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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting Carried Away

Yesterday I had a small Havanese in.

I wanted to try something different.
I had a vision in my head of what I wanted to do.
The only problem was, I didn't have small enough bows to do what I wanted.

I decided to try it anyway. :)

This little lady was going to get bangs with bows.

So, I started with the first part.

I use the last couple of teeth on my comb to separate the bangs from the hair on the back of the head.

I comb the bangs forward.

I want my bang line/part to be just behind the eyes.

Because her hair is so thin and fly away, I sprayed some finishing spray on my comb and ran it through her bangs to keep them in place.

I am not going to scissor the bangs yet, because I don't want the shorter hairs to fly up into what I am trying to pull back in the bow.

I am putting two bows in, so now I will make my second part down the middle of the top of the head.

I comb the hair to each side and away from the bangs.

Now she has two nice straight parts...or as straight as I  can get them. :)

Now, normally I would now make another part close to the back of the dogs head, depending on how thick I want the hair I am putting  up.

But, for what I have in mind I am going to make this part about half way back.

Then I will complete the parts by making my fourth part from behind the outside of the eye to my third part.

Got that?

Did that make any sense?

This is what you want to end up with.

I could make the fourth part further down, closer to the corner of the eye, but for what I want to do today, this is good enough.

Comb the hair up on all sides to make a nice, neat little pony tail.

I like to twist the hair just a little in hope that the hair will stay in place while I put on the bow.

Then I put the first bow on.

Be careful mot to pull the hair too tight.

This is a view from the side.

A view from the top.

 I repeat the same parts on the other side.

I use my fingers to put my bows on.

I use my thumb and index fingers.

I forgot to get a picture, but if you press the tips of your thumb and index finger together, and then put the rubber band around the tips of both fingers with the rubber band on top and the bow on the bottom.

Next, open your fingers just enough to take hold of the pony tail.

Keep the bow on the front side of the pony tail and grab a hold of the rubber band part on the top of your fingers.

This way you should be able to keep the bow in place as you pull the hair through the rubber band.
Twist the rubber band around the pony tail as many time as you need to.

Got that one?

I think those instructions were even more confusing then the other one.
I hope that you can understand what I am tiring to say.

I am sure that other groomers out there have other ways to put bows on too, but this is what has always worked for me. ;)

 Now, you would think that I would stop there, right?


I wanted to try something else, although I could already tell that the first two bows were too big.

Next, I parted some more hair from the back of the head.

Then I took the hair from the other two pony tails and added it to the back pony tail, and put in another bow.



Too much, right?

Yeah, I know.

If I had two tiny bows like the little purple flower on these bows as the front two, and the larger bow in the back it might look better.

Oh well.

It was fun playing.

Lastly, I trim up the bangs.

Just a little too much. :(


Two is better. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF  ✂

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An Easy Day....Finally!

I say 'finally', because I groom so many geriatric, special needs, and biting dogs, that everyday has at least one of these types of dogs, some days two or three.
I do like grooming these types of dogs, because I like the challenge. 
 I like to work with biting dogs and eventually get them to the point where they trust me and no longer bite.

Even though I like grooming these types of dogs, I need a break away from them once in a while.
 These types of grooms are very draining.

And, it has been a while since I have had a break!

Today was a very pleasant grooming day.
No special needs dogs.
No elderly dogs. 
No biting dogs.

Well, that is not totally true.
I had this one.

 I did have this little lady.

She was so sweet, but unbelievably petrified.

I had to talk her through the bath, blow dry, and haircut.

She was head shy, and did snap for her nails, but she was never mean.

All the snapping was from fear.

She would put her teeth on me, but never press hard enough to hurt or brake skin.
All I had to do was talk to her and she would stop. 

I spent a lot of time hugging her, praising her, and reassuring her that everything was alright. 

I actually really enjoyed grooming her.

Her owner made another appointment, so I hope they become regulars so that I can show this scared little Yorkie that grooming is okay.

Here is another very pleasant dog to groom.

She is so calm and so sweet.

Her owner takes great care of her coat so she never has any mats.

Her back gets hand scissored to a Cocker pattern.

