By Ann Martin
Question: I have a large dog and he seems to be getting hot now that the weather is warming up. Should I just shave off all of his hair? Will that make him cooler?
Answer: Dogs, unlike humans, release their heat through panting and through their feet. Dogs don’t have sweat glands on their skin like we do. Their coats provide them with protection from the sun and parasites, and act
as insulation, much like the insulation that we put in our houses. A well-groomed coat allows air to circulate on the dog’s skin, thus keeping him cooler.
Shaving double-coated dogs also has some negative side effects, such as changing the way the hair grows. Sometimes the hair won’t grow back normally because the follicle has been damaged by the shaving procedure. Examples of double-coated dogs include, huskies, malamutes, samoyeds, Newfoundlands, Bernese mountain dogs and many different mixes.
Additionally, a dog that is overweight or is an older citizen will be affected by the heat much sooner.
There are many benefits to keeping your dog groomed more regularly:
n They stay cooler and are more comfortable;
n They smell better and have healthier skin;
n They feel better; and
n A groomer can alert you to anything out of the ordinary.
Question: I recently adopted a Labradoodle. Should it be groomed, and how often?
Answer: Labradoodles come in varying sizes and coat types. Those with wire-type coat do not need to be groomed as often as those with curly or wavy coats.
When evaluating how often your dog should be groomed, besides coat type, consider the activities you do with your dog, and how much brushing you want to do. This will dictate how often to see the groomer at the local salon.
Keeping the hair short is easy maintenance, not requiring much in the way of brushing. Once you get past a ½ inch in coat length, your visits to the grooming salon should be every 4 to 6 weeks, with you brushing them in between.
Keeping your dog mat-free is very important as the mats pull on the skin and are very uncomfortable for the dog. Mats also impede your ability to view the dog’s skin and watch for skin infections, parasites, foxtails or other types of stickers that can become embedded in the skin, possibly causing a trip to the vets.
Your Labradoodle and many other dogs with similar coat-types — bichon frisé, shih tzu, poodles and cocker spaniels, to name a few — really benefit from regular trips to the grooming salon, with 4 to 8 weeks between trips.
Question: What is the difference between your pet spa and a grooming shop?
Answer: With the growth of the pet care industry over the past 10 years, equipment and technology has changed. With these changes came the ability to offer extra spa-type services like hydro massage therapy, deep moisture treatments with message and others. These features can be found at any shop that is up on the current trends.
Along with these spa services, we offer salon services at a very competitive prices, and higher quality products at no
extra cost to the customer. We also offer show grooming, hand-stripping, hand-scissoring on most grooms, grooming lessons, pet care consulting, and top-of-the-line products you can use at home.
Our spa/salon is not like other shops where your pet is carried off behind closed doors. Our shop is open and airy with windows on three sides, and a relaxing spa-like atmosphere. Our goal is to make your pet as comfortable about the grooming process as possible.
A well-groomed pet is a healthy happy pet.
— Ann Martin is an award-winning master groomer who has brought her dog show experience into her grooming business ventures. She now shares her lifetime of expertise with groomers wanting to expand their own skills.