Pet Beauty Questions Answered

By Sunday, June 06, 2010

As you may or not know, I groom dogs and cats as my day job and have been doing it since 1997 (eeek, I always sound old when I say that). I love pets and just like people, I love to make them look their best. So in todays blog I wanted to talk about lot of the common pet grooming questions and myths out there.

Myth #1: Baby Shampoo is best for Dogs/Cats
Truth: Baby shampoo is horrible for your pet! Horrible I say! Don't use it. It is not PHed for you pet's skin and not gental at all. I sugest you go get a GOOD quality pet shampoo that is more natural and PHed for your pet. There are lots of great brands out there that are natural and smell great. Ones with built in condoners help too. Earthbath, DoubleK, True Blue, Tropiclean and Biogroom are some of my favlourites to use. You may spend a bit of money on a good shampoo, but you need very little and it will last you a long long time. Plus you pet is worth it, right?

Myth #2: It is bad to bath your dog and you should only bath them once maybe twice a year.
Truth: This is an old school myth. Back in the 60's and 70's groomers used to use dish soap on dogs (or worse yet, carpet shampoo). This would strip all the natural oils from the dogs skin and dry it out. In the last 30 years shampoos have been made better and more balanced for dogs. In fact you can bath your dog as often as you want if you are using a GOOD shampoo. I bath two poodles every single Thursday for 13 years, they have no skin or coat problems. So in conclusion, you can bath your dog as often as you want as long as there are no matts in your dog (no matts before or after, NONE! I mean it) and you are using a good shampoo and rinsing well.

Myth #3: Cats clean themselves and don't need grooming or bathing
Truth: This one is also false. Cats only lick themselves after baths to remove the smell of their last hunt so they can hunt again. They do not remove their undercoat or really clean themselves. As well their undercoats buildup and need to be released, meaning they need brushing regularly and baths help a lot (once you get the under coat out).  

FAQ #1: Will you shave my double coated dog or cat? It is hot and it will cool it down, wont it?
Answer: No and no it wont. Shaving a double coated dog (golden retriever or shepherd) or a cat will not make them cooler...the double coat once brushed out and undercoat is removed will help insulate your pet and actually keep it cooler in the summer months. Reason number two for the no, it grows back thick, clumpy, fuzzy and ugly. They also look ugly when shaved. Usually people say to me at this point that their dog/cat like to be shaved, the truth is a cat or dog is always happy to get a bath and grooming. My cat comes home from a bath and wont stop purring or asking to be petted. They love to be cleaned and will act that way with a good grooming. Oh, and shaving your pet will give it a sun burn. Think of it this way, in the hot days of summer, does taking your clothes off make you any cooler, or do you just end up with a sun burn?

FAQ #2: How often should I get my cat groomed?
Answer: While it depends on the cat most can get done every 3 months or so for the best coat and to prevent matting. So, the answer that works best is, 4 times a year when the seasons change (unless you need it more often).
(hey that is my Shine in the cat pics, I love his soooo much, just thought I would share that with you)

FAQ #3: My dog got skunked what should I do?
Answer: Wet your dog down and try to rinse whatever you can off. Then while they are wet take toothpaste and tub it on your hands then spread all over your dog (watch out for the eyes). Focus the paste where the direct hit is (usually the face or neck). Leave on for at least 20 minutes. Rise, Rinse and then rinse again. Then shampoo.  Note: I used to use the baking soda peroxide method but I found this worked better and once I bleached a black dogs ears wasn't good. As well, everyone has toothpaste in the house.

If you have any questions you've always wanted answered about grooming your dog or cat let me know and I will try my best to answer it for you.

For more pet grooming myths and info check out