Why My Groomer Have To Shave Down My Dog?

Many owners are unhappy when groomers had to tell them the only humane thing to do was to shave down their badly matted dog. I, myself practise the humane method. Humanity before vanity. And it has been my motto as long as I can remember.

Here’s my personal reason to why groomers opt to shave down your badly pelted dog instead of dematting.

Dematting can be stressful and painful. The constant tugging and brushing the knots can be painful and create stress to your dog. They will start to struggle and making the work of dematting much more difficult. It may cause your pet to be traumatised and refused to be brushed/comb in future.

Dematting can be time consuming. Depending on how severe the mats are, dematting can be a long tedious work for the groomer. Not to mention, your pet will be in pain and in stress longer than expected if you insist that vanity is more important than your pet’s well being.

Codition of the mats are tight and pelted near to the skin. There are different level of mats and the severely matted fur have to go. Mats all over the body that are tight and pelted are not ideal for dematting. Shaving off this severely matted fur will help your pet’s skin and making it feel comfortable.

Showering a badly matted pet may cause skin problems. The knots will get tighter when showered each time. And it will be difficult to rinse off the shampoo and conditioner residue. By drying a matted coat with shampoo/conditioner residue still in the coat, will make the condition worse. It may be impossible to dry a matted coat. With moisture trapped beneath and the humid weather in Singapore, skin problem is sure to surface.

Abrasion from the constant brushing during dematting may be unavoidable. Dematting may leave your pet’s skin red and inflamed due to constant brushing on the same area while trying to untangle the knot. It may be painful for your pet.

Healthy skin requires to breathe. With the fur tangled, your pet’s skin may be hindered for proper ventilation. This may result to unnecessary skin problems on top of wetting a knotted fur.

Hopefully this post will help you understand more on why there’s a need to shave your severely matted pooch.

Is Spa & Treatment Necessary?

Most or rather all grooming salons offer additional add on services, spa and treatment. Is it necessary?

It depends. Some spa or treatment may be beneficial and improve your pet’s skin condition. But of course, not all are suitable. Take for an instance, two dogs with the same skin issues and both did mud spa. However, one of them got better while the other got worse. Thus, it really depends if your dog is suitable for this particular spa or treatment.

I do need to stress that we groomers are not vet. The additional spa or treatment that we offered aren’t something to cure your pet’s skin issues. But if it is, congrats. If it doesn’t, at least the spa and treatment helped ease the discomfort they are feeling or aid during their recovery period. However, if there’s no improvement, I would advise to stop the spa or try another.

Here’s a list of spa and treatment that I know of, or rather most grooming salon offers:

  • Mud spa
  • Microbubble/Nanobubble spa
  • Skin treatment
  • Coat treatment
  • Foam bubble spa
  • Pet Sparkling Tab spa

Spa and treatment is an additional and optional service. If your groomer introduce you to these spa and treatment, it is ok to say no if you are uncomfortable to try. But of course, you may pamper you pooches once in a while if you want. Do check on the prices for this additional service to avoid getting a shock during payment.

Why Home Grooming Can Be Costly?

Many have the perception that home grooming is generally cheaper than salons. I beg to differ and here’s why from my point of view.

Transportation 

Home groomers may travel in all sort of ways, public or private transport. For public transport, although generally cheaper compared to owning a vehicle, traveling takes longer time than driving. It includes the walking distance from destination to bus/mrt stations, waiting and traveling time. And the groomer who opted for this option may have to carry all the equipment needed and that includes the grooming table. All of this time and effort adds up will cost more than the actual public transport cost.

Home groomers with their own have additional expenses. Such as car insurance and maintenance, petrol, parking fees and the cost of the car with COE. These cost more than taking the public transport. But its rather convenient for the groomer themselves.

Skills Upgrade

There’s so much to learn to be honest. Different breeds requires many different techniques. Naturally groomers would want to head back to the learning journey.

Courses doesn’t cost just a few hundred. It cost thousands over especially an overseas trip to learn from one of the best in the world.

Equipment

I personally have tons of grooming equipment. More or less each groomer has the same.

Grooming table, the one I had, I got it at $95. Slightly bigger ones cost about $170.

The most basic scissors probably cost about $180 for a good pair. For a better one it could cost about $500 and above.

