3 Ways Dry Shampoo Can Make Your Day Easier in the Salon

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

You’re not imagining it: Dry shampoos are all the rage and are making their way into the pet market and grooming salons.  As professional pet stylists, we know that nothing beats a good old fashion bath and brush out, but dry shampoos definitely have their place in grooming salons and on your grooming table. Here are 3 ways a dry shampoo can help you on in the salon:

  1. Absorb Excess Oil from the Skin and Coat

Dry shampoo is a great tool for those pooches that have overactive oil glands.  I use dry shampoo before the bath and let them sit for 15-30 minutes to let the dry shampoo do its magic. I take a brush and lightly brush through the coat to help distribute the dry shampoo throughout the coat to absorb the excess oil.  Then bathe and style as desired.

  1. Give the Coat More Volume, Thickness, and Texture

Everyone has those clients that come in with a picture of a full-coated breed and want their barely maintained pooch to look just like that picture.  After explaining that there is not enough coat on their pup, you can turn to a shampoo to help add more body to the coat and achieve the look they want.  I really love to use it on the legs of dogs that have a “not so great coat” to give that added boost of volume and texture. It is also fantastic to use at the occiput to get hair to stand up when you have floppy head hair. Just make sure you do not get it in their eyes.

  1. De-matting

Yes, you read that correctly.  Dry shampoo works its magic on a matted coat.  Simply spray the matted area and use a slicker brush to help separate and divide the coat.  It works especially well if you have an undercoated breed with a packed coat that you cannot get through.  Saturate the coat with dry shampoo, separate and divide with your favorite slicker brush, then use a force dryer on the coat.  Dry shampoo used as a de-matting tool needs to be done before the bath so you can wash out the product.

Even though we aren’t using dry shampoo to freshen up a pet, there are many ways a dry shampoo can make our day a little easier in the salon.  And, at the end of the day, you can use it on your own hair to freshen up if you need to.

4 Reasons Not To Shave A Dog

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

Many pet owners think that shaving a dog down would help them stay cooler in the summer, but that is quite the contrary. The coat serves as a protector for the dog as it is the dog’s shade from the elements.

Typically, undercoat is thinner during warmer months which allows air to get all the way down to the skin to help with overheating.  In order for air to make it all the way down to the skin, it is important to keep your dog brushed out, so mats will not interfere with proper air circulation.  The coat must separate and divide all the way down to the skin.  In addition, the dog’s hair serves as a thermal regulator to slow down the process of heat absorption.  If the dog’s coat is shaved down, you are taking away their shade to help the regulate their body temperature. In addition to exposure to heat, there are many other dangers to shaving your dog in the summertime:

  1. Risk of sunburn.
  2. Expose the skin to insect bites.
  3. The coat could grow back thicker making it more difficult to regulate body temperature.
  4. The coat could grow back unevenly, and bald spots could occur with repeat shave downs.

 

What can pet owners do to help protect their dog during the summer months?

  1. Keep your pet brushed out so the coat can separate and divide all the way to the skin.
  2. Rather than shave your dog down, have your stylist shorten the furnishings for ease of maintenance.
  3. Choose products containing a touch of sunscreen.

Shed Happens!

Shannon Moore, NCMG Espree Animal Products, Grooming Education Director, Southlake, TX

De-Shedding Is A Win-Win

All dogs shed to some degree.  It is a natural process that allows new coat to come in.  Some breeds shed all year, while others shed seasonally.  Most stylists offer a de-shed add-on service or program in the salon to help pet parents deal with the insurmountable amount of hair the pet is leaving around the house.   When clients have guests come over to their home and have dog hair everywhere, especially on their furniture, it can be embarrassing for them.  More importantly, dogs can become uncomfortable with having so much excessive coat. Having a coat that is packed with hair can contribute to the pet’s inability to regulate their own body temperature which can be dangerous during the summer and winter months. Sometimes they will become itchy or even develop a myriad of skin issues including bacterial and yeast infections. Offering a de-shedding service is necessary and advisable for all parties involved, especially the dog.

What exactly does de-shedding mean?

