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Being a dog groomer is literally one of the best jobs in the world! You get to take care of the dogs while making big bucks. And as more and more people are opting to become pet parents, the industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Dog grooming is exciting and fun. But unfortunate events can also take place anytime. One small mistake can result in a disaster for the dog as well as for the groomer’s reputation. Hence, it’s recommended to implement safe dog grooming practices. In this article, we will be going through all the safety tips that will help you groom safely. At the end of this article, you’ll need to answer ten questions to become a “Certified Groom Safe Groomer.” Let’s go through each of these safety tips one by one.
Existing Health Conditions & Checkups Before you start grooming, the very first thing you must do is inquire about existing health conditions, past aggressive behavior, anxieties, and illnesses. Once you have all the information, you can proceed to the checkup. Checkup involves looking for ear infections, eye infections, lumps, wounds, parasites, etc. If you find any of these, alert the owner so that proper care can be provided to the dog.
Slips from the grooming table are not uncommon. But these can also turn into a serious problem. A dog can slip and get bruises along with broken bones. Worse, a dog can also fall and hang itself to death! Hence, it’s strongly recommended to check if the grooming table you are using is grease free and non-slippery. Also, before you begin the grooming session, ensure you have all the necessary tools so that you don’t have to move here and there, leaving the dog alone on the table. Restrain the dog on the table properly before you start grooming. Use treats to calm the dog and make sure you take breaks regularly. Make sure to ask the owners if it’s okay by them to give treats to their dog.
Before you grab the clippers, the very first step to dog grooming is brushing. Brushing helps you remove mats and detangle hair. Once done, you can move on to the next steps. If you move directly to the clipper, it may get stuck in the mats and pull the skin. Hence, brushing is one of the most crucial steps that should never be missed.
It’s essential to use the right brush for the dog’s coat. Using the wrong brush or over-brushing one area can easily cause brush burns. Brushing on sensitive skin can also cause brush burns easily. These burns do not get noticed until the dog starts licking the area vigorously. Hence, it’s important to match the brush according to the dog’s coat. Don’t use hard plastic brushes and always clean as well as disinfect the brush after use.
Also known as razor burns, clipper burns occur when an area is shaved too closely. It can cause redness on the skin and discomfort. And if the dog keeps licking it, it can easily transform into an open wound. Puppies have more sensitive skin and older dogs have thin skin. Make sure you apply appropriate pressure while doing the clipper work and keep checking the heat at regular intervals. You can touch the blade with your forearm to ensure the blade isn’t too hot. If the blade feels too hot to the touch, use blade coolant to cool it down quickly.
There are a few areas you need to be careful about. These areas include the flank area, groin area, nipples, and stomach. Clip the hair in the direction of hair growth, not against the growth. Older dogs tend to have loose skin. Make sure while clipping, you pull the skin a little tight with your other hand to avoid cuts and bruises. Be careful around the nipples to avoid cutting them off.
Clipping a dog’s nails is a tricky task and can also feel intimidating. No wonder, clipping also requires a lot of patience. Why? Because you may end up cutting the quick which can cause bleeding and a lot of pain to the dog. But with a few tips and tricks, you can avoid cutting the quick. You’ll need cornstarch and styptic powder. You can allow the dog to sniff the clipper so that it can get familiar with it. Also, always cut at a 45-degree angle. If you are not sure about the quick, always start cutting a very tiny bit of the nail. You can give the finishing touches a smooth finish with a nail grinder. And in case you accidentally cut the quick, you can apply cornstarch to stop the bleeding and apply styptic powder. Lastly, don’t forget to clip the dew claws!
It’s common for dogs to have natural eye discharge. But sometimes, this discharge can turn into a crusty layer in the corner of the eyes. Removing the goop harshly can cause irritation, soreness, and even infection in some cases. Hence, it’s crucial to remove it properly.
Discharge can be soaked with warm water and can be removed with a gentle massage.
Sanitary matting is the process of preventing discharge, feces, urine, dirt, etc from sticking to the hair of the dog. If left unattended, these can easily cause irritation and can also transform into an infection. So basically, you need to clip the hair from the genitals and abdomen area. Make sure you use appropriate clippers for sanitary matting. While clipping the belly area, you can lift one leg up or in the case of a smaller pup, you can make him stand on the hind legs. While trimming the backside, you can lift the tail with one hand and clip the hair gently. If you are dealing with a dog that has long tail hair, make sure to secure it in one place.
Yeast is a type of fungus that loves moist environments. And what’s better than a dog’s moist ear? Yeast infection takes time to develop. A dog may feel discomfort, shake its head, and may try to scratch the ears repeatedly. Hence, it’s crucial to dry out dogs properly after bathing. Always insert cooton balls in the ears before bathing.
Pregnant dog mamas are moody and can behave unexpectedly. They just need a little more love, care, and attention. Make sure you lift them by placing your one hand at the chest and other hand at the hind legs. Also, don’t put any pressure on their abdomen. Also, you need to be extra attentive since you don’t want them to slip from the grooming table. Avoid using harsh bath products that can irritate the skin. Lastly, do not leave the pregnant dog alone on the table. Always keep all the tools handy.
There are a few more things you can do to make the grooming session more relaxed and rewarding. Some of the tips are as follows: