March 2019 Blog:
Featuring Gina of Groomington Coat Factory!
Let her help you brush up on your grooming basics.
What influenced you to become a Pet Stylist and become a part of this industry?
(GINA): I worked in the corporate world for over 25 years and was unhappy in the last few years so when I got laid off from last job I decided that I DID NOT want to go back to working in an office. I wanted to do something that I loved and that was working with dogs! My dog sitter recommended I speak to a friend of his that owned her own mobile grooming business and after meeting her and working with her I knew I had found my new career. I LOVE this job!
What training did you have to go through to become a professional Pet Stylist?
(GINA): I received on-the-job training from 2 world class competitive groomers. I worked and trained daily with these two ladies for a year and a half and learned soooo much. I learned not only the technical skills I need to know to groom every kind of dog but also business skills such as scheduling, customer service, pricing etc. I learned how to be a mobile groomer and then moved to our new shop in Midland Park and am now learning how to be a shop groomer. I know I still have so much more to learn (…..there is ALWAYS more to learn) but I am working with the best team of ladies I could ever have wished for and I am so thankful!
What is your favorite breed to groom?
(GINA): “I love Labrador/Golden Retrievers for full bath grooms because they are so sweet . I will always have a soft spot for Labs because I had the best Lab in the world, Sunshine. He took a piece of my heart with him when he passed away. I also love Goldendoodles/Labradoodles for full haircut grooms and when they are cut short. I have always loved the finished product. I love their lines and shape. It’s extremely satisfying to see a short-haired Doodle!”
How often do you recommend pet owners take their dogs to the groomers?
(GINA): Monthly….even if they don’t need a haircut every 4 weeks. Frequent grooms make for happy dogs. They enjoy the routine of being bathed and brushed. A bond is created between the groomer and the dog. Frequent bathing and haircuts mean healthy coats, healthy skin and overall just happy dogs!
How long does it take to groom a dog?
(GINA): Every groomer is different. I was trained by a fast groomer. She would time me in the truck! (Lol!). Her work is second to none and just works quickly because of her training as a competitive groomer. I am averaging an hour and half per groom at the moment but am working daily to reach that hour mark for each groom. Obviously all dogs are different and some just need that extra time of kisses and cuddles during the grooming process.
Do dogs generally behave during the grooming process?
(GINA): Generally yes, but some do not. Regular grooming and starting them as early as possible with grooming makes for happy dogs who like to be groomed.
What breeds would you recommend people consider if they are looking for a low maintenance dog?
(GINA): Labs! They are the best. Just need to walked, cuddled and bathed regularly. No haircuts required!
What breeds should people consider if they are looking to spend a great deal of time grooming?
(GINA): Doodles. I love grooming doodles but I have discovered that some of them can be time intensive to groom. If you want to keep their coats longer then you will have a lot of brushing and combing to do at home as well as monthly professional grooms. Because of the time they take they can be quite expensive to maintain. As mentioned before I love grooming doodles and keeping them short! Lol!
Why do dogs need to be shaved down if they are matted? Aren’t groomers able to brush it out or cut out the matted areas?
(Gina): Depending upon the severity, some small matts can be brushed out but most cannot. As groomers we are trained to determine which can and which cannot. Matts are tight knots of hair that get tighter and tighter as days go by. The closer to the skin they are and the tighter they are causes pain to the dog. These must be shaved out to relieve the pressure on the skin and is completely painless for the dog. Shaving the dog down means you can start again with a clean slate. The hair will grow back beautifully and the owner can get back to a routine of daily brushing and combing to prevent future matting.
If readers want to groom their own dogs at home, what should they know?
(GINA): Bathing and brushing can be done at home but there is nothing like a professional groom. We have all the right equipment and products required for your dog. When brushing your dogs at home use a good brush and a small toothed comb to really get down to the skin and not just the surface. Matting begins near the skin so this is the area to be mindful of.
What are some tips you would give to pet owners to prepare their pets for the grooming process?
(GINA) Start them young. Regular brushings at home not only to prevent matting, but so they can continue to become used to the grooming process in between groomings. Play with your pets feet (so they are used to nail trimmings)
What is one product you would recommend to all pet owners for in-between grooming sessions?
(Gina): For the short-haired dog owners a furminator can be your best friend! This will definitely help with the shedding and as much as we all love our dogs, we don’t love their hair all over our floors…lol!
For the long-haired dog owners a detangling spray is awesome. We use Les Pooch products in our shop and their detangler is amazing. Spray a misting on your dogs dry coat and then comb the hair thoroughly.
Why is it worth having your pet groomed professionally?
(GINA): We have been trained to groom your dogs using top-of-the-line products and equipment specifically designed to care for different hair coats. We can bathe YOUR dog using a product YOUR dog needs. We know how to professionally de-shed, how to brush and dry correctly and of course we know how to give your dog perfect haircuts. Our services also include nail clipping and filing, teeth brushing and ear cleaning…everything your dog needs, we can do.