Better Grooming Starts in the Tub typography
Dry Pets in a Jiff: Products & Tips to Promote Faster Drying typography
Photo by Animal Photography typography
The Unstoppable Nathan Austin typography
Understanding the True Function of Shampoo typography
American Kennel Club seal; Groom Expo West 2024 AKC Best in Show 1st Place Winner Nathan Austin typography

May 2024

“The Grooming Industry’s Trade Magazine!”

Contents | May 2024


by Kathy Hosler


by Lynn Paolillo

Editorial Staff
Todd Shelly
Chief Operations Officer
Assistant Editor
Gwen Shelly
Managing Editor
Rebecca Shipman
Luke Dumberth
Laura Pennington
Brandi Aurelio
Carlee Kubistek
Cassidy Ryman
Allison Smith
James Severs
Karin Grottola
Britany Smith
Kathy Hosler
Daryl Conner
Mary Oquendo
Jonathan David
Lynn Paolillo
Dr. Cliff Faver
Jennifer Bishop Jenkins
Blake Hernandez
Copyright May 2024. Groomer to Groomer is published monthly by Barkleigh Productions, Inc, 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Postmaster: Send change of address to Groomer to Groomer c/o Barkleigh Productions, Inc., 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Annual U.S. subscription rate $25. Outside U.S. $79. year, surface rates. Groomer to Groomer is free to current Barkleigh Productions, Inc. customers. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Editorial offices: 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. (717) 691–3388 FAX: (717) 691–3381 Email:
"Liquid Tools" for Your Grooming Toolbox typography
illustrated product bottles
illustrated grooming tools
by Jenny Farrell
As groomers, we often think of our main tools as being our scissors, combs and dryers, but we often forget about the other “liquid tools” that we also can not live without, such as shampoos, conditioners and sprays. So what should be in your go-to arsenal of liquid tools to execute a fabulous groom, every time?
illustrated shampoo bottle

A good shampoo will be canine pH-friendly and will be made with high-quality ingredients. When shopping for your shampoos, it is important that they work for you, are cost-effective and good quality. You also want to keep a variety of specialty shampoos on-hand to ensure you have the right product for the job, including a good dirt-busting shampoo, hypoallergenic shampoo, colour shampoos and flea/tick shampoo.

illustrated conditioner bottle
Follow the shampoo with a good, light-weight conditioner that is easily washed out to save on time rinsing and on drying. However, if you have a doodle or double-coated breed, you may want to use a light wet conditioner followed by a leave-in conditioner to help reduce the rinsing. Again, you want to use a conditioner that is canine pH-friendly and hypoallergenic, as most conditioners will likely leave a residue on the coat and skin to trap moisture.
illustrated round spray bottle
Leave-In Sprays

Leave-in shampoos and conditioners are great for double-coated breeds or doodle coats that are thick and difficult to comb through. These products are designed to be used on the fur not the skin, so ensure that you don’t spray excessively.

illustrated tall spray bottle
De-Matting Sprays
Some de-matting sprays are better than others, and silicon-based products tend to be the best ones. These can be used on all breeds, but are great for de-matting long coats, brushing out Poodles/doodles and tricky beards. They tend to build up in the coats so it would be advisable to use them sparingly to avoid an oily or greasy coat.
illustrated hair spray canister
Hair Sprays
Hair sprays and mousses are available for Asian fusion styling, Poodle clips or show grooming. They can be used by salon pet groomers, but be sure you purchase canine-specific holding products which are safe to use on dogs.
illustrated squeeze bottle
Perfumes and Colognes
Perfumes and colognes add a nice finishing touch to the groom; however, they are only suitable for dogs who don’t have allergies. Also be sure to check with the owners first, as some clients don’t like them or are sensitive to certain smells.
illustrated twist top tube
Ear Cleaners

Ear cleaners are something you may not think about as a grooming product but are very useful for removing dirt and wax buildup on the outside of the ear leather. Some groomers prefer using them after the bath, as they can take some moisture from the ears and smell nice when the owner picks the dog up. Remember, the first part of the groom the owner sees and smells is usually the face!

illustrated comb and blow dryer
Proper Use
It’s important that all liquid tools are used relevantly to what they are designed for. For example, conditioner that is not labelled as “leave-in” is to be used and rinsed out; not as a spray conditioner as I have seen some groomers do. This is due to the concentration of the product in relation to its time intended to be on the dog’s skin. If you use a product for an off-label use, you will be risking injury or irritation to the skin.

It is also worth noting that if you groom cats and small mammals, all products should be checked that they are suitable for cat and/or small mammal grooming before using them, as not all ingredients in products for dogs are safe for other animals.

Liquid tools can enhance your groom and make your grooming life easier by taking the strain off your joints and limbs when de-matting or having to excessively brush large breeds. I hope this has given you food for thought when considering what products to include in your grooming tool kit!

Grooming Gab
The Unstoppable Nathan Austin title; Nathan Austin hugging his black poodle
The Unstoppable Nathan Austin title; Nathan Austin hugging his black poodle
by Kathy Hosler
Photos provided by Nathan Austin

The crowd exploded with cheers, shouts and wild applause as Nathan Austin and Helios, his black standard Poodle, were declared the 2024 Best In Show winners.

The audience fell silent as five spectacularly groomed dogs awaited the judges’ decision as to which one of them would be chosen as the Best In Show winner of Groom Expo West 2024 in Pasadena, California this past February. For their groomers, this moment was the culmination of years of work, learning and preparation. Every ounce of passion, skill, dedication and self-expression they had went into the groom they executed on the dogs standing before them. Yet, only one would become Best In Show.

The crowd exploded with cheers, shouts and wild applause as Nathan Austin and Helios, his black standard Poodle, were declared the 2024 Best In Show winners. People swarmed the stage to get an up-close glimpse of the artist and his flawless creation. They were congratulating Nathan and commenting, “You’re amazing, I wish I could groom like you,” “You must have been grooming all of your life. Did you grow up in a grooming salon or come from a family that shows Poodles?”

Actually, Nathan did not come from a family that had roots in the grooming or show world…far from it. And, he never set out to become a dog groomer. Nathan Austin was raised by a single mother who struggled with addiction her whole life. They were often homeless and Nathan spent much of his teenage years running the streets. One day, one of his friends suggested that he apply for a job where she worked, so he did. It was at a PetSmart grooming salon.

“At the time, I had no idea what dog grooming even was, or that anyone could actually make a career doing it,” shares Nathan. “But, working with dogs changed my life!

“People judge you, dogs don’t,” he continues. “Before I became a groomer, I had a certain look, and when I would walk down a street, people would see me and they would often cross over to the other side of the street. With dogs you can be yourself and they accept you just the way you are.”

