A Day at the Groomer
by Lisa Lawrence of the Holistic Pet Grooming Studio
Many pet owners think that when they take their pet to the groomer that they are taking them to enjoy a day of pampering at the spa. However the reality is often very different. The best way to understand what your pets experience at the groomer is to look at it from their perspective…
Sparky sees you grab the leash, and in their mind this means a walk or a ride and these are GOOD things and then you walk them into a building that has some suspicious smells. You give Sparky kisses and hand him over to a complete stranger!! Sparky has no idea who this person is but she seems nice. Then she puts Sparky in a crate.
The only other strange place this occurs is at the vet office and let’s face it, nothing fun happens at the vet’s office. Now Sparky is without his owner in a strange place with a strange person. This stranger then gets Sparky to come out of the crate and is picked up and washed. After the bath, back in the crate and a large piece of equipment is placed in front of the crate that emits warm air very loudly. This can be quite alarming! Once Sparky realizes this won’t hurt him, he just learns to deal with the annoyance.
After he’s dry Sparky is then picked up and placed on a grooming table. Another small hair dryer is often used to dry those hard to reach places…also very loud. If clippers are used on Sparky they most likely will be used around Sparky’s “personal parts” and that can be unnerving as well. A few hours of washing, brushing and trimming can be a daunting task for any dog to sit through and Sparky is no exception.
After all this, the person picks up Sparky’s feet and his nails are trimmed. Sparky remembers one time his nails were trimmed too close which really hurt, he is so scared it will happen again and no matter how soothing the groomer’s voice is, he doesn’t trust it. Finally finished, the groomer takes him for a short walk and he waits for his owner. Sparky is so relieved when his mom shows up. He was worried she’d never come back.
The above story is a generalization about what a pet experiences at the groomer. Some pets love the groomer and are very happy-go-lucky and just go with the flow. Being an animal behaviorist I often run into animals with behavioral problems ranging from mild fear to outright aggression. Hog tying an animal to just “get the job done” is just not acceptable to me. Instead I try to work with each animal to help them overcome their fears and help them understand that biting the groomer is simply unacceptable. This all takes time, and an animal that may be scheduled for a 3 hour grooming now becomes more time consuming. Not only does this delay that particular animal’s appointment time but it pushes back everyone’s completion time as well.
The scenario also demonstrates that time and patience must be the key ingredients in a groomer. A groomer’s relationship with your animal is one of the most intimate because she goes over every inch of that animal. She can often spot trouble with your animal’s health just because she sees every nook and cranny. So when you drop your animal off to the groomers, please keep in mind that there could be delays for a myriad of reasons. Days where your schedule is flexible are much easier for you, your groomer and your best friend to have the best experience possible!
Feline Nutrition– The Basics
by Jessica Turquette of the Moab BARKery
We love both dogs and cats here at the BARKery, and we know they are as different as night and day when it comes to nutrition! First and foremost Cats are Carnivores, Dogs are Ominvores. That means cats benefit nutritionally from animal based foods, where dogs can eat both animals and vegetables in their diet. A cat’s diet in nature consists of rodents and birds, both packed with all the nutrition, moisture and fiber they need, but many of the commercially produced cat foods available fail to meet those requirements! They fail by using grain-based fillers like corn, wheat, soy, starch and products high in fiber to make your kitty feel full, but not give them the good stuff they need. So what do they need? Foods high in meat content, so the first few ingredients should be animal based. If it’s not animal based on the first ingredient pass on that food!
Cats come from desert based ancestors (which means animals were available, plants were not). They also lack the salivary and digestive enzymes needed to convert carbohydrates (grains) to energy. Therefore foods heavy in grain aren’t useful and do not digest properly. Because of their desert ancestry cats don’t usually drink a lot of water, instead they rely on their food for moisture. Feeding dry food means water must be available, but incorporating wet food into their diet is better because cats don’t naturally feel thirsty when they are dehydrated. Many people choose to feed only wet food to ensure kidney health, but remember to clean their teeth to avoid periodontal disease. So why do many commercially food use ingredients that aren’t beneficial? Well frankly, plant based protein is cheaper than animal protein, so they make more money that way. Choosing a grain free food can ensure your cat gets the protein and fat they need. Going grain-free is the most important nutritional thing you can do for your cat. Want more information, come into the Barkery and we will be happy to provide more information.