Tear Stain Products – The Reviews

Tear stains can be a major problems to owners especially when they have white dogs/cats. There are many reasons to why your pets may have tear stain, but I won’t go into that for this post.

For this blog entry, I will be introducing and leaving my opinions on the tear stain products that I have tried on my white poodle.

Artero Pretty Eyes (Eye Care Lotion)

artero

  • Price: SGD$30.50 to SGD$38.50
  • My ratings: 3.5/5

A friend gave me a little of this solution to try on my white poodle. It did helped remove a little stain and improves my poodle’s tear stain condition. The ingredients were natural extract thus I am willing to give it a try. Thankfully, my poodle didn’t develop any allergic reaction to it. But for a bottle this size, I find it quite reasonable in terms of pricing, but not suitable for owners with a budget.

Tropiclean Facial Cleanser (Tear Stain Remover)

tropiclean-spa-lavish-tear-stain-remover-facial-cleanser

  • Price: SGD$16.40 to SGD$19.50
  • My ratings: 4.5/5

This product is more troublesome to be use. It’s a facial cleanser formula, thus you need to rinse off after leaving it on for about 3 minutes. To prove that this work, I diluted it in a spray bottle. Mix it well before spraying the solution on a facial cotton where I used it to wipe my poodle’s tear stain. Amazingly, the dirt and stain did came off which lightens my poodle’s tear stains after rinsing off the remaining solution that’s on her face.

It’s mild and the ingredients were natural. You may even use it daily to lighten off the stains and maintain cleanliness on your pet’s face. It can be use for muzzle stain too.

Eyerific

eyerific

  • Price: SGD$15.50 to SGD$17.50
  • My ratings: 3/5

Previously I bought this as it was stated good for tear stain. However, it didn’t really help much despite regular cleaning. But it’s good as normal eye cleaner which help removes dirt around my pets’ eyes. Thus I would recommend it as a normal eye cleaner for owners with breeds like shih tzu, pugs etc. who requires regular eye cleaning.

So far I have only tried these 3 products. I believe there are more that I have yet to try, but most of it I’m reluctant to try due to the ingredients. I am avoiding products that contains antibiotics as long term usage may cause health issues or side effects. While I am still researching for better products on tear stain, if you do have any you would like to recommend me and fellow readers, feel free to leave a comment on this entry.

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.

The Last Groom

dolly-1139355_960_720 As much as I dislike it due to all the emotional heartache that I will experience after, I had to do it and already experienced it more than once. It was a mix emotion and one of the hardest goodbye ever. Be it a regular or I happened to groom the pet once or twice, saying our last goodbye made me tear up.

Experiences like this prepared me on how to handle it. So far the two experiences I had were sickly senior dogs who do not have much energy to even struggle with me. The only thing I could help them was making them feel fresh and good. During the grooming session, I had to make sure they’re comfortable too. I stroked their soft fur while I told them that they’ve been good and that I love them too.

I know there are some owners who would bring their dying pets for their last groom. Maybe to pamper them one last time or to make them look presentable during their final days. I don’t know the exact reasons but there are owners who do. As a groomer myself, I try my very best to make them comfortable, feel clean and look fresh. 

But of course I would do these again if given the chance. It’s the least I could do for both owners and pets. And the last chance to say goodbye to my furry clients.

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.

    Nail Trim – Steps by Steps

    dog-1003883_960_720 Most owners had difficulties when it comes to trimming their pet’s nails themselves. Thus they always turn to their groomers for help. Majority of the pets are afraid to have their nails trimmed after a bad experience. That is why most groomers stress the importance of giving your pet a good grooming experience.

    Reintroducing nail trimming to your pet takes time and patient. If you’re keen to reintroduce nail trimming to your pet, here’s our tip. But first, these are the equipment needed.

    • Nail Clipper
    • Styptic Powder
    • Filer/Nail Grinder
    • Your pet’s favorite treats (optional)

    Before we start the nail trim, firstly, get your pet accustom to you touching and holding its paws without flinching. Positive training helps. Reward your pet with praises and treats when it allow you to hold and touch without struggling or flinching. This process may take days or weeks to achieve. So be patient during the process.

    Steps to nail trim:

    1. Get both your pet and yourself into a comfortable position. Your pet should have gotten use to you touching its paws.
    2. Using the nail clipper, trim the nails on each paw one by one. If by accident you trim more than you should, use the styptic powder and apply pressure for about a minute on the bleeding nail.
    3. Using the nail filer/grinder, file the sharp edges of each nail till blunt. This is to prevent any scratch marks when they paw at you after the nail trim.
    4. Reward your pet with praises and treats once the nail trim session is done. This help to show them that nail trimming isn’t all that scary at all.