While Nathan was working at PetSmart as a groomer, a beautiful young lady named Kathlena was hired as a bather and she soon became a groomer as well. Nathan and Kathlena fell in love and they married. Now, they own their own grooming salon, A Cut Above Grooming Salon located in Castro Valley, California. Before opening their salon, Nathan and Kathlena went for their certification with the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA).

“For the last 10 years, we had been grooming pets, growing our careers, and we also managed a private salon,” Nathan says. “But we felt it was time to branch out and explore what other things the grooming world had to offer.

two people standing next to a groomed dog with a trophy
Photo taken by Animal Photography.

His winning ways continued, and last year Nathan was honored as the first-ever AKC Master Groomer of the Year.

“Becoming a Certified Master Groomer seemed like an unattainable goal to me,” he explains. “But it was always in the back of my mind and I was determined. I knew it would take a lot of hard work, but I am always willing to do whatever it takes to achieve my goals!

“During the certification process, Kathlena and I were with other like-minded groomers,” Nathan continues. “They had the same fire lit underneath them that we did. We became this group of friends that had the same ideals and wanted to grow. We couldn’t help but totally entrench ourselves into that life.”

After he became a Certified Master Groomer, Nathan began to enter grooming competitions and also started showing dogs at AKC shows.

“My first grooming competition was at a very small show, the Silicon Valley Pet Expo,” he shares. “Amazingly, I took first place in the B division with my standard Poodle, Georgette. And that was it. I was completely hooked from that day on. Then COVID happened and I couldn’t compete for a while, but I kept taking classes to help me grow in my knowledge and skills.

“When the shows resumed, my first big show win was in 2022 at Groom Expo West in Pasadena, California,” continues Nathan. “I entered four classes and I got three first places in Intermediate level, one third place, and a Group one and a Group two. I ended up getting Best All Around Groomer. It was an incredible event and something I thought I would never top.”

His winning ways continued, and last year Nathan was honored as the first-ever AKC Master Groomer of the Year.

“One of my favorite things about competing are the judges’ critiques; they have helped me so much,” he says. “I really value them and I apply what they tell me. I spent two years learning and perfecting the groom—the Historically Correct Continental (HCC)—that I put on Helios to win Best In Show at the 2024 Groom Expo West competition. My next big goal is to be on GroomTeam USA, and I’m not stopping until I reach that goal.”

two people filming a video of grooming a dog
In addition to the educational videos, Nathan and Kathlena have also begun teaching in person seminars.
Nathan is a social media influencer and he recently surpassed 30,000 followers on Instagram. He and his wife started making funny videos about all things grooming, as well as educational videos. Nathan has even received Barkleigh Honors nominations for Best Educational Video of the Year, Best Entertainment Video of the Year, and Instagram of the Year.

“We groomers all have the same experiences—things like shaving dog butts, getting peed on, and finding poop in your smock pocket,” he quips. “Humor connects us all.”

In addition to the educational videos, Nathan and Kathlena have also begun teaching in-person seminars.

“When I went to certify, my mentors, Ann Martin and Nancy Han, made me feel so proud to be a groomer and so passionate about the breeds, I want to inspire that in other people,” he says.

group of people taking a picture squeezed together on a small couch
Photo taken by Tone Vargas
Nathan’s newest venture, along with his wife and their friends Kat Greaney and Juan and Ronney Rivera, is a Podcast called Another Grooming Podcast.
Nathan’s newest venture, along with his wife and their friends Kat Greaney and Juan and Ronney Rivera, is a Podcast called Another Grooming Podcast. It combines education and entertainment and is filled with plenty of groomer humor.

Nathan Austin has had quite a journey, to say the least. He transformed himself from a homeless adolescent who ran wild in the streets into an award-winning groomer, influencer and educator. Nathan found his passion and is making it his mission to help others reach their highest potential.

He leaves us with this last bit of encouraging advice: “Never give up. Follow your dreams and do whatever it takes to achieve your goals.”

Be like Nathan Austin. Be unstoppable!

Better Grooming Starts in the Tub typography in bubbly blue letters
Better Grooming Starts in the Tub typography in bubbly blue letters
playful illustration of a Husky in a foam filled bathtub
And It's More Than Rinsing Away Dirt & Stench typography between two blue bubbly parentheses

by Dave Campanella

I’m amazed how far technology has brought us in the last decade. No doubt, these are exciting times we live in. And the advancement in professional grooming liquids is no different. Hair care chemistry has made incredible leaps in product performance and the results are truly mind boggling.

Unfortunately, though, many salon professionals are not fully capitalizing on grooming technology and often fail to integrate hair care science into their daily bathing and prepping. Some don’t realize the basic differences between professional grooming liquids compared to retail pet brands sold at chain stores either. There’s so much more to bathing than getting a dog clean or what it smells like afterwards.

Odds are, you’re working much harder than you should. It’s time to STOP the mindless practice of hastily getting client dogs washed, dried, on the table and out the door. Mindfulness and science only work together when you let them, so I’m encouraging everyone to take a step back and reimagine bath time as intentionally pretreating the coat with proven science that leads to better results.

Let’s face it, regardless of breed, coat type, a full haircut or not, almost every dog requires a bath. This is ground zero. And while cleaning the dog goes without saying, conditioning is what matters most. Whether you’re just prepping or specifically de-shedding, de-matting, detangling or deodorizing, conditioning treatments yield better results upon completion. Embrace the fact that hair can be managed more effectively through deliberate means of conditioning.

This article will discuss the grooming logic behind pretreating the coat using professional liquids engineered to manipulate the hair’s cuticles for optimal finish and effect.

Hair & Skin Science

The skin’s sebaceous glands produce sebum, a naturally oily substance which protects each hair strand by coating cuticle scales, sealing in moisture. Sadly, sebum acts as a virtual dirt magnet, attracting debris and oil. Washing with soap or synthetic detergent strips away the protective sebum along with the many other unsavory deposits it collects along the way.

Regardless of how mild or harsh a detergent is, all the cuticles on each hair fiber are exposed. And when left untreated without conditioning, static occurs, manageability suffers and further damage is more likely. This is precisely why it’s so critical to replace the sebum washed away with an appropriate conditioner. Thankfully, today’s advanced cationic conditioners make superior sebum replacements.

Whether you’re just prepping or specifically de-shedding, de-matting, detangling, or deodorizing, conditioning treatments yield better results upon completion.

