Are You Brushing Your Dog Properly Between Grooming Sessions? 

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How to Keep Your Dog Looking Great

Once your dog returns from having a grooming session with us, you will want to keep up it’s coat with regular brushing. The Animal Humane Society recommends brushing your dog every couple of days no matter how long the coat. Regular brushing helps remove dead hair and skin, distributes natural oils throughout for a cleaner and healthier coat, and stimulates the skin’s surface. 

Different dog breeds have different coats, of course, which can change how you brush your pet. It also means that different coats require different tools for brushing.

Here are some tips on brushing your dog based on the type of coat they have: 

A Primer on Different Types of Dog Coats

You’ll want to start by identifying which type of coat your dog has. There are several types to choose from: 

  • Short, smooth coats, like you will see on Chihuahuas, Greyhounds and Bulldogs.

  • Short, wiry coats, which you will normally see on breeds like Terriers.

  • Thin, fluffy coats: Yorkies and Maltese are a few common examples.

  • Thick, hard outer coats with soft undercoats: Breeds with this coat include Collies, Shepherds, Chows, Pomeranians and Corgis.

  • Combination coats: These types of coats have long or thick hair in some areas, and shorter, thinner hair in others. Breeds with this type include Border Collies and Brittany dogs.

  • Medium to long coats: These are the coats on Golden Retrievers, Spaniels and Setters. Combination coats could also be in this category.

How Many Layers of Fur are There? 

Another important factor to keep in mind is how many layers of fur the dog has. Dogs can have multiple layers, which can radically alter how they need to be brushed. For instance, double coats on a dog can mean needing special brushes or combs. These are designed to get at both layers of the coat to get rid of loose and dead hair.

Puppy Coats vs. Adult Coats 

Dogs have different coats as puppies than they’ll have as adults. The technical term for a puppy growing into his adult coat is known as "shedding a coat," according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Puppies come into their adult coats between 4 to 6 months on average, though it can be different for each breed. 

A main difference between a puppy coat and an adult coat is that puppies have a single coat of fluffy, down-soft fur, and this coat will later turn thicker and stiffer. Different breeds will grow their distinctive adult coats. For instance, double coat dogs will grow two layers of fur, while single coat dogs will just grow their adult fur.    

You can check sites like the AKC to see what type of coat you will be brushing as your puppy grows and when to expect that adult coat. This gets harder for a mixed breed, however. 

When in doubt, check with us and we are happy to advise you! 

Tip: When first brushing your puppy or new dog, start slow and gently. Let the dog smell and see the brush. Then brush while giving treats and praise. Keep the sessions short and increase the time as your puppy or dog becomes more relaxed during brushing. 

Grooming Tools For Different Types of Coats 

If you’ve been to the pet store, you may be baffled by the sheer amount of different types of pet brushes for sale. But certain tools are best for certain coats. Here's what we recommend:

  • Bristle brush: This is the typical brush people think of when they think of dog brushes. They have closely spaced nylon or boar bristles. These types of brushes work with short or wiry coats.

  • Slicker brush: You’ll recognize this brush by its flat or curved head with thin wire pins. These are actually great for all coat types because they can detangle and remove loose fur on all coat lengths.

  • Pin brush: This brush has larger pins that are tipped with rubber or plastic. They’re great for long and flowing coats.

  • Shedding blade: It sounds scary, but it’s just a curved comb with smaller teeth. They’re helpful for removing loose fur on flat, short or combo coats.

  • Undercoat rake: This is a comb tool with large, wildly spaced pins. They work well for heavy and double coats that are hard to penetrate with other brushes.

  • FURminator: This popular brush brand is great for a variety of coats: combination, short, flat, heavy or double. A popular model is a narrow-toothed comb, but it comes with a button that retracts the pins to release the fur. It’s advertised to reduce shedding up to 90 percent. We typically use a FURminator when grooming pets with long fur.

Your brush technique will depend on the type of brush you are using. Make sure to read the instructions on the brush carefully. 

With so many different types of coats and brushes out there, it may feel overwhelming. Remember, if you have any questions about how to brush your dog specifically, we can help give you tips.

Feel free to call us at 844-484-7666 or schedule an appointment. If your dog has been to see us, we’ll be familiar with their individual coat type and brushing needs.

