GROOMING TIPS FOR DOGS
HOW TO AVOID THESE COMMON PROBLEMS
There are many variables when working with animals that can pose problems and make it more difficult to perform grooming such as different dog temperaments can make it difficult to control and can be dangerous to use sharp scissors and clippers around. There are some common problems that can arise that you should take care to avoid.
Cutting toenails too short
Dogs’ nails have a quick – which is a blood vessel inside the nail. This is the part you need to cut close to, without actually cutting it. If you cut the quick the nail will bleed and be painful for the dog. You should use a good quality set of nail clippers and have styptic powder on hand to apply if the nails are cut too short. It is usually quiet easy to see where the quick is and avoid cutting it in clear canine nails but difficulties arise when dogs have black nails. With black nails look for the hook which is the hollow end of the nail that curves down and clip that off. Don’t clip much shorter than that because it’s hard to tell where the quick is. Finally finish by filing the sharp nail with an emery board, make sure you hold the nail still while doing this.
Cuts or nicks when clipping
Even the most experienced dog groomers are not immune to accidents, cuts or nicks can happen especially if the dog is moving a lot and is hard to handle. It is important to have a good understanding of dog behaviour and how to properly handle or restrain a dog. It may be a good idea to use two people to restrain some dogs. Cuts and nicks can also frequently happen to female dogs that have had puppies as their nipples stick out a lot lower than normal and can be cut. It’s therefore a good idea to run your hand under the dog’s stomach and feel where the nipples are and if they stick out more than normal. Always keep first aid on hand if an accidental cut or nick does happen.
If a dog is left under a drier for too long they can overheat, or die. If a dog seems sleepy after grooming it may be a sign that they are overheating and dehydrated. Make sure you do not dry a dog for longer than needed and check it regularly. If you suspect a dog is overheating or dehydrated, stop drying it immediately and offer it some water to rehydrate, consult a veterinarian if its condition deteriorates.
Water in dogs ear canals
If a dog is shaking its head more than usual this may be a sign that they have water in their ear canal. Water trapped in the ear canal creates and ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, which can often lead to redness, swelling, pain and infection. Dog breeds with ear flaps are more susceptible i.e. Cocker spaniel and Sharpei, as the folding down ear flaps do not allow air flow in the ears and trap in the moisture. It is therefore important you do not squirt dogs ears directly with water flow and perhaps take a precaution to clean areas around the ears and eyes with clean cloth not high pressure water. Also make sure you thoroughly dry the dog, checking its ears especially.
Where can this course lead?
- Start your own Animal Grooming business
- Work as an Animal Groomer, Specialist Groomer
- Prepare animals for shows
- Work with domesticated pets, exotic animals, farm animals
- Animal caretaker
- Veterinarian assistant
- Veterinary technician
- Animal boarding houses
- Pet stores