It is the removal of undercoat that would have eventually ended up all over the house, furniture, and your clothes.  Shedding is a natural process, so you do not want to try to stop it!  De-shedding treatments are designed to accelerate the shedding process by removing the loose coat that would eventually end up of all over the client’s home.  De-shed shampoos and treatments ideally should change the pH by lowering it from the normal 6.5 – 7.5 range. The cortex of the cuticle opens up and allows any loose coat to slip out. Espree’s Simple Shed Shampoo and Simple Shed Treatment does this. It is also enhanced with proteins and amino acids to help fortify and strengthen overworked and damaged hair, so the result is a healthy, shiny coat.  Sometimes a De-Shed Treatment can appear drying to the coat due to the reduction in pH.  I always recommend using a De-Shed Treatment or Conditioner after shampooing to help restore moisture to the skin and coat. The end result is a beautiful, healthy coat where the coat can separate and divide so the skin can breathe.  It is an all-around win-win for the dog, the client, and the pet stylist.

Recommended tools and equipment for De-Shed Services:

Espree Simple Shed Shampoo

Espree Simple Shed Treatment

High-Velocity Dryer

De-Shed Tool

Happy De-shedding!!!!

Wash Out Those Mixing Bottles

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

 

As groomers, we take so many precautions to ensure the safety and well- being of our clients from salon safety procedures, using a variety of fabulous products, state of the art equipment, providing a clean and healthy environment, and the list goes on and on.  We sometimes overlook a very basic component of our routine, the importance of cleaning out the mixing bottles. When diluting, handling, and using product, it is imperative to keep hygiene at the top of our list.

Hygienic Guidelines for Mixing Professional Strength Product:

1. Wash all containers and caps with very hot water and a sterilizing solution before mixing concentrated shampoo and conditioner, preferably the night before and let the container air dry.

2. Any unused diluted material should be discarded at the end of the day.  If you can’t bear to throw away product, bathe your own dog to get rid of the product.

3. Do not mix an entire gallon of product unless you plan on using it all by the end of the day.

4. Don’t forget to wash the caps of the mixing bottles as they can hold bacteria, mold, and fungus.  This can transfer to the animal during bathing.

It is important to remember that the contamination of product can cause pets to have a reaction to the shampoo mix if it is contaminated with bacteria, mold, or fungus from improper cleaning and handling of the mixing bottles.  Unfortunately, there are not any hygiene regulations for pet groomers.  It is our responsibility as a professional stylist to set forth a standard protocol for providing proper hygiene in our salons.  This hygiene extends all the way to something as simple as a mixing bottle.

The Importance of Diluting Product Correctly

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

Groomers work very hard for their money. We must use every tool we have at our disposal to help get that beautifully executed groom with each dog we work on. These tools are not only our clippers, scissors, and styling products, but also our shampoos and conditioners. After all, the bath is the quintessential element of a professional groom. It is the one tool that gets the pets’ skin and coat clean, healthy, and vibrant. Therefore, it is one of the most important parts to the grooming process.

It is important in any grooming salon not to waste shampoo. After all, most shampoo used by grooming professionals is concentrated and needs to be diluted. If we don’t dilute shampoo correctly, there is a lot of wasted product and that is like throwing money out the window. Diluting product correctly is important in terms of performance as well. In order to have a product provide a solution for the pet and perform as the manufacture intended, we must pay attention to the dilution rate. If the product is overdiluted, it may not have the ability to do what it should do. If the product is under diluted, take some extra time to rinse and to rehydrate the coat. It is important to remember that when you under dilute a product, there is more surfactant being used than what the manufacturer recommends. In order to keep the skin and coat in optimal condition, it is necessary to rehydrate the coat.

Once you are finished bathing for the day, take any shampoo that has been diluted and discard it in order to prevent bacteria forming in the mixing bottles. We all hate to waste shampoo, so if you have any energy left, it may be a great time to bathe your personal dog with what is left over from the day. Don’t forget to clean out those mixing bottles thoroughly to remove any product in the bottle!

