Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Common Places For Mats On Your Dog.

Where do you find the most mats on your dog? Do you know how to get rid of those mats?

If you have a full coated dog, the mats can be found anywhere. Here are the most common spots our groomers find them.

*Behind the ears
*Around the neck (where the collar rubs)
*Between the pads of the feet
*Around the dogs rear end

Do you know how to keep these mats from forming? Brushing, Brushing and more brushing. When I say brushing, I don't mean the normal brushing from head to tail to feet. Most times that is only getting the top coat of hair. If you want to keep those mats from forming, I suggest you go out and get a slicker brush. (photo below)

When using this brush you can brush from head to tail.  But, it works so much better to go backwards. Brush your dog from foot up. Then from tail to head. This helps get to places that you won't get to, brushing the normal way.
I have always had short haired dogs, until I got my Teacup, Yorkie. This was the first thing I was taught. I know that you are probably busy like me. Doing this every other night will help your groomer out more than you know. It will also help you to keep your dog in full coat.
Just remember brushing backwards is the key.
This can also be done on short haired dogs too. It helps with their shedding.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Too Shave Your Dog Or Not Too Shave Your Dog, That Is The Question!

In grooming school we are taught not to shave a dog, even a double coated one. Why, you ask? They say that the double coat insulates them from cold and heat. I think we have humanized our dogs so much that we forget why a certain dog has the type of coat they do. On the other hand, I think there are a lot of different reasons for shaving a dog. I guess I am on the fence. Let's talk reasons for shaving. Feel free to comment at anytime.

When reading these reasons, please keep in mind we do live in the desert, where it gets to 115 degrees.

*My dog sheds constantly - Yes, we get this a lot. Normally we would offer the DeShed Package to help get the undercoat out. But, that requires up keep. Right now a lot of people cant afford to bring their dogs every 4-6 weeks. We do shave several Labs and Rotties.

*I'm allergic to dog hair. - It probably isn't the hair a person is allergic too, but the dander. This is another reason for wanting the dog shaved.

*My dog is in bad health, I just want my dog to be comfortable. - This one is usually for elderly dogs. The ritual of grooming is sometimes hard on our older pets. It's let painful to give them a short haircut.

*It's getting too hot for my dog. - Normally, starting in May, when the temperature rises we get a lot of dogs, every breed that gets a shave down.

I guess the best that we can do, is to educate our clients one why their dogs coat is important no matter what the season. We are also in a service where the customer is "always right". If they want a shave down we will do it. But, only after educating them. Do I really know if a Chow, who lives outside will over heat during the summer, because of the double coat? No, I don't. As groomer's this is where our training comes into play.  Somebody once told me to put on a fur coat and stand outside in the hottest part  the day and see how it felt. She just knew that feeling is what the dogs felt too.

I have a photo to share with your. This is Cody. He was diabetic. His owner wanted to shave him down to make him comfortable and easier to give his insulin shots. We did our best to educate her. She still wanted him shaved. So, we did it. His beautiful, Husky coat, never grew back. This is what he spent a majority of his life looking like. Was it worth it? To his owner it was. He was loved by everyone just the same.

This is a big reason why we try to educate before we shave a double coated dog. As I said we will do what the owner asks. It's not always easy.

What do you think? Too Shave or Not too?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holiday Dog Cookies

1 cup chopped skinless turkey
1 cup cooked sweet potatoes and leftover green beans and carrots
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey

In a blender or food processor, combine turkey, veggies, oil, honey, and egg yolk (reserve the white for later). Blend until smooth; some small lumps are fine.
Put the flour and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the blended mixture and stir well until you have a dough. Roll the dough into a log shape and put in the refrigerator for an hour, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside
Slice firmed dough into cookies about an inch thick.
Place cookies on baking sheet, and brush each treat with the reserved egg white, topping with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes; turn oven down to 250° and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. Check them occasionally to make sure that they don’t get too brown.
Turn off the oven. Leave cookies inside to dry out for about 3 hours.

this is a great recipe to help get rid of all those left overs.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Dangers To Your Pets

The Holidays are just around the corner. Here at +Dog Wash we would like to help keep your pets safe. We are going to list some things that will help do this.

Lets talk Turkey, first.

Giving your dog the bones from the turkey is a huge, no no. They can get stuck in your dogs throat. Also, that fat from your Thanksgivings meal can cause your dogs pancreas to inflame. (Also, known as pancreatitis) Please skip this step of your dinner.

Did you know, grapes, raisins, and currants, can result in kidney failure?(these can be found in the traditional fruitcake.
Most of us know that you can not give chocolate to your pets. Small amounts may give your dog or cat diarrhea or upset stomach. A larger amount can give your pet seizures.

