By Nicole Kallish, Andis Global Education Manager
As winter coats start to grow out, groomers are reminded that cooler weather is on its way and so is the need to prepare pet owners for proper coat and skincare.
Help Owners Help Their Pets
Groomers depend upon the right tools and techniques to properly care for dogs. Likewise, owners often depend on groomers to understand how they can maintain their dog’s health at home. An easy way to do this is by educating pet owners on simple grooming techniques they can implement to create healthy habits at home. If you offer retail items in your shop, keep the brushes and combs near the counter. When instructing the client on the techniques and tools they should be using, you can ensure they buy the proper tools.
Coat Care is Skincare
Owners can see if a coat is tangled or losing its luster, but they are not always aware of the implications a coat may have on their dog’s skin. The care (or neglect) of a dog’s coat will directly affect the health of its skin. Matted fur, for example, prevents naturally occurring oils from distributing and conditioning the skin and coat. This can lead to painfully dry skin, a dull coat, and even infections. If a dog’s coat is tangled, matted or even hiding pests, it may be a sign that am owner is not caring for it between appointments. If you notice a pattern, take the opportunity to share a few simple daily or weekly maintenance tips.
Emphasize Brushing and Combing
Prevention is the key and a few simple tools are perfect for this purpose. Always start with a brush, it will stimulate hair and skin follicles while detangling and removing any loose dirt from the hair. For light-coated dogs, an Andis Large or Medium Pin Brush is a good tool for owners. A tool like the Andis Firm Slicker Brush is great for owners with heavier or double-coated dogs. Since it might take a little more effort, this sturdy type of brush can power through to get out unwanted undercoat. If an unruly matt has already formed, a dematting tool is perfect for tackling even the trickiest tangles. Do not forget the comb. Combing is the most important step of maintaining the coat. After brushing, it is imperative to comb through and catch any hair the brush might have missed. Do your clients need some encouragement? Remind them that in addition to its preventative benefits, daily at-home grooming is a great way for them to bond with their dogs.
Key Maintenance Areas: Paw and Sanitary Trims
As the seasons transition, the skin on paw pads becomes especially vulnerable to the elements. Overgrown fur can tangle and create matts between paw pads and, since matted fur does not dry effectively, this leaves dogs cold and wet. Matted paw pads can also cause discomfort, decreased mobility and even pose risk of infection. In snowy climates, ice, snow and any ice-melt products on the ground can accumulate in the hair between pads. This will not only make a dog uncomfortable; it can be a health hazard. Encourage your clients to come in between full grooming appointments for a mini groom: a good bath, blowout, sanitary trim and paw-pad trim might be all they need. I encourage you to include trimming of the eye corners and over the eyes in a mini groom package. Using an adjustable blade clipper like the Andis Pulse Li5 makes for easy work clipping the sanitary area, paw pads and eye corners. One clipper does it all.
Scheduling shorter, more frequent maintenance appointments during the cool weather seasons will help pet owners who are less savvy with at-home grooming. By encouraging these healthy practices with clients, you’ll help improve each dog’s quality of life—and happy dogs mean happy owners.