Want to Pamper Your Pet? Tips to Use to Find the Right Groomer

Pets are not just our best friends, for many people, their animals are family. The proper grooming is important to keeping pets healthy.226839_206959559337335_5114370_n

Pet owners will spend more than $6 billion dollars on pet grooming services and products in the United States in 2018 according to the American Pet Products Association.

Although it’s rare, recent deaths of pets in the care of groomers have many animal lovers concerned. Some animal advocates and lawmakers are considering ways to protect pets.

There are some steps pet owners should take before you make an appointment at a groomer according to animal experts.

I’m fortunate to have a long relationship with an animal advocate with more than 25 years in animal care and twenty plus years of grooming experience.  Betty Pettey-Schlereth has groomed three of my pets at Bow Wows Unlimited in Saint Louis. She recommends pet owners ask questions and make visits before booking an appointment.

“I would suggest making a list of questions when looking for a groomer for your pet. The first question I would recommend would be, may I come and look at your facility? Then follow up with asking how long they’ve been grooming pets and where they got the training.” adds Pettey-Schlereth.

After your phone calls, follow-up and make an appointment with prospective groomers. Pettey-Schlereth says groomers should be willing to show people around and answer questions about the type of equipment they use and what procedures they follow.

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Experience and training are not the only factors to consider.  Spend some time in the grooming shop, observing and talking with other pet owners. This can be as informative as a tour of the facility.

On the tour you can check the facility’s cleanliness and inquire about any safety procedures in place or special requirements your pet may require.

My dogs have been rescues and initially after adoption they had special needs. Pettey-Schlereth works with many animals who have medical issues including anxiety. It is vital animal owners discuss medical concerns or behavioral issues with prospective groomers.

Several times, Pettey-Schlereth has noticed a different behavior with one of my pets and suggested there might be a medical concern to be checked out. It is this attention to wellness, as well as grooming, I appreciate.

Nut tongue“I compare it to being a nurse caring for a baby. They can’t talk, and you have to look at behavior and physical cues while grooming. No one wants to tell pet parents their pets were not behaving normally because you don’t want to upset them. But we get to know pets and we can spot potential health issues that need attention.” explains Pettey-Schlereth .

Asking other pet owners about their favorite groomer is one way to find the right fit for your pet. Another is the National Dog Groomers Association working with pet groomers since 1969 to promote education and professional standards. They offer an online groomer locator at  https://www.nationaldoggroomers.com/locator/index.html

 

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Abandoned Pup Becomes a High Flying Star on the Dock and at Home

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Flying is not something you usually associate with dogs, but a former APA Adoption Center rescue dog is changing that. A puppy was found abandoned in a rural area of Missouri. The Labrador mix named Serenity by her rescuers was transferred from the overcrowded rural St. Clair County Animal Control shelter to the APA Adoption Center.

A044044The former stray seemed to have springs in her legs and an eagerness to learn. APA matchmakers alerted a Purina trainer, Sara Brueske. Brueske is always looking for canine athletes in her work as an award winning trainer who frequently fosters dogs. Serenity became Kapow and began training with Brueske for a possible slot in a performing team at Purina Farms.

fb_img_1468286607277-1Working with the award winning trainer, Kapow was a stand-out in several competitive canine events including Frisbee play and dock diving. But she didn’t have everything Brueske was looking for, so a search was on for a new home.

Kapow’s wait for a new owner wasn’t long. An animal advocate added this high-flying pooch to his pack. An authority on flight as a professional avian ecologist, Ryan Brady knows a lot about active dogs.

12976913_10206166828074466_6712401224775644527_oBrady lives with a dock diving Yellow Labrador that is also an award winning sporting companion and a trained barn hunt dog. Rounding out the active Brady bunch is a sweet Puggle who embraces the hunting heritage of her Beagle ancestors and lap dog tendencies of her Pug lineage.