Sugar free candy has a toxic sweetener. Please keep those candies our of reach.

Oh Christmas Tree.

If you have a cat, tinsel is not a good idea. No, it isn't poisonous. But, it is shiny and will draw the cats attention to your tree. If swallowed it can do damage to your cats intestines.

Glass Ornaments are also dangerous for good reason. If you dog bites into the glass shards can get caught in your dogs throat, stomach, or intestines.

Lights on a Christmas tree can also be hazardous. Bubble lights are filled with a liquid chemical that can make your pet really sick. Not to mention, if they are plugged in when your dog decides to eat them, they could get shocked.

We want you and your pets to have a fantastic and safe holiday.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Day In My LIfe With Iggy.

I was asked to write a blog about my adventures of being a potbellied pig owner, by +Tori Lattig . Today's Blog is going to the hogs.

I am going to write about a day in the life of Iggy and I. Everyday, is different but there are general things I can explain.

We wake up at 4:45 am. We let the dogs out of their kennels. (that is if Iggy hasn't already sprung them) We send the dogs outside and Iggy immediately runs to the kitchen for breakfast.

He gets 1 cup of piggy pellets for breakfast and dinner.  ( Mazuri Elder pig food) Which takes him 6.8 seconds to inhale. (probably more like 2 minutes) As snacks he gets fruits, vegetables, cheerios or oatmeal.

When breakfast is finished, he goes outside to handle business. I thought dogs urinated a lot. I am not joking when I tell you it takes at least 5 minutes until Iggy is finished. Once he is done he then finds a new dry area to finish the potty break.

Once Iggy is completely done, we let the dogs in. I have their food dishes ready and we race to their bedroom, in hopes that Iggy doesn't make it in. While the dogs eat breakfast, Iggy oinks around the house with attitude. ( we call this "Pigitude") If you are lucky he will let you pet him. But, most mornings he's mad because the dogs are eating with out him. Yes, even though he just ate. He is a pig after all.

Once the dogs are done eating, I open the bedroom door for him. Iggy has a nice comfy dog bed that he sleeps in by the dogs kennel, covered in 3 heavy blankets. You might also be surprised to know that he has a litter box in there as well. He is litter box trained. While we are at work he has some where to take care of business.

Now that it is getting cooler he likes to burrow under the blankets to stay warm. Sometimes the only part you see of him is his snout. Most morning he will go in there and go back to bed. Then there are the mornings, when he doesn't feel like it. I let him roam around the house with his buddy, Coop. (a teacup Yorkie, all of 5 lbs) When we brought Iggy home he was smaller than Coop. Coop took such great care of him. On the mornings he doesn't feel like going back to bed. I know I am going to have a fight on my hands when it is time for work. When you are trying to get Iggy to do something that he doesn't want to, he makes this coughing/choking noise. If you didn't know him. you might think he was going to die. When this happens I go and get a couple cheerios or some oatmeal. He will follow me into the kitchen and see that I am getting a snack. Then it is off to the races. Who can make it to the bedroom fastest. Once he is in there I close the door. He eats his snack and goes to sleep.

You may have heard pigs are very smart and easier to train than a dog. Sadly, in this household I am the one who has been easily trained. My pig doesn't do tricks. He barely listens to me. I always tell him he is lucky he is cute and so full of personality.

I go to work. Sometimes, my husband beats me home. If Iggy is inside when I come through the door, I might be greeted with very loud happy oinks. Or sometimes he runs to the kitchen thinking I am home solely to feed him. (many times my husband has already given him dinner) Then there is the occasion he doesn't even acknowledge me. Like us, piggy's have moods too.

We let all the animals out in the evening. When Iggy is ready to come in he will give his oinky squeal to be let in. Sometimes when I am on the couch he will come over and give me little oinky whimpers. They melt my heart. I will pet him on his back. Or if I am in the mood I will rub behind his ear and he drops immediately for belly rubs. Oh yeah, just like a dog. He will fall asleep to belly rubs. Now that it is cooler I will put a blanket over him and sit on the floor and he sits in my lap. Let me just say this was MUCH easier when he was not 50 lbs.

After we feed the dogs their dinner. Iggy is ready for bed. Sometime he will still have his blanket on him from our cuddle time. You will see him walking down the hall with it on. Sometimes, we realize that it is suddenly really quiet and we look and Iggy is fast asleep, with out so much, as a good night oink.

There are a lot of Similarities to our other household pets. I wouldn't trade Iggy for the world.

Starting in January, the Dog Wash will be hosting Suds and Snouts monthly.
We will have everything worked out soon. Please check back.

If you want to know more about Iggy and his shenanigans please follow him on facebook.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pet Flipping!