Hair and skin are anionic. This means they are negatively (-) charged by nature. Now imagine dry, rough adjacent hairs rubbing against each other. A transfer of electrons is produced by each of the negative hair charges repelling from each other. This explains how fly-away hair and static occur. Conversely, conditioners are cationic (+) so they will bond to the hair and skin, closing lifted cuticle scales and keeping them closed for extended periods. This explains what manageability is.
Before starting your next client dog, consider its coat type, hair porosity and the pH of each liquid product you plan on using. Fig. 1) Dog hair can be characterized as low, medium or high porosity based on the degree to which its cuticle scales lift open over time and how well they retain moisture. Dry, damaged hair has more open, ragged cuticles; while healthy hair appearance has more closed cuticles. Fig. 2) Open cuticles can snag and hook like Velcro, fighting the groomer throughout the bathing, drying and brushing processes.
Figure 1: Hair Porosity Types / Figure 2: Open cuticles
Professional conditioning treatments are formulated to enhance appearance, as well as repair and postpone further damage. Grooming liquids with acidic pH levels from 6.5 down to 4.0 will notably close lifted cuticles, while those with harsher alkaline pH levels open cuticles. Did you know typical soap products range from 9 to 10 pH, while synthetic detergents range from 6 to 7 on average?

The Benefits of Professional Pet Grooming Liquids

Professional Shampoos:

They have low suds and rinse quickly because they lack many of the irritating foaming agents found in typical consumer pet shampoo. This reduces the likelihood of skin irritation outbreaks.
Many feature hypoallergenic fragrances or are dye and fragrance free to avoid possible negative reactions.
Professional Conditioners:
They replace the sebum washed away with a superior alternate designed to repel dirt and oil rather than attract them.
They reduce the likelihood of skin irritation from detergents and other potentially harsh ingredients.
They also help soothe, moisturize and protect the skin. (Think of them as your salon’s reassurance policy!)
Rinse-off and spray-in conditioners:
These rehydrate, strengthen and reduce further damage from grooming tools.
They close (smooth over) cuticle scales, which extends manageability.
They help safely release tangles, minor mats and shedding undercoat.
They speed drying time and reduce static.
They enable your tub’s spray nozzle and your force dryer to be the brush, further reducing coat damage, and reducing physical strain and effort.

Application of Grooming Liquids

Close/Further Close/Fully Close Method

While there are additives one can purchase to boost shampoo and conditioner performance, it’s not fully effective to blend shampoo mixtures together with conditioner mixtures. Adhering to separate shampoo, conditioner and finishing-spray steps nets better results. Each phase of this process strengthens and repairs, further closing lifted cuticle scales until finally sealing each hair fiber with a spray-in, leave-in conditioner.
Fig 3) Slides 1 & 2 show filthy hair of a Newfoundland before being treated. Slide 3 depicts after cleaning and conditioning. Slide 4 reveals how a spray-in, leave-in application benefits by shining and keeping the cuticles closed.

Fig 4) The magic behind this method rests in how it efficiently conditions the coat repeatedly through each phase—1) shampoo, 2) conditioner, 3) finishing spray. This ensures more of the coat’s hair fibers are hydrated, strengthened, smoothed over and sealed before drying. Think of this as “Close/Further Close/Fully Close” logic.

Figure 3: Newfoundland hair slides / Figure 4: 3-Step Bathing Method
Using this logic, groomers note how they can now safely release more shedding undercoat in the tub, especially with the high porosity hair of many double-coated breeds. Often, 30-50% of undercut can now be released in the tub with robust water pressure from a quality spray nozzle while rinsing. Coats will also dry and brush out with considerably less physical effort, appear full-bodied and stay more manageable for weeks.
The Power of Air
Water-saturated hair becomes spongy and more prone to breakage when wet combing is applied, contrary to what many were taught. This is why it’s also critical to fully dry the coat down to the skin and hair follicles after pretreating the coat in the tub. Now you can use the dryer in place of a brush, leaving many coats free of tangles and mats. Imagine that; brushing with water and air to reduce the snap/crackle/pop of tool damage. All these benefits equate to less stress—and that’s great news for groomers and pets alike!

However, some groomers continue to rely solely on a cream rinse for tangles, mats and shedding, failing to understand or apply any science. Still others rely totally on a detangling spray while vigorously pre-brushing before the bath. The main objection to pre-brushing is that the hair’s cuticles are typically severely dry, damaged and lifted when a pet enters your salon, so why risk further damaging the hair scales by severing them with grooming tools, exposing the inner cortex or fraying split-ends?

Condition/Shampoo/Condition Method
One emerging trend for salons over the last few years has been what’s commonly referred to as the “C-O-C” method, a.k.a. “Close/Open/Close.” This method has sparked a lot of buzz on social media and further acknowledges how conditioning manipulates cuticle scales for more desirable finish effects. However, as professionals we should be very careful selecting the terms used to describe things to avoid potential misunderstandings.

I like to refer to this process as “Condition/Shampoo/Condition,” and here’s why: While conditioning notably closes lifted cuticles, the synthetic detergents groomers use is pH neutral to acidic (< 7.0 pH) and therefore will not open cuticles. Opening cuticle scales is not necessary to clean hair whatsoever. In fact, chemically lifting hair scales can be an extremely harsh process that should be avoided, especially when treating multi-coated breeds.

Consider how 75% or more of the dog breeds we encounter in the salon shed or molt their coats. Opening the coat with an alkaline grooming liquid (>7.5 pH) may not only damage hair fibers, but also make it extremely difficult to rinse, comb through or release shedding undercoat while wreaking further havoc using grooming tools.

So why would we want to lift hair cuticles open? Well, let’s look at hair coloring. A harsh alkaline solution is applied after a hot water rinse. Together this softens the hair fiber, lifting the cuticles open. Next a potent color pigment blend is added and given time to set up under the lifted scales before rinsing with cool water. A very acidic conditioner is applied next to seal in the pigment by fully closing each lifted cuticle. Conditioning regularly extends both the hair’s manageability and color retention. Harsh detergents are typically avoided in-between color treatments to prevent premature lifting and color loss.

Of course, proponents of the Condition/Shampoo/Condition method remark how notably desirable the results can be. And many have switched from using solely shampoo to using not one, but two additional conditioning treatments. To my earlier point, effective conditioning is a game changer for pet groomers!

I wholeheartedly encourage you to further explore all that can be accomplished by mindfully pretreating with shampoo and conditioners during bath time. I promise you will be thrilled with the results as you grow in confidence, understanding and experience. However, it’s important to progress at your own pace and be attentive to each pet’s unique circumstances.

So whether you opt for the Close/Further Close/Fully Closed or Condition/Shampoo/Condition method, get intimate with the results provided by each product. Remember, you’re in control, so start working smarter not harder. Have faith in hair care chemistry and start trusting your grooming liquids!

Dave Campanella is a PGC Educator, entertaining seminar speaker, popular podcast guest, and industry columnist. He is Best Shot Pet Products sales and marketing director with over 30 years of pet industry wisdom. He and his wife Tracy co-owned a full-service pet salon and self-wash in Ohio prior to relocating with Best Shot to Kentucky 20 years ago. Together they enjoy exhibiting at grooming shows, being industry ambassadors, breeding and showing Kerry Blue Terriers along with their Samoyed and Lowland Polish Sheepdog at AKC events.

