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Using human shampoo vs. dog shampoo

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM Comments comments (58)
Everyone knows not to use human shampoo on dogs, right?  But do you know why?  

When clients tell me they have been using human shampoo, I usually went through my spiel of it can dry out their skin and the ph balance is different in dogs and humans.  That was the extent of my knowledge and I was never able to find solid information on the why's of not using human products.  

As many of you may know, my passion is to make dogs better.  Not just the doggies with nerves, or shyness, or fear.  I want to make their skin healthier too.  Many of my clients babies suffer from allergies and their skin shows it.  I worked with a Veterinarian in Pasadena and followed his regimen of skin care and I still use the products he likes to give to his clients.   These products do help significantly but the never completely heal the pet.  My little red flag goes up in my brain and tells me that these products help contain the situation but they do not heal.  Hmmmm....

Enter the seminars at the Pasadena grooming convention.  For the first time, there are veterinarians presenting subject matter that completely drew me in!  Now to answer that question about using human shampoo vs. dog shampoo...

I'm sure many of you have heard that dogs have thicker skin than we do.  While this technically true, it's the epidermis that counts.  Humans have about 25-30 layers of skin cells in the epidermis (the very top layer of skin), while dogs only have 7-12 layers.  Also, human skin is slightly acidic while dogs skin is more alkaline so our products reflect that. 

Let me try to paint this picture for you.  Imagine, our products are slightly acidic and detergent to remove 5-15 layers of our skin to exfoliate and give us beautiful soft skin.  If these same products are used on a dog, it will do the same for them.  It will remove 5-15 layers of skin.  Now, if your dog only has 7-12 layers of skin cells on the epidermis, and you remove those and then some more from the dermis (next layer down), you will be leaving the skin completely exposed to the elements.  It can seriously damage a dogs skin.  Moral of the story? Don't use human shampoo.

Of course now there are professional/pet store brand shampoos to look at.  Although they all have the correct ph for pets, they are not always good for your pet.  If your pet has normal skin then you may be able to get away with a store brand.  I always recommend professional products to wash your pet in.  Yes, they are more expensive but worth every penny.  It's like comparing grocery store chow to premium foods, your dog may survive just fine on the grocery store brand but will thrive on the premium foods.   

Going one step further, if your pet has severe allergies and the skin suffers for it, a regular professional product just wont do.   I can get all sciency on you but that may bore you to clean your baseboards with a toothbrush!  At the grooming convention I was able to get in with two veterinarians! (I'm so exited)  They both gave me their contact information with an open invitation to call them at any time.  I was also able to acquire the products that they not only recommended but they explained in great detail the science behind it.  PLUS all of the ingredients that are in them.  Most of you may not know that pet products do not legally have to list their ingredients.  Most companies don't and we are left trusting and hoping that the products do what they say.  It is extremely difficult for us.  

I have tested these amazing new products on a few of my clients, one in particular is Heidi.  My sweet Heidi is a boxer with severe allergies that have followed her from puppyhood.  Her owners have tried several treatments and vets and end up frustrated with no results.  I have been treating her for about 2 months now with the old regimen.  While she has improved, she is still far from healed and I am not happy.  I don't want to be another person to let sweet Heidi down.  Last week I treated her with my new IV San Bernard products and oh my wow!!!  I am still buzzing from elation on the effect of these products!  Her skin went from red and raw to pink and plump, not to mention my hands were as soft as a baby's bum after treating her!  I have high hopes that these products can help heal her.  The veterinarian and product manufacturer both guaranteed results.  My fingers and toes are crossed!  Like I said before, the science in these products is incredible.  I've been in the grooming industry for 17 years and never has anyone bothered to explain the science behind their products.  A lot of professional products were developed by groomers in their garage.  Not much science there!  I am a little bit of a nerd, yes I admitted it.  

I am taking weekly photos of Ms. Heidi to record her progress.  Hopefully I will be able to share them soon!  

Any questions?  Ask me!!!  I'll talk your ear off.       

My experience at the trade show

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM Comments comments (298)
Well let's just say that excitement was everywhere!  I've been to the Pasadena trade show 4 times now and every time is better than the last.  New products, new knowledge, and new friends!  I got to meet this one particular groomer who drove 7 hours from northern California.  She also had a standard poodle.  Now, when they say that dogs look like their people, this was the absolute perfect example.  She was this sweet hippie chick who was on a long road trip, her hair in dread locks with a beautiful scarf wrapped around them.  Her poodle....  naked body, dreadlocks on his head!!!!  I loved it!  I was able to talk to several groomers and catch up with old friends.  

Even though I spent most of my time in the seminars, I was still able to spend time at the trade show on my breaks.  My poor poor credit card, I swear it was going to melt with every swipe it took.  I will go into further detail on the shampoo products I invested in on the next blog post, but I'm so jazzed about them I can barely contain myself!  Other than the shampoos, I was able to get myself a few snazzy new outfits!  Jodi Murphy is one of the top groomers in the country and I got to meet her in person!!!  She actually helped me peruse through her line of groomwear.  Oh be still my heart!  I wanted to take a photo with her, but I couldn't muster the courage to ask her.  Yes, I regret that.  