Have a Dog with Special Needs? What Your Groomer Needs to Know 

Photo Credit: Handicapped Pets

Photo Credit: Handicapped Pets

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and that includes special needs dogs. Some have only three legs, others can have weight concerns and still others might have an internal health problem. Because that can affect how the dog lives her life, you may be wondering how that may impact the dog’s grooming session. 

Communication Sets Up A Successful Grooming Session

When setting up your pet's appointment, we suggest speaking with our Master Groomer Joel to discuss your dog's needs. Joel has over 15 years of experience and has groomed thousands of dogs. He knows how to adjust a grooming service accordingly.

Issues that we should know about include: 

  1. Recent surgeries the dog has had that affect movement or care in any way, such as hip surgeries. 
  2. Any health concerns that have an affect on the dog. Examples include recent injuries, trachea issues or heart issues. 
  3. Weight issues for both overweight or extremely thin dogs.
  4. Any changes related to age, such as incontinence
  5. Injuries or handicaps, like missing legs, blindness or deafness. 

Knowing about any of these issues can help us better care for your dog while we are grooming her. For instance, a heart problem might mean we need to take measures to not spook the dog with blower noises, which could put stress on the heart. Missing legs can affect how we harness your dog while grooming. We can also prepare ahead of time to transfer, lift and support the dog safely before, during and after grooming.

Mobile Grooming is Less Stressful for Your Special Needs Dog

If you have a dog with special needs, mobile grooming is typically the least stressful grooming option. The fact that we come to you means less travel. Your dog can stay near her home, and she won't have to face the noise, sights and smells of a building full of many other animals and strangers. 

If your pet has a health issue, you may wonder if loading your dog into a van is a good option. We encourage you to talk to Joel about this when you schedule your appointment. But rest assured, we are experts at lifting dogs of all types into the van for grooming. 

Ready to schedule a low-stress grooming option for your furry friend? Call us at 844-484-7666.

How Your Pet’s Diet Affects Their Coat and Health 

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How to Help Your Pet Have the Most Beautiful Coat Possible

Did you know that what you feed your pet can determine how pretty your furry friend looks? It’s true: If you want your pet to look their best, you’ll want to start with a healthy diet. 

This will foster smooth skin and a sleek and shiny coat, and it will reduce tearing from the eyes. When your pet has a healthy canvas to work on, you’re that much more likely to be thrilled with the results from our mobile grooming treatment. 

What your Pet eats affectS Their Fur 

In order to have the healthiest and most beautiful coat possible, it’s important to feed your pet a balanced diet. VCA Animal Hospitals gives a look into the life of your pet’s skin and coat. The skin cells on your pet are constantly and rapidly turning over. Meanwhile, depending on the breed, your pet could be shedding constantly and/or constantly growing fur. 

In order to maintain this delicate and high-flux process, it’s important to feed a well-balanced diet full of vital nutrients. That means your pet will need easily digestible proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals. You should also be making sure your pet is getting the right amount of calories to support a healthy life. 

VCA Animal Hospitals says that failing to give your pet the right diet will result in a dull, dry coat. And it can also lead to excessive shedding, which means more matting and a scraggly-looking coat. 

The tricky part of giving your pet the perfect diet is that each pet is different. Animals have different dietary needs based on age, size and breed. Talk to your vet about what the best diet for your individual furry friend would be. 

Your Pet’s Diet and Their Skin 

Healthy fur works paw in paw with healthy skin. If your pet’s skin is dry and flaky or causing a lot of itching, that's uncomfortable for your pet and it will have a negative impact on any grooming efforts. Dry and flaky skin can be visible in the fur, and excessive scratching can lead to bald spots. 

A study in the Journal of Nutrition discussed the positive role fatty acids can play in managing skin disease in pets. Skin problems in pets can be caused by a lack of omega-6 fatty acids. If a pet is lacking in this vital nutrient, they can have a flaky coat, hair loss, a dull look to the coat, greasy skin and excessive itching, according to veterinarian Dr. Cindy Lizotte

Food allergies themselves can also cause skin issues. Untreated allergies can lead to atopic dermatitis, which causes dry skin, itching, redness and inflammation. That can also lead to skin infections, as the pet is constantly scratching and licking. Think of how uncomfortable your pet must be! 

Food can also impact a pet's Facial Appearance 

It’s not just the skin and coat that can affect how a new grooming style looks. Problems with excessive tearing and mouth health can also affect how a style looks. Excessive tearing and drooling that can come from underlying health problems can make the fur around the face discolored, crusty and soggy. 