Groomer’s Guide
Yes, Your Clients Should Be On a typography
illustration of a male figure wearing a red coat, blue jeans and green sneakers standing in front of a large calendar and pointing at a circled date
Monthly Schedule typography

by Jennifer Bishop Jenkins

capital O with arrows pointing at it

n Earth, where we humans and our pets live, our calendars are divided into periods of time called months. This thing called a month exists in every culture and language, and it drives the organization of our time. However, it is much more than a numeric habit passed down from thousands of years ago—it is an actual natural thing. So, first, a tiny lesson in Earth Science, one of my favorite subjects…

Originally, the idea of a month came about from clear observations of our Earth’s moon, cycling from full moon to new moon every 28 days or so. Much of nature is affected by these patterns, such as the tides in our oceans, the seasons and the changes in weather. Even our human bodies are tied to these natural monthly cycles, including fertility and reproduction. We are monthly creatures living on a planet where all these natural cycles of time are built into the very Earth we live on shared by all living things, down into our very cells.

The Grooming Connection

Just like everything else on Earth, mammalian skin and coat also work in these regular periodic cycles. Skin is a living organism shared by all mammals and hair is an extension of the same proteins that make up skin. Skin cells cycle, hair comes in and falls out. All living things grow and renew, from the cellular level up to the most enormous and complex plants and animals, and then they die or change into something else.

The skin and hair system mammals have is called the Integumentary system. While it differs from species to species, we all have in common that skin and hair is made of keratin proteins, and that hair is an extension of filaments of keratins emerging from the skin. But most importantly for our discussion, skin has layers. And it is the monthly cycles of these layers that makes monthly grooming a necessity.

The broad categories of skin layers in a dog are, on top, the Epidermis; under the Epidermis lays the Dermis; and at the base of the skin is the Subcutaneous Layer. There are more complex components of these layers, but that is the general structure. As with all mammals, new skin cells rise from below to finally reach the surface, and then slough off.

Vector colorful illustration of a dog skin anatomy diagram showing the three different terra cotta colored stage layer headings: Epidermis, Dermis, and Subcutaneous Tissue

The cycle of the formation of new skin cells below, rising from the basal layer to the stratum corneum and the surface, then shedding off, is called the keratinization cycle. The keratinization cycle in dogs takes approximately 21 days. For humans it takes longer. But this is why grooming (bathing, conditioning, brushing and combing hair, etc.) must be at least monthly for dogs. When skin cells reach the surface and need to fall off, they will begin to crust over and clog the outer layers of the skin.

Restoring the Skin’s Protective Barrier
The outer skin contains what veterinarians have called a “protective barrier” made of sebum, a natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands and delivered out to the skin through the hair follicles. Bathing at least monthly will shampoo away dead skin cells and clean the sebum layer which gets dirty as the outer, oily protective barrier for the skin.

Conditioning in a separate step is then critical. Since soap has washed away the oils, the skin will be stressed, even injured, and can be very uncomfortable for the dog unless the sebum layer is restored with good-quality conditioners. The dog’s coat type matters in determining what kinds of products we want to use to help the skin and coat work well for our clients.

All canine skin needs oils, minerals and moisturizers, but different breeds of dogs need them in different amounts. Short coats need more oil. The natural/normal fur coats of medium length in most dogs need more minerals because of the more constant shedding and making of new hairs. They require more of the building blocks of new hairs: magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. And long coats need more moisturizers—humectants, emollients and collagen to protect the ends of the hair furthest away from the skin.

This is another reason why short shaves can do long-term harm to delicate but important skin. Sunlight to the skin kills the immune system in the Langerhans cells, leading often to skin cancer. Sebum cannot get to the surface to protect the skin without the hair in the follicles. The sebum travels out onto the skin via the hair and the follicles to do its job as a protective barrier to the skin. This is also why hairless dog breeds must be treated daily; to wick away the dead skin cells that crust over, and then protect the skin with an appropriately light and nourishing oil.

Messaging to Clients
If we present ourselves as knowledgeable pet groomers who are worthy of being paid real money to care for our clients’ dogs and cats, then we must do our job correctly. We do not set the 21-day keratinization cycle for dogs—that is set by the very cycles of nature itself.

So here we confront the real issue: Should we be requiring our clients to come on a monthly schedule? I do. And it has been easier to implement than I ever imagined. It is just the normal routine for our hundreds of active clients. However, there are exceptions to every rule.

If the client cannot afford my services that often, then I sell them good shampoos, conditioners, brushes and combs, and I take time to teach them how to do all this themselves at home. Often, they find it is well worth it to pay me to at least do a bath/condition/brush-out monthly rather than trying to deal with the mess of it at home.

Several families realized that their failure to regularly groom their pets was leading to higher vet bills. Some were upset with themselves for not caring for their dogs the way they should, because no one ever took time to teach them about what was proper minimal care.

Visual aids are very important to show them exactly what we are talking about. I printed up photos and diagrams of dog skin (easily found online) and laminated them. I explain the keratinization cycle while showing them pictures, stressing how natural all this is and how it is unavoidable. This is part of owning a dog; of being a mammal.

I can imagine this requirement sounds harsh, maybe even bad for business. But my experience has been the opposite. Since I take time to educate clients lovingly and knowledgeably on the biology of this, they know it is all driven by both my expertise and my love for their dog—not something I had made up just to line my pockets. I don’t get bossy or demanding about it. I rarely have had to do anything more than pull out my skin diagrams and explain it all. Many quickly learned that a four- to five-week schedule kept de-matting charges down, and their cleaner, more comfortable dog much easier to live with.

This monthly need to clean and repair dogs’ skin is not some arbitrary schedule based on groomer economic need, nor is this optional for the pet because of owner preference, budget or schedule. This is a requirement for the health of the dog that is based on the very natural functioning of the cells in their skin. Monthly grooming is in tune with nature’s beautiful song; it is knowledgeable grooming; it is loving grooming.

Derm Connection
Understanding the True Function of Shampoo title
shampoo bottle
by Dr. Cliff Faver
Shampoo is not just a grooming staple; it’s a ubiquitous product found in households worldwide. Yet, despite its widespread use, many of us may not fully grasp the intricacies of how and why we use it. Beyond its apparent purpose of cleaning, understanding the composition, function, and potential impacts of shampoo is crucial for effective grooming practices and the wellbeing of our pets.

At the heart of shampoo lies a combination of surfactants, detergents and sometimes alcohols. These ingredients work to attract and suspend dirt and oils from the hair and skin until rinsed away. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are among the most common surfactants used in shampoos, renowned for their effective cleansing properties. However, their reputation for harshness often raises concerns, with some likening their potency to degreasers used in industrial settings. It’s a valid comparison, considering the potent cleansing capabilities of these surfactants. Yet, it’s essential to remember that in controlled quantities, even potent substances like these can serve beneficial functions. After all, we brush our teeth with toothpaste containing similar ingredients, albeit in smaller concentrations.