    White nails are relatively easy to trim as the veins (quick) are visible. Unlike black nails where you’re unable to see where the veins are. Here’s how to notice the veins on a black nails. When trimming the black nails, if you look at the nail head-on and notice a small dark circle, it means you’ve reached the maximum length that you can trim. Anything further, you may clip the veins.

    If you do not have styptic powder at home, your regular cornstarch from your kitchen works too. Add a little of water to your cornstarch till it becomes a paste. Place it on the bleeding nail and add pressure till the bleeding stops.

    Walking on rough surface regularly helps to file your pets nails as well as keeping the length short. Thus your pet may or may not require nail trimming. If you’re unsure if your pet needs a nail trim, you may consult your regular groomer. Trimming nails often helps keep nails short. With short nails, the veins wouldn’t have excess room to grow. So trim your pet’s nails often by yourself or schedule an appointment with your groomer.

    An untrimmed nails may lead to curling and cause your pet to walk with difficulties. Curled up nails may pierce into the flesh of your pet’s paws which may lead to further infection and unnecessary pain. With all these trauma, your pet may turn aggressive when its paws are being touched or when the nails are being clipped. To avoid these, regular grooming session is very much recommended.

    Slicker Brush – The Reviews

    Slicker brush is a must especially for dogs that needs a good brushing. Regular brushing reduce the chances of matted fur. It improves the condition of your pet’s skin and coat as well. Here’s a few brushes that I’ve used or tried and how I feel about them.

    Doggyman Soft Slicker Brush

    doggyman_brushes-800x800

    • Price: SGD$30 to SGD$45
    • My ratings: 4.5/5

    It’s the first slicker brush that I’ve tried when I started grooming and I’m loving it. When the description said it’s soft, I was skeptical but it actually is. It’s gentle on the skin too. Even if you were constantly brushing the same area due to a knot, it won’t give any abrasion or rash, but it’s not advisable to do so.

    The brush isn’t heavy which is good. Lighter brush won’t tire your arm easily during brushing especially if your pet have a fluffy coat.

    Doggyman Pure Pretty

    slicker-brush

    • Price: SGD$14.35 to SGD$18.10 (prices may vary depending on where you’re getting and the sizes)
    • My ratings: 4/5

    Like the above mentioned slicker brush, this is good. I love doggyman brushes as they never fail to amaze me. I got this brush in my equipment set when I enrolled for the professional grooming course. It comes in different sizes.

    Gentle on the skin as well. Except that it doesn’t removes mats as easily as the above mentioned slicker brush. But it still serve the same purpose with an extra function where you can remove the fur when you pull down the pink plastic.

    Mikki Hard Pin Slicker

    mikki-hard-pin-slicker2-800x800

    • Price: SGD$13.40 to SGD$20.70 (depending on sizes)
    • My ratings: 2/5

    This is by far my least favorite. Although it’s light, it didn’t remove mats easily and it causes abrasion even when brushed lightly. I am not sure about everyone else, but I can’t seem to brush well with this Mikki brush. After a few tries, I gave up and it’s lying in my grooming box.

    #1 All System

    1-all-systems-slicker-brush-medium-16

    • Price: SGD$25 to SGD$35 (depending on sizes)
    • My ratings: 4.5/5

    When using this brush, make sure to brush really lightly. And avoid brushing the same area constantly to avoid abrasion. But this brush definitely is easy to brush and removes knots and tangles like wonder. And it gives a very straight fur to poodles after brushing.

    Artero Flexible Head

    artero-flexible-head

    • Price: SGD$31.20
    • My ratings: 4/5

    It’s soft and flexible when brushing. It removes mats easily and gentle on the skin. It’s twin head, which means you can brush the fur using either side. Although I don’t really like the flexible part, but I do love the results it gave after brushing.

    Petz Route

    petzroute-soft-slicker-brush-small

    • Price: SGD$25
    • My ratings: 4.5/5

    This is my current favorite. It’s light and small, which made it easier for me to brush my poodle’s face. It’s soft and brushes the knots off easily. My arm didn’t get tired from all the brushing, unlike when I was using the Mikki brush. Bought it after a friend recommended it to me when I was looking for a new brush for my poodle. Best buy ever and didn’t regret it.