Signs It’s Time To Get Your Dog Groomed, And Other Helpful Tips!

Samantha Mobley  |  Espree Animal Products

A lot of people have a hard time keeping track of when their pup is supposed to get a groom. The standard is every 4-6 weeks for long coated breeds, and once a month for short coated dogs that just need a good bath and a nail trim. We all know that life can get hectic, and before you know it your furry friend is looking more like Chewbacca instead of a dog. A good way to tell if your dog needs a groom is if they start having excess hair in certain areas, a pungent odor, and matting. Check the paw pads, around the eyes, and the sanitary areas of the dog. If there is an excessive amount of hair to the point where it’s impairing their vision, their walking, or their bodily functions, it’s time to get a full haircut. Once you schedule your appointment with the groomer, make sure you get on a schedule of every 4-6 weeks for a groom. Often times they will send you reminder calls or emails so that you will not forget if you have a busy schedule. After a full service haircut where the dogs entire body has been trimmed, bathed and styled, most people set up the next appointment for a “partial” trim for their next visit.

The partial trim includes everything that would be in a regular haircut, minus the full body clip. A partial, or “maintenance clip”, is a great way to keep your dog prim and proper in between grooms. It is also a good way to maintain the length of your dogs coat if you are trying to grow out the hair after a shave down. During a partial, they will shave the paw pads, trim up the feet, cut the nails, shave the sanitary areas, and clean up the face and tail. A partial is also a good option for a long coated puppy’s first groom, as it eases them into the grooming process.

To help with the grooming process, regular brushing at home is a necessity for long haired dogs. Daily brushing will help to keep the coat free of matts and tangles so that if you’re wanting to maintain a long hairstyle, you can have the style you want without any issues. If the dog is not brushed regularly, expect de-matt fees and possible shave downs at the salon if the matting is too extensive. Also make sure that if you are bathing your dog at home in between grooms, to brush them out well to prevent any matting.

Some products to help in between the grooming process would be some of our various pet wipes, our waterless bath sprays, and our detangling and de-matting spray. The wipes are great for quick jobs if your dog needs a quick clean up on the rear, face or paws in between grooms.  The waterless bath spray is a fantastic alternative to a bath if you don’t have the time, and they need some cleaning. Just a quick couple of sprays and a towel dry will help your pet with dirt and odors. If you are committed to brushing and detangling your furry friend, the Espree de-matting and detangling spray works great for brushing out tangles easily so that they don’t turn into matts. If you are in dire need of a good bath, then our hypoallergenic or oatmeal baking soda shampoos are great for deodorizing and cleaning your dog, and keeping them fresh till their next visit at the salon.

How to keep your Pooches teeth like a six month old puppy’s!

Sarah Drouin NCMG – Pet Tech CPR Certified- Award Winning –

Brushing twice a day will keep your Pooches teeth like a 6 month old puppy’s. Healthy, clean, and in tip top shape.

Some folks who don’t have time for this can opt to do other things.

I recommend an Oral Care Gel. You squeeze the gel in the flews (lips) and once your pet starts to lick, the enzymes in the product start to kill bad breath, germs, & plaque. This will help and is sometimes easier than the toothbrush.

You can also feed a good soft bone, that your pooch can chew up and eat. Regular bones are great too! It really helps keep the teeth clean. Chewing seems to do a lot for the teeth.

Smaller breeds tend to have more issues with teeth than larger breeds. That doesn’t mean your larger breed is safe and clear.

There are some serious consequences for not taking care of your Pooches teeth. Before I go on, I want to mention that taking care of your Pooches teeth on a daily regimen, will be a bonding experience and cost you less down the road.

Serious problems resulting from not caring for your Pooches teeth:
#1 – Infection in Heart Valves
#2 – Liver abscesses
#3 – Sepsis (systemic infection that goes everywhere that the blood does–outside of the blood brain barrier)
#4 – Poor Appetite
#5 – Osteomyelitis (Bone infection)

A clean mouth = a clean bill of health! Remember taking the time to take action now, will save you thousands, but also your dog’s health from going downhill.

