How to Keep My Dog’s Teeth Clean: Guide to Dog Teeth Brushing

One of the most vital parts of maintaining a dog’s health is to make sure their dental hygiene is optimal. The old saying, ‘a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth’ is not technically true. Both humans and dogs have natural flora—different species of bacteria that regulate the health and balance of the mouth by competing for resources. Both species’ mouths have their fair share of bacteria. It is important for pet parents to brush their dog’s teeth regularly. Teeth brushing keeps plaque and tartar buildup from occurring.

Dogs are less prone to cavities than humans but can still develop dental diseases like gingivitis. Dental complications can lead to even more serious illnesses like gum infections, kidney, liver, and heart disease.

This article will discuss the best veterinarian approved methods of keeping your dog’s smile nice and healthy.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

The Right Time, Temperament, and Position

Choose a time when your dog is the most relaxed and calm. Try teeth brushing after a walk or exercise so your dog is not hyper. If your dog is not accustomed to teeth brushing you will want to wait until the best moment.

Sit or kneel in front or to the side of your dog. Do not stand over your dog avoiding taking an intimidating or threatening position. It might take a few attempts before your dog reaches a comfort level with the process to let you get a thorough brushing in.

Use the Right Tools

The best toothbrush to use is a doubled-headed brush with bristles pointing at a 45-degree angle that can brush below the gum-line. Dog toothbrushes are softer than human toothbrushes.

Never use human toothpaste on a dog! Human toothpaste can have harmful ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Only use canine toothpaste and try and find a flavor that your dog likes. This will make teeth brushing less painstaking. All dog toothpaste are regulated by the AAFCO.

Methods for Teeth Brushing

Once you have found the right brush and toothpaste that your dog enjoys you can begin to familiarize them with the process of teeth brushing.

Lift your dog’s upper lip and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle pointing downward toward the gums. Use a circular motion to gently brush against each tooth. Brush all the way down to the gum to remove all plaque.

Light bleeding along the gum line is normal during the first few times brushing. If bleeding is excessive stop and seek out veterinary assistance. Excessive bleeding could be a symptom of periodontal disease.

Consider Having a Grooming Professional Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

A big part of the convenience of using a professional groomer is having them take care of your dog’s hygiene, coat, and dental health. A reputable dog groomer should have the training to help assist in preventative care for your dog. This includes being able to brush a dog’s teeth regularly and correctly.

Not only should a dog groomer have the professional eyes to brush your dog’s teeth, but they should be able to spot any medical implications and let you know so you can schedule a visit to the vet.

Dog groomers are trained to work with dog’s that have anxiety problems with foreign experiences. They will be able to comfort and reassure your dog.

End With a Treat

For dogs, all learned or modified behavior is best acquired through positive reinforcement dog training. When a dog engages in wanted behavior, give them a treat to reinforce this. Even if your dog is anxious or stressed during the teeth brushing give them a treat afterward. This will help your dog to perceive their teeth brushing with a positive association.

How Much Does Dog Teeth Cleaning Costs?

Common dog dental treatments are different than just regular teeth brushing. A veterinary dental cleaning usually requires anesthesia and X-rays which can be expensive. Depending upon the area you live also affects the average cost of dental cleaning. If you live in a high-cost area like a metropolis city, it can be more expensive. Most veterinarians quote cleanings in the range between a few hundred and up to a thousand dollars depending on the circumstances.

The Vet Cleaning Process

The whole cleaning usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour. A veterinarian will conduct a physical examination to evaluate whether it is safe for your dog to receive anesthesia. Your dog will be sedated, intubated to maintain a clear respiratory tract, administered oxygen and anesthetic gas.  An intravenous catheter will also be administered to support high blood pressure and fluids to regulate organ health.

Then the teeth cleaning begins.

An ultrasonic scaler—a tool that vibrates at high speed removing large chunks of plaque—is used on all four sides of the tooth. A hand scaler is then used to clean under the gumline. The vet dentist then polishes teeth and uses dental probes to determine the depth of pockets found between the tooth and the gum. Abnormally large pockets are a symptom of periodontal disease.

How Often is Veterinary Cleaning Necessary?

Teeth brushing needs to happen frequently. More-in-depth veterinary cleanings should take place every six months on average.

Pet experts agree that the more preventative care your dog receives, the less frequent these deep teeth cleaning treatments need to happen. Discuss a plan-of-action with your vet for a personalized strategy.

Signs your dog is due for a cleaning are bad breath, gum bleeding, and trouble eating.

Is Anesthesia Free Dentistry a Good Option?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to sedation-free dentistry, but the majority of pet experts state that the procedure requires anesthesia.

Under the gum scaling is painful and really is not tolerable for animals undergoing a procedure that requires minimal movement. Teeth-polishing through scaling is also very difficult to administer without anesthesia. Without polishing, more tartar build-up will occur. Many vets and pet owners simply believe it is unfair to subject an animal to this amount of discomfort.

Other Teeth Cleaning Practices: Rawhides & Chew toys

The friction against a rawhide or rubber chew toy helps displace plaque and tartar. Chew toys also help with jaw support and overall dental health.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique sells high-quality selections of chew toys like KONG and Red Barn Filled Bones.

Many pet experts also state that dry dog food kibble is the best for dental health. Splash and Dash recommend using the rotational diet. This diet offers diversity in food options which keep your dog’s teeth and organs healthy.

We hope this article helps keep your dog’s smile healthy and shiny!

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Five Easy Ways to Stop Dog Toenail Bleeding

It is a nerve-wracking experience for most pet owners—trimming their dog’s toenails. Every pet parent has some amount of fear that they will cut too far into the nail and hit the quick. The quick is the part of the nail that has nerve endings and blood flow. If you cut too far back, dog toenail bleeding will occur.

A dog’s toenails need to be trimmed every two to three weeks depending on how much your dog walks and the surfaces they walk on. Without trimming, nails can grow back and puncture the pad of your dog’s paw. This can lead to infection and some serious discomfort. Also, if nails grow too long it affects a dog’s posture by torquing their spine. If nails are left unclipped for an overly long time serious medical issues can develop.

What Should I do Immediately after Dog Toenail Bleeding?

Don’t. Panic.

If you panic this will only upset your dog more. Just relax and speak to your dog in a soothing voice. If you have another person ready, have them get the items you will need to stop the toenail bleeding.  Your dog most likely will let out a small yelp of pain because of the shock and pain of their nail quick being clipped into. The pain and the bleeding will subside. It might look like a lot of blood at first but if you act quickly it will stop soon.

Have your dog lie down in a relaxed position to stop blood from getting everywhere. It is important to keep your dog calm as possible so that they do not associate a traumatic experience with nail trimming.

The trust between you, the pet parent, and your dog to cut their nails starts early. Since your dog was a puppy you’ve been petting and massaging their paws so they’re accustomed to humans handling their paws and nails. This is preparation for them having their nails clipped.

Many pet parents opt to leave nail trimming to professionals at the veterinary office or the pet groomers. This is a smart choice, especially when you are unsure of the proper toenail trimming techniques. Unfortunately cutting into the quick is something that will inevitably happen, even if you’ve been doing it for years.

So what should you do to stop dog toenail bleeding?

1. Styptic Powder

One of the most popular methods of controlling bleeding after cutting into the quick is using styptic powder. The powder contains an ingredient called ferric subsulfate which is an antihemorrhagic agent. This will contract the blood vessels—clotting the blood flow and stopping the bleeding within a couple minutes. The powder also contains Benzocaine which works as a topical anesthetic which eases the pain.