This morning, I woke up and grabbed my tablet, to see what I had missed last night on Facebook. As I was scrolling, there was a photo of the cutest dog with a for sale sign next to it. This post was from one of our local news stations. I stop and read what it had to say. It went on to talk about "Pet Flipping". If you are like me, you may not have heard about this. Let me do my best to explain. When someone loses a dog or worse, the dog gets stolen, people resell the dogs for a profit. I  never knew they had a name for this horrible crime. Being in the pet industry, you would think I would have.

I crawled out of bed and got onto my laptop to do some research on this subject. I invite you to google, Pet Flipping and see all the stories. I literally feel sick to my stomach after watching some videos and reading all the stories of this happening.

There was one family, who had lost their dog, they checked online and found a dog that looked like their family pet. They contacted the new owner, went to meet them and the dog. This was their family dog. The price tag to get their dog back, $900. So, they told the person that they had to go to the ATM to get cash. Instead they went to the police. This story has a happy ending, but how many other do?

Then I thought of the lost dog sign we had up at the Dog Wash. We had gone to pick out a pumpkin, at the pumpkin stand close to our house. You know, the ones where people live out of the fifth wheel for a few months (Pumpkins and Christmas trees sellers) We were in my car, which advertises the Dog Wash, They saw my advertisement and immediately told us their Old English Bulldog had been stolen from there. Now, it makes me wonder if it was a dog who has or would be flipped. Bulldogs are not a cheap breed as it is. They haven't got him back yet, that I know of. It is just so heart breaking.

My next question would have to be, what can we do to keep our animals safe? Tags on collars are easy to get rid of. Microchips seem like a good idea. But, it is only good if the person who finds your dog is honest.

I guess the best we can do is keep our pets as safe as possible.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shampoo, how do you know which is best for your dog?

We have an all purpose shampoo which we use on all the dogs, unless your dog is having skin issues. This shampoo is called Davis Gold. It is scent free and does an excellent job of cleaning your dogs.

If you come in and tell us your dog has sensitive skin. We will suggest the Hypoallergenic Shampoo. It has no fragrance or additives and is gentle on your dog.

If your dog is itching and scratching, we would suggest the Baking Soda Oatmeal shampoo. This shampoo helps clean and deodorize your dogs skin. It also, remove the dead skin and helps sooth the new healthy skin.

If your dogs skin is really irritated and has redness, we would suggest using our medicated shampoo. This shampoo cleans and helps with skin issues from microorganisms and bacteria.

I might also recommend our new mud bath too. It is for dogs who have irritated skin. It is similar to a human mud bath. We apply it to a wet dog and let it sit for 10 minutes then we rinse the dog well. After the mud bath we will then give a bath with the above shampoos.

Skin conditions are quite common here in Arizona, just because of the climate. If you think your dog is having problems with dry skin, please feel free to ask anyone of us at your next appointment. We will be more than happy to check for you.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mats and Water

This was meant to be last weeks post. Somehow, it was really busy and I never made it here. Sorry.

A few weeks ago, we had a first time client come into the shop. When she scheduled her appointment, she told me that her dog was matted. We see all kinds of matted dogs, so it wasn't a big deal. She brought the dog the next day. She explained to us that it had been so hot, that she showed her dog how to get into the pool. Then once her dog got out of the pool he would go and roll in the dirt and get back in the pool. I don't know about you but I know what chlorine does to my hair and I wouldn't want that on my dog. But, everyone is different. Once it started getting matted she tried to trim the mats out herself. Grooming a dog isn't like cutting a child's bangs. She was really embarrassed to bring her dog to us in this bad shape. I told her no worries. If all dogs looked perfect all the time, we wouldn't be in business.

I don't think a lot of owner realize what happens when a mat gets wet. This is the same thing we explained to our client.

If you see little snarls or mats in your dogs hair. Brush them out, especially if they will be getting wet. This is only the beginning of more troubles for your dog.

If your dogs has large clumped mats. Bring your dog to the groomer, so that they can help. Please do not let the dog near water until those clumps are gone.

If your dog has mats that you can not get your fingers under, this is the worst case scenario. Get your dog to the groomer. Do not let near water.

What happens when your dog has a mat and it gets wet, is, the water pulls the mat tights to the skin. When the mat is tight to the skin, it pulls the blood to the surface. It also, may cause itching and irritation. We have seen mats so tight on a dog that the dog could barely walk. A lot of clients tell us that, their dog doesn't like to be brushed. For the health and welfare of your dogs, it needs to be something that is figured out.