Comb wise, the most basic ones is around $20. Better ones from what I know cost about $90.

Dog blower, it depends if your groomer is using the normal salon hair dryer or the powerful dog blower. A hair dryer could cost about $50 and above. While a powerful dog blower could cost above $120. The ones you see at the grooming salon, it cost about $600 and above.

Just all of these cost a bomb, not to mention about brushes and nail clippers etc. Grooming equipment are never cheap.

* Prices are base on my own equipment and knowledge. 

Shampoo & Conditioners

Some home groomers bring their own shampoo and conditioner unless owner requested to use theirs instead.

Depending on brands, it could range from $90 to $200.

Spa & Treatment

As an additional option, home groomers may introduce their spa and treatment to pamper your pets. These little thing doesn’t come cheap.

Prices varies from $100 to probably a thousand for the equipment or products.

Maintenance & Repairs

Equipment needed the maintenance. Occasionally, it requires repair service. This is to make sure the equipment are in tip top condition for the work.

It could cost from around $28 for minor repairs to probably over a hundred for major ones.

These are just a rough gauge and ideas on my own opinion why home grooming may cost a little more than salon. I am not saying salon grooming doesn’t have their own expeditures, but each have their own pros and cons.

The Differences – Salon, Mobile & Home

grooming-1018977_960_720 In Singapore, there are 3 different types of grooming services offered. Grooming Salon, Mobile Grooming and Home Grooming. At least that’s what I know.

Let me give you a rough idea of what each of them offers.

Grooming Salon

Located almost island wide with different brand names. They can be located in shopping malls and neighbourhood places. Salons usually comes with retail sections so you get to shop for your pet’s needs while they get their grooming done.

Each salon have more than one groomer. Some do have assistant groomers to assist in basic grooming or showers. So don’t be surprised if someone other than the groomer is handling your pet.

Transportation are usually in-house. So if you require pet transport, there might be additional cost that you need to fork out. If you do have special instructions in regards to your pet(s), do let the pet transporter know so that they may pass the message to the groomer. Alternatively, you may request the groomer to give you a call before they groom your pet.

Salons comes with all the necessary equipment. Additional service such as different spa equipment are available too. As they have more groomers, they are able to take in more appointments or accept walk-ins on non busy days or if they are able to handle.

Home Grooming

It is also known as house-call. Home groomers does not own any shop, their appointments consist of traveling to many different places. Occasionally, they may travel from East to West and back again. Depending on their schedules, appointments can be limited. Thus, it is recommended to make an appointment early to avoid disappointment. Usually their appointments are pre-booked in advance. If you have a home groomer in mind and hoping to try out their service, book them in advance!

They may not offer much spa compared to salon due to the machines being big and bulky. Some spa requires a bath tub which is unsuitable for home grooming service. However, they may have other optional add on services that you might want to try. Such as mud spa, coat treatment etc. Speak to your home groomer and see what add on services they do offer that you might be keen to try and pamper your pet once in a while.

Home groomers literally bring the “salon” to you at the comfort of your very home. They may lug a heavy grooming table together with all the necessary equipment that they may need. Although I do know of some home groomers that doesn’t bring the grooming table, but that’s OK. You may provide a normal table or if your pet allows, the grooming can be on the floor. There’s always a solution or alternative to a problem.

Home grooming can be expensive. The fees may or may not include the transportation cost. It also have to depend if your groomer drives or take the public transport. After all it doesn’t matter how your groomer gets to your place, traveling takes up time where they can use it to groom another pet. Additional cost for transportation is inevitable for home grooming.

Mobile Grooming

I do know there are mobile groomers in the USA. But it’s definitely my first to come across one while surfing Facebook. Mobile Grooming in Singapore is different from the ones in the US.

Here we don’t have big vehicle like the one in the US where it can be transformed into a grooming salon. Thus it depends on how your mobile groomer does the work.

Mobile grooming literally means your pet gets its grooming done in the vehicle instead of a salon or your home. The groomer will drive over and park at a convenient place for grooming. For example, car park. All grooming procedures will be done within the vehicle. You need not worry about the mess during grooming or being cage up either.