The analogy of controlled poisons is apt when considering the ingredients in many household products. Just as water, a life-sustaining substance, can be deadly in excessive amounts (as tragically demonstrated by cases of water toxicity), the key lies in moderation and understanding. Shampoos, too, fall into this category. While they excel at cleansing, indiscriminate use or overuse can strip away essential oils from the skin and hair, leading to dryness, irritation and other issues.

Recognizing the potential drawbacks of traditional shampoos, some groomers opt for “detergent-free” or “soap-free” alternatives. Despite the label, these products still contain mild surfactants derived from plants, which offer gentler cleansing without the harshness associated with SLS or SLES. However, more lather equates to better cleaning, but it overlooks the fact that excessive bubbles can exacerbate the stripping of natural oils. This effect is akin to the drying sensation experienced when using dish soap, where the same cleansing properties can leave hands feeling parched and in need of hydration.

Just as water, a life-sustaining substance, can be deadly in excessive amounts (as tragically demonstrated by cases of water toxicity), the key lies in moderation and understanding. Shampoos, too, fall into this category.

Pets, with their unique skin and coat composition, are particularly susceptible to the effects of harsh shampoos. Unlike humans who depend on calluses to protect the skin, dogs have hair, which protects the skin but leaves it very vulnerable to insult when exposed. Excessive removal of these oils can disrupt the delicate balance of their skin, leading to irritation, inflammation and other dermatological issues. Thus, the ideal shampoo strikes a delicate balance, effectively removing dirt and debris while preserving the skin’s natural oils.

A common misconception among pet owners is the belief that shampoo alone can address all skin and coat concerns. However, as previously discussed, the primary function of shampoo is to cleanse, not to moisturize or treat underlying skin issues. While some shampoos may contain added oils or ingredients purported to nourish the skin, their efficacy in this regard is limited by their cleansing nature. In essence, attempting to strip away oils while replenishing them with added ingredients simultaneously may yield conflicting results, ultimately undermining the intended outcome.

Another prevalent misconception pertains to shampoo’s disinfecting properties. While some shampoos may contain antimicrobial agents or additives targeting specific skin conditions, the primary focus remains on cleansing rather than sterilizing. Thus, relying solely on shampoo to combat bacterial or fungal infections may prove insufficient, requiring a more targeted approach.

Furthermore, the process of bathing itself is not merely mechanical but also chemical in nature. If it were solely a matter of mechanical agitation, water alone would suffice for cleansing. However, the addition of surfactants and detergents facilitates the removal of dirt and oils by breaking down surface tension and suspending debris for easy rinsing. This chemical process requires time for the surfactants to interact with the dirt and oils effectively. Rushing through the bathing process or rinsing too quickly can limit the efficacy of the shampoo, necessitating a second application to ensure thorough cleaning.

Rushing through the bathing process or rinsing too quickly can limit the efficacy of the shampoo, necessitating a second application to ensure thorough cleaning.
The application method also plays a crucial role in shampoo efficacy. Some groomers advocate for applying shampoo to dry hair, theorizing that the hair and skin will absorb the product more effectively. However, this approach overlooks the importance of water as a carrier for distributing the shampoo evenly and facilitating its penetration into the coat. Without adequate water, the shampoo may struggle to reach all areas of the skin and coat, resulting in uneven cleaning and potential product wastage.

Moreover, the stability of shampoo formulations, once diluted with water, is another factor to consider. When mixed, shampoo undergoes a chemical reaction and begins to degrade over time, rendering it less effective and potentially fostering bacterial growth. Preparing shampoo in advance and storing it for extended periods of time increases the risk of contamination and product degradation, therefore compromising its efficacy and safety for use on pets.

In light of these considerations, selecting the right shampoo for grooming requires careful evaluation and discernment. With an abundance of products available on the market—each boasting various claims and benefits—it can be challenging to navigate the landscape of grooming supplies. However, prioritizing efficacy, safety and the wellbeing of the pets in our care should guide our decision-making process.

Ultimately, the key to effective grooming lies not only in the selection of products but also in understanding their limitations and proper usage. Education, research and practical experience are invaluable tools for groomers seeking to optimize their grooming practices and achieve the best possible outcomes for their furry clients.

By staying informed, remaining open to new information and techniques, and prioritizing the welfare of the animals entrusted to their care, groomers can continually improve their craft and enhance the grooming experience for pets and their owners alike.

Dr. Cliff Faver graduated with a BS in Biology/BA in Chemistry before getting a Veterinary degree in 1987. He is the past owner of Animal Health Services in Cave Creek, Arizona and now the US distributor for Iv San Bernard products, teaches the ISB Pet Aesthetician Certification program, and speaks internationally on hair and skin. His passion is to merge groomers and veterinarians to aid in helping and healing pets. He is also a member of AVMA, AAHA, AZVMA, Board member with Burbank Kennel Club, and has served on Novartis Lead Committee, Hill’s International Global Veterinary Board, and a Veterinary Management Group.

Better Cat Grooming
“What Happens After My Cat is Shaved?” A Guide to Owner Education typography with an image of cat fur
by Lynn Paolillo
Photos provided by Lynn Paolillo
Educating cat owners on the importance of grooming is a crucial aspect of ensuring their pets’ wellbeing. This article aims to provide cat groomers with a resource to help convey essential grooming information to cat owners, focusing on mat removal, post-grooming care, hair regrowth and the benefits of regular grooming sessions.

Understanding the Impact of Mat Removal on Cats

Removing mats from a cat’s coat is often more than just a cosmetic procedure; it can reveal underlying skin issues such as redness, irritation, bruising and even severe wounds. These issues arise because mats pull and tug on the skin with every movement your cat makes. After these mats are removed, your cat may experience increased sensitivity and, in some cases, wounds may develop days later due to restored sensation.
Post-Grooming Care: Addressing Licking and Behavior Changes
Some cats will excessively lick their skin after mat removal, which can lead to redness and irritation. To prevent this, consider using a cone, E-collar or a small kitty t-shirt to stop them from licking sensitive areas. This behavior should decrease within a few days, once the new sensation has subsided.

Additionally, cats may temporarily act aloof or irritable post grooming; however, they typically return to their normal selves within a day. If you notice any concerning symptoms like lethargy or refusal to eat, consult your veterinarian.

Removing mats from a cat’s coat is often more than just a cosmetic procedure; it can reveal underlying skin issues such as redness, irritation, bruising and even severe wounds.

Removing mats from a cat’s coat is often more than just a cosmetic procedure; it can reveal underlying skin issues such as redness, irritation, bruising and even severe wounds.

cat wearing a cone getting their coat shaved with an electronic razor
Hair Regrowth After Mat Removal

Several factors influence how quickly a cat’s hair will regrow, including:

  • Age and health status
  • Hair type
  • Diet
  • Coat condition
  • Skin condition
  • Season/time of year
  • Method of mat removal

Older cats and those with health issues may experience slower or uneven hair growth. And depending on the hair type, guard hairs will sometimes grow faster than the undercoat. Healthy cats with clean skin and coat tend to regrow hair more quickly, although seasonal changes can affect this process. For some cats, particularly long-haired breeds, full regrowth of both length and density can take up to 18-24 months.

