Monday, November 28, 2011

Grooming an Elderly Dog

As your dog grows older his/her grooming needs will change.
Where as before he/she may not have minded being groomed, it may now be tiring and painful.

Arthritis is one of the leading reasons for an elderly dog to feel sore when it comes home from being groomed.

I also tell my customers that grooming is like going to the gym to work out.
Lets face it, most dogs spend 70-80% of their days sleeping.

When they come in to be groomed, they have to stand for awhile to be bathed, brushed, and dried.

They must also stand on the grooming table for awhile while being clipped.

The groomer must left their feet and arms numerous times in order to clip and scissor the feet, legs and body.
 This is like a workout for a dog that normally sleeps most of the day away waiting for you to get home from work.

 This can be very tiring for older dogs. 

There are many groomers out there that refuse to work on dogs that are over 10 years old.

It is very important that when making an appointment for your dog, you must let the groomer know  how old your dog is, and find out if the groomer is experienced with grooming older dogs.
You want to make sure that the groomer has the extra time to work with an elderly dog.
You also want to make sure that you make an appointment when you are available to pick up your dog the minute that it is ready to go home.

I always try to get my elderly dogs back home as soon as possible, but the owners must also understand that I will not rush their dog through a grooming.
A groomer should work at the elderly dogs pace.
If the dog needs to lay down for a while,then the grooming must stop till the dog is ready to be groomed again.

It is also important to have your dog groomed in a cut that is comfortable for their age.
You may have kept your dog in a long full cut all of its life, but as he/she has gotten older, they no longer like to be brushed and combed, and the longer cut means that they have to stand too long on the grooming table.
Talk to the groomer about doing a shorter clip that will still leave some hair but not be so much work for your dog.

As the owner of an elderly dog you must also understand that there may be times that the groomer can not do everything that is usually done during the grooming.
Maybe it upsets your dog too much to have their ears plucked and cleaned.
The last thing a groomer wants, is for your pet to have a heart attack because they are trying to pluck and clean ears, or clip nails when the dog does not want it done.

If your dog suffers from arthritis, call your Vet and ask if it would be okay to give him/her a baby aspirin before you bring your dog in for grooming.

When you find a groomer that will groom your elderly dog, you may be asked to sign an 'Elderly Pet Release' form.
It may look something like this:

      Grooming a Senior, or Special Needs Pet, can be very stressful to the pet. We here at My Furry Friends work very hard to make the grooming experience as comfortable as possible. In order to accomplish this, we groom for the pets comfort and cleanliness. We will only groom what your Senior pet will allow us to do comfortably. The cut will be in a style that will cause the least amount of stress as possible.

      Because many Senior, and Special Needs Pets have pre-existing health issues, their risk of an jury during grooming is greater. Grooming a Senior, or Special Needs Pet can also expose hidden medical issues and, or aggravate current medical issues during and, or after the grooming. All care possible will be taken in the grooming of your pet. My Furry Friends also holds the right to groom your pet only as far as the pets comfort will allow. If your pets shows any discomfort during the grooming, the grooming will stop and you will be asked to pick up your pet immediately.

     The safety and comfort of your pet is our number one concern. We ask that all Senior and Special Needs Pets are picked up immediately, or no later then 30 minutes after we have called to inform you that your pet is ready to go home.

Your elderly dog has been with you for a long time and deserves extra special care in the golden years of his/her life.
Take the time to call around and find  groomer that will give your dog that extra special care.

Just a Note from Your Groomer, MFF

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Puppies First Grooming

We get a lot of calls from puppy owners asking when their puppy should have it's first grooming.

The soon as possible.

No matter whether your puppy is a short hair breed, or a long hair breed, they will need to be bathed and have their nails clipped during their lifetime.
The sooner that you get your puppy used to being handled, the better.

Your puppies first professional grooming should be when your puppy is around 12 weeks old, and no later than 16 weeks old.
By this time your puppy should have gotten it's third series of shots.

Make sure that the grooming salon that you take your puppy to has a groomer that specializes in working with puppies.
It is very important that your puppy's first grooming is as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

Your puppy may be scared, but that is normal.
You are taking them to a strange place with people that they have never seen before.
Your puppy will also be feeding off  of your feelings.
If you are nervous or worried about leaving your puppy, your puppy will feel this, and be nervous also.

The longer that you wait to have your puppy professionally groomed, the harder it will be for the puppy to accept the process.

 The earlier a puppy starts to get used to being groomed, the more comfortable your puppy will be with being groomed.

If you get your puppy groomed early enough, all they should need is a bath, and their  nails trimmed.

If they are a long haired breed, they could also get the hair trimmed around their eyes, feet and rear.

All this puppy needs is a bath and a light trim.

The first 4 months of a puppies life is when they are discovering new things in their young life.

They come to a new home.
Meet new people.
They are being potty  trained.
Learning what is right and wrong.