Groomer’s Certificate

graduation-1449488_960_720 Groomer’s certificate are important. It not only show the level of skills they’ve obtained, it also show how much training they’ve gone through. Certificates showed that they’ve been through proper training in using the equipment correctly and handle pets the right way.

Most pet grooming salons will display their groomers’ certificate so be sure to look out for it. Certificates come in many different forms and organisations. There are locally recognized, international recognized and in-house certificate.

Local Organisation

  • Singapore Kennel Club (SKC)
  • Dog Groomer’s Association (DGA)

Overseas Organisation (Certificates you may come across in Singapore)

  • Taiwan Kennel Club (TKC)
  • Korea Kennel Club (KKC)
  • Japan Kennel Club (JKC)

The above mentioned organisations issues recognised certificate. Although there might be some groomers with only an in-house certificate, it does not mean they are not certified. They have been through the same training as the other groomers. If you and your pet are OK with the groomer, then it’ll be great!

Grooming certificates comes in different classes.

Class C holders are beginners. They went through training where they learn all the basics. They were taught the proper way to handle your pets and how to use the grooming equipment correctly.

Class B holders are intermediates. Groomers with a Class B certificate went through tough training on upgrading, strengthening and perfecting their scissoring skills.

Class A holders are groomers who not only improve their skills but ventured out of their comfort zone to learn a new breed standard or show clip.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which class or organisation certificate your groomer has, what matter most is the trust you have with the groomer when entrusting your pet’s to their care. Groomer’s certificate is there to ensure to the owners that they’ve been through proper training and are more than qualified to perform the task given.

Importance of Regular Grooming

puppy-1022421_960_720 When was the last time your pet gets groomed? Do you know regular grooming help your pets in so many ways? Why we groomers always stress the importance of regular grooming?

Grooming does not necessary mean sending your pets to the groomers. It involves the owners too. Maintaining your pets coat is your responsibility not the groomer. Getting a pet comes with responsibilities and commitment, giving your pet the regular brushing and combing are one of them.

Here’s why your pet needs it regular grooming:

Knots & Tangles Free
Regular brushing and combing help maintain your pet’s coat in tip top condition. Matted fur may cause skin problems. Matted fur may cut off any blood supply to extremities and deny any regular air circulation. Skin that are denied regular fresh air and stimulation will result to red skin, open sore and foul odor.

Nicely Trimmed Nails
Trimming your pet’s nails regularly is essential. Untrimmed nails causes pain when your pet walk and cause the toes to spread out. Long nails may start to curl and pierce through the flesh of your pet’s paws. This will cause not only pain but infection as well. So have your pet’s nails trimmed regularly. If you’re unable to do so and needs help, feel free to contact your groomer and schedule an appointment.

Smell Nice & Feel Fresh
Showering your pet allows you to notice something different about your pet, such as rashes, hot spot, flaky skins etc. You may even notice if there’s any fleas or ticks on your pet’s body which requires immediate attention before the pests condition gets out of control. Pets are like us, they do love to smell nice and feel fresh too. So shower your pet regularly, it’s a good way to notice your pet’s overall health too.

Clean Ears
Clean ears reduces any inflammation or infections. If you notice a foul odor coming from your pet, it might not be the skin. It probably comes from the ears. An infected ears not only gives off foul odor, it creates unnecessary discomfort to your pet. So be sure to always clean your pet’s ears after the weekly shower. This will help prevent any unnecessary infections.

Expressing the Anal Gland
Checking on your pet’s anal sac is important. If your pet’s anal sac gets infected, it may cause unnecessary pain and causing it to rupture. Be sure to remind your groomer to express the anal sac during grooming. If you’re unsure, you may check with your vet who will assist you further.

Trimming of Paw Pads & Hygiene Areas
When your pet starts to skid around when it walk, it’s time to have the fur under the paw be trimmed. Trimmed paw pads allows your pet to have better gr apse and friction when it walk which decrease the chances of them getting injured.
Trimming the fur around the hygiene areas prevents feces or urine to be trapped on the fur. Trapped feces or urine may cause your pet to feel uncomfortable and possible skin problems.

Teeth Brushing
We brushed our teeth everyday and your pet needs it too. It reduces plaque and tartar as well as bad breath. So pick up that pet toothbrush and slowly introduce it to your pet. Do note that only pet toothpaste should be used when brushing your pet’s teeth.