Achieving Healthy Skin and Coat Through Grooming and Nutrition

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

As a professional pet stylist, it is important to try to educate clients on all aspects of taking care of their pet.  Some areas of pet care, I consider myself an expert and other areas … not so much.  However, what happens when your client is following your advice on grooming.  Maintenance bathing every other week, brush outs at home using a fantastic hydrating spray, and full grooming every 4 to 6 weeks but their pet still has dry skin and appears to be itchy.  We recommended the owner take the dog to the vet to see if there is an underlying health issue.  After receiving a clean bill of health, the dog’s skin and coat are still not in good condition. So, we started looking at the type of food, treats, and supplements the owner is giving.

I always try to educate my clients on the importance of good nutrition.  It is just as important as good hygiene.  A holistically balanced diet that provides the nutritional harmony that is necessary to help your pet achieve and maintain optimal health.  Diets that have a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals that is rich in high quality protein and a strong selection of nutritious vegetables is important.  Fresher food is also more nutrient dense.  Supplements are great to add to your pet’s nutritional regime as well.  They are a smart choice to target specific conditions such as hip and joint issues, allergy support, immune support, food transition etc.

The nutritional choices you make for your pet will affect the condition of skin and coat just as much as the products you choose to put on your pet.  It is a win win for your pet  if you pay attention to both …what you choose to put on the outside and what you choose to put in your dog. Optimal health is achieved by focusing on both… the inside and out!

All For The Love Of Dogs!

for-love-of-dogs_blogShannon Moore, NCMG  |  Espree Animal Products, Director of Education and Grooming

In this day and age, so many people pick up a pair of scissors and clippers and claim to be a groomer.  Everyone chooses their own path and creates their future.  You have to work for it! Whether you choose to attend grooming school or intern in a grooming salon to get an education, it is necessary to put 100% into your education in order to become a good pet stylist.  Over time, your skills will improve and you will learn as you go.  Regardless of whether you are in the industry for 6 months, 6 years, or 25 years, you should never stop learning.  Even the most seasoned pet stylist attend seminars, go to grooming shows, or dog shows and learn a trick that they can apply in the salon.

Think about how much goes into a full service groom!  You have to evaluate the skin and coat, select the right products to use on a particular pet, the actual bath and prep, correct brushing and drying techniques, and finally the groom and finish work.  Not only is it necessary to have a really good grasp on pet care, health and safety, skin and coat, coat types, pattern trims, breed standard, profile, and the list goes on and on, you have to act like a professional.  With all of this knowledge and information, sometimes we have a tendency to forget that this is our profession.  Grooming is a skilled profession that takes a lot of tenacity and hard work. It allows us to bring out our creative and artistic side too.   The dog is like a canvas and we can artistically wield our scissors and clippers and create a masterpiece.  It is a talent that not everyone is blessed with.  It is a talent and it is our profession.

It is our responsibility to act in a professional manner, not only with the client but with the dog as well. I always tell groomers be honest and open with the client.  Let them know if there is a problem, or if you have any concerns, and let the client know why.  Remember this is their baby, they cherish their pet, and will appreciate any advice or concerns you may have.  Don’t play veterinarian, but referring to the vet is a good habit to create.  Being professional, being honest, and keeping a clear channel open for communication is the basis for creating a good relationship between the groomer and the client.  Good relationships turn into repeat business, referrals, and a solid foundation for your business. I am always grateful that we have the opportunity to have a career doing something we love…. All for the love of dogs!

The Fascination of Learning As A Groomer

rosie_blog-photoBlog Article Written By: Tracy Schumann

I first picked up clippers in 2006, I did not know anything about grooming. I was a former teacher and current dog trainer.  Rescuing a toy poodle, I needed to know how to groom him.  Within the same year I opened up my own shop, again not knowing anything.  As I ventured out to grooming seminars and grooming competitions I started learning how to properly hold shears, clippers, and the proper technique for bathing and drying dogs.

