Hello, please tell us how you came into grooming.
After working many years in retail, I simply became bored of how redundant the days became and how corporate upper management treated hard working individuals. I was working at a High-End store on 5th Avenue (New York City) a job I DREAMED of; and I honestly worked for a woman who was so degrading, but people tolerated her because of how much status she had within the company. It was the worst job of my life. I knew I needed a change. I quit and took a few months to regroup.
April 2011, I applied for a Bather job at a corporate store that opened near me. I was hired on the spot due to my background in Retail and Customer Service. I loved animals but I never washed a dog professionally a day in my life; so, I was up for the challenge.
Three months after, due to having great relationships with pet parents I was asked if I’d like to attend Grooming Training complementary. I said yes, because Grooming programs can range from $4,000-$10,000. It’s all been forward from there. I’ve been grooming ten years this year and it’s been the ride of a lifetime!
What are your tips for socializing your dog during a pandemic?
1. Grooming: Puppies are my favorite because that’s when they’re the most innocent and eager. I recommend introducing your dog EARLY to grooming as soon as you have confirmation from your Veterinarian after properly vaccinating your pup. Many salons offer Puppy packages which at a lower cost still will offer you the basics of grooming such as combing, brushing and basic handling. This will also familiarize your pup with different sounds and definitely people because who doesn’t want to hold and kiss a new puppy! Don’t be afraid to ask for a consultation or meet and greet before trying a place. Make sure the owners/employees are happy and that the environment isn’t too noisy. This will ensure pleasurable experiences going forward.
2. Doggie Day Care & Dog Parks: Be sure to pick a dog that suits your lifestyle be sure to buy a dog who can acclimate into your family’s routine. If everyone works and goes to school; a German Shepherd puppy may not work but an older pup from a shelter may work better. Dogs no matter how old still require stimulation; mental and physical. Dogs benefit greatly from routine exercise. Dog parks and Doggie Day Care makes great socialization destinations because most give an abundance of space to run, jump as well as the chance to meet other pet parents’ pups! This familiarizes them with different people as well. It’s also great for you as a Pet Parent to meet other dog owners who you can connect and share with! Shout out to my favorite day care Puppy Paradise of Dickson City, PA!
3. Create “Happy Places”: Dogs who primarily only leave home for the Veterinarian or Groomer typically will be extremely anxious when outside. If you’re not able to be around many people create “Happy Places” that will be positive experiences for your dog. Starbucks will give your pup a “Pupachino” which is a cup of whipped cream for him/her to enjoy. You can enjoy your favorite drink right in the car while your pup enjoys theirs! It can be a relaxing time for you to do some work, listen to a podcast or a few songs right in your car. There are also many pet friendly stores such as Pet Smart, Petco, Pet Supplies Plus, Joann Fabric and Tractor Supply! These stores allow properly leashed pets to come in. Visiting pet friendly stores will familiarize your pup with different smells and will also allow them to meet new people. Most will also have a treat at the end!
Do you have anything else to add for new pet parents?
During this time “breeders” have capitalized off of people’s urgent desire for dogs. Be sure that if you do buy from a “breeder” do your research to make sure they’re reputable, avoid online breeders and be sure you have the time, finances and patience to commit to a puppy. Always check your local shelters first to see if they have someone who may fit right in! Petfinder.org is a great resource for searching by specific breeds and areas for adoption!
Do you have anything you’d like to say to groomers?
Be honest with your clients. If you notice behaviors or patterns that may be questionable; discuss it with them. Clients also rely on us as professionals too! Study basic behaviors to help make sure your pups enjoy their time with you!
Try not to over-pack your schedule so you can have time to enjoy actually working