Yes, I could use a clip comb, but hand scissoring is actually easier and quicker for me.

She also gets her legs scissored.

She stands so nice on the table.

She is a dream to groom.

This little lady isn't crazy about the grooming, but she still behaves on the table.

The biggest problem with her is making sure that I have gotten all of those really teeny, tiny pin mats out of her coat.

I told her owner today that I swear there is a ity-bitty little person that lives in her hair, and every time I am sure that I have gotten all of the knots out, that little ity-bity person runs through her hair and puts some more tiny pin mats in her hair.

It almost never seems to fail, I run the comb through her just one more time to make sure, and find another teeny, tiny pin mat. 

Of course, if that is the only problem I have with a dog, I am happy.

So, those were a few of the pleasant dogs that I groomed today.

Here's to hoping for another pleasant day tomorrow. :)

Oh, I will post about the last little dog again tomorrow.
I tried something different with the bows.
It didn't come out the way I was hoping, (I need to get smaller bows) but I 'll show you what I did anyway.

Happy Grooming, MFF

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Products That I Use

I have had a couple of requests to post about the shampoos and products that I use when I groom.

I like trying different products.
I usually test them out on my own dogs first.
There are some products that I have been using my entire grooming career.

Here are the products that I use and how I use them.

Dilutes 6:1 / @ 2½-2¾ cups to a gallon of water

I have been using this Whitening shampoo for 27 years!

I Love this shampoo.

This is a Tear-Less shampoo.
Can be diluted 6:1

I have gotten so many complements over the years on how white I get a dogs coat when using this shampoo.

I use it two different ways.

I mix it with other shampoos if I am just making up a simple shampoo mixture for a regular bath.

I use it full strength on stained white coats, or when I want to brighten up a white coat, or white areas on a dog.

Let stained areas soak for a few minutes.

Bright White by Ring5®
Cost @ $33 a gallon / Cost if used as directed @ $5.50 a gallon

             PROS                                                                          CONS

 ~Gentle scent                                                            ~ Only dilutes 6:1
 ~Cleans and brightens white coats                             ~  Whitens best
 ~Gentle on skin                                                             when used full strength 
 ~Great to mix with other shampoos
 ~Cleans well


Use As-Is

I have also been using this shampoo for 27 years.

I have also had great results with this shampoo.

This shampoo is meant to be used as is.

For best results with problem skin, do not dilute.

I like to let this shampoo soak on the dog for up to 10 minutes depending on the skin condition.
Five minutes is usually  long enough.

I also use this shampoo on every shaved Poodle face and feet to ward off any clipper irritation.

When using this shampoo on a dog with flaky skin, I warn the pet owner that they will notice a little more flaking, because this shampoo loosens dry, flaky skin.

 Cost @ $44 a gallon / cost if used as directed $44

             PROS                                                                        CONS
      ~Gentle scent                                                            ~High cost
      ~Easy to spread                                                        ~Very hard to find here
      ~Great for Dry Skin                                                      in America
      ~Great for warding off skin irritations
      ~Easy to rinse
      ~Cleans well 


Dilutes 51:1 / @ 1/3 cup (3oz.) to a Gallon of water

 We have tried many different Hypoallergenic shampoos.

A lot of them have  a strong smell that pet owners, who specifically want you to use a Hypo shampoo, don't like.

This Hypo shampoo is by Wild Animal®

One gallon makes 51 gallons of shampoo.
This shampoo is really thick (concentrated).

This shampoo does not have any soap or detergents.

We like this shampoo because there is no heavy scent, and it spreads very well.

Cost @ $38 a gallon / cost if used as directed @ .76¢ a gallon 

                       PROS                                                    CONS
                 ~Mild scent                                        ~Hard to pour
                 ~Spreads very easily                          ~Must mix with hot water to
                 ~Rinses easily                                       get a good dilution
                 ~Cleans well
                       ~No Soaps or Detergents
                 ~Safe for Puppies and Kittens


OATMELLA by DoubleK®
Dilutes 8:1 / 2 cups to a gallon of water

  We have been using this Oatmeal shampoo for a few years now.

We have tried others, but always come back to this one.