The most popular styptic powder used by vets and pet groomers is Kwik Stop. The powder is available at most specialty pet stores. In the event of dog toenail bleeding, pour the ointment into the cap and gently press the dog’s nail into it. Hold the nail there for a minute or so. Make sure your dog is calm and staying as still as possible. After the bleeding stops, wash the cap thoroughly.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique first aid kits have styptic powder and everything you will need to address any doggie medical emergency.

2. Natural Remedies: Baking Soda and Cornstarch

Some pet parents prefer to go with a holistic remedy and use either baking soda or cornstarch. The easiest way to use these is to make a paste by adding some water and using an applicator like a cotton swab. After you’ve calmed your dog down and they are lying still, gently apply pressure to the bleeding nail and hold for a few minutes.

3. Styptic Pencils

Styptic pencils work similarly as the styptic powders. However, they are sometimes avoided at pet groomers or veterinary offices because they contain silver nitrate which will sting on contact. Other than this, the pencils are very effective at stopping the bleeding.

Wet the end of the pencil with clean water. Then press the nail against the edge of the pencil. Hold the pencil firm-in-place for a few minutes. Styptic pencils can also work to stop bleeding on light cuts on the skin.

4. Bar of Soap

If you do not have any of the above on-hand and still need to deal with an accidental toenail bleeding you can use a bar of soap. Moisten the bar of soap and work or gently drag the nail across the bar. The best kind of soap to use is a fragrance-free antibacterial soap.

5. Bandages, Wrapping, and Dog Boot

If you have tried everything, and the blood just does not seem to want to stop, you can try wrapping the wound to help clot the blood. This keeps pressure on the nail and ensures that your dog does not lick their wound or walk on it stimulating more blood flow.

Begin wrapping above the dog’s ‘ankle or wrist’ so that it does not loosen or fall off. If your dog is prone to nipping or licking at their healing wounds, you might want to consider tapping the wrap for extra support. A clean tube sock will also work as a quick and handy wrap. Slip the sock over the paw until it is snug with the bleeding toenail and tape the tube part of the sock to the ankle.

You can also use a dog boot which has the same function.

How to Find the Infamous Quick

If you plan on cutting your dog’s toenails at home it is important to be able to identify where the quick begins. The quick is the doggie version of a nail bed. Connective tissue, nerve endings, and skin tissue are tucked underneath the nail plate.

Dogs with lighter opaque nails have a pink quick that is easy to spot. Dogs with black nails present a harder challenge of spotting the quick. You probably won’t be able to see the quick until you begin trimming.

To avoid accidentally cutting into the quick make small cuts into the nail. After every clip, examine the inside of the nail. Look for a whitish or gray dot in the middle of the nail. The more apparent this dot, the closer you are to the quick. When you begin to see the circle, stop trimming with a clipper and switch to a Dremel to accurately shave down the nail.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offers nail trimming and many more pet pampering spa services!

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How to Choose the Best Pet Wash for Your Dog

Make Sure You Are Taking Your Dog to a Quality Pet Wash

Imagine skipping a few weeks without shaving, showering, or brushing your teeth and hair. You might start to feel like you’re back at Woodstock again. For living things to be happy and healthy they need to be clean and hygienic. This goes for your pets too!  Dogs need to visit a high-quality pet wash to maintain their cleanliness.

Dog grooming brings pets and pet parents closer together. It’s a bonding experience. Regular brushing and other simple grooming procedures help your dog to trust you. Attending to your pet also helps you stay on top of their condition. Everyday brushing is a small inspection of their fur, skin, teeth, nails, and ears.

This is good practice. Often medical issues can be prevented when pet parents and groomers are able to spot infections, inflammation, or lumps discovered while brushing. Dogs and other pets aren’t just getting bathed at the pet wash, they’re also receiving services like nail trimming, hair trimming, cleaning of the ears and anal glands, teeth brushing, and parasite control.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offers all these services and more!

But, do you need to visit a professional pet wash every time your dog needs grooming?

Decide If Your Dog Needs Professional Grooming

When figuring out if you should take your pet to the groomer you need to take inventory of your dog’s needs. How often does your dog or cat need be washed? The decision also depends on your comfort level. Do you have enough time and knowledge to regularly groom your pet?

Many cat owners are usually comfortable with grooming their short-haired cats. Where it gets tricky is nail trimming, but if you feel capable then you should be fine. Same thing goes for your dog. If you can get your dog into the bath without making a mess and they only need a haircut once a year, you could opt for skipping professional grooming.

However, if you do not have the time, tools, or experience to properly groom your pet—please consider using professionals. Many dog breeds need their coats groomed particularly. This style of trimming requires professional experience. Other dogs like Huskies have a double-coats. If you do not trim their coat properly you could interfere with your dog’s natural ventilation and temperature regulating processes.

Also, professional groomers are a line of defense for preventable care. The workers at the pet wash are trained to safely and humanely handle sensitive procedures. Dog groomers work well with frightened or temperamental animals that need some gentle coaxing to allow themselves to be groomed. Removing severe mats must be handled by experienced groomers to avoid accidentally harming an animal.

Deciding is not as easy as flipping a coin. Do what’s best for your dog!

Finding a Groomer You Can Trust

You might be thinking to yourself, “OK, Do I know a pet wash near me? Are they any good?”

You can find a dog grooming salon by asking around. Get a recommendation from friends, veterinarians, dog trainers, or online. Check Yelp, the Yellow Pages, or Google “pet wash near me” and browse through the reviews. If needed, you can contact the National Dog Groomers Association of America.

Some groomers are registered or certified by a grooming school or professional association, but the government does not regulate or license pet groomers. This makes checking reviews important! Especially when it comes to your beloved animal.  You don’t want to take your dog to a place that will neglect or even abuse your dog. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Take an objective look at a few customer reviews before scheduling a visit.

Inspect the Facility

Before you book an appointment take a tour of the place first. Here are some criteria points to consider when checking a groomer out.

  • How does the facility smell?
  • Does it look clean?
  • Is the place well-lit?
  • Does the staff appear friendly and knowledgeable?
  • Are pets monitored regularly in the kennel?
  • Do the groomers use heated blow drying or towel drying?

Make Sure Your Dog is Relaxed for The First Visit

Ensuring that your dog is calm before going on a trip anywhere is important. Make sure your dog is adequately exercised before leaving.

If you have a younger dog or puppy it’s always a good idea to acclimate them to grooming procedures early. Before taking your dog to a pet wash, you should brush them regularly and handle their paws so the experience won’t be foreign to them. Ideally, this should start the first week a new dog arrives in your home.

If you have an anxious dog, speak gently to them. Give them plenty of treats or bring a blanket and toys to help them feel secure. You want to reinforce the idea that the pet wash is a safe place for them.

Just like leaving the house, you will want to keep your goodbyes short and sweet. The more dramatic you make your exit the more your dog will react to your departure. Calmly say goodbye and take your exit. This will keep your pet’s stress level low. Also, if you chose a trained professional pet wash, the staff should be helpful with the transition.

Inform Your Groomer About Your Pet’s Care

As you make an appointment, this is your time to share all the vital information about your pet’s health and temperament. If your dog doesn’t like to be approached from behind or has a skin condition, you need to let your groomer know.

Even little details like a new diet your pet is on are important. Your dog will probably earn a few treats at the pet wash so if your dog has a sensitive stomach or is on a diet, let them know.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique

If you live near one of the Splash and Dash locations consider taking your pet to get a pet spa treatment. The pet wash handles all the standard services like bathing and trimming etc., but you can also give your dog some spa therapy. Dogs need to have tranquil rest and relaxation too! Your pet might really love getting a facial, pawdicure, or aromatherapy treatment at one of the Splash and Dash locations.