This is  the perfect time to teach them how to accept being brushed and bathed.

This puppy is so relaxed with his first grooming, that he has fallen asleep.

If you feel that you are not ready to leave your puppy at the groomer, you can also call a groomer and ask if they will clip your puppy's nails and trim around the eyes while you wait for your puppy.

One last thing...make sure that the grooming salon that you take your puppy to does not allow all of the dogs to mingle with each other.

A note from your friendly groomer, MFF

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prepare your Puppy for a Lifetime of Grooming

To prepare your puppy for a lifetime of grooming, you must first get your puppy used to being handled.

Playing and handling your puppy are two different things.
Playing is a fun thing for your puppy to do.
Handling your puppy is a necessary thing for you puppy.

There will come times in your puppies life when he/she has to have things done to him/her that they may not want done.

Shots at the Veterinarian.
A bath.
A hair cut.
Being brushed.
Being medicated are just a few.

The sooner you get your puppy used to being handled, the happier your puppy will be.

No matter whether your puppy is a short hair breed or a long hair breed, you should start getting your puppy used to being handled  as soon as you bring him/her home.

Pick up and hold your puppy often:

Even if your dog is going to grow fairly large, pick him/her up as often as you can, as long as you can.

This helps your pet get used to being picked up and held, so that when he/she has to be picked up by a Veterinarian or a Professional Groomer, they will be more accepting of it and won't fight.

This will also help you, the owner, whenever you need to lift your pet into a car or onto the Vets table.

Touch and Rub your Puppies Paws :

Your dogs nails will have to be clipping many times during it's lifetime.

Some dogs nails have to be clipped more often than others.

Some dogs don't mine nail clipping at all.

For other dogs it can be traumatic for them no matter how well you prepare them.

Help your puppy feel more comfortable about having their paws worked with.

While holding your puppy, gently take their paw in our hand.

Do not hold the paw tightly.

If your puppy pulls the paw out of your hand, that is okay, just gently hold the paw again until they stop yanking it away.
Reassure them in a gentle voice, that everything is okay, while your holding their paw.

It will eventually click in their little head, that it does not hurt to have someone touch their paws. 

Do this with all four of his/her paws.

Once your puppy is used to having his/her paws held, start to gently massage the paw and between the toes.

 Spread the toes gently with your fingers.  

Gently rub all around the toes and pads.

By massaging the pads and toes, you are preparing your puppy for years of having their nails clipped and their paws scissored if they are a long haired breed.

Remember, this may take some time with some puppies, but don't give up.

Do not stop if your puppy fights you when you try to rub his/her paws.
They will quickly learn that fighting or nibbling gets you to stop what you are doing.

Remember not to hold the paw and toes tightly. 

When I groom a dog, I do not hold their paws tightly.
If they yank their paw out of my hand, I just keep picking the paw back up until the dog gives up and let me do what I need to do.
The dogs will eventually realize that you are not hurting them.

If your puppy fights to get away, keep gently massaging the paw while telling them that everything okay.
As soon as they stop fighting, if only for a few seconds, praise them and let go of the paw.

Try again later.
You must keep calm and praise your puppy often.
Keep trying until your puppy stays calm while you massage his/her paws.

Your Groomer or your Vet will have to hold the paw and each individual toe in order to clip the nails.

Getting your puppy used to having their paws worked with will help make grooming and clipping the paws more comfortable for your pet.

 Pick up and Rub your Puppies Ears:

Over your puppies lifetime there will be times that his/her ears will have to be worked with.

If your puppy is a long hair breed, their ears will have to be brushed and combed, the hair on the ears may have to be clipped, and they may also have to have the hair inside the ears plucked out.

If your puppy is a short hair breed, their ears will occasionally need to be cleaned out with an ear cleaner.

Most important of all, whether your puppy is a long or short hair breed, there will be times that you may have to medicate your dogs ears do to ear infections.

 Most dogs love to have their ears rubbed.

Start by rubbing your puppies ears.

Rub them from the outside.

Hold the ear in your hand and use your fingers to gently rub all over the ear.

Pick up and hold the ear leather up for a 30 seconds or so.

Fold the ear back.

This lets the puppy get used to feeling air in the ear canal.

If you have a breed of puppy who's ears already stand up, gently fold the ear leather back to the puppies head.

This will help when you have to fold the ears back to clean them or put ear medicine in the ears.

Also take the knuckle of one of your fingers and very gently massage the inside of the ear.

You want to do this with a very soft pressure.

This will help your puppy get used to having someone work with the inside of their ears.

 I have groomed many dogs over the years that freak out the second I touch their ears to do anything to them.
I have to spend time teaching them that touching and holding their ears is okay.

Your pets grooming will be much more pleasant if they have learned, at an early age, to except having their ears held and touched.  

It will help your pet a great deal, if you as an owner, handles your pet regularly over their lifetime, not just when they are a puppy.

A Note From Your Friendly Groomer, MFF