About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Answers to Questions 1-10

Here are the answers to yesterdays questions.

As I said yesterday the answers are based on my experiences grooming.
They are questions that I would like to see a groomer answer if I were hiring them.

True and False Answers:

1)  A dog feels more comfortable gently showered with a sprayer rather then submerged into a tub full of water.

TRUE: Submerging a dog into a tub full of water can greatly freak some dogs out. The dog is more likely to stand calmly in an empty tub with a sprayer being used to gently shower them.
If there is a reason that a dog needs to be submerged in water to soak, place the dog into an empty tub and slowly fill the water to where it is needed. This way the dog can gradually get used to the water around it's legs and body.

2) People soaps and shampoos can be used on dogs and cats as long as they have been recommended by a Veterinarian.

TRUE: Some dish detergents and people shampoos have been recommended by Veterinarians to be safely used on dogs and cats, also wildlife caught in oil spills. A good rule of thumb is to follow up with a second shampooing in a good pet Medicated bath after using the dish detergents and people shampoos. *Note: Dish detergents and people shampoos should be used very sparingly. Once every 4-8 weeks is not going to harm a pet.

3) It is okay to spray water directly into a dogs face.

FALSE: Spraying a dog or cat directly in the face can be very uncomfortable for the pet. It can also cause a perfectly calm pet to become a scared, and frightened pet in the tub. Most importantly, it could cause water to enter the pets lungs.
Every effort should be made to avoid getting water in the dogs nose. If you have a dog that is scared of getting it's face washed, turn the water sprayer down to the lowest pressure and work slowly, telling the dog that everything is okay.
If the dog has a tendency to turn it's face and nose right into the sprayer, let the dog sneeze the water out, or drop their head down so that the water will run back out of the nose. I also keep a towel ready to wipe the nose off if water starts to run into it.

4) A dog can drown if they get too much water into their lungs.

TRUE: It is called dry drowning. Dry drowning happens when too much water gets in the lungs and becomes trapped. Dry drowning can kill a pet and people hours after taking in water.

5) It is okay to get shampoo in a dogs eyes, because the label states that the shampoo is tearless.

FALSE: The answer to this question is my own personal opinion. After years of bathing thousands of dogs, and having dogs shake and spray shampoo into my eyes, I have come to the conclusion that every pet shampoo stings when it gets in the eyes regardless of whether it is tearless or not.
Dogs can, and do turn their heads at the wrong time and accidentally get shampoo in their eyes. If this happens, immediately rinse the eye out. One way is to place the sprayer directly on the top of the dogs head and let water run down over the eye until the dog is opening it's eye comfortably.

6) A dog should be bathed in cool water.

FALSE: Once again this answer comes from years of bathing dogs. I have found that most dogs do not like to be bathed in cool water. They enjoy a lukewarm or warm bath just as we do. I have found that a warm bath relaxes them and keeps them comfortable in the tub. I have also found that elderly dogs enjoy bathes that are toasty, not hot, just a little warmer than warm. (hope that makes sense) Every dog is different, just like people. Some people like cool showers, some like warm showers, and others like toasty showers. I base the temperature on each individual dog. I start with a warm bath, if they start to pant a little, I make the water a little cooler. If they are shivering, I make the water warmer till the dog is comfortable.
For elderly dogs, I usually lock the sprayer in the on position so that even while I am shampooing them, the toasty water is still keeping them warm.

7) It is a good idea to put cotton balls into a dogs ears to keep water out while bathing.

FALSE: The cotton balls can become saturated with water and trap the water in the ear while bathing. You can also cause water to drip down into the ear while trying to remove the saturated cotton ball from the ear. 
I hold the ears against the head while rinsing. 


 Or, fold the ear in half to close it, and rinse.

8) Eye crust must be shaved off before the bath.

FALSE: Actually, some eye crust can be clipped or scissored off before the bath if it is dry and has an airspace between the skin and crust so that it can be safely removed. No matter how crusty the eyes, soaking the crust, (to let it soften) while bathing the rest of the dog, makes removing the eye crust much easier.

9) It is okay to bathe a matted dog.

TRUE: It is perfectly safe to bath a matted dog as long as it is not  left to air or cage dry. You can either wet shave a matted dog, or it should be HV dried immediately after the bath.

 HV drying a matted dog straight from the tub will blow the mats away from the skin allowing a larger airspace between the skin and mat. You will be able to clip the dog with a longer blade. Your blades also stay sharper longer.
It is much safer to clip a clean, matted dog than to fight a blade through a dirty matted dog.

10) It is okay to leave the dog soaking, in Medicated shampoo while you work on another dog, as long as the dog is tied safely in the tub.

FALSE: NEVER, EVER leave a dog unattended in the tub or on the table for any reason PERIOD!

The rest of the answers tomorrow.  :)

If you disagree with any of my answers, I would love to hear your opinion.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. What is your approach for washing those shih tzus with the SERIOUSLY scrunched up faces? I always have a hard time washing those. You know - the ones who look like they ran into a wall.


    1. Hi Cortney,
      I wash all of my face the same way. Here is a post that I did on washing faces:


      I use my fingers, with shampoo on them, to get under the eyes on those scrunched up faces. I also use the water pressure very low so that I can control the water better so I don't get water down the nose.
      I hope this helps you. :)
      Lisa, MFF

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