I like to use this shampoo on dogs that don't really need a full Medicated bath, but may have minor skin issues, or sensitive skin.

We also tend to have a lot of customers who come in asking for their dog to have an Oatmeal bath.

I like to add bright white to this shampoo if I am bathing a white dog.

Cost @ $29 a gallon / Cost if used as directed @ $3.60 a gallon

                     PROS                                                  CONS
        ~Pleasant scent                                ~Not Tearless (I have not had any 
        ~Spreads easily                                                         problems with this
        ~All natural                                                              shampoo irritating 
        ~Cleans well                                                             eyes)                                                                 ~Can not be used on Puppies and

Use As-Is

We picked up this shampoo at Hershey last year to try out.

We are still testing it. 
(We used this shampoo on the same dogs for a few visits to get owners feed back and see how the dogs coat is doing)

So far we have been really pleased.

We have been using this shampoo on two Shih-tzu's that come in with really bad, irritated skin.

We have noticed that the dogs skin has been getting better.

Would work better if the owners would bathe their dogs in this shampoo every two weeks.

This is a high cost medicated shampoo that should be charged extra for.

Although the front of the Epi-Pet shampoo says that it is a 6:1 shampoo, the directions on the back of the bottle, and on their website tells you to squirt it directly on a wet coat.

We have used it straight.

Cost @ $63 a gallon / Cost if used as directed @ $63 a gallon

                         PROS                                                    CONS   
                  ~Pleasant scent                                ~Confusing directions
                  ~Hypoallergenic                               ~Does not spread as nice as I
                  ~Soap free                                          would like
                  ~Safe to use on puppies                   ~Very expensive       
                            and kittens


Dilutes 15:1 / @  a little more than 1 cup to a gallon of water

I love this shampoo.

I like using it on coats that are limp and dual.

I also use it as a second shampooing after I have used a de-greasing shampoo on a dog.

The dogs coat feels crisp and clean as you rinse.

This shampoo also spreads and rinses really nice.

Cost @ $45 a gallon / Cost if used as directed @ $3 a gallon

                                  PROS                                                       CONS
                    ~Pleasant Scent                         ~Not tearless (Have not had any
                   ~Spreads well                                                    problems with eye
                   ~Rinses quickly and easily                                  irritation)
                   ~Leaves coat feeling clean 
                      and crisp
                   ~Safe to use on puppies 
                      and kittens
                   ~Helps de-grease coats
                   ~Removes shampoo and cream
                      rinse residue  


Use As-Is

     This is another must have.

Love this product.

It does exactly what it says that it does, removes grease from the dogs coat.

Really great for those greasy Yorkies, and greasy ears from medication.

It is a jell like consistency. 

Depending on the tempeture of your bathing room, it can be a stiff jell, or a soft jelly. 

D'Grease Shampoo by PUREPET® 
Cost @ $17 for a 40oz jar / cost if used as directed @ $17 per 40 0z. jar

                      PROS                                                           CONS
~No hazardous ingredients                                ~Only comes in a 16oz and 40oz
~Spreads easily, even in jell form                                 size
~Very light scent                                               ~Must rinse your hand before
~Great for spot cleaning greasy areas                   putting fingers back the jar for
~Rinses fast                                                         more shampoo if needed
~Does not dry out the skin 
~Does a great job of removing grease


Dilutes 15:1 / @ a little more than 1 cup to a gallon of water  


This shampoo is one of our basic, everyday shampoos.

It is not one of my favorites, but my son and daughter like it. 

It does have a pleasant scent without being too heavy.

Dilutes nicely. 

Cost @ $20 a gallon / Cost if used as directed @ 1.33 a gallon 
                            PROS                                        CONS
                   ~Pleasant scent                            ~Not tearless
                   ~Dilutes well                                ~Better if you soap up the dog
                   ~Lathers nicely                               twice
                   ~Conditioning shampoo
                   ~Rinses well  


Dilutes 15:1 / @ a little more than a cup to a gallon of water 

I like this for a basic shampoo and conditioning shampoo.

This is a great shampoo for everyday bathing.

It cleans very nicely, and has a pleasant scent.

