The Importance Of Letting Owners Know

Shannon Moore, NCMG Director of Grooming Education, Espree Animal Products

Of course, we let the owners know when there are strange bumps and lumps popping up on the dog’s skin.  After all, we have our hands on the pets more frequently than just about anyone. The owners are almost always grateful for letting them know so they can take their pet to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.  But what about those spots that show up that we have accidentally caused (or at the time, we think we were likely to blame) ? Every groomer I know has some type of healing cream or Aloe Witch Hazel Spray to help quickly heal those areas that were brush burned or clipper burned.  It’s not like this happens every day but every once in awhile, it does happen regardless of how careful we are. We are human, we make mistakes and accidents can happen.  But did you ever stop and think that maybe it is not your fault and something medically could be going on with the pet?

Groomer’s are our own worst critics.  We immediately place the blame on ourselves or the products we have chosen to use if spots start to show up on the skin when we are grooming the pet or shortly thereafter.  I always try to provide immediate relief if I see this on a pet that I am grooming, but I also let the owner know.  If it happens more than once, I recommend the pet see their regular veterinarian for blood work.   I become suspicious of an autoimmune disease in the dog.  Sometimes what appears to be brush burn (or clipper burn) is actually something going wrong with the immune system.  The immune system plays a vital role in maintaining the body’s overall general health and resistance to disease.  Sometimes, things can go wrong with the immune system.  Normal handling and brushing can trigger an immune dysfunction with dog’s suffering from autoimmune disease.

Since environmental as well as genetic factors can “trigger” an immune dysfunction, I am more likely now to refer the dog to the vet when these unwarranted “spots” show up from normal handling and brushing.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone (of course, we don’t want to be blamed for causing these unusual skin irritations), recommending the owner takes the dog to their veterinarian may allow for proper diagnosis of an autoimmune disease that could have been left unattended for a long time!

5 Must Haves for Foster Parents of Rescue Dogs

Shannon Moore, NCMG  Director of Grooming and Education, Espree Animal Products

Fostering a rescue dog can be a rewarding experience.  You have a chance to help a dog in need and offer a rewarding experience for them to start a new life!  It does require consistent care by providing a safe and suitable environment, food and water, basic training, and most importantly lots of love and socialization.  The foster experience can last a few days to several weeks or months depending on the pet and situation.  We have comprised a “must have “ list to help make the foster experience as rewarding for you and the animal.

#1 Wire Crate: This will provide a safe-haven for the animal while you are way from home.  A wire crate also gives them a space to call their own. It keeps the pet safe from hazards such as electrical cords, plants that may be chewed, glass that could be knocked over, or small items or children’s toys that may be eaten.

#2 Toys: Not only will toys keep the pet from becoming bored, but they will also help bring out the pet’s personality.  In order to avoid spending a small fortune on toys, I put a few toys down one day and then pick them up and change the toys out for the next day.  Your foster will think they get new toys every day, when in reality you are recycling them.

#3 Shampoo: Espree’s Hypoallergenic or Espree’s Tea Tree & Aloe Shampoo work great for rescue dogs.  The Hypoallergenic is great for dogs with sensitivities while getting them squeaky clean.  If skin issues are present, then the Tea Tree & Aloe is the perfect choice. The lather well, clean the skin and coat, and provide an abundance of hydration.  This wholesome solution will not only have your foster looking and smelling better, but feeling better too!

#4 Pet Wipes: Espree Perfect Calm Pet Wipes are great for cleaning up minor accidents and spot cleaning when you don’t have time for a full bath.  They are infused with Lavender and Chamomile to help with anxiety and stress.

#5 Wound Cream: Espree’s 3 in 1 Healing Cream is a must for anyone with a pet.  Pet wounds are particularly challenging.  Pets just can’t leave the area alone.  # in 1 Healing Cream is formulated with Bitrex to stop licking and chewing while Yeast Extract ad Aloe promote healing and cell regeneration.

Styling Products Are All The Rage!