For owners who are unsure how to perform the above mentioned grooming procedures may opt to attend a Pet Owner’s Basic Grooming Course. It’s a one or two day course that teaches you how to maintain your pet’s overall grooming before the next appointment with the groomer. Skills like this help you to bond with your pet too, so why not give it a try?

In this post, I have covered all the grooming procedures that pet owners can do it themselves at home. Now the trimming, let’s leave it to the professional groomer. If you needed help with either of the mentioned procedure above, feel free to contact your regular groomer for help. I’m sure they’ll be glad to help you out as much as you need them.

Choosing Groomers – What To Look Out For

good-1123013_960_720 Choosing the right groomer can be difficult. There are so many choices, not to mention majority of the salons have more than one groomer. How do you know which groomer is one that you can rely on?

I chose the wrong grooming salon once and it caused my shih tzu traumatic stress. He didn’t allow me to touch his ears for a very long time. I had to gain his trust and showed him that cleaning of ears can be therapeutic. After this experience, I learnt to ask around for recommended groomer.

Here’s some tips to choose the right groomer for you and your pet:

Reviews
Best is to read up reviews of the groomer/grooming salon. You may find reviews on the grooming salon’s website or their Facebook page. Reviews are not necessary 100% perfect as each individuals have different standards in finding a groomer. If majority of the reviews are good, you may give it a try and see if you and your pet are comfortable with the groomer/grooming salon.

The Way The Groomer Handle Your Pet
Handling and interacting with your pet tells a lot about the groomer. We’ve seen lots of abuse cases of groomers on Facebook from different countries, sometimes we do wonder if that happens to our own fur babies. That is when handling of pets from the groomers are important especially on seniors, puppies/kittens and special need pets. If you do passby a possible grooming salon, stay there for a while and observe how the groomer handles the pets that are there for a grooming session. If you choose a home groomer, you might want to be there on the first few grooming sessions and observe. Usually home groomers do have the time to interact with your pets for a few minutes to get to know them before they start the grooming session. Home groomers usually go by appointments, and if they do schedule a few minutes extra to bond with your pets, it’ll be a bonus point to look out for.

Open Concept
A open concept grooming salon would be the best choice. You get to see everything that’s going on during grooming session be it if its your pet or not. However, if your pet is the type that will get excited upon seeing you, you might want to hide somewhere instead. An active pet may hinder the grooming process and accident may happen. To avoid those, hide somewhere where your pet are unable to see you yet you’re able to observe the grooming session. Grooming salon that does not have an open concept, I would recommend you not to visit. Anything can happen behind close doors. And there might or might not be a CCTV to video down what’s going on during grooming.

Ask Questions
After making your decision on the grooming salon/home groomer, ask them questions. It’s alright to ask to clear your doubt. Here’s my list of questions that may help you decide better:

  • Certification – Check if the groomers are certified. Ask to see the certificates if they’re not display at the shop. Certified groomers have gone through a proper training and examinations compared to non-certified groomers. (Look out for upcoming blog post on groomer’s certificate.)
  • Experience – If the groomer only have the beginner certificate, it doesn’t matter. Ask the potential groomer about his/her experience or if they’ve groomed a senior or special needs if your pet(s) requires special attention.
  • Shampoo/Conditioner – Its OK to check which brand of shampoo and conditioner the groomer will be using. They will understand if your pet have sensitive skin or allergic to certain ingredients. Alternatively, you may let them know if you’re bringing your pet’s own shampoo and conditioner instead.
  • Sterilize of Tools – Sterilizing tools are important. You may check and ask how often the tools are sterilize and how it is done. Regular sterilizing of tools lessen the possibilities of spreading skin issues or infections.

Site Visits 
Visit the grooming salons that you are keen to give it a try. Cleanliness of the place is important. Especially pests free! My personal experience of working at a tick infested grooming shop aren’t pleasant. (You may read on my experience about it on a different blog post.) That’s why majority of the owners opt for home grooming instead. Unless you do mind the mess during the grooming session.

     Hope my tips may help you in finding the groomer both you and your pet are comfortable with. These are just my point of view in selecting potential groomer. If you have more suggestions, feel free to leave a comment and share with fellow readers.