Regular grooming not only keeps your cat looking their best but also contributes significantly to their overall wellbeing.

Regular grooming not only keeps your cat looking their best but also contributes significantly to their overall wellbeing.

cat on a grooming table with fur shaved
Preventing Future Matting

Preventing mats from forming is key to maintaining your cat’s comfort and health. Regular grooming appointments can address your cat’s specific needs, keeping their coat in optimal condition. The frequency of these appointments varies depending on several factors, including, but not limited to, your cat’s coat type, their behavior during grooming and your grooming goals.

A basic grooming session every four to eight weeks should include:

  • Nail trimming
  • Ear and eye cleaning
  • A warm bath and blow-dry
  • Thorough combing

Additional services such as haircuts, sanitary trims (particularly for long-haired or obese cats), deshedding treatments or nail caps may be recommended based on your cat’s needs and your grooming objectives. These services can influence the grooming schedule, ensuring your cat remains in excellent condition without requiring extensive at-home grooming.

Discussing your cat’s grooming schedule with a professional cat groomer will help you understand the best approach to maintaining their coat’s health and appearance. Regular grooming not only keeps your cat looking their best but also contributes significantly to their overall wellbeing.

As cat groomers, our role extends beyond the grooming table; it involves educating cat owners on the nuances of their pet’s grooming needs and the importance of regular care. By sharing this knowledge, we empower owners to make informed decisions that enhance their cat’s health, comfort and quality of life. Encouraging an open dialogue about grooming practices, health signs to watch for post grooming and the benefits of a consistent grooming schedule can greatly improve the grooming experience for cats and their owners alike.

Grooming Matters
Dry Pets in a Jiff: Products & Tips to Promote Faster Drying
dog being groomed with a vacuum

by Daryl Conner

Whether you are grooming a smooth-coated Chihuahua, a full-coated Old English Sheepdog or anything in between, a complete groom includes getting that pet clean and fully dry. And depending on the pet you are working on, drying can take up a considerable portion of the time you allot for the grooming process on each pet.

While I know groomers who enjoy the drying process, I’m not one of them. I can’t wait to have the dog on my table dry so I can get down to what I consider to be the “fun stuff”—brushing and styling. It is safe to say that most dogs are not fans of the drying process, either.

The good news is, there are liquid tools that help shorten the amount of time you spend getting a pet from drenched to dry—and they really work! The most common are sprays and shampoos that have been developed specifically for the purpose of helping to dry coats more quickly, and with good reason. They are formulated with a proprietary ingredient that encourages water to bead on top of the hair shaft rather than being absorbed. Once the water is beaded there, it is easier to remove by toweling, fluff- or force-drying.

Modern, water-soluble silicones are widely used in both human and pet skin and hair care products. Unlike the silicones of yesteryear, they don’t build up in the hair.

Even product manufacturers who fully disclose ingredient lists on their merchandise won’t spill the beans about the magic ingredient. Still, some snooping on the internet suggests that it is some form of short-chain alcohol. Such alcohols attract water and quickly evaporate, taking the water molecules they bond with as they go.

I have done timed drying tests, using a drying product on one half of the dog and stationing a groomer on each side with the same kind of dryer. My very non-scientific experiment made me a believer. The side we used the drying product on really did finish faster.

Pet grooming products containing silicone also help dry pets faster while offering other benefits to the groomer. Modern, water-soluble silicones are widely used in both human and pet skin and hair care products. Unlike the silicones of yesteryear, they don’t build up in the hair. Today’s silicones are hydrophobic and work by coating each individual hair shaft to smooth the cuticle (outer layer), effectively creating a water-repellent barrier. So instead, the water remains on the surface where it can be more easily absorbed by towels and mechanically removed with the heat and airflow from the pet dryer. They also make detangling and deshedding pets easier and leave the coat more manageable. You can find silicone in some shampoos, conditioners and sprays, and some can even be added to the final rinse.

Using products that include fast-drying properties or silicone is just one crucial step in reducing drying time. Beyond these, here are some other groomer-tested tips for getting pets dry faster:

  • Make sure the pet is extremely clean before attempting to dry it. Natural oils and dirt not removed during the bath will help hold onto moisture, prolonging drying time and resulting in coat that isn’t easy to style.
  • Remove as much water from the coat as possible before it ever reaches your drying table. Manually squeeze water with your hands, use super-absorbent towels until no dripping water is visible, then dry with a thirsty terry cloth towel. Allow the dog to have a few good shakes—they are amazingly efficient at water removal!
  • If you are using a fast-drying or silicone-based spray, now is the time to apply it. Then, lightly brush the product through the coat to distribute the spray and open the coat by separating the hairs before you dry.
  • Employ an absorbent surface on your grooming table. There are custom-made fabric drying table toppers, or you can simply put a dry towel or an absorbent door or bath mat on the table. They will not only catch water being sprayed off the coat, but also help to muffle the sound of the air from the dryer as it hits the table.
  • Try holding a microfiber, terry cloth or super-absorbent towel behind the area of the pet you are drying. This will catch moisture from the air as you work and hold it, preventing it from returning to the animal.
  • Make sure to dry pets in a well-ventilated area, or consider using a dehumidifier to ensure the air in your drying space is not overly saturated with moisture. If the air is humid, getting dogs thoroughly dry is nearly impossible.
  • If you use a high-velocity dryer, take a break when the pet is about halfway dry to brush the coat lightly, then finish drying. For thick or curly coat types, this will speed things up.

Combining the appropriate liquid tools with a good dryer and great technique is key to shortening the time you spend drying the pets on your table. Both you and the pets you groom will appreciate your efforts to speed up the drying process!