A study out of the Australian Veterinary Journal linked periodontal disease in pets to problems with certain diets. It stated that soft diets may lead to periodontal disease because they do not give the pet a hard enough food to chew on. 

One of the common signs of periodontal disease in a pet is drooling, which could even be tinged with blood. The pet may also paw at the mouth, there could be redness and bleeding along the gum line and even facial swelling could be present. 

In addition to the obvious drawback of the pet being in pain, grooming-wise these symptoms upset the balance of whatever style you’re getting. It would make no sense to get the perfect style, and then your pet bleed-drools into their nicely styled coat on their face. Or facial swelling upsets the overall balance of the style. It’s just one more reason to maintain a healthy diet in your pet. 

Another health problem that could have an impact on how pretty your furry friend looks is excessive tearing. This can manifest as reddish-brown tear stains under the eyes, around the muzzle and even in between the toes. That will detract from a great grooming style any day, especially on white, fluffy breeds. 

Some official breed pages recommend closely watching food quality to control tearing, specifically going for a high-quality grain-free diet to minimize allergies and boost overall health. 

As always, if you have concerns about your pet’s health or how they are looking overall, talk to your vet. There may be underlying conditions to treat, and your vet can guide you to the right diet for your furry friend.

And if we see any signs that your pet is at risk of not eating the proper diet, we will be sure to let you know. We want to be your partners in keeping your pet feeling and looking great.

Stay Flea & Tick FREE This Spring

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With Spring on its way, fleas and ticks will also be in full season soon. While the winter weather keeps fleas and ticks at bay, the warmer weather provides a ripe breeding ground for these pests.

Here are 3 Tips to Help Prevent Fleas and Avoid Ticks this Spring: 

1. Keep Your Pet Groomed. One of the best ways to keep fleas and ticks away is to have your pet properly bathed. We offer a package that includes a flea and tick bath with flea and tick application.

2. Address Fleas and Shedding at the Same Time. After walks or periods of time in the yard, comb your pet with a flea comb. Not only will this help you find and remove fleas and ticks, but it will also address excess shedding that is common to pets in the Spring. Once the weather gets better, animals usually shed their winter coat. If you are having us groom your pet, we include a de-shedding treatment at no additional cost. For pets with long fur, you can also ask us to use the FURminator shedding tool to remove even more of the dead fur.

3. Check Your Yard. If you have a yard, make sure your trees, bushes, flowers and grass are all trimmed and cut back.  Fleas love to gather in places that are out of direct sunlight and are slightly more humid. Ticks prefer tall grasses and branches. Keeping your yard neat and trimmed back will help in both cases.

Consult your veterinarian if you are looking for additional suggestions to keep fleas and ticks away from your pets. If you want to do a little research ahead of your visit to the vet, Doctors Foster and Smith offer comparison charts for a variety of topicals, collars, sprays and oral treatments.

What to do When Your Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk

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An 11-year-old Weimaraner we groom loves to chase skunks around his backyard. After a few stinky encounters, the Weim's humans decided it was time to build a fence around the property to keep the skunks out. 

However, Weimaraners tend to be persistent and determined, and our client's dog dug a hole under the fence, allowing the skunks back into the yard. It wasn't long before the skunks burrowed themselves into a cozy home under the porch. And not surprisingly, it wasn't long before the Weimaraner got sprayed right in the mouth. 

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. Dogs usually attack the skunk head on and try to bite them. The normal defensive reaction from the skunk is to spray the dog. 

In this case, it took almost 4 months to get rid of the smell. Not a pleasant situation by any standard. 

Why Does the Smell Last So Long?

Once sprayed by a skunk, it can take up to 6 months before the dog is completely "odor free." The rancid scent from the skunk is absorbed into their glands. When they breathe or sweat, the stench then emanates from them again and again until it is entirely out of their system. 

While everyone at some point or another experiences the repulsiveness of driving by a skunk on the road after a full blast, you don’t realize how bad the smell can be until your family pet gets sprayed. This is especially true for dogs who enjoy poking the bear (or skunk in this case). 

