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  • Moving more slowly
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  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Posts Tagged ‘Grooming Dogs’

Shih Tzu Care Tips

Monday, July 25th, 2016


Shih tzu’s are good-natured and easy to train, making them great family pets. But caring for a Shih tzu can be time consuming because they require a lot of grooming.

A major part of Shih tzu care is proper grooming which will begin as soon as you bring your new dog home. Their thick, double-coated hair can be grown long, or for easier care, kept in a short cut.

As soon as you bring your Shih tzu home it’s a good idea to start desensitizing your pet to brushing since it will need to be brushed daily. Start with a quick brushing, being careful not to get too forceful with the first few brushings.

During grooming sessions you’ll need to lift the top coat of its hair and brush the undercoat thoroughly. Be sure to brush its stomach, under the ears and between its legs where hair mats are particularly likely to collect.

Good Shih tzu care includes keeping the hair trimmed from their eyes, or in lieu of trimming you can use a special dog rubber band to place the hair in a ponytail on top of the dog’s head. These ribbons are available from almost every pet store.

Since shih tzus have floppy ears, you will need to clean their ears regularly using a special ear cleaner or mild soap. Use a cotton ball or something equally as soft to clean the ear flaps; then use a Q-Tip to clean the part of its ear canal that you can easily see. Take special care not to clean too far inside the ear canal or you can easily damage its ear drum.

Because they have flat faces, Shih tzus often have difficulty eating and drinking. It’s a good idea to supervise your dog when it’s eating or drinking water from its bowls. It helps if you put their food and water in wide, flat pans to make it easier for them to get their whole face in the bowl. Some owners prefer to hand feed their pet to make it easier for the dog to eat.

Shih tzus need regular exercise but usually can’t handle long walks. Shorter exercise periods once or twice a day is better for these little dogs. In the summer you should keep the walks shorter as Shih tzus don’t tolerate heat very well.

Shih tzus are very playful dogs and they enjoy short stretches of play. If you teach your Shih tzu to fetch a toy or play hide and seek, it will provide enough exercise for your pet and also allow it to rest when tired.

Although Shih tzu care can involve high maintenance, these dogs make a great addition to a family as long as you’re prepared for the effort it takes to keep them safe and well-groomed.

How to Choose a Dog Groomer

Monday, June 27th, 2016


When you need to find a dog groomer to keep your pet looking its very best, a good place to start is with your regular vet. A lot of veterinarians, especially those with larger facilities or animal hospitals, also offer dog grooming. The groomers employed in facilities like these are professional dog groomers, trained in the correct methods of grooming all breeds of dogs. While keeping your dog looking its best, you’ll also feel safe knowing your pet is receiving the best care available while getting its “haircut.”

There are some important questions you should ask a prospective groomer before committing your pet to the scissors.

(1) What breed or breeds of dogs do they personally own?
(2) Did the groomer go to school to learn dog grooming or did they learn it ‘on the job?’
3) How long have they been grooming dogs?
(4) What breeds do they feel comfortable with and which breeds are they best at grooming?
(5) Do they have more than one style of grooming for different breeds?

Questions to ask the staff at the facility:

(A) What hours does the groomer work?
(B) How are dogs checked in and will they call you when it’s time to pick up your pet?
(C) How far in advance do you need to make an appointment?
(D) What is the fee for grooming and what does the fee include?
(E) What type of shampoos and conditioners are used?
(F) Is the ear hair plucked from breeds with hair in their ear canals?
(G) If your dog refuses to willfully submit to a grooming and needs to be sedated during the grooming, what safeguards does the facility have in place for sedating a dog and is there someone who will monitor your pet during the process?

The relationship you will want to develop with your dog’s groomer should be professional yet friendly. The answers you receive to these questions should help in choosing the best groomer for your pet.

How to be a Pet Groomer

Monday, July 20th, 2015


Are you thinking about starting a career as a pet groomer? Pet grooming is ideal for people who love animals, but make no bones about it, a career in the pet grooming business can be difficult to get started in. But once you’ve established yourself as a qualified and experienced groomer it can be a very rewarding career and a lot of fun working with dogs of all sizes and types of coats.

To become a successful pet groomer you’ll need to enroll in a professional grooming school. These schools can be found in the yellow pages of your local directory, or for quicker searching use the internet. Professional schools provide their students with the tools, techniques and skills needed to break into the pet grooming profession.

It may surprise you to know that many people who work as dog groomers haven’t attended a professional school, but instead learned the grooming procedures and techniques by taking correspondence courses or night classes at their local college.

As a new dog groomer just starting in the business, it helps to get a job with an established grooming shop as a trainee or assistant. Working for a good dog grooming service will provide you with hands-on experience and the additional training needed to assist you in propelling your career forward in the pet grooming business.

There are many different breeds of dogs, all requiring special techniques for proper grooming. As a dog groomer you’ll have to know how to groom every breed of dog. For example, the grooming style of a Golden Retriever is very different than that of a Yorkie.

When you have been trained and are starting your career, you can ask friends and family if they will let you practice your grooming skills on their pet dogs at no cost to them. This will help you in improving your skills and your friends and family will probably be eager to give you a good reference when you’re searching for the right place in which to begin your career.

