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Handy Hints

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Customer Care
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Dogs in the Phillipines
Look After Yourself
Grooming for a Living
A Great Success
Northern Groomers Story
Scissoring Technique
Which Clippers?
Handy Hints

This page has been compiled by Margaret Simpson. She has gathered together some of Northern Groomers tips that we hope you will find useful. We hope to have the Handy Hints page as a regular feature, so why not write to us with some of your secrets?

Dental Care

More and more people are becoming aware of the need for dental care for their dog. Tooth brushing is the single most effective means of removing plaque. For tooth brushing to be affective you need

  1. the co-operation of the dog
  2. a motivated owner
  3. an owner with the ability to brush

When puppies come into the salon for their first time, make the owner aware of how to brush their dog’s teeth. Demonstrate on the pup. A daily brush with a soft nylon brush and a veterinary toothpaste will prevent the accumulation of plaque and large Vet fees in later years. And of course no suffering for the dog from gingivitis and rotten teeth, as daily examination of the mouth will prevent this.

Margaret Simpson, Posh Pooch, Falkirk

Wet Matts

You can brush out some matts and knots while the dog is in the bath. After shampooing and rinsing, apply a good, thick cream coat conditioner to the matted area. Use a plastic brush to work the conditioner in to the hair. After a few seconds of brushing, the knots will slide out. This way you don’t break the hair as you do when dematting a dry dog.

Tricia McGuire, Canine Cuts, Edinburgh

Disinfect Tools

There are a couple of options if you want to disinfect tools in a way that is not going to promote rust or dry out pads of brushes. One way is to rinse in a solution of white vinegar. It is a great degreaser and has a natural disinfecting property. Another is to use an antibacterial dish wash soap.

We also use these solutions on dogs if they have a very greasy skin or a serious odour problem. Bacteria stink and will collect on excess secretions of oil. This accumulates dirt and gives the dog its odour problem.

Vinegar should be diluted cup to a gallon of warm water. Antibacterial dish wash soap should be diluted one part soap to 10-15 parts water. Don’t use directly unless you want to be rinsing for a lonnnng time.

Barbara Bird, Transformation Pet Center, Arizona, USA

Bleeding Tongues
If a dog has had its tongue nicked, place an unused tea bag onto the wound and hold it there. The tea bag will help clot the blood.

Agnes Murphy, Scotgroom, Carluke

Plughole Blaster
Use your blaster on that blocked mucky plughole in the bath. It will clear out the pipes in seconds.
Flea Hoover
A hoover is not only a great way to clear out all the nooks and crannies in the salon. It gets rid of flea infested cut hair and flea eggs that may fall off infested dogs. It will also suck up fleas off the dog’s body.
Economical Shampooing
Save money on shampoo. Use a scrunchy (net bath sponge). Soak the scrunchy with water and shampoo. It soaps up well and gives the dog a really good wash. It easily gets into feet, under arms, backend, etc. You will find you use less shampoo and you'll save a fortune!
Save Space
Space Savers – Large storage box on wheels from B & Q. It’s about 4 feet high and black and orange in colour. Put all your grooming equipment in the one place. No more equipment, sprays, cotton wool, etc, lying around making the salon look untidy. Everything can be easily found and put away safely at night.
Dry Mats
No more dripping bath mat hanging over the bath at night. Use a sucking mat, one you use in your own bath to stop you slipping. At the end of the day, stick it to the tiles on the wall around the bath. The drips will fall into the bath and not on the floor, making it dangerously slippery.
Canine Massage
If you have a nervous or fidgety dog in your salon, calm them down by rubbing your fingers above or between the eyes and nose of the dog. You will be amazed with the calming reaction you achieve. Some dogs even start to fall asleep. It won’t calm all dogs down completely, but if you can have someone holding the dog and massaging its head you can get the job done with little stress to the dog or yourself.
Shiny Shorts
We are getting more smooth and short coated breeds into the salon nowadays. These breeds, such as Boxers, Labradors and Great Danes do not need a lot of grooming. But you could give them an extra spit and polish and send them out of your salon smelling lovely, with a beautiful glossy sheen.

After a normal shampoo and condition, rub vigorously with a rubber curry comb or hound glove to loosen any dead hair and skin. Then, remove the dead hair and skin with a slicker brush and fine toothed comb. Once dry, spray bay rum onto the coat (you can buy bay rum from most hair salons). Lastly, briskly polish the coat with a chamois cloth to bring out the shine. The owner will love the smell and the dog will go out of your salon gleaming.

Maximise Client Potential
Get the most out of your existing clients by sending reminders. Most people wait until their dog is looking really scruffy (or even worse – matted !) before they contact the Groomer. Be one step ahead of your clients. By sending out reminders to them (after 6, 8 or 12 weeks depending on the breed) it gets them to think about their dog and book an appointment before it gets too messy. This makes your job much easier when it comes to trimming the dog. The client also get used to bringing their dog to you every 6 or 8 weeks and they'll soon begin to book their next appointment before they leave the salon. You’ll also get regular work throughout the year, instead of the mad rush in the Summer and at Christmas time.
Shiny Labs
Give Labradors, black Cockers, Rottweilers, etc a vinegar and water rinse! Once you have shampooed and conditioned the dog, give them a final rinse with vinegar and water. The coat will gleam that much you will be believe you can see your reflection in it.
Foxes and Tomatoes
Groomers who do a lot of farm dogs will know the distinctive smell of fox dirt. You can’t mistake that smell! What’s the best way to get rid of the stink? Would you believe it – Tomato Sauce!


All material in this publication is subject to copyright. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.
Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Northern Groomers.

Send mail to tricia@torphinbank.freeserve.co.uk with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2000 Northern Groomers
Last modified: January 13, 2001