Snip Tip Series: How to Get the Perfect Grooming: Part 2
In part one of the Snip Tips* series about How to Get the Perfect Grooming, we shared about the importance of communication in getting your ideal grooming. In part two, I will share some other factors that will affect your pets’ grooming sessions and outcomes. Understanding what affects your pet’s grooming will help you and your groomer work together to get the perfect grooming for you and your pet.
Snip Tip* Series: Part 2
Let’s move on to another key ingredient to getting your perfect grooming.
Do Your Part! Successful grooming is a partnership. While we want to make you happy, our first and main concern is the health and well being of your pet, along with what is possible. Here are some practical tips that you can do to help us work effectively towards your grooming goals. When you do your part at home, we’re much more likely to be able to do whatever style it is that you want us to do.
First, schedule your pet’s groomings at regular intervals. Maintaining the look you want and keeping the grooming as pleasant as possible for your pet depends on this! Your groomer can advise you on how often you should come in for a visit. Even dogs that have been shaved really close due to matting and now need to grow out should book their next appointment before they leave the salon. This is to ensure that as your pet grows out you remain on track to be able to get to the next style you are looking for.
There are other benefits to regularly scheduled grooming appointments besides your pet looking good. Regular grooming with the same groomer gets your pet used to the sights, sounds, smells, and routine of the grooming, so they know what to expect and are more comfortable. Another benefit to regularly scheduled grooming with the same groomer, is that pets see the groomer much more frequently then they do their veterinarian. Because of this, your groomer gets to know what is normal for your pet and what is not normal for your pet. We literally see every inch of the pets in our care and if something looks amiss, we point it out to the owners so they can contact their vet. This prevents something small from growing into something big.
Secondly, proper brushing and combing between appointments will give your groomer the ability to do the widest range of groom style possibilities. Your groomer can show you the proper brush and comb for your dog or cat. Human brushes and combs should not be used on pets; they are not designed for pets. For dogs that get a haircut, knotted, matted fur or hair limits what we can do. For dogs that produce undercoat, proper removal maintenance helps keep the shedding down. In both cases, it also helps stimulate the natural oils and the hair follicles for healthy skin and a nice shiny coat. If you are not sure of proper brushing and combing techniques, please ask. Groomers are always happy to take some time to teach an interested mom or dad!
Special insider tip! If you are bathing your pet at home between groomings, as many people do, be sure to brush and comb out any mats (snarls) BEFORE you wet your pet’s coat. Just like human hair, dog hair swells when it becomes saturated with water. As it dries, the hair shrinks. Matted hair gets more tightly matted; shrinking back, closer to the skin. You should use a specialty grooming spray designed to help with this process. Again, if you need proper instruction on bathing your pet between groomings, just ask your groomer.
Third, timing is everything. Small matting (knots) can easily be rendered if they are caught right away. But once matting goes beyond a certain point, it is inhumane to put a dog or cat through dematting. We can’t and won’t dematt a severely matted pet and give it a handscissored cut, so please don’t ask. In fact, no humane groomer will do that. It is absolutely unfair and cruel to put a pet that is already suffering from the discomfort of such a condition under that kind of torment and torture! It is far better to focus on making the pet feel good and making the process as pleasurable as possible. A groomer that puts the pet’s feelings and well being above all else (even at the risk of insulting an owner) is a true professional indeed! Severe matting requires clipping and a clipper blade must get between the matting and the skin. This means your pet will most likely look “bald” to you for a while. If your dog or cat must be clipped very short due to matting, it would be beneficial to prepare your family for any drastic changes. Dogs are sensitive and react not only to praise, but to laughter, as well. Just remember that what may seem too short today, may seem too long in a few weeks.
We understand that sometimes life circumstances prevent people from having their pet groomed as often as they would like. But, we can’t make up for a year’s worth of missed grooming sessions in a few hours. Groomers are beauticians, NOT magicians. Groomers are human, too. If you have established a good relationship with your groomer, call and/or stop into ask for tips on how to stretch your groomings out and how you can keep your pet comfortable and looking good until things get back to normal. But if you don’t let your groomer know that you need extra help and suggestions, they can’t help you.
Because you are partners in caring for your baby, it’s important that you share anything new with your pet that’s come up since your last visit with your groomer. If there have been any changes in your pet’s behavior, please share them. Has there been any itching, scratching and biting lately? Have you noticed more shedding then usual? Was there a recent vet visit, insect bite, injury? Anything that is different or out of the ordinary for your pet should be shared. Your groomer will use all the additional information you share to assess how to give your pet the best possible experience and results.
Patience is a Virtue. Pets are living beings. Your groomer wants to give you what you want. We also want to make the grooming experience as wonderful and as pleasant for the pets in our care as is humanly possible. Your pet’s grooming is as much about allowing your pet to be pampered as it is about making them look good, possibly even more-so. A pet that looks good and has been pampered FEELS good~ transformed from the outside in, and the inside out! Please don’t rush your groomer and this process. Dogs react to the emotions of humans, so if a groomer is stressed out, your dog will feel the stress and will not enjoy the grooming process to its fullest possible extent. Let us love your fur-babies and spoil them for a while. We promise to get your baby back to you as soon as we comfortably can.
All Things Considered. Now that you are armed with insider groomer info, use it to get that perfect grooming. Keep it in mind when you book your next grooming. Use the tips as talking points with your groomer. And realize that it may take a few grooming sessions to find just what you want.
Of course, once you find the perfect grooming, you can always decide to try a different style. And then the process starts over again. : )
BONUS TIP! What may be your ideal grooming, even when you have achieved the look you want for your pet, may not be the perfect grooming. If the look you like does not work with your lifestyle, then it’s not perfect. If you like the longer look but you live a very active, busy life, there are compromises and adjustments that you and your groomer can make. Perhaps your groomer might adjust the cut a bit. Or perhaps you can set up maintenance appointments once or twice a week between the full grooming appointments for brushing & comb outs. When you communicate with your groomer, you are sure to find a solution together that will help you have that perfect grooming-every time.
*Snip Tips are tips coming to you straight from the groomer’s mouth and are gleaned from many years of experience.
*For the betterment of pet ownership and the grooming profession, author grants permission for sharing this article, provided proper credit is given to the author.
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