Tag Archives: puppy grooming

Grooming Young and Older Pets

Animals fall into three categories for me:

  1. Geriatric or senior
  2. Babies: puppies and kittens
  3. All the others in between

Pets in the first two categories, although similar in many behaviors, must be treated very differently.

Puppies/Kittens…or Attention Deficit Animals:

As many pet owners have admitted, if they were grooming their pet correctly and efficiently they would have never called me. I will not focus on kittens/cats since anything they do not want to do of their own accord is considered the gravest indignity. At any age bathing and blow drying would be considered a heinous act. Consequently, the focus is on puppies.

Your pets are being handled by a person they have never seen and have no reason to trust. On top of which all these strange “things” are coming at them, most of which make a lot of noise. Blow dryers that sound louder than a vacuum, clippers coming straight at their face, scissors being put on them where they cannot see them but make noise. Combine this with a moving target, your puppy, it is an accident waiting to happen.

To expect a puppy with limited exposure to behave as a veteran of 5 years is not reasonable. It takes patience, training and repetition. To expect a puppy to look like an adult groomed dog is something that I tell people is highly unlikely. In order to have a “perfect” haircut on a dog, they must hold perfectly still. A puppy has no intention of ever holding still. By brushing the correct way, cutting the nails, trimming very little, bath, blow drying and re-brushing, that puppy has just about had as much as they can take. To force a baby to behave as an adult with experience some people will yell, scream or jerk that animal around. I however opt to slowly and safely teach them proper grooming behavior. They might not look like the picture in the book the first few times, but after a while, as they learn how to stand and move correctly you end up with not only a good looking dog but one that has not had a traumatic experience.

Geriatric Animals:
These old folks have it very difficult. Having arthritis myself, I can relate to how these poor souls feel. As some geriatric humans can be, they are deaf, blind, cranky, no patience and really hurt. They cannot bend they way they once could, nor can you bend or move them to groom they way you could when they were younger. To some sitting is just as painful as standing and getting up can be the most difficult thing they do all day.

Grooming with these animals I insist, not suggest be done in the fastest manner as possible. I will not take a 15 year old dog, make them stand on a table for without being able to sit to hand scissors them. The object is in an out of the van in the quickest amount of time. The danger of grooming these type of animals is just as high as puppies but different issues. They will jerk, squirm and usually snip. Not because they are mean but frightened since their eyesight and hearing is failing. Due to the stress that some older pets experience because of the situations above, it is necessary for the owner to always be present in the van during grooming.

Making things safe, easy and trauma free will give your pet a pleasant experience not something they will dread.

Age to Start Grooming

When To Start Grooming Your Puppy or Kitten

The most frequently asked question I receive about “babies” is when to start the first grooming. Puppy or kitten information is the same for the most part. If you are going to use mobile, it really does not matter what the age is.

There is no law stating that in order to groom a pet they must have any vaccinations, store front or mobile. In a store front the biggest issue is that puppies and kittens, without all the proper vaccinations are at risk of getting sick.

They also might be able to make other animals ill as well. In mobile grooming since there is only your animal in the vehicle, they are not around other pets to make them ill or vice versa. The only variable would be the airborne contagions. Puppy One is in the van and has Parvo. Immediately after that puppy is groomed the next stop is Puppy Two. There we will have a problem. Taking the above into consideration, I always suggest starting the little tykes out ASAP.

The biggest reason to start them early is so that they learn proper and safe behavior. Babies are more difficult to do than most since they are squirming wiggly little things. They are also terrified and rightly so of all the strange and loud equipment. Most humans if you can even remember your first haircut were scared to death, most were crying and you had no idea who this person was coming at you with strange things. Animals are no different. For a baby to have this big black thing (clippers) that makes a lot of noise coming at their eyes can be frightening. The blow dryer sounds louder than a vacuum and if turned up full force can shoot a small fella right into the trash can. So, in order to get the kids accustomed to grooming so they do not get cut with the clippers or scissors, they understand the sounds are not going to hurt them, start early. The better trained a baby is, the safer and faster they are done.

(Note on author: The advantage of opinions is they cannot be wrong and they cannot be right. Consequently all written material is strictly my opinion based on over 35 years working with animals. I do not believe in “experts” for one finds out quickly that there is always someone who is smarter, more experienced, better educated and a wider life experience. I do not believe in statistics since for every con argument there are equal pro arguments to challenge those statistics. Consequently rarely, if ever do I use them.)
All information is owned by Mimi Davis d.b.a. Curbside Clippers. (Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved) Any use must have prior permission.