  1. Bird, B. (2015, March 29). Silicones – Quest for Truth – Part One. Pet Groomer Magazine.
  2. Bird, B. (2015, April 1). Silicones – Quest for Truth – Part Two. Pet Groomer Magazine.
  3. Scott, S. & Bird, B. (Hosts). (2021, September 5). Equation for speedy drying (No. 308). [Audio podcast episode]. The GroomPod.
  4. Scott, S. & Bird, B. (Hosts). (2023, March 1). Silicones and drying time, Recirculating bathing systems explained (No. 364). [Audio podcast episode]. The GroomPod.
Why You Should Increase Your Team's Pay Rate (and How to Support It)

by Louise Dunn


t is hard enough listening to your team question their pay rate and, coupled with the added pressure of following your state’s process of raising the minimum wage, it can become a nightmare as you hire a new team member at a rate close to your current team’s rate. In 2023, over 20 states raised their minimum wage, with new minimum rates ranging from $9.95 (Montana) to $15.74 (Washington).1

With the increase in minimum wage comes the obvious query from your team: “When are we getting a raise since minimum wage is now higher?” A receptionist earning $15/hr may have been reasonable in 2021, then along comes fast food workers in 2022 getting $15/hr and the state’s minimum increasing to $14/hr in 2023. Does that receptionist look for a wage increase beyond the typical cost of living adjustment? Add to that the rising inflation rate—and you must admit, is it any wonder why there seems to be a constant battle between what you pay and what the team wants?

digital illustration of business group of 3 oiling gears with a dollar sign and upward arrows
digital illustration of business group of 3 oiling gears with a dollar sign and upward arrows
by Louise Dunn

t is hard enough listening to your team question their pay rate and, coupled with the added pressure of following your state’s process of raising the minimum wage, it can become a nightmare as you hire a new team member at a rate close to your current team’s rate. In 2023, over 20 states raised their minimum wage, with new minimum rates ranging from $9.95 (Montana) to $15.74 (Washington).1

With the increase in minimum wage comes the obvious query from your team: “When are we getting a raise since minimum wage is now higher?” A receptionist earning $15/hr may have been reasonable in 2021, then along comes fast food workers in 2022 getting $15/hr and the state’s minimum increasing to $14/hr in 2023. Does that receptionist look for a wage increase beyond the typical cost of living adjustment? Add to that the rising inflation rate—and you must admit, is it any wonder why there seems to be a constant battle between what you pay and what the team wants?

This leads us to the million-dollar question (excuse the pun), can you afford to pay more? And if you can afford it, should you pay a higher hourly rate? Before jumping to a definite yes or no answer, take some time to dig a little deeper into the issue. Pay is much more than dollars per hour. Benefits also play into this puzzle. For example, that receptionist at $15/hr may receive a benefits package including healthcare, CE allowances, child care, cell phone and tuition assistance. Compare that to another receptionist making the same hourly rate but only receiving health insurance and you’ll see how your benefits package can be a game-changer in attracting and retaining team members.
The strategy of structuring pay is more than simply what your team is paid to do and when they are paid. It involves following laws, checking industry norms and staying aware of local competition.
So before proceeding, take the time to assess your benefits package—not just the hourly rate. Once you add up everything, get your data for total revenue and check how you compare to industry benchmarks.

The strategy of structuring pay is more than simply what your team is paid to do and when they are paid. It involves following laws, checking industry norms and staying aware of local competition. It requires knowledge of your recruitment and retention numbers, strategic goals for the business and skills gaps among the team members. Given the importance of all these factors, it sounds as if it is easier to toss out a few hourly rates and call it a day. However, you may be putting the business at risk. Working with your accountant and other professionals (e.g., insurance brokers, attorneys, etc.) is essential to developing a pay strategy that is a win-win for everyone.

Once you know your strategy and the numbers you want to achieve, it is time for the rubber to meet the road. The most common action steps involve increasing fees and decreasing costs to improve business financials. The caveat: There is only so much clients are willing to pay for services, and there is only so much cost-cutting before sacrificing pet health and wellbeing. That does not mean to skip this step. Many businesses can find errors in data entries, mistakes in buy-to-sell ratios and vendors with better deals that improve the numbers. Start here and fix any problems before deciding on the next move.

Returning to the benchmark reports, compare your numbers with your colleagues and decide where to tweak some fees and improve some costs. Work with your accountant to produce “clean” data before taking action.

But what if you already are running a tight ship with your fees and costs, yet you still need a comfortable margin for raising your team’s pay? Look for opportunities!

infographic illustration of 1 in 10 with text that reads: A survey by Forbes Advisor found that employees would take a pay cut to have access to better benefits
We have all heard about low-hanging fruit. One such example would be lapsed clients. Paying a team member to search your client data and contact clients can produce great results—clients scheduling appointments for services. In addition, working on strengthening client bonds with current clients and forward-booking appointments will help improve revenue numbers. Take a moment to survey your clients to find out what other services they desire and explore any opportunities. A new service that is right for your business and in demand by your clients is another way to improve revenue numbers.

The bottom line may not be IF you can afford to pay more, but rather, what is the consequence of not paying more? Are you increasing the risk of high employee turnover or trouble attracting new employees? Do lower wages hamper productivity? Does pet care and client service suffer due to a lack of staff or too many less-experienced people? While there is no right or wrong strategy, there are consequences, and you must be prepared to own your strategy.

Again, money isn’t everything. Businesses that define career advancement and incorporate other benefits can provide balance to a less-than-desirable pay rate. A survey by Forbes Advisor found that 1 in 10 employees would take a pay cut to have access to better benefits.2 What else can help your business if a wage hike is not in the cards? Voluntary benefits (supplemental coverage at a low cost to the employee), mandatory paid time-off, pension and retirement plans, life insurance, remote work and/or flexible hours, stress management, mental health benefits, professional development, job advancement…the opportunities are endless.

The pet care profession is known for the level of care provided to animals of all shapes and sizes. It may be time to venture outside the box and care for the people providing that care.

  1. Biron, B. (2023, January 8). These are the states where the minimum wage is going up in 2023. Business Insider.
  2. Miranda, D. (2023, February 6). Forbes Advisor.
Elevate Your Grooming
small dog sitting on wooden surface before grooming session
small dog standing on table after grooming session
Drop Coat typography
Bath & Dry typography
by Blake Hernandez
While the most important thing to accomplish during a dog’s prep work is to get them clean, as a professional, we can do so much more to set the coat up for success! Here I will go over the steps of a bath and dry on a drop coat that is sure get your groom off to a good start.
aerial view of a dog in a tub and a hand scrubbing its fur
FIG. 1) I always apply pre-mixed shampoo directly on to the coat. I find this gets dogs cleaner because the hairs are not engorged with fresh water but rather with a cleansing shampoo solution. Doing a direct shampoo mix will even be the best choice for those dogs with fleas or skunking.
closeup of dog's nails being clipped
FIG. 2) In the bathtub between my first bath and my second bath is when I trim nails. This allows the bath to soften the nail for more comfortable trimming. Also, if you do nick the quick of a dog’s nail, a nice cool rinse in the second bath can aid in constricting the blood flow.
A dog getting a bath with a pink scrubbing brush
FIG. 3) During the second bath, I like to really suds them up all over with a bathing mitt. This helps remove those dead skin cells from the skin.
man holding a small dog in a red towel after a bath while smiling
FIG. 4) Once rinsed, wrap and hold the dog in a towel to absorb excess water.
dog standing on grooming table while its fur is being blowdried
FIG. 5) On drop coats, it is very important to blow and prep the hair in the direction you want it to lay at the end. In the case of this dog, I start by blow-drying the back down towards the rear.
dog standing on grooming table while its paw is being blowdried
FIG. 6) On the legs, I dry them upward or reversed so I can get lift at the root to support a fuller-looking leg.
dog standing on grooming table while its paw is being brushed and blowdried
FIG. 7) Next you will “hot dry” or “stretch dry” the coat. This requires heat and tension, so I like to use a hand-held hair dryer tucked under my chin so that I have both hands free.
a man using blue grooming brush and blowdryer to smooth out small dog's fur
FIG. 8) Creating tension with my brush and using the heat from the dryer, I’m able to straighten those back hairs down so they look silky smooth.
Now you have a dog that is fluffy where you want it and smooth where it counts so you are set up to execute the perfect haircut! Prepping is just as important as the finished groom, and taking the time to prep the hair specifically for your desired end result is key.
Yes, Dear…