One thing that fascinates me about grooming is learning about different shampoos and what they are supposed to do.  I love trying new shampoos, and having four dogs I do a lot of bathing. Here is a short list of different types of shampoos:  medicated, flea, moisturizing, whitening, color enhancing, deshedding, facial, and many more.  Some shampoos will be a good degreaser, but not a good shampoo to clean the dog from dirt.  Once you have a dog clean you may have to apply a different shampoo to enhance the color (Black for instance) or to crispen a coat if it is curly (i.e. Bichon).

While you have all of these different shampoos, you have to take into account the water, is it hard or soft. The water type will affect how your shampoo works on the coat.  So, when you travel, what worked very well at home may not work when you travel.

Some shampoos work better on one type of coat and not so well on another style of coat.  Think of all of the coat types that are out there.  Drop coats, curly coats, double coats, and wire coats.  For example, what you use on a Yorkshire Terrier you would not use on a Miniature Poodle.

Something else to touch on is the dilution rate for shampoos.  A majority of shampoos is 16:1, and some  are used at full strength.   The dilution rate also relates back to your water; you may have to leave the shampoo on a little stronger than recommended.  I.e. if it says 16:1, you may have to dilute 10:1.  Some shampoos that recommend full strength, depending on the coat type, I might dilute slightly.

Not Trimming Your Pooches Nails Regularly Can Cause Health Problems!


Sarah Drouin NCMG | Pet Tech CPR Certified | Award Winning Stylist | |  (484) 464-2025

I must trim hundreds of nails per month. When I tell clients that it is a necessity to trim their Pooches nails monthly, they are usually surprised.

When you let a dogs nail grow out too long/far, the vein, also referred to as the “quick,” grows with it. Therefore, you can only take off so much at a time.

I explain that they should come two weeks after the initial visit with me. This way we can take more off, as that vein will have time to recede back. This will be an ongoing process until we can get them to the desired length.

Did you know that not trimming your Pooches nails regularly can cause health problems? Such as, tiny toe fractures, arthritis, and joint deformity.

Again, this isn’t just an aesthetic problem, it’s a functional one: Compromising your dog’s weight distribution and natural alignment can leave her more susceptible to injuries, and make walking and running difficult and painful. This is especially important in older dogs, whose posture can be dramatically improved by cutting back neglected nails. It’s almost like seeing a chiropractor in just a nail visit!

By grinding away the nail all around the quick – above it, below it, and on both sides – the quick has no support nor protection, and within days it will begin to visibly recede.

Part two of my favorite Espree products


Sarah Drouin NCMG | Award Winning Stylist | Pet Tech CPR Certified | Serving PA/DE | (484) 464-2025

Do you have clients that are active? Those clients need a little extra TLC, I use the Cooling Hip & Joint by Espree on these clients. What I love about  this product is that not only does it clean and rinse easily it smells great. I like to explain to the clients that I bathed their active pooch in a cooling menthol shampoo which helps with their joints, muscles and hips.  It cleans a very dirty dog and it leaves a fresh smell all while leaving the pet feeling great!

Allergies are a huge problem for a lot of dogs. Espree  Avocado Oil shampoo is my go to for my clients who have allergy issues.   My personal dog has allergies and this product has been a miracle for us. It helps relieve itchiness up to 14 days. I have not only seen the benefits as a client of this product, but had clients tell me it has really helped at home.

We all have our senior citizens; We have a special place in our hearts for these guys. Why not have a special shampoo for them? Esprees Senior Care  Shampoo, has arnica for sore mucsles. So it does all the benefits of the Cooling shampoo but with the added arnica. I absolutely love adding extra comfort for my senior clients.

My final shampoo pick is the Coconut Oil & Silk Shampoo. I love to use this on my dry dull coats. But I also like to use on most of my flat coated dogs. It not only nourishes and cleans, It leaves strength, texture and an unbeatable shine.  Oh, I forgot to mention I am addicted to the smell that is left on the dog!

Treating your pet like royalty is not as expensive as you think…


Sarah Drouin NCMG | Pet Tech CPR Certified | Award Winning Stylist | | (484) 464-2025

Like many of us, you probably want to treat your dogs to something nice. Does that mean we should spend a fortune to do so? I’ve got some great news. NO!

No offence to anyone who actually likes chicken feet, but have you have passed the chicken selection in the grocery store and seen those strange looking chicken feet?