Three Things to Do AFTER a Skunk Attack

It is essential to know a few things to protect yourself before and after a skunk sprays your dog: 

#1. Getting Rid of the Smell 
If you take away one nugget from this article, let this be it: If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, we're available 7 days a week for emergency grooming. Call us ASAP at 844-484-7666. We will use specialty products to diminish the smell as much as possible.

For pets who have been sprayed in the mouth, we can also recommend an enzyme for the water bowl to help neutralize the smell safely. 

If you want to DIY the skunk smell, we want to caution you not to spray your dog's head with tomato, vinegar and other homemade concoctions. It could end up in your dogs eyes, causing permanent damage. At The Tailored Groomer, we know how to safely treat your dogs head while protecting the eyes.

Also be careful not to over bathe your dog. This may seem counter-intuitive. After all, if you bathe your dog two or three times, surely it will help eliminate the smell, right? In reality, it dries out your dog's fur and won’t do any more to get rid of the skunk smell. It can also put your dog at risk for a skin infection.

#2. Call Animal Control
If you see skunks in your backyard, call animal control right away. Skunks like to burrow themselves underneath porches, decks and in other hiding spots. Once they are nestled in for safety, they are difficult to remove. 

And as you can imagine, if you try to remove them, they'll defend themselves by spraying you. 

Animal control understands how to handle a skunk without scaring them. Let the professionals do this before your determined Weimaraner does. 

#3. Do Not Use Bleach or Smoke to Out the Skunks
Some people try to use bleach to get rid of the smell outside their home. However, skunk spray combined with bleach creates mustard gas. This is another good reason to hire a professional to take care of the problem. 

Additionally, do not smoke out the skunks. Skunks will just burrow further into their hole upon smelling smoke. 

Remember, if your dog has a run-in with a skunk and loses, don't spread the stink to your car. Call The Tailored Groomer at 844-484-7666 to come out to your home come to your home so you can start breathing easy again.

The Cat-Bath Myth: Why It's Important to Bathe Your Cat Regularly

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There's a common belief among pet owners that cats groom themselves and don't need regular baths or grooming. We'd like to debunk that belief, though. Here are 6 reasons why it's important to step in and ensure your feline has regular baths:

  1. When cats clean themselves, they leave saliva all over their fur. This saliva contains microbials that get spread onto their fur, and there's some risk of that spreading to you. 
  2. Their silky hair picks up dust and other bacteria from the floor better than a vacuum. While this is good for your floors, you don’t want to use your cat as a vacuum cleaner. A clean cat is a healthy cat.
  3. Overweight cats cannot always groom their entire body. The areas they miss become matted. A bath ensures their entire body stays clean. Otherwise, an overweight cat's skin might become itchy or flaky. In extreme examples, the uncleaned skin can become infected. 
  4. Older cats have greasier fur and may not be able to clean their entire body, either. The added grease is normal, but does make a regular bath more important.
  5. Cats often get things caught in the hair on their rear end. (Imagine fluffier cats leaving the litter box with an unwanted souvenir.) Needless to say, this is an indication they need a bath. 
  6. Bathing reduces a cat's shedding and hairballs. While it is not possible to stop shedding altogether, you can lessen these issues with regular bathing. 

How can the Tailored Groomer help? 

Not up for giving your cat a bath? We can help.

First, we come to your home -- saving kitty a stressful trip in the crate and the car. Second, you can be comfortable knowing that Joel is on the job. Joel is a Master Groomer with 15 years of experienced and has been dubbed the "Cat Whisperer" by many of our clients. His first goal is to reduce your cat's stress and to ease your pet into a grooming service.

You can see what our grooming services include here: Cat Grooming Services.

Schedule an appointment

When you're ready to help your cat in the bathing department, let us know. You can schedule an appointment online or call us at 844-484-7666.

How to Ease Your Puppy or Kitten into a Grooming Routine

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Even for playful puppies and curious kittens, that first grooming appointment can be a stressful experience. At The Tailored Groomer, we'll work with you to introduce your young pet to grooming in methodical, easy stages. We'll acclimate them to the process and make them feel at ease being groomed.

When should you start having your puppy or kitten groomed? When they reach 3 months old. By this time, they have weaned off their mother and they’re going into a rapid growth phase. Before 3 months, their fur does not typically get too matted, so it's fine to wait a bit. 

Once they are 3 months old, we find that the following sequence works best for grooming puppies and kittens:

First 3 Grooming Sessions for Puppies and Kittens

1. Get your pet acclimated.

During the first appointment, our goal is to gently introduce your pet to the grooming environment. We start by grooming only the "face, feet and fanny." 