When you’re finally ready to be a pet groomer and you feel comfortable enough to proudly say so, you can choose whether you want to work in an established grooming shop, work from home, or even set up a mobile dog grooming business and travel to a client’s home.

Why Dogs Shed Hair

Monday, December 22nd, 2014


All dogs shed hair, some breeds more than others. Indoor dogs who shed a lot of hair can fill your house with loose hair and you end up having to frequently vacuum and pick up loose dog hair all the time.

Here are some grooming techniques to help reduce the amount of loose hair and also keep your dog cleaner and healthier.

Frequent grooming and brushing your dog will help soften any coarse hair and reduce the amount of hair your dog sheds. Try to brush your dog every day for 5-10 minutes. Getting suitable supplies for the type of hair your dog has will make it easier to brush it and helps improve the condition of the hair. There are several types of brushes and most dogs will need more than one type of brush. Combs are great for dog breeds with shorter hair.

Dogs shed hair all year round but especially so during the shedding seasons, usually spring and fall. You should bathe your dog at least once a week to reduce the amount of hair it sheds. Buy shampoos that won’t irritate your dog’s skin because they can cause additional hair shedding.

Brush your dog’s coat going from its tail to its head. At lot of dog owners brush from the head to the tail but brushing from tail to head results in a more thorough removal of dead hair.

A Shedding Blade available from the pet store can be used to more effectively remove hair and other debris from your dog’s coat. You may find that using a shedding blade is more effective than either a dog brush or comb.

If the weather outside is comfortable for you and your dog, grooming it outdoors will save you a lot of effort when it’s time to clean up the hair shed in your house.

Sometimes modifying the dog’s diet will reduce its shedding. Feed your dog a diet with sufficient nutrients and fatty acids. You can also buy supplements and liquid formulas at most pet stores to prevent excessive shedding.

Dogs shed hair on a daily basis and it is common to all dogs, especially dogs with longer coats.

If you care for your dog using the techniques described above, you’ll not only have an easier time with shedding hair, but you’ll also have a beautifully groomed dog that is a pleasure to hug and cuddle with.

How To Choose a Groomer

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010


Have you been grooming your own dog and are now considering using a professional groomer, or do you have a new dog that definitely requires the skills of a trained groomer because its hair is too long, or the dog is too large to handle bathing and grooming it by yourself? If any of these applies to you here are the guidelines on how to choose a groomer.

Whatever the reason or reasons, it’s important that you choose a groomer who not only is convenient to your home and busy schedule, but more importantly, one that will care for your pet as if it belonged to them. Many dogs fear a visit to the groomer because they’ve been mistreated or they were subjected to a groomer who lacked the necessary “dog friendly skills” to correctly handle a pet averse to being bathed or groomed.

Depending on the breed of dog you have, a groomer may be an absolute necessity to keep your dog’s coat neatly groomed and clean.

When searching for a groomer it’s a good idea to first ask your family and friends for recommendations, or ask your vet. Many vets, especially those associated with clinics and animal hospitals, have on-site groomers trained to deal with most any kind of dog – reluctant ones, ticked off ones, and hyper ones.

Before you choose a grooming salon or a groomer in a clinic or animal hospital, ask the person who will be bathing and grooming your dog these questions:

* Does the groomer own a dog? If so, what breed or breeds of dog?
* Do they groom their own dog or dogs and are their dog’s coats kept neat and clean?
* How long have they been grooming dogs?
* Did the groomer go to school to learn grooming or did they learn it ‘on the job?’
* What breeds do they have experience grooming? Be sure your breed is one of them.
* Do they do different styles of cuts for different breeds or are they a “one cut fits all groomer”?
* What hours does the groomer work?
* Will you be notified when to pick your dog up?
* How far in advance do you need to book an appointment?
* What is the fee range for your breed of dog?
* Is the ear hair plucked from those breeds with hair in the ear canals?
* What if your dog ends up needing to be sedated for grooming? Is that service offered?
* If so, will it be the vet who sedates and monitors your dog?
* Will the groomer also trim your dog’s nails during the grooming appointment?
* What type of shampoos and conditioners does the groomer use?
* If your veterinarian recommends a certain shampoo do you need to pay for it?

It is equally as important that you do a self-analysis of the facility you’ll be entrusting your dog to.

* Is it kept clean, neat, and orderly?
* Are there unpleasant odors that bother you? If they bother you, think what the experience will be for your dog with its superior sense of smell.
* Where are dogs kept while waiting for their appointments and also while waiting to be picked up afterwards?
* Are they housed in groups with unfamiliar dogs or will they have their own space? Is it a cage they will be kept in? If so, how large is it and what kind of freedom of movement will they have in the cage? Are the cages or waiting areas clean and free of feces and urine after being used by each dog?
* How are clippers, scissors, nail grooming tools, etc. cleaned between grooming different dogs?

Your relationship with your dog’s groomer should be as important to you as the relationship you have with your own hairdresser or barber. They should listen to what you want and you should get the answers to your questions before making your decision about which groomer fits your needs, and the needs of your dog.

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