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Pet Grooming, Sedation and other issues

What’s the issue?
Most people want their pets to have the best care possible, at appropriate cost. So with grooming. What’s the difference between a Groomer, Grooming Technician and Dog Washer? Why is “Sedation” such a big issue in grooming? What’s a ‘Master Groomer’ and should you have one? What about cats and rabbits?

When Is A Groomer A Groomer And Why Is This Important?
Just as you wouldn’t go to a surgeon to fix a splinter, you should match your pet breed, coat type and needs with the appropriate level of expertise.

1. A Dogwash service. A mobile or a salon, these people usually wash dogs (only). They generally don’t offer clipping, grooming, nails, ears, eyes, or other services, but they may provide basic services and flea washes. Many have little qualification, or training in disinfection, but some do a really good job, especially for short coated breeds and prick eared breeds, or washing between formal grooming sessions.

2. A Grooming Technician/Cert III. This person is qualified by studies and examination to maintain good hygiene, clean ears and eyes correctly, trim nails, brush according to coat type, use correct disinfection and use the hydrobath correctly, use correct drying techniques according to the breed, undertake “summer clips” (not to breed standard) and spot skin and coat problems. They may operate as a mobile business or in a salon may support groomers.

As a general rule, these people can be found operating dog wash businesses, and some are also working in salons.

3. A Groomer/Cert IV. This is a person qualified by certification, qualification or experience to do all of the above, PLUS scissoring, clipping, breed standards, show grooming, pet grooms, coat stripping, finishing, identification and referral of skin and coat problems, and also client service, complaint management, Occupational Health and Safety. Many also offer cologne services, dyeing, nail polishing, shaping, hand stripping and creative grooming.

As a general rule, if you have a pet with a long coat (dog, cat or rabbit), see a Grooming Technician or Groomer regularly. If you have a pet with a coat that grows continuously (eg Poodle, Bichon Frise, Schnauzer or Labradoodle) see a Groomer regularly for proper shaping and coat styling. Badly matted coats need a qualified Groomer.

There is one higher level – the International Master Groomer. This person is a groomer who is tested by a panel of judges including breed specialists for excellence in grooming and styling all breed categories. These people often compete in industry competitions to keep challenging themselves to be ‘best practice’

Again, as a general rule, you ‘get what you pay for’. The more qualified or expert the groomer, the better the job you will get and the more you will pay. If you are unsure, check your pet into a Master Groomer just once – and see the difference!

What about Matting?

There is a big problem with matted dogs, especially in Spring. ALL dogs shed coat! The only difference between a “low shedding dog” and any other pet is that the “low shedding pet” sheds into the coat instead of onto the floor. That’s because of the way that hairs grow in ALL mammals (including humans), and the wavy coat in low shedding breeds that traps fallen hairs. There is a clear association between “non-shedding” breeds and matting, but double coated breeds (eg Border Colllies, ) can also matt badly.

That’s GREAT! No hair on the floor, less cleaning up, and often less sneezing too. BUT remember that the hair trapped in the coat forms KNOTS, then MATTS, then all that matting joins up to become FELTING – which can rip the skin and cause infection. ALL ‘low shedding’ dogs need their own groomer!

This "non shedding" pup looked just fine...

This “non shedding” pup looked just fine…


So it couldn’t be groomed out, it could only be shaved…THANKS TO VAL EVANS FOR THESE PICS!

Until the grooming started: the groomer realised the entire coat was matted together...

Until the grooming started: the groomer realised the entire coat was matted together…


What’s wrong with sedation? Is there a time and place?

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