pet them or play with them. It does not matter if they are not a doggy fashion model - they don't know it. If the haircut or groom you have painstakingly embarked on is not what you or some member of the family expected tell them how lovely they look and do not joke about it - they can pick it up!

When I learned to groom I was amused by the Toy Poodles I usually worked on, going off and showing off to their human and dog friends! The doggy ones often sniped at them jealously as they provokingly showed off. My Standard Poodle goes and shows off enthusiastically to any human after she is groomed.

But on the flip side groomers, too often, get customers who for some reason are very matted!

So - if the coat is terribly matted we quite often cannot try and de-matt! It would be terribly painful for the dog (and many people do not know this contravenes the Animal Rights Act) so we have to clip/cut the coat short or parts of the coat off! We don’t like doing this - it can be very difficult and even dangerous (jaws, bites or cuts - I won’t spell it out). However, most of our customers realise this and are quite philosophical about it and reassure, pet, or even compliment their dog - when it is done.

But some people - instead of making a fuss of the poor dog and saying how nice he/she looks say “look at you, oh poor you”, or even “oh you had got in a state”. The dog would have appreciated being told something positive or simply petted after his /her long and (sometimes) uncomfortable grooming and instead feels disapproval. The dog picks this up - I am not joking, humanising the dog or whatever - no! At home the family do the same or make jokes. The dog picks it up or a minority turn accusingly on the groomer. Or worse, slate the groomer on social media, to friends etc - say they and the dog are upset even devastated, and of course the dog is. The dog has picked it up! Very, very unkind.