Along with the meaning of the terms social distancing and shelter in place, people across America have learned what essential and nonessential business are in relation to everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The essential category does not include grooming salons, as pet owners have discovered. However, there is plenty they can do for their animals to keep them looking good that will also make things a little easier for groomers once the world gets back to normal.
Diane Betelak, a competitive groomer and a member of the education team at Andis, recommends the following ways to help your local groomer until the shop is cleared to reopen.
- Take care of yourself and follow all safety precautions. Your groomer wants you and your pets to be able to come back when the crisis is over. Be sure to follow all local and federal guidelines to help prevent the spread to help keep everyone safe.
- Keep your pets brushed, combed and as tangle-free as possible. Your groomer will be thrilled to not have to clip your pet any shorter than necessary when we can finally get back to work. A little bit of work at home will go a long way for both your groomer and your pet.
- Purchase gift certificates or prepay for future groomings. Many salons are the owner and staff’s sole income. Your support during this crisis will help them to buy groceries for their families and pay their bills. This will also help ensure that they won’t have to close down and you won’t have to find a new groomer.
Betelak also has some easy, do-it-yourself grooming tips and equipment recommendations.
- Brush and comb your pet weekly. A Slicker brush is best for most types of coats. The Andis Large Pin Brush is a soft version, perfect for regular brushing and less likely to scrape the skin. When brushing, start in a section and make sure you are getting down to the skin. After each section, use a steel comb, like Andis 7.5-inch steel comb, to comb through the brushed area to check for tangles. If you find a small tangle, use your fingers to break it apart then use the slicker to smooth and finish removing.
- While brushing lightly, mist the coat with a conditioning spray. Keeping the coat slightly moist while brushing and combing helps to prevent damage. Conditioning sprays are available premixed or concentrated at most pet supply outlets. In a pinch, you can mix a tiny amount of human conditioner with water in a spray bottle or just use water.
- Nail trimming. Many pet owners are nervous about trimming their pet’s nails. Andis small animal nail trimmers take some of the guessing out because they have a guard that only allows the nail to slide in only enough to take the tip. Still nervous? Take your pup for walks on a paved surface. It will help to wear down the nails and be good for you both.
- Keep your pet as clean as possible. You don’t necessarily have to bathe, but wipe their feet down to prevent mud from caking between toes and pads. Otherwise, once it dries and hardens, it can be very uncomfortable. Make sure their bottoms are clean by using a damp paper towel to wipe anything away. Wipe their eyes out daily, especially for short-nosed dogs. Use a warm washcloth to wipe any discharge.
Your pets will thank you for following this advice on keeping them clean and healthy.