Water Temperature


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

The normal body temperature for dogs (100.2-102.8 degrees Fahrenheit) are significantly higher than that of normal human body temperature.  Because of this, dogs and cats tolerate cooler temperatures better than humans.  Temperatures that may seem comfortable to us may not feel comfortable to the pet.  When selecting appropriate water temperature when bathing, always select a temperature that is comfortable for the pet, rather than the person bathing.

Unfortunately, there is not a universal water temperature that is ideal for all situations.  It is important evaluate the skin and coat before determining the appropriate temperature.  In general, cool to lukewarm water temperatures are generally healthier. Warm temperatures are normally drying to the skin as it breaks down essential body oils and causes the skin cells to separate.  When essential body oils are broken down, the end result is skin that is dehydrated and depleted of nutrients. Warm water temperature should be avoided if a pet has sensitive, irritated, or dry skin. Warm water could potentially cause additional irritation to the skin.

Warm water is not good for pets that have dry, irritated, or sensitive skin, but it is good for pets that have oily skin.  Warm water is a natural solution for removing excess oil therefore it is recommended for bathing and rinsing greasy skin and coat.

The final rinse when bathing a pet whether the skin and coat are dry or oily should be with cool water.  The final cool rinse allows for the remaining body oils to coagulate which, in turn, allows for proper hydration of the skin.  In addition, a final cool water rinse calms nerve endings and provides temporary relief from itching.

Dental As An Add-On Service!

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

Add-ons in the salon are continuing to gain popularity with groomers and their clientele.  Offering dental services is one of the most popular and one of the most beneficial to the pets and their owners.  Teeth that are covered with plaque and tartar build up can cause a myriad of problems because of the body’s inability to fight off the bacteria.  Good oral hygiene is imperative to keeping a pet healthy.

The fee for a dental add-on varies depending on location and clientele in the salons.  Regardless of whether you charge $3 or $35 for a dental service add add-on, the end goal should be to remove as much plaque and tartar as possible in addition to something to freshen the breath.  Owners have a tendency to equate fresh breath with clean teeth.  That is not necessarily the case.

There are many dental products to choose from on the market.  Many do an amazing job of freshening the breath, but it is just as important to tackle the plaque and tartar build up.  As a professional stylist, I prefer to use a disposable toothbrush with a brushless gel to brush the dog’s teeth.  Even though most products claim that there is no brushing required, when a toothbrush is added, it expedites the process of helping to remove plaque and tartar.  I prefer to finish the dental service with an oral care spray.  That is great to freshen the breath and help remove the fresh plaque and tartar. When you focus on removing as much tartar and plaque build- up rather than just focusing on breath, you can make a visible difference with the inflammation of the gums. After all, we want to see results quickly with the dental add-ons.  Faster results are best for the pet, the pet’s owner, and the pet’s groomer.

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!

Scissoring Spray

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

One of my favorite things to do is hand scissor a dog into a beautiful pattern.  Groomers are artist. We have a gift of being able to create a gorgeous piece of work using the hair.  It goes without saying that dog must be clean and the skin and coat must be in good condition in order to accomplish this.  But, what else does it take to create our beautiful finished product?  Choosing the right equipment is necessary.  That doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive, but it does need to be in good working order and properly maintained.  Choosing shears that work best for you and your hand is vital too. In addition,  we need to be able to choose the right products for the coat type. I also believe it is important to use a scissoring spray when styling a pet.

Rather than allowing a coat to work against you, scissoring spray will help the coat work with you. It not only will help reduce the static, but it will also allow the coat to be more pliable. Remember, you do not want the coat to be damp or wet, but rather a light mist so the coat will stand up and allow you to scissor the dog.  The use of scissor spray throughout the groom helps create a smoother finish on the dog because the coat is working in your favor.  It doesn’t fall down like it normally would if I did not use it. It also helps keep the coat hydrated and in the best possible condition.  Of course, I want my groom dogs walking out the door looking their best.  But, I also want that groom to look good next week, the following week, and so on. Keeping the coat in the best condition possible and putting a great finish on the dog allows me to do my best work.

Not Trimming Your Pooches Nails Regularly Can Cause Health Problems!

nails-blog

Sarah Drouin NCMG | Pet Tech CPR Certified | Award Winning Stylist | www.theplushpooch.com |  (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.