Matts can be irritating to your pet and can lead to serious health concerns if left untreated. It’s important to remove matts as soon as possible to reduce the risk of painful, and sometimes serious skin conditions. Here are a few items to keep in mind:
- Help your dog to avoid getting wet if they have matts. Matted fur can significantly increase the amount of time it takes them to dry. Moisture left on the skin causes irritation which can lead to sores.
- In order to remove matts, we must clip underneath them. The remaining hair is typically 1/8″ to 1/4″ long.
- Shaving matts has the potential to cause redness and irritation due to the matts themselves pulling on the skin. We take every precaution to minimize irritation resulting from matt-removal. Be assured that temporary irritation is a much better alternative to matts.
- Be aware that your pet may rub or scratch more than usual after having matts removed due to new sensations and air-flow on the skin.
- Shaving matted ears can cause your pet to shake their head due to increased sensation and improved air-flow in the ear canal. Excess shaking has the potential to cause the ends of drop ears to split or bleed in spots along the edge. This usually subsides fairly quickly and can be cleaned with peroxide.
The recommended procedures vary among breeds, but some form of ear care is essential to every dog’s health. Here are some facts to consider:
- Routine ear hair plucking is necessary to prevent ear infections in many small, long-haired breeds like toy poodles, shih-tzus, and maltese.
- Cleaning or plucking ears can cause your pet to shake their head in response to increased sensation and improved air-flow in the ear canal.
- Excess shaking has the potential to cause the ends of drop ears to split or bleed in spots along the edge. This usually subsides fairly quickly and can be cleaned with peroxide.
Ignoring this little-known maintenance item can lead to health problems in some breeds. Here’s what you need to know:
- Most large breeds can express them on their own.
- Smaller breeds typically need them expressed manually. The routine grooming visit is a great time to have this done.
- The more often they are expressed, the faster they’ll fill up. It’s important to maintain a routine expression schedule to prevent compacting.
Short-coated breeds benefit from weekly brushing, while dogs with longer hair require daily to maintain skin and coat health. Here are a few brushing recommendations:
- We recommend using a slicker brush and a metal comb – the only tools you’ll need to maintain a great coat!
- Use treats to show your dog that brushing is a very positive activity. Only reward when your dog is cooperative and allows brushing.
- Do not yell or scare your dog in order to brush them. This will make them afraid and cause them to resist brushing in the future.
Grooming is a great way to begin to bond with your puppy and desensitize them to human touch. Here are some things to consider when introducing your puppy to grooming:
- Begin bathing and brushing as early as 6 weeks of age. If you have a groom-able breed, begin visits with the groomer at about 3 months old.
- The first few grooms, depending on anxiety level, should be Mini Grooms. This less intense maintenance package will allow your dog to become acquainted with the grooming process (sounds, smells, & our staff), and may help minimize fear or anxiety in the future. Slowly allowing your dog to become comfortable with the grooming process will reduce the likelihood of injury or stress during a full body clip.
- Puppy hair and adult hair are usually different. You may find after the first Complete Groom, that the re-growth is not as soft and fluffy as it was before. This is completely normal and is not cause for concern.
Many parents are tempted to shave their pets during the hotter months. In most cases, we DO NOT recommend shave-downs. This practice can actually harm your dog’s coat. Instead, the ShedLess Treatment can help control shedding and regulate your dog’s body temperature.
- Your dog’s top coat acts as an air conditioner. The guard hairs in the top coat protect your dog from heat, sun exposure, chewing flies, mites, etc.
- The undercoat holds in warmth. Our climate is so mild that most dogs actually produce and try to molt their undercoat year-round. We recommend routine undercoat removal to keep your dog comfortable and reduce shedding anytime of year.
- ShedLess Treatment: The ShedLess process incorporates a specially formulated shampoo and conditioner blend that loosens the undercoat with a specialized grooming tool that safely and gently removes the loose hair. This service can be added to any Scrub Plus or higher grooming package.
- Undercoat removal is an ongoing process that may not eliminate shedding the first time. If performed regularly, the ShedLess Treatment can significantly reduce shedding and undercoat growth.
Tear staining is an unsightly issue for many pets. Understanding the condition and what causes these stains is an important first step toward prevention.
- Most tear staining is caused by excess tearing. When hair on the face is wet for an extended period, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast (usually red or dark brown in color).
- The most common causes of tear staining resulting from excess tearing include seasonal or food-related allergies, blocked tear ducts, ear infections, and genetics.
- The most effective way to combat tear staining is to investigate and address the cause of the problem. Have your vet rule out and specific tear duct issues or infections around your dog’s eyes, ears, or mouth. Then be sure that you are feeding an all-natural diet that is void of any artificial preservatives or colors.
- Once you’ve successfully addressed the excess tearing issue, routine grooming visits will help keep your dog’s face clean and beautiful!
These days, dog shampoo options are endless. As a parent, you have your choice of brands, scents, condition-related ingredients, etc. It’s important to note, however, that pet-specific shampoo exists for a reason. You may even be surprised to learn that there is a pretty big difference between dog and human shampoo. Key biological differences between dogs and humans are what determine the need for totally separate shampoo. Here are a few reasons you should use a shampoo that is formulated for your dog instead of your own shampoo when bathing your pet:
- Sulfates (soap/detergents): Dogs eliminate toxins differently then we do. While humans sweat them out, dogs pass them through their kidneys and bowels. The soap in most human shampoo that washes away residual toxins is not necessary for dogs and can actually irritate their skin. Good dog shampoo should be sulfate-free.
- Ph Balance: A dog’s skin is about 7.5, while a human’s skin is about 5.5. Because your dog’s skin is more alkaline, their shampoo should be in the 6.5-7.5 range. More acidic shampoo can damage the hair’s protective qualities and remove valuable oil from the coat & skin.
- Sensitive Skin: Your dog’s skin is only 3-5 cell layers thick, while humans have 10-15 layers. Therefore, harsh chemicals that are easier for us to tolerate can irritate your dog’s skin.