After two very long 12 hour days at the seminars and trade show it goes without saying that I was pooped.   Stryker however was ready for more.  He was by my side the entire time and was such a good boy.  I got a kick out of so many new groomers gushing over my beautiful boy!  Imagine my shock when people kept taking photos of him or with him like he was a mascot!  I'm just so glad that he is not a snobby standard poodle.  Most of the other standards there were competing and I'm sure they were sick of people fussing over them.  It was interesting to watch these gorgeous dogs turn away from people like little dog snobs, noses up in the air and eyes closed.  I cracked up each time!!!  Stryker was eating up all the attention that the other dogs didn't want.  I adore my poodle.    

I had so much fun and my brain was completely soaked with new information.  I can hardly wait until next year!!!  


Posted on December 23, 2013 at 1:16 AM Comments comments (365)

Oh, the Holidays. ;)

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (271)
Ask any seasoned groomer about the Holidays and you might hear a lot of groans and frazzled talk about last minute clients, shopping, stress, working sixteen hour days and seven days a week.  Grooming is an extremely stressful job that requires every ounce of your patience.  Patience of a saint!  This is just on a day to day, but when the Holidays come around things can get crazy.  I've worked for shops and mobile units that overbook their groomers and this is so stressful for everyone involved.  I'm talking barking dogs, barking clients, dogs in cages all day long and messing themselves, stress drooling, you name it!  It's just overwhelming for all involved.  Years ago I had a grooming salon and a mobile unit, I decided then that I would never overbook my girls or myself.  So I came up with a beautiful system that worked and was very fair to everyone!  Being that I fully run Bath and Doggie Works, I can implement this system to accommodate as many clients as I can without stress or overbooking.  This year, even though I've been booked solid these last few weeks, I am not at all stressed and my clients are happy!  I am able to set a schedule that balances work and family.  On top of already being a Happy Groomer, I have wonderful clients that very generously give Christmas bonuses.  I've shed tears over these gifts and I am overcome by the appreciation they have for the service I provide.  I'm simply doing what I love doing.  Yes I enjoy a good technical scissor cut, but where I'm the most happy is when I can make a difference in a dog that has had bad experiences.  Gaining their trust is my drug.

I want to say thank you to all of my clients, I hope you and your families have a wonderful Holiday!


New Groomer in Town.

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 11:43 PM Comments comments (556)
Hi everyone!!!

This is my first ever, extremely official BLOG posting ever!  Please forgive me now if I am not very blog savvy.  I rarely read blogs, and I've never written one in my life! 

So here I am, literally the new groomer in town.  I have a long history in grooming, 17 years as a matter of fact.  It might be more, but sometimes the years even shock me so I keep it lower.  Just a year ago I was saying 14 year s until I actually did the math. 

I started so long ago as a simple teenager ambitious to get my life started.  When I graduated high school early, I decided to get a job to stay out of trouble so I started as a bather.  The job ad was in a newspaper, classifieds!  Does anyone even read those things anymore??  So much has changed.  Anyway, back to how I started...  I was a bather for a few short months and because I was so fascinated by the groomers I decided I wanted to give it a shot.  A year later, I was completely grooming on my own and attending every seminar I could to learn more.  I started a business about 7 years later in Riverside, ca. 

The business became a complete success and it ran beautifully for nearly 5 years before I decided to give it up to start a family.  I was able to sell the business but shortly after things went south when the recession hit.  I was one of the thousands of people who lost their homes, cars, a husband, etc.  So like any normal gal would do, I moved back in with mom!  God love her!  We stayed in a little 2 bedroom guest apartment on her property for 6 years.  After spending several years working part time to raise my gorgeous babies, I decided to take a leap of faith and move to Menifee.  It was a scary move although very well researched.  I wanted an affordable town that I could raise my kids in.

How I got so lucky to be running a business again, I don't know!!!  Although I do not own the business in name, I run the entire show.  It works out very well for me and I am loving every minute of it!  It's a little tricky for me with a truck and trailer set up.  I've been used to the giant mobile grooming vans in the past.  So if you see me rubbing up on curbs or backing down your street like I have been drinking, just pretend you don't see me!  I'm starting to get used to it, but I still make small mistakes.  Hey, just cause I'm a girl doesn't mean I can't drive down the street with a beefy truck and trailer!  I'm proud of it!  The space in the trailer is such a wonderful thing.  Those small vans are so cramped and there is barely any room for the groomer, much less the dog. 

Well enough about the trailer...  (have I mentioned I love it?) 

I'm going to end this little post now, so I can have more to write about later.  I really love writing and consider typing a hobby so hey, maybe this blog thing will be a good thing for me.

Keep your eyes peels for important topics.  I really want to go over some of the good, bad, and ugly in the grooming industry.  Share some wild grooming stories of mine, and answer any questions you have.

Your happy groomer,