From all of us here at Splash and Dash we genuinely wish you good luck finding a loving pet wash that your dog will love!

Play Dirty. Live Clean.

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Five Myths About Dog Baths Now Debunked

Know the Truth About Your Dog’s Bath

Here at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique, our motto is, Play Dirty. Live Clean. This means that we want dogs to be well…dogs. What dog goes to a muddy dog park and doesn’t immediately belly flop in the mud?

Dogs are born to explore the world one sniff at a time—even the dirtier parts of the world. This being said, no one wants that dirt coming back into their living room. Dogs also need a bath to scrub away not only dirt but any chemicals found within insecticides or fertilizers. A good cleansing dog bath keeps pups healthy and happy, not to mention your couch free of mud prints.

That’s right! Grooming is essential for dogs. Unlike their feline counterpart, dogs can’t groom themselves. Dogs need regular brushing, bathing, and nail trimming to stay in optimal shape. Many pet parents make the mistake of treating bath time the way we did in Medieval ages—something that happens every few months. I’ve heard too many times, “It’s Spring! Time for Fido’s dog bath!” I fight the urge to tell them, “Well yes, but he’s been dirty since fall.”

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has dispelled a few commonly known myths to help pet owners separate fact from fiction!

Dogs Don’t Need Routine Baths

False! Dogs, just like humans, need grooming to keep their hygiene in a healthy balance. Dogs don’t need to bathe as much as humans but they still need a consistent schedule.  

Your dog’s breed, lifestyle, and coat will determine how often a healthy dog bath should happen. Some dogs with skin conditions, allergies, or specific flea treatments need to have a bath more often than others. Many services at the dog groomers like nail clipping are just as important as coat health. If a dog’s nails grow too long they can become ingrown, get infected, and cause bad posture that torques the spine.

A good guideline for the timeliness of your dog’s bath schedule is at least twice a month. Grooming your dog prevents matting, skin inflammation, and your house from smelling like a kennel.

The Best Dog Bath Near Me is the Garden Hose Outback

Unless you have a marine grade water hose and you live a warm climate year-round—washing your dog with hose water is not a good idea. If you see your pup shivering this means the water is too cold. Warm water is the best rinse for effective shampooing.

Dogs Need Blow Drying

While many say it is safe for a trained eye to use heated blow drying on dogs, we at Splash and Dash choose not to. There have been too many studies conducted that say otherwise. We believe that towel drying and non-heat blow drying is the safest way for dogs to dry.

Bathing Removes Natural Oils

The reason this myth exists is because there is a gray area. It is true that if your dog is over groomed their natural oils and skin’s pH balance will be thrown off. You really would have to overdo it.

Good cleansing shampoos are formulated to maintain your dog’s natural oils. Leave-in conditioners also help protect the coat and skin. Make sure the shampoos and conditioners you are using meet their needs.

If your dog has a specific skin condition, consult your veterinarian and pet groomer for a treatment plan. For instance, dogs with allergies will need a soothing hypoallergenic shampoo. Avoid shampoos that include oatmeal—good for humans, not so good for a dog bath.

Flea Shampoos are a Quick-Fix

Flea and tick shampoos are formulated to treat flea problems but in most cases aren’t enough to completely rid your dog of fleas. Medicated flea shampoos are a good inexpensive step in the process, but fleas are resilient creatures. A bath once a week might not be enough to prevent them from tormenting your dog.

Also, flea shampoos don’t give dogs a complete bath. Use a pet shampoo with a comprehensive ingredient list that addresses your dog’s coat and skin with moisturizing properties.

We hope this article has cleared the air about some of the rumors circulating out there. As always, Play Dirty. Live Clean!

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Proper Dog Grooming Apparel Makes a Huge Difference

Speaking from a pet groomers perspective, there is nothing more rewarding and fun than being a dog groomer. You spend your day caring for clients’ dogs ensuring their happiness and well-being. The career path is a dog lovers dream! But like all jobs, it takes the proper resources to maintain optimal performance. Dog grooming apparel is essential!

Dogs are attuned to things humans just aren’t. If groomers don’t have the proper attire they will be uncomfortable. Dogs sense this and will do everything they can to throw you off your game. This is why wearing dog grooming apparel keeps groomers safe and ready for any challenge.

Of course, the pet spa is a damp environment. Dog groomers are constantly bathing and trimming dogs’ coats for a prolonged period of time in wet conditions. Without the right clothing, grooming can start to take a toll on the body. Overly pruned skin will chafe and become irritated while soreness can occur if you’re not wearing shoes with good support. No one wants to come home at the end of the day soaked, covered in fur, with a rash breaking out.

This article explores the materials Splash and Dash groomers use and other available dog grooming apparel on the market.

Dog Grooming Apparel Essentials: Aprons & Smocks

Groomers that walk into work wearing denim jeans and a cotton T-shirt are in for a rough day. Working in wet clothing is a typical grooming hazard. You will want to use water-proof clothing that will keep you flexible, dry, and comfortable. One of the most important pieces in dog grooming apparel repertoire are aprons and smocks.

Pockets are always a plus for the added convenience of storing grooming tools like scissors or combs. Most aprons or smocks have pull over, button, or zip-tie fastening for easy in-and-out. This makes it easy to take apparel on and off in between clients or when going on break.

  • Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique Standard Grooming Apron
    • 100% crinkle nylon
    • 100% waterproof
    • Hair-stick resistant
  • Top Performance Fabriguard Contour Grooming Aprons -$20
    • 50% Polyester
    • 50% Nylon
    • Treated with Fabriguard ® to protect against stains
    • Two Pockets
  • Angels Grooming Apparel Reversible Bathing Apron $45
    • Taffeta & Velvet material
    • Waterproof & Hair-stick resistant
    • Available in variety of patterns & colors

Jackets

Jackets are the second line of defense from all the sudsy water, chemicals, and flea treatment that fly off dogs shaking their coats out. Grooming jackets are usually worn over a shirt and keep hair from sticking to your clothing.

  • Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique Standard Grooming V-Neck Jacket
    • 100% crinkle nylon
    • 100% Waterproof
    • Hair-stick resistant
  • Artero Ilva Jacket-$39
    • 100% polyester
    • Full Zip
    • One pocket with overlay and side vents
  • Angels Grooming Apparel Men’s Grooming Jacket-$50
    • Quick-drying
    • Non-fading & non-shrinking machine washable fabric
    • Front Zipper
    • Two Pockets

Groomer Sleeves

Groomer sleeves are great for bathers and groomers that are giving spa treatments to a high volume of dogs. This is especially true at Splash and Dash where we bathe dogs of all sizes. Groomer sleeves come in handy when you have a 100 pound Bernese Mountain Dog that loves splashing you.

Groomer sleeves should be elasticized at both ends to prevent water from seeping into the sleeve. No matter what style of sleeve you choose, make sure it has a snug fit at both ends. There is nothing more annoying that constantly readjusting your sleeves.

  • Bite Buster Sleeves-$59
    • Nitrile & Kevlar material
    • Layer of neoprene padding
  • ProGuard Sleeve Protector Set-$7
    • High-quality vinyl
    • Elastic bands at both ends
  • Activedogs Grooming Bath Sleeves-$19
    • Denier polyester fabric
    • PVC bands at both ends
    • Adjustable hook/loop closures at top & wrist

Gloves and Mitts

Some bathers love gloves and use them religiously while others believe they’re impractical and only use them for the funkier cases. I would advise using gloves when grooming ears and glands.