This is the shampoo that we give to our Self-Serve customers. 

I like to make a mix of this shampoo and the Bright White. 

Cost @ $23 a gallon / Cost if used as directed @ $1.53 a gallon 

              PROS                                                       CONS
    ~Pleasant scent                                         ~Not tearless
    ~Cleans well                                              ~Must bathe very dirty dog at
    ~Leaves coat feeling soft                                    least twice to get clean
    ~Rinses well
    ~Gentle shampoo
    ~Safe on puppies and kittens


Dilutes 50:1 (General cleaning) / @ 1/3 cup to a gallon of water
Dilutes 30:1 (Course Coats) / @ 1/2 cup to a gallon of water
Dilutes 15:1 (Deep Cleaning) / @ a little more than 1 cup to a gallon of water
Dilutes 1:1 (Degrease) / use straight, As-Is

Dilutes 8:1 / (General Conditioning) 2 cups to a gallon of water
Dilutes 1:1 / (Heavy Undercoat or Matting)

This is my all time favorite Shampoo and Cream Rinse.

It is an absolute must on double  coated breeds.

It is also great on matted dogs.

Works best when followed with the Best Shot Cream Rinse.®

I always used the shampoo and cream rinse separately for best results.

You also want to rub the cream rinse into the undercoat, or matting very well.

If the dog is packed with undercoat or very matted, let the cream rinse stay on for a few minutes before you rinse it.
Best Shot UltraMAX Pro Shampoo
Best Shot UltraMAX Pro Conditioner 
 Cost per gallon @ $40 / Cost if used as the 50:1 dilution @ .80¢ per gallon
                                     Cost if used as the 30:1 dilution @ $1.33 per gallon
                                     Cost if used as the 15:1 dilution @ $2.67 per gallon

Best Shot also makes Best Shot Ultra Wash® Shampoo and Ultra Plenish® Conditioner.
The Ultra Wash Shampoo and Ultra Plenish conditioner is Best Shots original formula.
It works just as well as the UltraMAX® and is a cheaper version of the UltraMAX®.
UltraMax is formulated more for professional groomers.
I like both of these shampoos.
Because the UltraMAX® is a little more expensive then the Ultrs Wash®, I do use both shampoos and conditioners. 
I like to save the UltraMAX® shampoo and conditioner for the dogs that have packed undercoat and very bad matting.
I use the Ultra Wash® on all other double coated breeds and minor matted dogs.

Both of these shampoos are also great at whitening the coat.

                             PROS                                              CONS
       ~Pleasant scent                                           ~I am probably not a good
       ~Loosens/helps remove undercoat                 person to list the cons          
       ~Loosens/helps remove mats                         cant' think of any :)                                
       ~Cleans well
       ~Leaves coat feeling clean and soft.
       ~Repairs damaged coats
       ~Ultra Wash is soap free
       ~Safe for puppies and kittens

 Dilutes 96:1 per 8oz bottle / 4 to 7 drops per gallon of very warm water

I used to use a Hot Oil Treatment where you had to heat the water up in a special pot then add the oils.

It was time consuming, because of having to wait for the water to heat up, then having to wait for it to cool back down because I forgot to check it. :/

Also, the little pot did not make enough for a medium to large dog, so you had to heat a couple of pots.

It was such a pain, for years I didn't even bother offering any kind of Hot Oil Treatment.

Then one day I read about Purepet®.

I really like this One Step Hot Oil Treatment.

It is so easy to use, and I have had great feedback on it.
I have been using this product for about 5 or 6 years.

Oh, and my daughter swears by it, because she uses it on her hair too. (her long hair is down to her butt)

I do not use it as directed though.
The instructions tell you to add ½ to one teaspoon of oil to a gallon of warm water.
We discovered very quickly that that was too much oil.
We used it on a Standard Poodle and it really left him greasy, even when we tried to rinse it off.
So we re-bathed the Poodle and tried again.
This time we only added about a few drops of oil to a gallon of water.
Shook the gallon well and poured it over the dog.
Much better.
We played with the amount of drops and have found that 4 to 7 drops works the best.
Don't be fooled after you shake up the water and oil and it just looks like water.
Don't add more oil.

