“These dog owners spend more on their pets’ grooming than themselves – are they barking mad? “ the title of the article read in the MailOnline  in June 2014

Until quite recently, dog grooming in this country hasn’t been very popular, but British consumers are increasingly spending more on their animals and grooming salons don’t seem so alien any more.

There are different types of salons, most commonly the static salon, which doubles as a shop for pet accessories, clothing, treats and food. Then there is the groomer who grooms from their own home, usually a summer house in the garden, the mobile groomer who comes to your own house and grooms the dogs in the comfort of your own home. And last but not least, the mobile salon, which normally is a fully converted van, with all the mod cons of a salon (heater, warm hydro bath, blaster dryer, electric grooming table, etc ) – only on wheels! No mess in your own house. The salon comes to you, hooks up to the power supply and the dogs are groomed inside the van. This is especially good for older or more nervous dogs, and for owners who have a busy schedule and like the convenience.

Things have changed a lot in the last few years, as our furry little friends become more than just a pet, they are considered a family member whom we love and spoil, as if they were our kids. Also new breeds are introduced all the time, such as the fashionable Poodle cross breeds (Cockapoos, Cavapoos, Labradoodles, etc) These dogs tend to have a coat that grows relatively quickly and need regular grooming. Letting the coat get tangled is not only uncomfortable for the pet, but it is also a health hazard as the tangles and matts can get so tight that the skin cannot breathe, creating skin sores and painful conditions, the matts pull on the skin, causing discomfort and irritation.

Grooming is not all about giving the dogs a nice haircut and making the dogs look and smell good. The professional groomer examines the dog’s general health. Eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, gums, skin and coat condition are checked prior to grooming. Many conditions are picked up and the owners alerted before they become a medical emergency.

A warm bath using a good quality dog shampoo will rid your furry friend of harmful parasites and germs and it will greatly improve their mental state too. Anyone who has taken their dog to be groomed knows how “proud” the dogs are when they are being picked up after their session.

Besides their skin, the dog’s nails are also important to consider.  Overgrown nails can affect the structure of the feet, causing deformation of the toes.

Grooming salons offer numerous packages, such as the full groom, bath and brush, nail clipping & ear cleaning, handstripping and special puppy packages. Dogs should be groomed once every 6-8 weeks, depending on the coat type and condition.

However, it is also very important that in between professional grooming sessions, you regularly comb and brush your dog.  Grooming your dog on a weekly basis is a good way to bond with them.  It’s good to start at an early age with these frequent grooming sessions so he or she can get use to them.  Many dogs actually enjoy and appreciate their owner grooming them.  They look upon it as a way of expressing affection – almost as though you are “petting” them with the comb and brush.

Remember, a clean dog is a happy dog!

Sylvie Marks, Owner at Waggy Wagon Mobile Dog Grooming Salon