The trick is to have the right gloves that protect the skin. Prolonged exposure to the shampooed water or parasite products can damage and crack your skin, especially when first beginning. Use trial and error to find a happy medium you prefer when it comes to gloves.

  • Bite Buster The Beast 18″ Glove Set-$140
    • Double layered Kevlar
    • Synthetic puncture resistant polymers
  • Rinse Ace Bath Mitt-$5
    • Latex
    • Nub surface cleans skin fast
    • Brushes while washing
  • Playtex Living Gloves with Dripcatch Cuff-$3
    • 3-layer latex
    • Absorbent cotton lining

Pant Bottoms

Wearing pant bottoms is great! Medical professionals aren’t the only ones wearing full scrubs anymore. Wearing crinkled nylon or polyester pant legging not only keeps you dry but gives you optimal flexibility. This is important when you need to bend over or lift during your sessions.  

The quick-drying and water resistant material is easy to wash and keeps you dry and happy.

  • EZ Care Pants Long 32″ Inseam-$25
    • 100% crinkle nylon
    • 100% waterproof
    • Hair-stick resistant
    • Two double sized pockets & bottom side vents
  • EZ Care Salon Capris
    • 100% crinkle nylon
    • 100% waterproof
    • Hair-stick resistant
    • Elastic waist with drawstring
  • Artero Pants-$30
    • 100% polyester
    • 30″ inseam
    • No pockets

Footwear

Shoes are undeniably the most important piece of apparel when it comes to safety. Without non-slip shoes, you will definitely be sliding all over the floor and risk falling even with traction mats. Shoes should be breathable, made with water resistant material, and have non-skid soles. You’ll be so thankful you invested in a pair of dog groomers’ shoes when you’re safely balanced at work.

  • Landau Comfort Unisex Clogs-$17 to $24
    • Closed back design for secure fit
    • Easy on-off entry
    • 100% rubber outside for traction
    • Antibacterial sock-liner
  • Anywears Exact Injected Closed Back Shoe-$38
    • Slip resistant \
    • 9 colors & patterns
    • Hand washable

Attend to Your Own Care

What’s the point of dedicating your life to keeping dogs healthy if you’re own body’s health is suffering? Dog groomers love what we do, but if you’re not attentive to your own care, you run the risk of injuring yourself.

The clothes you wear affects your performance. Consider dog grooming apparel a necessity, not a luxury. When you are wearing the right clothes you are going to be much more comfortable. Dogs will pick up on this confident and comfortable energy and will relax with you making it much easier to do your job.

Play Clean. Live Dirty.

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Top 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats

In this corner, weighing in at a lean 8 pounds, we have Smokey—the American Shorthair cat. Across the ring, we have Buddy weighing in at 65 pounds, the Golden Retriever. Our bets are on Buddy. That’s right! The age old debate is back on the table—why dogs better than cats!

The argument is as old as domestication itself. Starting before Odie and Garfield feuded over the affection of their owner Jon. There are a lot of opinions swirling around in the mix of claws, jaws, and furr when it comes to this debate. So we thought we could clue in readers on some history first.

Cats, Felis Catus,

The domestic cat is believed to have been domesticated as early as 4,000 years ago in Egypt. The culture was as obsessed with cats. The Egyptians worshiped a cat goddess named Bastet—the god of cats, protection, joy dance, music, and family. They even took it one step further and mummified their beloved pet cats to take the journey with them into the afterlife. They even mummified the remains of mice for the cats to snack on!

Cats were adopted from the wild for their abilities to hunt rodents that disrupted crops and home life. Cats are carnivorous and great hunters. The species has an intrinsic ability to stalk prey and pounce, striking to kill with their sharp claws and teeth. Just ask any cat owner who comes home to a dead mouse on their doorstep. Cats have light-reflecting eyes which give them excellent night vision.

Many animal behaviorists actually theorize that cats are nocturnal and since domestication, have adopted to our habits. Since food is readily available there is no need for cats to hunt. Now they have different sleeping habits than their wild counterparts. Cats will usually sleep all day and become more active as the house fills. Still, any cat owner will tell you, cats are night owls and perfectly content to swat at your face while you sleep.

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), there are 47.1 million households that own at least one cat.

Dogs, Canis Lupus Familiaris

Dogs are first believed to have been domesticated around 15,000 years ago in Central Asia around modern day Nepal and Mongolia.  It is theorized that friendly Eurasian gray wolves actually approached humans first. Scientists believe that because humans wiped out other large mammals during the time period, dogs were spared because of their charm.

Since then, hundreds of breeds have emerged from early wolves. Of the hundreds of breeds, the American Kennel Club currently recognizes 189 of them with mix breeds also making up a huge percent of the dog population. Dogs fist served as companions as working dogs. They helped herd livestock, hunt, guard homes, and use their noses for police work.

The Egyptians also worshiped dogs in the form of the god of cemeteries and embalming—Anubis. Anubis had the body of a man with the head of a dog. The Aztecs also have dogs as a prominent role of their religion. They also believed that the Mexican Hairless dog, or Xolotl, led the soul to the underworld. Dogs have appeared in myth, folklore, and regions countless times showing their kinship with humankind.

The APPA reports that 60 million households own a dog in the U.S.

Let’s take a look at why dogs are better than cats!

1. More Famous than Cats

Ok so, there’s Snoopy, Scooby Doo, Balto, Marley, Winn Dixie Wishbone, Beethoven, Old Yeller, Hooch, Airbud, Blue from Blue’s Clues, and everyone knows…All Dogs Go To Heaven.

Enough said.

2. Dogs Make you Laugh, It’s Science.

A study conducted by Department of Psychology at St. Bonaventure University reported that dog owners laughed more than cat owners.

Participants who owned a dog, cat, both, or none  were surveyed to see how frequently humans laugh and what provoked the laughter. It was found that dog owners laugh more than people who own both animals with cat owners laughing the least. This explains grumpy cat.

This prompted another study conducted by the Department of Psychology at Eastern Kentucky University. The researchers filmed people playing with dogs. The goal was to determine exactly what was provoking laughter. It’s no surprise that they found that people laugh most at dogs when they fail some aspect of playing. If you throw a dog a ball, and they trip in the process, we all burst out laughing.

The second situation that evoked laughter was when a dog did something unanticipated or exaggerated. AKA, they act goofy.  Still no surprise here. Any dog owner will tell you that it’s hilarious when their dog tries to guess cup the treats in.

Both studies concluded that laughter is a social interaction. Laughing reduces stress and gives you a higher quality of life. Our dogs are partners with us and help us to laugh making them better than the grumpy cat equivalent.

3. Dogs Help You Make Friends

Harvard University partnered with other academic institutions around the world to publish a series of studies scientifically proving how dogs provide human-to-human friendships.  Of course, dog parents already know this, and probably already know why dogs are better than cats.

Dog owners were found to be 60% more likely to get to know their neighbors through a pet related connection. People meet people while walking their dogs and are far more likely to befriend the people they met while walking or visiting parks. When was the last time you walked your cat?

There are also have been numerous studies showing dog ownership makes you seem more approachable and friendly. Researchers from a separate study surveyed 1,210 Match.com users. The studied showed women were twice as likely to be attracted to a guy because he had a dog, and also twice as likely to judge their date based on how they reacted to their dogs. Even more damning for the cat-people, 32% of women surveyed said that a guy with a cat was a potential deal-breaker. Ouch, get a dog!

Dogs making people more social and adventurous is also evident in dog meetups. Many cities have social media pages, dog bars, and even apps dedicated to getting dog owners together.

