I received my first copy of “Groomer to Groomer” magazine, the September issue, this week. While I am not a groomer myself, I started reading it and found numerous articles pet owners would enjoy reading. What made me keep turning the page was the spirited writing. It is snappy, clever, informative and actually enjoyable reading.
In Cheryl Purcell’s article on dematting, I learned when you take your dog to the groomer, your dog may have mats. Groomers should evaluate the condition and determine if the coat can be saved.
Another thing I discovered is swimming is good exercise for a dog, but the coat needs to be brushed out after each swim, otherwise a long-haired dog’s coat will be badly matted. Purcell lists the steps the professional groomer would take to get a tangle-free coat. She also lists a number of products and equipment she uses in her grooming establishment.
In another article on behavior by Gary Wilkes, I learned what a “Dorkie” was. It is a name that comes from mixing a Yorkshire terrier and a dachshund. Sometimes there are severe behavior problems when mixing breeds, which this Dorkie proved.
Then there is an article, “Dog Dental Care: Why Should I Care?” by veterinarian Boyd Harrell. It is a short study on the groomer’s role when it comes to teeth, how the groomer can coach the dog’s owner on the proper methods of cleaning the teeth and what happens when the teeth are neglected.
Did you know that dogs can develop heart disease and/or kidney disease if the teeth are not cared for properly?
Harrell’s article asks if people know what causes dental disease in dogs. According to the article, much like humans, it is first the plaque build-up after eating, followed by the hardening of the plaque to form tartar if the teeth are not cleaned. This tartar causes gingivitis, which irritates the gum line, it pushes the gum away from the tooth and allows food to accumulate in the pocket.
The food particles in the gum line pocket are food for bacteria, which causes infection. This infection can migrate into the bloodstream and cause trouble in the major organs.
Harrell recommends groomers be prepared to point out puppyhood problems such as dental alignment problems and crowded teeth, and identify for the owner puppy teeth that may need to be extracted. He strongly recommends the groomer talk about home care early in the dog’s life and give a demonstration on proper brushing.
I find that if you have learned to brush and clean a medium size dog’s teeth, you may need to go back for a refresher course if you downsize to a small or toy breed. Start young, first handling the puppy’s mouth, then actually brushing or wiping the teeth. I was pleased to find sprays that dissolve plaque available on the market. My little six-pounder hates to have anything put in her mouth. It is so easy to open the mouth and spritz it! I can do that every night!