by Anjie Coates
Photo by Anjie Coates

  • Oreo is an adorable small mixed breed that comes in monthly and has since he was a puppy, and he is packed with personality!
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Hi, Anj! Hi! Hi! Hi!”
  • Scissors
    “Hi, buddy. C’mon, let’s get you set up for your bath,” I say.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Oh, I love the bath! Baths are the best! How are you? Do you need kisses? I’ll give you kisses!”
  • Dog
    Oreo proceeds to give me a number of quick kisses.
  • Scissors
    “Oh, thank you. OK, hop in and you’ll get your bath in just a minute,” I tell him.
  • Dog
    During his bath his excited energy begins to wane as he relaxes with his eyes half open and his mouth in a huge grin while he sits quietly and sighs in contentment.
  • Scissors
    “Good bath?” I ask.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Mmhm, is good.”
  • Scissors
    “Don’t fall asleep on me yet, buddy. You can nap in your crate after I get you toweled up,” I remind him.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “I’m not sleepy.”
  • Scissors
    “Right. I can tell you’re not sleepy at all,” I quip.
  • Scissors
    I get him toweled up and pop him in a crate with a warmed towel while I clean and disinfect the tub for the next dog.
  • Dog
    Oreo is sound asleep when I return to get him.
  • Scissors
    “Hey, buddy. Time to wake up. We have to get you dried and then even you out,” I tell him.
  • Dog
    Oreo yawns and stretches: “I’m good, come back later.”
  • Scissors
    “Yeah…no. Your Mom will be back to get you soon so we need to get this done,” I say.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “OK, carry me.”
  • Dog
    Oreo makes no effort to assist me in any way and continues laying on his side with a smile and sleepy eyes.
  • Scissors
    So, I reach in, scoop him up and hold him to my chest.
  • Dog
    He leans his head against my chest and lets out a soft, happy sigh as we head into the grooming room to begin his finish.
  • Scissors
    “You want to stand for your drying or are you going to go meatball on me again?” I ask.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “I nap, you dry.”
  • Scissors
    “How did I know?” I reply.
  • Scissors
    After drying, I need him to stand so I rub his body from head to toe in an invigorating massage.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Ah, feels good.”
  • Scissors
    “You awake now?” I ask.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Yep! So what’s that new thing? Hey, did you get a new sticker on your toolkit? Why is there a light on that white box? What’s in the cabinet? You never open that one.”
  • Scissors
    “Umm…Well, let’s see, new clipper, yes on the sticker, UV toaster is sanitizing blades and that’s storage for extra stuff,” I rattle off in reply.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Oh, those are shiny!”
  • Scissors
    “New shears,” I say.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Can I sniff?”
  • Scissors
    “No noses next to sharp shears. Sorry, kiddo,” I tell him.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Darn.”
  • Scissors
    “OK, ear cleaning, picture and we’re done,” I state.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Yay! What’s the theme? What am I going to be? Can I pick? I want to be a fireman! No wait—a zebra! No wait…”
  • Scissors
    “Hang on, buddy. You can see the options when we get in there,” I say.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Yeah, can’t wait!”
  • Scissors
    I carry him into the picture room and I lay out a few different choices for him.
    He picks the outfit of his choosing.
  • Scissors
    “Perfect! OK, now you gotta pick a wig to go with it,” I remind him.
  • Dog
    Oreo: “Oh, yeah! Umm…definitely the mullet wig! Can I??”
  • Scissors
    And I reply with a wide grin:
    Yes, dear
Barkleigh Show Schedule with colorful illustration of the United States of America map
Groom Expo West
Coming 2025
Pasadena, California
Fun in the Sun
10/10/2024 – 10/13/2024
Orlando, Florida
All American Grooming Show
8/15/2024 – 8/18/2024
Schaumburg, Illinois
New England Grooming Show
9/26/2024 – 9/29/2024
Springfield, Massachusetts
Heart of America Grooming Show
5/31/2024 – 6/2/2024
Kansas City, Missouri
Coming 2025
Secaucus, New Jersey
Pet Boarding & Daycare West Expo
Coming 2025
Las Vegas, Nevada
6/20/2024 – 6/23/2024
Wilmington, Ohio
Groom Expo
9/5/2024 – 9/8/2024
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Pet Boarding & Daycare Expo
11/4/2024 – 11/7/2024
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Groom Texas
7/19/2024 – 7/21/2024
Houston, Texas
Pet Pro Cruise – Alaska
8/23/2024 – 8/30/2024
Seattle, Washington
Northwest Grooming Show
Coming 2025
Tacoma, Washington
World Groom Online
See Online Schedule for More Details
For More Information
New Products
Angels' Eyes Zinc-Otic Ear Relief Treatment product image

Don’t let outer ear infections, also known as Otitis Externa, hold pets back from enjoying life to the fullest. With Angels’ Eyes Zinc-Otic Ear Relief Treatment, you can provide them with the relief they need and deserve. Specially formulated with Natural Boric Acid and Zinc, Angels’ Eyes helps combat the symptoms of outer ear infections, such as itching, redness, inflammation, discharge, and unpleasant odors, providing effective, gentle, and reliable care for your furry friends’ ears. The non-staining ear care formula helps fight yeast and bacteria while helping to calm itchy and inflamed ears.

Bobbi Panter Professional Mud Bath Deep Conditioning Treatment product image
The Signature and Botanical Lines of Bobbi Panter Pet Products are trusted, recommended, and adored by groomers and pet owners all around the country. The Bobbi Panter Professional Mud Bath Deep Conditioning Treatment from Nilodor Pet Brands is made with Dead Sea clay, red algae extract, keratin, shea butter, and kale extract to help repair, rejuvenate, and rehydrate dry or irritated skin. The naturally derived, intensive conditioning treatment restores moisture, leaving the coat soft and smelling good for days. Available in a 16-oz. pump bottle at

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Wisdom & Grace bible verse (2 Peter 1:5-7) sentence with a red flamed heat floating in the air and brown cross symbol floating above the heart with nine ray beam sun shaped lights in the distance
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Thanks for reading our May 2024 issue!