Well, raw chicken feet are excellent for dogs! Okay, before you say gross, think about it. Dogs are carnivores. Yeah, I know there are new studies that say this is false, that dogs are omnivores. Well, I let you do your own research on that, but here is a link that supports my decision. ( )

Now, my dogs love raw chicken feet! Chicken feet consists of bones, skin, and tendons, but no muscles. These are packed with protein, calcium, collagen, and cartilage that are easily absorbed by the body. These are the essential nutrients required for good joint movement to minimize arthritis and joint pain.

Another inexpensive healthy excellent treat your dogs will go crazy over is raw FROZEN chicken wings. Now, before I go any further I’m sure you are thinking, “I heard that was bad for them!”. Raw chicken wings are okay. I will explain, when you cook a chicken wing the bone breaks down collagen. Without collagen, the bone is brittle and easy to break. This means the bone can break and split and really hurt your pooch. So, remember RAW & I like frozen chicken wings. They are great for keeping their teeth clean and breath fresh. PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER TO NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG UNSUPERVISED WHILE CHEWING ANY TOY OR TREAT.

Lastly, I really like fish skin sticks. Also, known as cod skins, they are dehydrated cod skin. These are excellent for more than ONE reason. They provide a healthy and satisfying snack that is high in protein and low in carbs. They also make a deliciously satisfying crunch which dogs will appreciate, much the way you might love the crunch of a crunchy potato chip.

I will add a few more notes here, please remember when adding anything raw or different to your dog’s diet, that they may have some loose bowels. Present new foods slowly. Also, if you’re worried or your pooch has any health or diet issues, please consult your veterinarian or nutritionist for your pooch.

Always air on the side of caution, we are giving you some really inexpensive ideas to really treat them like a Royal Pooch!

Groomer/Client Relationship

groomer-client-blogTrudy VanArsdale  |  Professional Groomer/Owner of Groomer Grooming Salon  |  Nash Academy Practical Skills Instructor  |  Nash Approved Site  |  Nash Academy Graduate

How has your clients chose you as their groomer?  It could be you’re the only groomer in their town, word of mouth by another client, an advertisement you had placed, a local veterinarian or  your a personal friend.  Whatever the reason, it is up to you whether you keep or lose clients.

First impressions definitely last!  When a new client is expected that day, I
like to personally greet them by introducing myself and calling their pet by name. Standing and talking to them and holding their pet is the beginning process of the pets trust in you.

You, the professional, need to understand breed standards and also be
knowledgeable of different coat types, so you may answer any questions your client may have.  Each one that walks through your door may have specific needs.  Listen thoroughly to what those might be. They want to know you are educated in your field, you have compassion for their pet, and you understand what they are looking for in a groomer. Definitely give them a specific time to pick up their little friend.

Execute the best groom possible on their pet according to age, skin, coat type, and temperament.  After 20 years of grooming, with new clients, I like to talk with them about how the grooming process went.  Full honesty is always the best policy!  This is the time to discuss any issues you may had with their pet,  recommend the next time frame for their groom, the maintenance between grooms, and hopefully schedule them for their next appointment.  Hopefully, you have established a wonderful groomer/client relationship that will last for years!


New Year, New You?

Sarah Drouin NCMG | Pet tech CPR Certified | Award Winning Stylist | | (484) 464-2025

Lots of people welcome the new year with a lot of goals.

Do you have any goals for your Pooch?  Maybe the vets been talking about a diet to help your Pooch drop a few pounds. Maybe you were hoping you could walk your Pooch a little longer. Possibly setting up regular grooming for your Pooch. Feeding your Pooch a better quality food, or even showing a few new tricks to him?

There are lots of ways to set some healthy goals for your Pooch.

Dogs love a day to day routine. They like things in the same pattern all the time. It makes them more confident and less anxious. But adding to that routine can be just as healthy when you stay consistent with it.

Ideas can even stretch to, swimming, going to the lake house, going on a car ride to the corner store when weather is permitting. Even getting them to the park in a different scenery, it can be healthy for the both of you! Mix it up, make it fun and enjoy your time with your Pooch!