Back to our first time client. Her dog was so matted we had to try really hard to get our fingers between the fur and the skin to open up the mat. Clippers would not go through it. Once we got an opening we could use the clippers. Since his mats were so bad, we had to shave the dog down completely. I have pictures to show you step by step what we had to do. We had to continue giving him breaks, because it hurt to get all the mats off. Just from pulling alone.

Please when you are petting your dog if you notice any mats take care of them or let a professional take care of them before it gets too serious.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Aromatherapy or Not?

Like you, I also have to watch how much I spend. Things are still tough for a lot of us, right now. I can see it in your eyes when you come in to the Dog Wash. I don't know about you, but if I go home stressed and tired from work. I am immediately surrounded by my dogs. Does this happen to you? Sometimes after a long day, I ask them to back up and give me 5 minutes to unwind. To which , they respond by jumping up on me and licking me. I am positive I am not alone with this scenario. This is why dogs are known as "Mans best friend"

Your dogs are always and unconditionally happy to see you. They know when you are down or even sick. (sometimes even before you do). I have noticed when I am stressed out the dogs follow me everywhere. It's like they are trying to absorb the stress from me. Who absorbs their stress? Especially during the summer when it is too hot for them to be outside for long?

That is where your groomer comes in. For example if you were to walk into the Dog Wash, tell us how you wanted your dogs hair cut, then you said you would also like his/her teeth brushed. We would do it. You might have experienced this conversation as well. For $5 more we could do the Aromatherapy Treatment. It comes with a specific shampoo, facial, paw scrub and 5 minute massage. A lot of times you will say no, just the teeth brushed, which is fine. Do you really know what the entire package would do your dogs?

We have 8 Different Shampoos, we alternate each month a different scent. Each shampoo has a different purpose. Let's say you have been sick and your dog has been in bed with you the last couple of days. You might notice he/she are as down as you are. If that was the case we would suggest White Tea, which is an uplifting, scent or maybe even Sweet Apricot, which refreshes and renews. If your dog is stressed we might suggest Kava Kava, which relieves stress.

It's not always about the money, its about keeping you and your dog happy. Our aromatherapy treatment is one way to do that.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What Is The Self Wash Service?

We get this question a lot. I figured today was a good day to explain this since, we have had some rain recently.

Not all dogs need a groomer and we know this. Not everyone likes to bend of the tub at home to wash their dog. We have raised tubs, that allow for easier washing of your pup. We like to think of this service as bonding time for you and your dog.

Basically, the self wash includes everything but your dog.

We supply; shampoo, conditioner, ear cleaner, cotton balls, 2 towels, and a blow dryer.
When you are all finished you get to leave the mess with us.

Whether you are washing your new puppy for the first time or bringing in an elderly dog, we are here to help and guide you.

Personally, the self wash is my favorite service because it gives me  chance to get to know the dog and the owner.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hitchhiker's - Did your dog bring home, a not so friendly, friend?

We have had a real tick problem this summer in Arizona. The worst I have experienced since purchasing the Dog Wash. We have had a lot of dogs come in with ticks, some client knew they had them some didn't. In order to protect your dogs and everyone else's dogs, we check your dogs when they first come in now. If we see any ticks, your dog will get a tick bath and a bio spot treatment on the shoulders. This treatment is good for 30 days and is an additional cost of $15.

I know there are a lot of questions to be answered. The most frequent question is, "How do I know if I have a tick problem?"

Our pest control person was out last week and I asked him how I would be able to tell if we were infested with ticks. His reply, was really simple. He said that when you are infested he can tell by the way a tick infestation smells. He also, checks all cracks in the floor around the doors in walls. We were clear. No ticks in all the cracks we have. He also, said that ticks will climb up the walls.

These are just a few of the ways to tell if you have a tick problem. Like I said, this is a huge topic of discussion and we will more than likely cover more on it.

If you think you have tick issues please feel free to call; Desert Sky Pest Control. Ask for Steven. The # is 602-402-1092. http://www.azbugman.com/ticks.html

Monday, August 19, 2013

Heat and Paws

Living in Phoenix it is easy to see why you wouldn't want to walk your dogs during the summer. The heat of asphalt is often times in excess of 120 degrees. Yet, even with our high temperatures you still see so many people walking their dogs.

My question to you is.... Would you walk on hot pavement with out shoes? If you did, how long do you think you would last being barefoot? I am positive that it wouldn't be for long. Why would you risk your dogs paws then?

The simple rule in my house is, if it is too hot for me to walk barefoot then it is definitely too hot for my dogs.

Hear is a breakdown of air temps to asphalt temps.

77 degree's makes asphalt temps 125 degree's
86 degree's makes asphalt temps 135 degree's
87  degree's makes asphalt temps 143 degree's.

Dogs pads are just as sensitive as our feet. Please be careful with those paws.