4. Dogs Can Smell Cancer

Everyone knows dogs have the best nose! Dogs like Bloodhounds possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors compared with about six million in humans. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center have trained dogs to put their sniffers to good work detecting cancer.

With a process called imprinting dogs are able to sniff out different chemicals present in ovarian cancer. Researchers spread the scents gathered from an ovarian tumor on a blanket. They have the dog target each scent over and over again. Each time, they reduce the size of the blanket, and increase the scent. Once the dog has mastered this, they remove the blanket entirely.

Scientists are using this data to build a device that will sense cancer. The chemical the dogs gravitate toward the most will be the chemical they base their sensor design on.

5. Dogs Keep Human in Shape

Everyone who has ever owned a dog can attest to this. Dogs need walks. Most of us get home at the end of the day and hit the couch. But after a few whines and earnest looks from Fido we take a nice healthy walk around the neighborhood.

A study published in the National Institute of Health showed that older people with dogs covered an average distance of a mile daily.  The study also found that dog owners with a backyard spent an average daily duration of 100 minutes walking the dog.

There you go, get grandma a dog!

6. Dogs Can be Trained and Do Cool Stuff, Cats Don’t

A study out of the University of Tokyo showed that cats actually do know their name and have the ability to come when called. They choose not to. Cats have selective hearing, just like your kids.

The study analyzed how cats responded to hearing the voice of their owners compared to the voices of strangers. They determined cats could recognize their owner’s voice and identified with their given  name. 10% of cats involved in the study displayed behavior of responsiveness when called.

Animal behaviorists theorize that because cats were used as independent creatures to hunt rats the strong bond didn’t develop the way it has with dogs. Cats have come closer since agrarian days, but the evolution of cat responsiveness is still antiquated.

Compare this with dogs. Dogs can be trained to sit, shake, lay down, play dead, roll over, and even open doors. These are just tricks for your average pooch. It’s not called the Westminster cat show now is it?

7. Dogs Help Humans from Developing Allergies and Asthma

This is reason six dogs are better than cats.

Dogs are saving the world one potentially asthmatic kid at a time. A study out of University of California, San Francisco, shows that exposure to infants exposed to dog dust—dried flakes of dog skin—help protect against developing allergies and asthma later on in life by altering intestinal bacteria. Mice that inhaled dog dust built a better immune response to cockroach allergens than their non-exposed counterpart.

So having a dog around not only protects your infant but helps build up their immunity. Not sure if the cat does either of these, but boy is he funny when gets his paws on that catnip!

8. The Dog House is Cleaner Than the Cat House

No scientific studies here. Just pure observation of having owned both cats and dogs over a lifetime.

Yes, while dogs are puppies they will tear up the house. But with some proper guidance and good dog training, this stops. Dogs learn to use the bathroom outside and respect the furniture. As long as they get their de-shed service the house is neat and orderly with the doggos.

Cats? Not so much.

You have to deal with the litter box. No matter where you put the thing, or what kind of litter you use, it still has a lingering smell. Also, cats claw everything…everything. Now some cats are good, but I had a cat once that had three scratch posts, but still preferred to maul the couch every time I left the house. Cats also vomit and cough up hairballs! They love to aim for your favorite rug too.

9. Dogs Can Take Selfies

Seriously! A dog training center in London now offers a class called iPad Masterclass. The trainers focus dogs on taking their own selfies and doodling. Dogs use their noses to swipe the screen to take candid shots of themselves for Instagram. The intention of dog training is based on animal behaviorists theories that animals trained to do something have a lower incidence of anxiety and aggression.

This might be true, but we have a feeling all the pet parents who have signed up their dog to take iPad Masterclass really just want a dog that can take their own picture. It’s a pretty cool cocktail party trick…

Dogs are also being trained to recognize and respond to typical commands written on an Ipad. The dog reads the command ‘sit” and then loyally takes a seat. What a time to be alive!

10. Dogs are Man’s Best Friend

Period.

All kidding aside, we at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique love all animals of every shape and size. We just like to have a little fun every once in awhile. You can join in by commenting on our Facebook page who you think is better, cats or dogs?

 

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Top Do’s and Don’ts of Your Puppy’s First Trip to the Dog Groomer

Use These Puppy Grooming Tips to Improve Your Pet’s Experience at the Groomers for Life

Taking your puppy to be groomed for the first time is a celebratory occasion. It’s like your kid’s first haircut, only your kids a little furrier and walks on four legs. The first experience your puppy has at the groomers sets the tone for how they feel about the grooming process for the rest of their life. You will want to make sure they are calm and enjoy the more indulgent sides of pet spa treatments.

The key is to acclimate your puppy. Many of the routines of puppy grooming can be done at home in an environment he’s already accustomed with. A puppy who is familiar with the process is much easier to work with than a pup who’s never had their paws touched. For a puppy, the dog grooming salon can be a scary place. Puppies  have never been on a grooming table, heard clippers, or a loud blow dryer.

A reputable groomer should take a loving approach! Here are some amazing tips to make your puppy’s big day fun, not stressful.

Familiarize Your Puppy Early

We cannot stress this enough. Many times a puppy’s first bath is their first trip to the dog groomers. Even if this is the case pet parents can introduce a few of the stimuli a puppy will experience.

Nails

DO handle your Pup’s paws.

Puppies have an instinctual reaction to pull back when people first touch their paws. Initially, they don’t like it. With some gentle coaxing and loving massaging of their paws eventually, puppies begin to see it as any other form of petting. This is important!

When your dog groomer attempts to clip a puppy’s nails, it will be much easier for them to get through the process. Dogs needs to be still as possible in order for groomers to be able to clip the nail without hitting the quick—accidentally making a dog bleed. This can be very traumatic for a puppy. In many cases, a nail dremmel trims down the nail. This is loud. An experienced professional dog groomer will know when a puppy is too uncomfortable to proceed, but when a dog is already used to having their paws handled they are much more relaxed.

Nail clipping is vitally important for dogs. Overgrown nails lead to bad posture, infected ingrown nails, and a torqued spine.

Ears

DO handle their ears as puppies.

You will want to gain their trust with humans touching their ears. Another foreign experience for pups is having their ears cleaned. Puppies are still in the stage where the world is new to them. When a stranger goes in prodding around in their ear—they’re entitled to feel uncomfortable.

So, massage your puppies ears when you first take him home. Make sure he knows the feeling of having his ears played with is comforting. The ear cleaning process will feel like any other Tuesday to your pup who’s ready for his first puppy grooming.

Regular Brushing

DO brush your puppy often.

This is the first stage of grooming. Even if your puppy is a breed with a short coat, it is still important to brush their fur every day. Think of your dog’s coat as your own hair. You brush your hair every day to maintain hair length. Combing stimulates the hair follicles and is good for healthy hair.

The same is even more true for your dog. Brushing not only feels good to your dog but it removes hair that is naturally shedding. This will keep your house clean too! Another danger of not brushing a dog regularly is matting. Mats are interlocked hair that develops into painful knots in a dog’s coat. Dogs with thick coats are particularly susceptible to matting and need to be brushed often to eliminate mats from forming.

Love and Patience

A good groomer will most likely want to warm your puppy up to grooming with abbreviated sessions. They might first start out with a bath. The next time you come in, they’ll give them a hair trimming. The idea is to expose the more intense parts of grooming to a puppy slowly. This maintains the puppy’s confidence in the experience. Keeps things short and sweet!

A good groomer will also do their part in positive associates with  the grooming experience. They will use a gentle loving touch and speak softly to your puppy—making sure he feels secure.