”Kapow is a great dog! She fit right in with my other two dogs from the first day I adopted her and is a member of the family,” said Brady who is committed to new stimuli and training for his canine companions who often accompany him on nature hikes and farm visits.Kapow_1

Kapow won a ribbon on her first jump in a dock diving competition with Brady. He is continuing training on the Frisbee and dock-diving while adding new pursuits like retrieving and putting out bird decoys.Spending a lot of time in nature where her owner works at a wildlife refuge, Kapow succeeds at a pursuit where many other dogs fail.

”She catches and kills squirrels frequently,” explains Brady. “Her speed and agility are amazing.”

Kapow may not have wings, but it isn’t keeping her from flying on the ground or in the air.

photo by Ryan Brady

Kapow is one of thousands of pets who find homes at the APA Adoption Center  every year. Providing services to more than 10,000 animals annually, the APA is a humane option for those surrendering unwanted or abandoned companion animals, provides education and outreach programs, reunites lost animals with their owners, provides pet adoption and foster care services and offers veterinary clinic services at a reduced rate. The APA Adoption center is open 7 days a week. For more information about the APA of Missouri, visit www.apamo.org .

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Skin Cancer in Dogs: One Owner’s Fight and What You Should Look For in Your Pet

My two dogs are very important to me and I treasure each day with them. My Maltese have been members of the family since I was fortunate enough to adopt them from a local shelter. Some people call them “rescues”. An appropriate name because each day they rescue me from the mundane with their lively antics and companionship.

I saw a story about another Midwest family and their rescue, Marsha, a 5-year-old American Bulldog mix. The video below on Marsha’s life before adoption and what she now faces touched me and prompted me to learn more about skin cancer in dogs.

I learned skin cancers are the most common tumor in dogs, accounting for approximately one third of all tumors.

As in almost any form of cancer in dogs, but especially with certain types of skin cancer, it is critical to identify and treat skin cancer in its early stages. Examine your dog monthly by separating the fur with your fingers and closely look at the skin.

Look for:

• Tumors, areas of color change, or scaly, crusty lesions

• Any suspicious lumps or areas of discoloration under the tail

• New growths or a change in color or size of an existing growth calls

• Tumors that bleed easily or areas that do not to heal

• Any area the dog is continually licking or scratching

• Swelling in the breast tissue or discharge from a nipple

• Any masses or tissue that seems different from surrounding areas in the mouth

The cause of most skin cancers in dogs is unknown. Exposure to the sun has been shown to cause a higher incidence of three types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and hemangioma.

• Light-colored dogs with thin fur coverage that spend time in the sun have a higher risk of developing certain forms of skin cancer.

• Some breeds of dogs (Boxers, Scottish Terriers, Bull Mastiffs, Basset Hounds, Weimaraners, Kerry Blue Terriers and Norwegian Elkhounds) have been found to have a higher incidence of skin cancer thereby raising the distinct possibility of a genetic link. Male dogs that have not been neutered have a higher incidence of perianal tumors. Generally, the age of a dog also plays a role as middle age to older dogs are more likely to develop cancerous growths

Please take a moment and see how one family is fighting for Marsha and making every day special with a “canine bucket list”.

If you were making a “bucket list” for one of your pets, what would be at the top of the list? Please let me know and take part in the poll.

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Animals and People Express Surprisingly Similar Emotions

I often think I can read and relate to the emotions my pets’ exhibit beyond the wag of a tail or a yelp at the wrong end of a bee. Other times I struggle to interpret what their behavior means. This brings me to a recent and favorite story I have been watching over and over.

A viral video demonstrating animals and humans display very similar emotions brings smiles and tears simultaneously. It is part of the story of a goat and a burro. You see, Mr. G the goat, was depressed after being rescued from a hoarding situation and separated from Jellybean, the burro.

I love to write about animals, start-ups, new beginnings, second chances and a lot more. If you want to learn more about my writing, and how I might help you visit danitabackwood.com

Mr. G the goat, was depressed after being rescued from a hoarding situation and separated from Jellybean, the burro.

Mr. G the goat, was depressed after being rescued from a hoarding situation and separated from Jellybean, the burro.