When I say drops I mean drops.
The lid makes it easy to count off the drops into the gallon jug.
Do not squeeze the bottle, just let the drops slowly come out.
I also make the water in the gallon jug very warm (not hot).
Pour it all over the coat, massage it in, let stand for about 2 minutes then towel dry.

I do have a 1/2 gallon jug for smal to small/medium size dogs. (4 to 5 drops)

Just about every customer that I have used this Hot Oil Treatment on has noticed the difference in their dog coat.

PurePet® Pure Soft One Step Hot Oil Treatment
Cost per 8oz bottle is @ $11 / Cost if used as directed @ .11¢ per gallon
               PROS                                                        CONS                                 
  ~Very economical                                          ~Do not use on head and
  ~Great add-on income                                      face
  ~Easy to use                                                  ~Must be careful to only
  ~Not messy                                                      let out drops
  ~Leaves coat feeling soft
  ~No residue
  ~Rejuvenates dry skin and coat
  ~Natural Herbal Oils
  ~Dogs coat drys easily after use
  ~Can also be used on Cats


Spray straight from bottle 

I like to use this finishing spray on coats that have static, fly-away hair, or the hair has been damaged from de-matting.

Sometimes I spray it right on the coat while it is still damp and then blow dry, or spray it right on my comb and comb it through the coat.
I like to comb it through dry coats.

PurePet® Pure Soft Finishing Spray
Cost per 12oz bottle @ $10 / Use As-Is. 

                          Pros                                                        Cons
        ~Light scent                                                     ~Careful around eyes
        ~Easy to use                                                    ~Some may not like the
        ~No residue                                                        scent
        ~Not sticky
        ~Great for fly-away hair
        ~Great for dry, damaged hair
        ~Can be used on a dry, or damp
        ~Safe for use on Cats, puppies and
        ~Has conditioners and sunscreen

Must register on their website for pricing

I picked up this product a few years ago at Hershey.

As I was looking at the products in the Iv San Bernard booth, another groomer came by and bought four bottles of this spray and raved, and raved, and raved about it for de-matting.
So I picked up a bottle.
My son and daughter love using this spray while HVing to help loosen the mats.
They like the sprays scent.
It is very strong to me, but it does seem to loosen up and help with de-matting.

You must shake the bottle well, each time, before you spray.
Work it well into the coat.

                           PROS                                                 CONS
  ~Good de-tangler                                             ~Do not use around eyes
  ~No residue                                                     ~Very strong scent
  ~Easy to use


Below are a list of products that I use that are not dog related.
I know that there are many groomers out there that do not agree with using products that are not formulated for dogs.

Each one of these products that I have been using where used on my own dogs first, before using on any of my customers dogs, even after I was given to okay to use them by my Vet. 

These products are being used once every 4 to 8 weeks on regular customers, and even more infrequently on dogs that do not come in very often, or once a year.
I don't feel that they are used often enough to hurt a dogs coat.

I will go ahead and list them.
*You must use your own discretion as to whether you would like to try them.

Dilutes 64:1 / @ ¼cup per gallon, or use As-Is depending on conditioning needs

 I use two conditioners in my shop.

I have already talked about how much I love Best Shot® conditioner, but lets face it, it is expensive.
In my opinion it is wasting the Best Shot® when using it for basic conditioning.
I like to save it for the big, hard jobs.

I started using the CureCare® after reading about it on a grooming forum, and decided to try it.
I love it.
No matter whether I use it As-Is, or diluted, it does not leave a residue, or weigh down the hair.
It is Hypoallergenic, so I can even use it on dogs that come in with Vet shampoos. (it does depend on the condition of the skin)
Most of the time I rinse this conditioner off of the dog, but I have used it as a leave-in conditioner also.
It is also a very economical conditioner.
I have used this conditioner on many dogs that can only be bathed in a hypoallergenic shampoo.
I have not ever had any bad feedback from using this conditioner.