What you can do beforehand is make sure your pup is plenty exercised before taking the trip. This will curb their anxiousness. Also, bring their favorite blanket and toys for the car ride. Even traveling in a car is foreign to puppies and you’ll want to take your pup on a few drives without destinations to ensure riding in the car is enjoyable for them.

Give your puppy treats at each stage. When they get in the car and relax, treat time. When you arrive at the dog grooming salon, here’s a treat. This keeps your puppy’s association with the routine positive. This might seem excessive, but you’ll thank yourself later when trips to the groomers are a cordial affair between you and your dog.

Think of visiting dog groomers as a bonding experience between you and your pup. You get to spend some one-on-one time with him. Grooming is essential for a healthy and happy puppy even if they don’t know it yet.

DON’T scold your pup if he’s reluctant to get into the car. This only makes it worse by adding an element of negative reinforcement.

DO follow these methods with all trips, like going to the Veterinarian or dog training school.

When Are Puppies Ready for Grooming?

Part of starting early—getting puppies accustomed to grooming—is making sure their first visit happens promptly. Many parents make the mistake of waiting way too long before taking their pup in for grooming. Pet experts advise taking your pup in before reaching 16-weeks-old. Make sure they have their shots first!

As your puppy first figures out the world, they will ease their way into everything. During the first visit, you can always stay if you think it will ease his anxiousness. You can be a few steps away if your puppy needs you. However, be sure to model calm behavior for your puppy during the first visit if you choose to stay.

Chances are they’ll be totally fine!

Research the Best Dog Grooming Shop

As a new pet parent, you will want to do your due diligence in finding an ideal place for your puppy grooming. This means research. It’s almost the same as picking a school for your child. You will want to establish a good relationship with the groomers. Thankfully we live in the future and finding a trustworthy groomerie is a few internet searches away.

Ask your dog-owning friends, veterinarian, and your puppy’s dog trainer first. This will give a hint of where to start. After you assembled some reputable names, check their reviews online. You can use Yelp, the Yellow Pages, or even the Better Business Bureau.

Look for customer testimonials and reviews that focus on the dog. When customers write reviews stating that their dog enjoyed the experience you can tell the groomers have loving hands at this particular shop.

Remember, you’re putting your trust in someone handling your child. It breaks our hearts when we see headlines that account negligence and even abuse happening at dog grooming shops. This is unacceptable and the first step to avoiding this is to find a loving trustworthy place for your puppy.

Once you’ve settled on a place you like, go scope out the facilities.

DO look out for the following in a grooming facility:

  • Smells good
  • Well-lit
  • Clean
  • Employees are friendly and knowledgeable
  • Employees express interests and concerns for your dog and listen
  • Are pets monitored regularly in a kennel?
  • Are cats and dogs kenneled separately?
  • Does the shop use heated blow drying? (Can be unsafe)
  • Can you purchase healthy pet products there?

Keep Your Goodbye Short

DON’T make your goodbye emotional.

This is an important part of dog training in general. When you enter and exit the house, it’s crucial you minimize the emotional intensity of your greetings and departure. When you enter the house, don’t greet your puppy until he is sitting and calm. If you rush to love your dog, this will only excite them. This excitement reinforces bad behaviors like jumping up. Instead, use a routine. Enter the house exhibiting a calm presence and don’t pet your puppy until they are equally as calm.

When leaving do the same. As you leave through the door say something gentle to your dog that reassures them. This guarantees that your exit will not be an emotionally charged goodbye. The same should be done when dropping off for puppy grooming. If you stayed for their initial visit, next time you go in keep your goodbye brief.

Remember your dog groomers are professionals and chose this profession because they are innately attuned with dogs and more than capable of comforting them through the grooming process.

Just as you exit the house, give them a pat on the head and non-emphatically say, “See you see.” Your groomer can take it from here. The relationship between your puppy and the groomer is also vital. Your puppy should learn to be comfortable with the humans grooming him. After a few visits, the bond will develop and your puppy will begin looking forward to being spoiled at the groomers.

This is why it’s important to choose a dog grooming salon you and your puppy are comfortable with.

Be Specific With Your Groomer

Many pet parents have beautiful visions of the style they want for their puppy’s first haircut. Do be specific. Tell your groomer exactly what you want and how you want your dog handled. If you want only their facial fur trimmed back, tell your groomer! If you’re going for a showroom style trimming, try and find a picture to show the dog grooming stylist who will be doing the puppy grooming. Good communication keeps everyone on the same page.

You should also disclose any medical or behavioral issues your dog has. If you’ve noticed your puppy is temperamental about being touched in a certain area tell your groomer. Also if your puppy is on a certain diet let your groomers know this too. Many pet owners are embracing holistic or rotational diets. Many pet grooming shops give treats during grooming and you will want to make sure the treats they provide align with your puppy’s diet.

Services at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique

If you’re searching for a place for your fur-babies first puppy grooming, Splash and Dash might be the place.

Services Include:

  • Bathing
  • Clipping
  • Nail trimming
  • Teeth Brushing
  • Gland Cleansing
  • Coat brushing
  • Bows & bandanna

The pet salon also offers unique services like aromatherapy, pawdicures, and doggie facials. Splash and Dash operates on the idea of making dog grooming similar to a human spa. Grooming specialists aim to pamper your dog and bathe them in a lap of luxury. We want your dog to enjoy the more indulgent sides of dog grooming.

The best part about Splash and Dash is it’s affordable and hassle-free!

The service offered at our locations is an UNLIMITED Monthly Bath program where pet parents can bring in their dogs as much as they want. The signature service is completely at your leisure. Starting at $39.95/ month you’ll never need to worry about your dog rolling in the mud ever again.

Instead of going to a big-box pet store and paying the same, if not more for one grooming, why not take your puppy to a place you know you can trust and save some money while you’re at it?

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How To Pull Off the Teddy Bear Pomeranian Grooming Technique

The Teddy Bear look was first made famous by a cute little Pomeranian named Boo. This pup has been the adoration of every dog lover since. Boo was coined as ‘the world’s cutest dog’  by his owner J.h. Lee and now tons of other pet parents are scrambling to replicate the look on their own dog. This haircut style is most common with Pomeranian grooming but can be achieved on most small dog breeds like a Maltese or Bichon.

Pomeranian’s lineage traces back to Nordic sled dogs. This is the reason for thick double coat meant to protect the pups from the cold weather. The undercoat also provides padding for the elbows which protects the dogs from the elements and hard surfaces. The coat is thick and fluffy and needs to be brushed at least twice a week to keep matting from forming. Most pet groomers advice daily brushing when the coat is long to keep hair from getting too coarse. Silkiness is bliss when it comes to long-haired Poms.

Before clients decide to have their Pomeranian get this adorable little cut, they should know that trimming the undercoat can damage the fur’s texture. This damage can be permanent. From experience, the more an undercoat is trimmed with this breed, the harder and longer it takes for the fur to grow back.

So if they decide to have their Pom take the leap into teddy bear styling—make sure they are ready for a lifelong commitment. Boo himself only got the haircut because his coat was so matted shaving was the healthiest option. Pomeranian grooming this extensive needs to be done by a professional!

Using Magic Mel’s words, “Choose humanity or vanity!”

Teddy Bear Style

The cut begins with the outer-coat being washed and brushed thoroughly. This makes combing and brushing through matts easier for the groomer and the dog. If matts are severe, clippers and scissors will be used to cut matts off. There is no sense in brushing through these tangles and making the dog uncomfortable.

