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Book Club – Groom Your Dog Like a Professional

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Groom Your Dog Like a Professional

Groom Your Dog Like a Professional: Step-by-Step Techniques & Tips for a Great Looking Dog by Peter Young

During tough economic times, do-it-yourself dog grooming is a great way to save money while providing excellent care for your canine companion. Groom Your Dog Like a Professional presents step-by-step instructions from an award-winning groomer
to teach you how to get your furry pal looking like a show dog. The breed-specific instructions are arranged by type of coat, making this an easy-to-use reference for anyone wishing to naturally enhance their dog’s features, create fun and striking looks, or just reduce shedding and dander around the house. Each grooming example is fully illustrated with easy-to-follow photos to ensure beautiful results every time. This expertly written guide also explains how grooming provides an opportunity to check your dog for health concerns (which can help spot any potential problems early in their development) and to strengthen the bond between dog and owner. A special tips section reveals professional secrets to grooming older dogs, common grooming challenges and how to overcome them, grooming missteps to avoid, and myth-busting information.

About the Author:

Peter Young is an internationally renowned poodle breeder, handler, and Crufts-accredited judge. Owner of Peter’s Posh Pets, a grooming parlor located in West London, he holds many grooming contest titles and has won three Cardinal Crystal Achievement Awards, the Oscars of the grooming industry. A celebrity in the grooming world, Peter conducts seminars internationally. He resides in the United Kingdom.

Book Excerpt: Groom Your Dog Like a Professional (2009 Interpet Publishing, Ltd)

Common Problems Associated With Grooming
Over the years that I have been practicing as a professional dog groomer, I have encountered various little problems that commonly arise when people are learning to groom their pets at home. I outline three of the most common here, and useful remedies to deal with them.

Brush burn
This occurs when people are a little too enthusiastic or even aggressive with a slicker or pin brush and their desire to do a good job. The dog may end up with red lines on the skin as a result of the pins of the brush scraping it too vigorously. Needless to say, as soon as you are aware of this problem, you should stop work in that immediate area. If severe this scraping can lead to a skin irritation. Monitor the area for a while – an hour or two. If it still looks very red and angry after that time, seek veterinary attention. But it may settle down by itself if the irritation is not too severe.

Practice brushing on the underside of your arm to feel the correct amount of pressure and type of stroke that is most suitable for each brush that you use. It should apply a gentle pressure to the coat and then pull or slide easily away through the hair.

Mats and tangles
You may find yourself in a situation where you have tried unsuccessfully to brush away or detangle a mat but still have most of it in place. It is possible with care to split the offending area into smaller sections with a mat breaker or small pair of scissors and these smaller clumps can then be brushed out individually.

If using scissors, hold the skin firmly at the root of the mat and, working away from the body, split the mat lengthwise into small strands for further brushing out. Likewise, if using a mat breaker, hold the base of the mat without pulling on the dog’s skin, and use as directed on the product’s packaging.

Clipper rash or burn
This is caused when the blade used on the clipper is set too short with regard to the sensitivity of the individual dog’s skin. It does not actually cause a burn, but it does certainly cause an irritation or tickle which the dog will then worry at – either by scratching the area if it can reach it, rubbing the area along a carpet or sofa to relieve the itch, or by nibbling at it. All of these things usually end up making what was a small irritation into a much bigger wound which of course takes longer to heal. As long as the irritation is minor, applying calamine lotion may help to calm it down. Otherwise a little coating of Vaseline helps to seal the area but it is messier. If the irritation does not start to clear up after a day or so, seek veterinary attention.

Minor nicks or cuts
Should you have the misfortune to cut or nick a dog with either scissors or clippers, try not to panic as this will only aggravate both you and the dog. Assess the situation: where is the wound, how deep is it, etc? No matter where the wound is, try to apply pressure at the base of it to stop the flow of blood – e.g. if it’s located at an ear tip, press just below the wound and hold tight for ten minutes or so, then carefully relax the pressure and see whether the bleeding has stopped of its own accord. If the wound is more severe and to a leg, consider applying a tourniquet and wrapping the wound with a pressure bandage until you can reach a vet.

Nail trimming
If you intend clipping your dog’s nails it is advisable to have a small pot of styptic powder standing by next to the clippers to staunch the bleed if you should accidentally cut the quick when trimming the nail. If you don’t have any styptic powder, cornstarch or cornflower will often stem the bleeding. Put the powder on the affected nail and hold it in place with a clean pad while applying pressure for a few minutes. This should do the trick. Avoid walking the dog on hard ground for the next day or so as the impact on the nail could start it bleeding again.

Excerpt from Groom Your Dog Like a Professional: Step-by-Step Techniques & Tips for a Great Looking Dog by Peter Young © 2009 Interpet Publishing, Ltd. Used by permission.

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