Shannon Moore, NCMG  Director of Grooming and Education, Espree Animal Products

What about the everyday pet that walks into our grooming salons?  Is there a place for styling products in the salons?  Absolutely!  However, everything in moderation.  Styling products are great to use if you are doing a groom with an Asian Show dogs and grooming competition dogs use styling products on a regular basis to achieve that “just stepped out of the show ring” look.  Styling products have really evolved over the years with an increased demand to “fix” coat issues.  The products are not only used for topknots and spray ups, but also to add texture, density, and volume to a coat.  There are styling products specifically designed to use on topknots and the head to help the hair stand up such as a root lift.  Then, volume mousse to help obtain volume in leg hair.  Volume spray to help with scissoring and adding texture to coats that are soft.  And, of course, the famous shine spray! A must have for every groomer and show handler to add that winning touch to their finished masterpiece. These products are great for these types of dogs and trims.

Also, if you have “not so good” coat and you need a bit of lift or texture to get those legs columned or the hocks to stand up. And for puppy coats that are supposed to be a curly coat, and they are so soft and silky they resemble the silky texture of a yorkie.  Remember, the show dogs and competition dogs can sometimes be loaded with product.  This product needs to be broken down after they have shown or competed.  How do you break down the product? With my dogs and many show dogs, the product is immediately washed out.  Yes.. another bath.  If I am not going to bathe and condition the coat (maybe I am showing the next day),  I will at least use a conditioning spray and brush through the coat to separate and divide the hair.  My personal favorite is Espree’s Aloe Hydrating Spray (I am addicted to this spray), because it maintains perfect hydration while the coat is separated and divided without leaving a residue.  You cannot feel it I the coat and it improves the elasticity of the coat.

When we send a client dog home, the chances of dog’s coat being sprayed with a conditioning spray is slim to none.  We all know that!  In reality,  we don’t want to use a lot of styling products to “junk up the coat”.  After all, it is just as important to keep the skin and coat in great condition, so when the dog comes back its topknot is not glued to its head with a bow that is 2 seasons behind.  Or, its leg hair is so matted that a #7 smoothie is the only option.  The bath and prep must be top notch and the brush out must be complete.  I will use styling products sparingly with salon dogs.  Less is better, so I use them very sparingly. I always comb through the coat after applying the products too, since they more than likely will not be broken down.  I use styling products on my clients to give them a little extra help with their coat, but I am taking every precaution so I don’t damage the coat.  Happy Styling!

Style On!

Sarah Drouin NCMG – Pet Tech CPR CErtified – Award Winning Stylist – www.theplushpooch.com

A well known comedian tried to make a joke about a pet professional recently. I think his comment was something to the effect , that he saw a mobile van that said “Pet Styles by Stephon”.
His joke was, no you offer dog grooming by Stephen. He claims we are just dog groomers. Just someone who shaves dog hair off of dogs.
The way he said the tried  “joke” was that we are beneath the average person making a career out of what they are passionate about.
Well, now I know that us as Pet professionals get that we are not; and that it’s very disheartening to hear someone try and put down a group of professionals. Especially in such a public way.
It’s easy to get up in arms about it. What I think is, it’s truly a shame he has this ignorance to our industry.
I know some amazing people who do more than just shave hair off of a dog.
These people have hearts made of gold, they can take criticism on a daily basis, make dogs transform within a few hours, build relationships with the clients and most importantly the dogs on their table.
We have a place in our hearts for these dogs and care for their well being. The list really goes on, as far as what we do daily for each of our clients.
I can tell you, most clients appreciate what we do. The dogs appreciate what we do. So if you want to say you’re a “Pet Stylist”, do it.
Styling a pet can be really rewarding. We all have clients who like a really nice close haircut. However we still have our own styles in how we achieve that. We also still style the face to match that short body, with so many different head styles and shapes and coat types it can be a fun challenge into “styling” them up!
So, to all of my “Pet Stylist”; Style on!!!! Remember you’re not ready to be talked about , you’re not ready for the success as one once said!