Cure Care® Conditioner
Cost @ $8 per gallon / Cost if diluted 64:1 @ $.12¢ a gallon

                                 PROS                                          CONS
         ~No scent                                                  ~Careful around eyes
         ~Hypoallergenic                                         ~Don't use on cats
         ~Easy to rinse                                            ~Not a pet product
         ~No residue
         ~Leaves coat light and soft
         ~Can be used as a leave-in
         ~Safe on puppies


Used As-Is

Within about a months time I had two different customers come in talking about this shampoo and using it on dogs.

One customer was a Self-Serve customer, and she told me a story about a dog her mother had that had severe skin issues.
After many Vet visits, many different shampoos, and Vet shampoos, someone told her mother about Selsun Blue®.
Her mother used it on her dog, once a week for six weeks and fixed the dogs skin issues.

Now, of course this story was second hand, and I never saw the dog, but this customer couldn't say enough about how well this shampoo worked on her mothers dog.

Coincidentally, about two weeks after that Self-Serve customer told me about this shampoo, another customer came in with a bottle of the Selsun Blue®.
This customers Vet had told her to buy this shampoo and have us use it on her dog when we bathed him.

I went out and bought a bottle for my Doxi/Bichon mix.
He had very dry flaky skin and dry hair, and even though the Hot Oil treatments were helping his coat, he was still scratching a lot. 
I had already tried several different shampoos on him, and changed his diet.
He was going to be my test dog for this shampoo.

Let me say from the start, I hate the way this shampoo smells.
You can still smell it for a few days after the bath, but not as strong as when you are bathing.
That said, I bathed my dog with the Selsun Blue® Medicated every week for about six weeks.
I was impressed.
The dry flaky skin went away, he stopped scratching, and his coat was no longer dry. (I was still following up with the Hot Oil Treatment)

Now, even though I still bathe my dog every week, I only use the Selsun Blue® once a month.
Mainly because I can't stand the smell. :)
His coat is still doing great.

I use this shampoo occationally on customers dogs.
Dogs that nothing else has helped.
I see some improvement, but the dogs that I have used it on do not come in often enough, and I believe that this shampoo needs to be used often at first to really help.

Selsun Blue® Medicated Dandruff Shampoo
Cost per 11oz bottle @ $7

                  PROS                                                       CONS
        ~Helps dry skin                                           ~Awful scent
        ~Helps dry coat                                          ~Careful of eyes
                                                                          ~Not a pet product


Can be diluted, or used As-Is

I have been using Joy® as a flea shampoo and de-greaser for many years.
My Vet was the person who told me to use it as a flea shampoo.
I discovered very quickly that it was also a great de-greaser.
Especially, on those treated ears that are so greasy from medicine.

I also started using Dawn® as a de-greaser.
I figured if it is safe enough for them to use on wildlife during oil spills to save the birds and seals, it would also be safe to use on dogs.

Because both of these products are detergents, I always rinse the dog well and then follow up with a Medicated bath that I let sit for a few minutes before rinsing to re-moisturize the coat and skin.
Once again, I have been using these products for a long time and have not had any bad feedback.

Joy® as a flea shampoo:
Use straight and soap up dog well.
Let soap sit for a few minutes, five minutes if fleas are bad. (the lather suffocates the fleas)
Keep an eye on the dog at all times while soaking.
Do not allow soap to get into eyes.
Rinse well and then follow up with a medicated shampoo.

Joy® and Dawn® as a de-greaser:
Apply to greasy area, work into coat, rinse and repeat.
Follow  up with a Medicated bath.

                        PROS                                                   CONS
           ~Great for killing fleas                           ~Be very careful around eyes
           ~Great de-greaser                                ~Not a pet product
           ~Not hard on hands
           ~Safe to use on cats 


Dilutes 16:1 / @ 2 tablespoons per gallon of warm water

I wrote a post about using baking soda as a rinse awhile back.
This was another product that was recommended by a Holistic Vet.

I used to groom a customers dog whose owner was allergic to just about everything.
Her Vet suggested that we mix ½cup of baking soda to a gallon of water and pour it all over the dog after we finished rinsing the Hypo shampoo that we used.
We were not to rinse off the baking soda.
I remember how amazed I was at how light, soft and fluffy the baking soda rinse left the hair.