Next, the body will be shaved down—trimming away the long outer-coat and into the softer, thicker undercoat. After this is detailing. The most challenging part of teddy bear cut is the head. Trimming the rounded off look on the dog’s head and snout—blending into the body—takes practice. Gaining experience through apprenticeship or schooling is the best way to gain the skills necessary for beautiful Pomeranian grooming skills.

Try these steps to safely and gently transform a Pomeranian from a plush furball into a teddy bear!

Use the right Equipment:

  • Clippers
  • #7 Blade
  • #10 Blade
  • #40 Blade
  • #2 Blade with comb attachment
  • Steel comb
  • Curved scissors
  • Slicker brush

Start with the Rough Cut

Once the dog is dry after bathing, start with the rough cut for Pomeranian grooming, but this actually goes for every breed. Use the number 7 blade—most common blade for grooming—and take the body hair down short. Trim with the growth pattern. You should always constantly monitor the blade’s heat to make sure you don’t accidentally burn the dog.

Be gentle along matts, and even the smaller tangles, paralleling the blade with the body as you skim across the dog. Make sure your blade is close to the dog’s body. Stop at the dog’s collar line before moving on with another blade size for the head.

As you approach the legs start taking the blade downward—cleaning up the legs gently with the legs lifted drawing the blade toward yourself. Your client’s’ wishes will affect how you trim around the tail. Usually, for the teddy bear look, clients want the ‘poof.’ After brushing out the tail hair, lift the tail upward and trim the tip first. Just clean up the hair around the anal glands.

Complete the rough cut around the beard and chest of the dog following the growth pattern downward. When you trim the Pom’s armpits, pull the leg upward and sweep the blade parallel to the armpit, removing hair gently. Do not go perpendicular. If you do, skin will get caught in the blade.

Paws, Pads, and Sanitary

First get the paws and pads out of the way. Use the number 40 blade to scoop hair gently away from the pad removing hair. This will give the dog more traction. For the paws, you can use a scissor or the 10 blade.

For the sanitary use the number 10 blade. Lift hind legs toward you and sweep the clipper from the genitals gently toward you so the blade can pick up hair along the genitals.

Setting Head for the Teddy Bear Trimming

Brush out the Pommies head first making sure the head is free of ALL tangles. Combs should glide through the hair like butter, nice and delicate. Once this is done you can use the slicker brush to free any wisps around the ears and face.  As you scissor-cut the hair along the face you will want to cut upwardly forcing the hair up. This creates the circular shape of the teddy bear look.

As you trim around the face, hold the ear back forcing hairs to pop up. As always, hold the dog firmly and safely for precision. You will want to trim back this hair that stands up—sweeping upwardly. Keep everything even! Draw the scissors—trimming as you go—toward the tip of the ears leaving about a quarter on the base of the ear to blend into the head. You will want to round off the fur. Keep in mind your blending this hair into the shorter hair on the body.

You don’t want it to look like a ‘bowl cut’ where the head meets the neck. As you trim, make sure that you’re maintaining the circular shape of the hair. Comb often to keep hair fluffing up.  Make sure you are blending going shorter as you work your way toward the neck ensuring fur gradually flushes with the collar line.

Snout & Eyes

I personally like to use curved scissors around the eyes and snout. Some dogs get nervous with the buzzing in their face unless they are accustomed to regular grooming. Since Pomeranians have shorter snouts it easy to get in there with the scissors and clean everything up.

With the curve of the scissors against the snout, you will want to glide as you trim. Swoop in a downward in an extended U-shape along the snout. Trim the bangs back as necessary trimming only a little bit of the lashes. Constantly brush to make sure wisps are exposed and the cut is even.

Pomeranians are the cutest little fluffs ever and the teddy bear cut is perfect to start off the summer and in warm areas. We hope your Poms and their parents love their new cut!

Play Dirty. Live Clean.

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5 Ways of Treating Your Dog to a Spa Day

We all deserve a tranquil day of pampering relaxation. When the ebb and flow of life gets a little stressful, humans can escape into the repose of a spa day–complete with aromatherapy, facials, and pedicures. Even more fun, why not share the experience with your best friend?

We’re all talking about our four-legged companions. Your doggie best friend who’s curled up in your bed, the dog that longs for you while you’re at work, and is always excited to hear about your day—naturally as long as a walk is involved—your four-legged best friend that graces your lap and life with unconditional love. That’s right! Your dog can enjoy all the relaxing amenities of spa day too!

For all the same reasons us humans take a day dedicated to indulgence and wellness, our doggie best friends can enjoy the same oasis of soapy luxury.

How Your Best Friend Benefits From Spa Treatment?

All the glorious treatments offered in human day spas that make you feel like a Greek god or goddess are now extended to our pets. Pets experience anxiety and stress just like their owners. During thunderstorms, trips to the veterinarian, and even while you’re at work dogs feel owner separation anxiety. Playtime with you and a tranquil day at the spa can put all this stressful energy to rest.

Give your best friend a transcendent feeling of complete and total bliss with a pet spa day!

Pawdicure

Instead of a relaxing pedicure, your dog can get an effervescent pawdicure and cute nail painting. A doggie pawdicure takes paw wellness to a whole new level. Not only will a dog’s tension melt away with the soothing touch of a loving groomer, but all toxins found on the ground like sodium chloride found in ice melt products, or molybdenum in law fertilizers are cleansed away. Of course, pawdicures also revitalize a dog’s cracked pads and attend to inflamed nail beds.

Facial

What better way to give your best friend some zen-like treatment than a facial to cleanse the puppy pores? Splash and Dash offer blueberry and Pinkberry facial scrubs that revitalize skin around the face and beard, removing dirt and purging tear stains.

Aromatherapy

Since dogs explore the world with their noses, why not give them calming scents they’ll truly enjoy? Aromatherapy is a great way to induce a relaxed state that also makes your dog smell like the finer side of the great outdoors!

Splash and Dash aromas include:

  • Renew— Argan oil, Vitamin E
  • Energy—Ginger and Orange Essential Oils
  • Hydrate—Coconut, Cucumber, Green Tea
  • Relax—Lavender, Chamomile

DeShed Service

With the oppressive heat of the summer bearing down on your best friend’s thick coat, a deshed service can cool them off and keep your house clean.

Nourish Conditioning

This leave-in or wash away conditioner keeps your best friend’s fur healthy, moisturized, and nourished. A conditioner sustains the benefits of shampooing and will make your dog shine long past their grooming.

What else can pet owners do to make their best friend’s spa day magical?

Gluttonous Gorging

Treats! Treats! Treats!

Of course, we want our dogs to be in good shape by maintaining a healthy weight, especially with pet obesity rising. Maintaining your pet’s health, is after all, why we take them to a pet spa in the first place, but having a cheat day every once in a while won’t hurt. This is the time to splurge and spoil, so make it count!

You can scrape some extra bits of leftovers from your human meal into the dog bowl. Or maybe fill up the KONG with extra peanut butter. Getting a rawhide chew for your best friend is not only tasty but helps jaw strength and scrapes tartar for good dental hygiene.

Wake your doggie best friend up with a bountiful meal to start their spa day off gastronomically gourmet. What pup doesn’t want a full tummy while they get their sudsy massage?

Cool New Cut

Dogs with matts absolutely hate it! Imagine your hair being constantly pulled and tugged in different directions with the tension never stopping.  Ouch! This is the feeling of having matts. Matts are clumps of fur that have intertwined into a painful knot. It happens to dog breeds with double coats or curly thick fur like Bichon Frise, Poodle, and Cocker Spaniel.

When your dog gets their grooming done, all the uncomfortable knots are trimmed away leaving a fresh new haircut. This is also comforting in the summer months when the heat becomes unbearable for our thick-coated best friends.