For puppies, we use scissors to manually trim the fur. We don’t use the clippers to cut their fur yet because it can scare them. Instead, we turn on the clipper to get them used to the sound and we let them feel the vibration. We don't apply the cutting blade.  

Because kittens need to grow their fur out, we typically bathe and brush them during their first appointment with the groomer. We don't clip their fur at this age.

2. Test their comfort level.

On the second visit, we will try to groom your puppy using the clippers. If your puppy shows any signs of being scared, we will stop immediately.  

For kittens, we may cut their nails or clean their ears. If needed, we may provide a sanitary trim to their fanny or undercarriage.

We are aiming for a low stress experience for you and your pet. In our experience, a slow and steady approach works best.

3. Decide if the vet can help.

You will know at the third visit whether or not your pet is able to adapt to a full grooming treatment. If they are comfortable, we will treat them to our premium service. If they are still nervous, we may recommend taking your pet to a vet that has a groomer. They are better equipped with the medical material and equipment to sedate your pet safely in order to groom appropriately.  

We never recommend giving your puppy or kitten medicine to calm them for grooming. Leave dispensing medicine to the veterinary professionals. Otherwise, your pet might have a bad reaction, which will increase their stress levels even more. 

At Home Grooming Tips Before Your Pet Hits the 3 Month Mark

If your puppy gets dirty before it's time to bring them to us for their first grooming appointment, we recommend the following tips: 

1. Before you give your puppy or kitten a bath at home, do some research first so know what to expect and how to properly bathe your pet. Check out this video from Vet's Klinic TV:

How to bathe your puppy for the first time. ©Vet's Klinic | www.vetsklinic.co.uk | www.vetskitchen.co.uk

2. Try dry shampoo or use aloe vera wipes before washing them to make sure you remove bacteria or microscopic slime on your pet.

3. Use the correct shampoo and conditioner for your puppy's breed. For example, a Shih Tzu has different needs from a Lab. Although the video doesn't show this, we don't recommend wetting your dog's fur or applying shampoo directly to the fur. This will create a sludge that makes it harder to get them clean. Instead, we recommend mixing 1 part of shampoo with 15 parts water and then apply that solution to your pet's fur. It will result in a cleaner puppy!

Special Savings for New Puppy & Kitten Parents

We want you and your new pet to have good experiences at the groomer. To help you make your visits more affordable, we offer special grooming discounts for puppies and kittens 6 months and younger. Call us for details at 844-484-7666. We are here to help you with any grooming questions you have for your puppy or kitten. 

Grooming your pet regularly should reduce shedding by at least 40 percent

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Does it seem like your home is being taken over by pet hair? If so, it's that time of year. Dogs and cats shed their coats two to four times a year, and early winter is one of those high-shedding periods.

The good news is: Grooming your dog or cat monthly will reduce shedding by at least 40 percent. Having your pet groomed every 6 to 8 weeks will reduce shedding by 10 to 20 percent. 

With our grooming services, we include a de-shedding treatment at no additional cost. Mention that your pet is shedding a lot, and we'll use a special shampoo and conditioner with aloe. And for pets with long fur, we'll use the FURminator shedding tool to remove even more of the dead fur.

While you'll see a reduction in shedding after the first grooming service, you'll see the maximum benefit after multiple grooms.

What can you expect from one of our premium pet grooming appointments?

As soon as you meet Master Groomer Joel C. Burton, you'll know your pet will be in safe and competent hands. Joel has more than 15 years of grooming experience and has even tested his skills in more than 10 grooming competitions.

During the grooming appointment, your beloved pet will be pampered and gently treated to ALL of the following:

  • Bathing Beauty Shampooing 
  • Massage-In Bathing Beauty
  • Thorough Rinse
  • Scissor Finish
  • Brush Out Knots & Tangles
  • Gentle, Towel Dry for the Face
  • Blow Dry for the Body
  • Brush & Fluff Dry (depending on breed)
  • Grinding Toenails (dogs only)
  • Lion Cut (cats only)
  • Clean Eyes & Ears
  • Teeth Brushing (dogs only)
  • Blueberry Towel Treatment (helps with tear stains)
  • Light Fragrance (with your approval)
  • Stylish Bandana (with your approval)