Knowing your dog is safe while at the Grooming Salon is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts these days. Let us put your mind at ease by explaining the bathing and drying procedures that make your dog’s spa date at Holiday Barn a safe and healthy event.
From the moment your dog comes into our Grooming department, safety measures kick into gear. First things first… we remove his collar to avoid any potential choking hazard. If it is not yet time for his bath, he is secured in his own private waiting enclosure with a fresh bowl of water. Wait time is minimal and our guests seem to enjoy that time to acclimate themselves to this new environment.
Depending on the hair length or condition, many dogs head straight to the grooming table for “prepping” prior to their bath. Brushing, combing and de-matting are done before the bath to loosen dirt and dander, and prevent any further matting when it exists. If the dog is getting a haircut, a pre-clip is most generally performed to remove some of the heavy coat and begin the pattern. This pre-bath process gives the groomer time to assess the coat and skin to be sure your pet has a thorough and safe bathing experience.
First, your dog is properly lifted into the tub. “Proper lifting” is not a lift under the front legs (or “arms” as some would prefer), but rather a fully supported front and back lift that prevents pressure on his back. If he is extra heavy, two people share in the lifting, each balancing the weight of the dog. Safe-handling techniques are a priority in a well-run doggie-salon.
We begin by thoroughly wetting the dog’s coat. Our water is set at a doggie-appropriate, lukewarm temperature. Your dog’s body temperature runs much higher than our own and warmer water can be uncomfortable for him. Holiday Barn has taken human error out of the equation by calibrating the water temperature at a safe and comfortable 82 degrees.
Only high-quality shampoos formulated for dogs are used in Grooming. Human shampoos are at a different ph balance and can be too harsh on a dog’s skin. Faces are washed carefully to avoid getting soap and water in the eyes and ears. After being rinsed thoroughly, excess water is blown from the dog’s coat with specially designed canine force dryers that can be operated only while being hand held. These high velocity dryers are very effective, and safe, in removing water from a dog’s coat which helps us make the bathing process quicker for your dog.
Drying – the big question
A “cage dryer” is an intimidating sounding piece of grooming equipment, but when used properly, cage or enclosure dryers pose no harm to the dog. After we remove our dogs from the tub, they are placed in an enclosure dryer. Hoses are attached to the front of the enclosure blowing room temperature air only. There are no heating elements in the blowers attached to these hoses. Each blower is connected to a timer that will automatically switch off in under an hour. Some of the so-called “cage dryers” in our grooming department are simply holding pens with traditional fans mounted on each side. Regardless, our grooming staff is always there to monitor the dogs while they are in the drying enclosures.
A heated, hand-held dryer is used by our groomers and stylists while finishing the grooming process on the grooming table. Many times our guests are almost fully dry when removed from the drying enclosures so very little “manual” drying is needed. These dryers are used for “detailing” and “fluffing” and never placed on a dog while in an enclosure.
During a regular grooming, we will trim and shape the paws. Our grooming staff is well trained and supervised on scissor use. Extreme caution is used when handling scissors around dogs. Like 2-year olds, they can bounce around and play while on the grooming table. Our grooming tables are equipped with gentle and secure restraints that not only help us control our guests during the groom, but also serve to make them feel more confident and secure. Safety is our main concern. The propensity for accidents is real and never taken for granted.
We strive to make our Grooming Salon a fun and stress-free place for our guests. With everyone in the pack adhering to our safety guidelines and on alert for potential problems, our pets can be returned home safe and happy…not to mention handsome and smelling divine!