After a massaging bath and a new trim, the skin is exfoliated and moisturized, free of hot-spots, cracked skin, and inflammation. Your dog will feel and look amazing with a smile to match!

Bells and Whistles

When us humans go to a day spa we get the works—the full deluxe package. The same extravagance should be extended to your best friend. Let them enjoy themselves with an effervescent pawdicure that will make their toes tingle. Nail polish? Uh, yes thank you…with some extra hand brushing to work out the muscle tautness. Next up, spoil them with the number one spa essential.

Get your best friend a facial!

This will purge away all the crustiness that your dog collects along their snout while they eat and sniff out the mysteries of the world. A Pinkberry facial leaves your dog’s facial fur and beard completely revitalized. Naturally, their massage should come with their favorite aroma that coats them in calmness. And, just as ice cream isn’t a sundae without a cherry on top—polish the spa day off with a nourish leave-in conditioner that will make all the other dogs jealous of that gorgeous coat shine.

New You. New Toys.

Your human best friend might want a glass of white wine for her spa day, but your dog best friend could care less about wine. Get them some new toys instead! Let’s be honest, most of their dog toys at home are probably chewed to the brittle and soaked in saliva. It’s time to upgrade.

Your dog will always be interested in new toys to shake around, especially chew and squeaker toys. Many animal behaviorists theorize that dogs prefer toys that engage them with human participation—meaning after their spa day, you BOTH can play.

Since Splash and Dash is a one-stop-shop, you can drop off your best friend for some luxury, and a Chuck It! fetch-ball toy that will give you both endless hours of fun and some good exercise.

Accessorize

With the restored vibrancy of a new coat shine comes the need for some bows and a bandanna. Just like their collar, bandanas make a dog feel secure as they take on a feeling of instinctual ownership for their cool new accessory. Bows? Well, bows are just super cute!

Most dog grooming places that offer pet services will finish up the relaxation with bows and bandana as the pinnacle of the treatment.

Go the extra mile and get your best friend a souvenir they’ll love that sums up their special day at the pet spa!

Play Dirty. Live Clean!

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How to Choose the Right Doggie Day Spa for Your Pooch

Choosing the right doggie day spa is crucial when browsing through your cities various dog grooming options. A pet salon is the tail-wagging equivalent of your typical human spa—a place for pets to get treated in a lap of luxury. Typically pet salons offer more in-depth therapeutic treatments on top of standard grooming practices.

Splash and Dash prides itself on lavish spa treatments offered like aromatherapy, pawdicures, facials, de-shed services and nourish conditioning. These are offered in addition to the regular grooming services that take care of all your pet’s holistic needs.

Dogs of all breeds need regular grooming to keep them healthy and smelling great! So whether you just got a new puppy, adopted a senior dog, or are in the search for a new doggie day spa—follow this guideline to make sure you find a trustworthy and loving place.

Training, Experience, and Certification

Since neither federal or local government regulate pet groomers this is one of the most important steps. No regulation means groomers aren’t required to be licensed. Most people get into the grooming career through apprenticeship or attending an accredited school. However, there is no requirement for a person with this credential background to operate as an independent dog groomer or work at any of your local dog grooming shops.

Honest pet salons have precautions and hiring guidelines in place to ensure they hire quality professionals. Splash and Dash has a rigorous hiring process to ensure our groomers and bathers have the loving touch it takes. Accidents happen, but it takes an innate love for  animals for this profession. Many dog groomers choose to get a membership through the Dog Groomers Association of America (DGAA). The association offers classes and requires testing before certifying members.

Before choosing a doggie spa, call to ask groomers about their background and skills in the grooming field. A good groomer should be attuned to animal’s emotional responses. They are firm—so they don’t accidentally cut an animal—-but are able to soothingly coax nervous animals into relaxing.

Shop Around

To save yourself some time, browse through your options of all the local doggie day spas before you commit to visiting each one in person. You can sort through the ones you know won’t fit and narrow your search down.

Ask your friends, veterinarian, and search online review sites. Yelp is a great source to find reviews of other pet owners. The site also allows past clients to post pictures of their dog’s haircut. These dogs are walking advertisements. If you see haircuts you like then you know the groomer that works there must be skilled.

If a place has tons of negative reviews, choose somewhere else.

You can ask your veterinarian for guidance too. Some vet offices have policies that prohibit them from recommending any one doggie day spa location, but you can always ask them if they have treated cases sent from this groomer like clipper abrasions, or if the groomer receives general complaints?

Evaluate the Conditions of the Doggie Day Spa

The same criteria pet parents use to evaluate a veterinarian’s office can be applied to a pet salon. What is the atmosphere like? Is it an inviting place that makes you and your dog feel comfortable. First impressions offer a lot of information about the place. Trust your instincts. If the place seems sketchy it probably is.

Things to consider at the facility:

  • Is the shop well-lit?
  • Are there a lot of dogs barking?
  • If the shop also grooms cats, are the species kenneled separately?
  • Is the place clean?
  • Does the place smell good?
  • Are animals monitored regularly to keep from overheating?
  • Does the staff seem friendly, knowledgeable, and open-minded?
  • Do they keep accurate pet records?

You can always ask to meet the groomer too. Think of this as an open-house for your soon-to-be kindergartner. How is your dog reacting to meeting the groomer? In most cases, groomers should be complete ‘dog people’—well trained to handle doggie day spa situations. They should be warm and inviting, especially with your pet. If your dog seems turned off by the groomer it might be wise to pick a different place.

Apprehensive Dogs

Anxious, nervous, and sometimes even aggressive dogs can be commonplace in an environment like a doggie day spa. Dogs who are not accustomed to grooming can be hard to handle, and groomers should have the knowledge and skill set to be prepared to work with dogs that react like this. Not every dog is going to be a pet groomers’ dream.

If a groomer gives dogs sedatives you should opt for another grooming facility. This practice has become prevalent in the industry and is illegal and dangerous. The only case where a groomer should administer sedatives is when provided by a pet’s parents and prescribed by a veterinarian to specifically treat anxiety during grooming.

Give the groomer a hypothetical. Ask them how they would respond if a dog struggles, growls, or snaps. Be wary of confrontational responses like, “Sometimes we have to show them who’s boss.” Pet groomers should be well versed in animal behaviorism and will know how to de-escalate a response from an anxious dog.

A trip to the dog groomers should be positively reinforced. This is a two-way street between pet parents and groomers alike. A pet parent can acclimate their dog to grooming beforehand, but the methods a groomer uses are equally important. If they use a grooming noose they should never leave the table. Groomers should also recognize when dogs need a break. The doggie day spa should be relaxing, not stressful!

Does the Facility Provide Everything Your Dog Needs?

Whether you have an 80 lb German Shepherd that needs to be lifted into his spa, or a 5 lb Maltese that needs showroom style grooming, you will want to make sure the doggie day spa you choose can meet all the requirements of your pooch.

If your dog needs specific medical or behavioral attention your groomer should know this. A reputable groomer will ask you questions too. They will want to know whether your dog has been to a groomer before. Are they used to having  their paws, ears, and glands handled? Are they crate trained? Do they have any allergies or dietary restrictions? What condition are your dog’s teeth?

These questions are all standard.

You also should browse through the services the doggie spa offers. Do they have eco-friendly shampoos and conditioners? Do they have aromatherapy, pawdicures, and facials? These services are the points of relaxation for your dog. You’ll want to make sure the pet salon can provide these amenities.

Above all, trust your instinct. Your pet, is, after all, your baby and your parenting instincts will be your best guide. Good luck, and Play Dirty, Live Clean!

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