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Sometimes the answer is.....NO!

I know you have heard this from your pet care professional from time to time, but let me explain why.

Sometimes as a pet professional, parents will ask you do things that are convenient for them,but it may not be in the best interest of the pet.  It is our job to do, and advise parents what is in the pet's best interest and SOME parents don't want to hear it.  Let me  give you some examples.

1) Waiting 24-48 hours after a pet, usually dogs have had their shots.  For cats it is usually 2 weeks.  After a pet has had their shots, they are sore!  You take them to the groomer, and in most cases because of the pain they are in they are more likely to bite or show aggression. 

Think about it, after you go to the doctor and had blood work, somebody poking around your back end and sticking you with stuff do you feel like going to the spa?  In a addition, they have been injected with a virus for their bodies to recognize and fight off.  Some pets will run a low grade fever, and the best solution is to let them rest for a couple of days before they are groomed.    I have seen first hand, people who have shopped around to find a groomer to do what they want.  Some people have gone to the extent (after being told by the vet and several groomers that they have to wait) to lie about when the shots were administered to try to get the service.  Eventually, they will find someone who needs the money and will groom the dog anyway.  If the pet doesn't have a reaction, they dodged a bullet, but often times it will complicate their recovery from the shots.  

People have brought sick pets into the salon to be groomed.  One woman came in with a  pomeranian puppy in while he was still being treated for kennel cough.  She felt that he "just needed a good bath to make him feel better".  I was mortified!  I had to shut the salon down bleach and sanitize everything, and notify the vet on hand of the incident to make sure that I had done everything to protect the clients scheduled to come in later that afternoon. 

2)  Pets with open wounds or stitches should not be groomed until the area has healed.  Soap can set up a infection, and cause more problems than you bargained for!  If a vet has given direct instructions how to handle the pets in special circumstances, proceed with caution.

3)   Unless advised by a vet for health reasons, a double coated dog should not be shaved down.  The coat was designed to protect them through all types of weather, hot or cold.  I have seen this so many times during my career.  People will use the excuse that it will make the cooler, but it does NOT!  What it does is expose the skin to the sun when it is not designed for that.  It could lead to sunburn and skin cancer.  It DOES NOT make them shed less!  All it does is makes them shed short hair that is harder to see, but it is there.  If you keep the on regular grooming schedule, the coat and skin can be maintained and the dead hair can be removed on a regular basis which will help to regulate their body temperature. 


I remember one time a woman came in with an akita.  He hadn't been groomed in a year and he looked like.....well I can't say exactly what I want to say, but let's just say he looked like he needed a  new owner!  She demanded that I shave the dog down, because she was having a party and she didn't want him shedding all over the place!  I attempted explain to her first why having the dog groomed on a regular basis would eliminate the problem at hand, but further more, the overall health and maintainence of pet would be better.  The dog's nails looked like bear claws, as he walked through the shop he was leaving trails of furbies on the floor.  He had the sweetest dispostion, but the years were catching up to him and my heart was bleeding to help.  We I refused to shave the dog she unleashed a barrage of explicitv  langauge and gestures.  She practically did everything but make her head spin and spit green stuff at me!    She wanted what SHE wanted and the best that I could do is wash dogs for a living, how dare I tell her how to take care of her dog!  That episode ended with the police escorting her from the salon under the threat of animal cruelty. 

Sometimes as professional pet care professionals we have to tell you no.  It is not to embarrass you, or to make you feel like a bad pet parent.  Our job as a certified stylist is to give you the best advice available to make you aware of the dangers, and help you make a better informed decision regarding the care of your pet.  As a certified stylist it is NOT our job to diagnosis what is happening with your pet, however, since we do this job day in and day out, we see some of the same issues over and over again.  We can give you credible information to give to your vet regarding issues that we notice while your pet is in our care.   You may find people out there who will do what you want, but you and your pet will have to pay for it in the long run!

Grooming is a labor of love for me!  I enjoy seeing happy pets and pet parents after their services.  It makes my heart sing, and I want to always help and never hurt your pet.   So, if I tell you NO.  It is in the best interest of your baby, that's my job, and I love every minute of it.  The good, the bad and the poopies!

Until our next appointment, have a Safe and Happy Holiday!

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