I used the baking soda rinse on this customers dog for about six months before I started using it on most of the dogs that I groom.
I use it as a leave-in rinse.

The baking soda rinse is also great at helping rinse shampoo off of dog faster. 
If you have a dog that you really had to leather up, or used a shampoo that takes forever to rinse out of a coat, mix up a gallon of the baking soda rinse and pour it all over the dog before you start to rinse the shampoo.
This helps cut through the shampoo and rinse faster.

I also like to use the Baking Soda Rinse on dogs that tend to have greasy coats (Yorkies for example).
I will use the Baking Soda Rinse in place of a conditioner.

Arm & Hammer® Pure Baking Soda
Cost per one pound box @ $3 / Cost per 16:1 @ .19¢ per gallon

                              PROS                                         CONS
            ~Oder remover                                  ~Careful around eyes
            ~Removes shampoo residue              ~Not a pet products
            ~Softens coat
            ~Great to use on dogs that                        
               have greasy coats
            ~Safe to use on puppies 8 weeks
              and older


use As-Is

 I have written about this product also.
There are dog mousses on the market, but to be honest I have not tried any of them.
I like this mousse to stiffen up the hair on the top of the head for better scissoring.
This mousse really helps those limp topknots.
I like to use this mousee on the top of any head that has hair that I want to have more volume so that I can get a nice round head.
This mousse is expencive, but you only need anywhere from a nickle to a quarter size amount depending on the amount of hair on the top of the dogs head.
Work it well into the hair only, not the skin.
Be careful not to get in the eyes.
Once it dries it is safe around the eyes.

Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Spray Mousse 
Cost per 10oz can @ $17 / Lasts about 2 to 3 months depending on the number of dogs you groom in a day

                     PROS                                                       CONS
           ~Pleasant scent                                        ~Scent may be too perfumy for
           ~Adds volume and stiffens hair                    some
             enough to scissor a nice round                ~Not a pet product
             head                                                       ~Expensive
           ~Comes out in a spray 

Use As-Is

I don't use hairspray very often on my customers dogs, but this hairspray does come in very handy for doing Mohawks on dogs.

I have also used it once in a while on poodle topknots that will not stop parting down the middle.

Use sparingly because it does leave a little residue.

Make sure that you cover the dogs eyes, hold the can about six inches away from topknot and spray very lightly.
You do not need a lot.
If you do try to comb the topknot after you spray the residue will show up in tiny flakes, so make sure you are finished combing before you spray.
Lightly pick the hair back into place with the very end of the combs teeth if the hair moves a little while spraying to avoid flaking.

Beyond the Zone® Frozen Stiff Hairspray
Cost per 10oz can @ $9 / Use As-Is

                        PROS                                                          CONS
          ~Great hold for creative                                     ~Strong scent
             grooming                                                        ~Not a pet product


Well, that's it for products that I use on my furry friends. :)

I can't believe how long it has taken me to write this post.
I started it two weeks ago. :/
I need more hours in a day.
I think I cover everything that I think a groomer would want to know about each product.
I did not get into ingredients of the products.
I would probably be here another two weeks doing that.

As I said at the beginning of this very long post.....


I am not even sure if anyone is still with me.

Tap, tap.....anyone out there?

Well, for the one or two people who got down this far in the post, thanks for sticking with me.

 I tried to post about how I use these products.
Many of them I have been using for years and trust them, because I have not had any problems, or any bad feed back.
There are so many pet products out there that I haven't even tried.
There are many that I have tried and never bought again.
Some I actually got rid of before I even finished trying them.

I hope that this post will help some groomers decide whether they want to try one of these products.
You still may try something and not like it.
That is why there are so many pet products on the market, some people like things, some don't.

I actually like giving different shampoos and grooming products a try.
The part that I don't like is when I really don't like something and have to waste it by throwing it away, because if I really don't like it, I will not use it. :)

The dilutions that I posted are dilutions suggested by the manufacture, or how I like to dilute it.
The prices that I have listed are prices as of May 2013.

The best thing to do is shop around, because I found some fairly big differences in some of the prices for the same shampoos depending on who you buy it from.

I sure hope that this post helps someone. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF