• Knowing Your Breed’s Grooming Needs

    Hi all, George here. Today I’d like to talk more about specific grooming needs for your pet. It is important to understand that every type and breed of pet has different grooming requirements for optimum cleanliness and health. I have already discussed some needs specific to cats, and you can read that here.

    I was inspired to discuss this topic because of something that happened with another groomer in the Columbus area that I witnessed. They shaved a German Shepherd completely down to the skin. With some dogs this is OK, but not with a German Shepherd. German Shepherds have long, bristly hairs called “guard hairs.” In most cases, these hairs do not grow back. They are hairs for life. Even several months after having been shaved, this German Shepherd had barely grown any hair back.

    One of the most common mistakes I see is to bathe a dog and trying to brush it out afterwards. It should be done the other way around. If a dog already has knotted, matted fur, bathing will further cement those knots and make them even harder to get out. It is also important to brush against the grain rather than with it. Brushing with the grain will only go over knots, while brushing against the grain will help lift the fur and remove any loose hair.

    In another recent case I had a maltipoo whose fur was so badly matted we had to use scissors to cut him free from the layer of matted fur that was encasing him. This was a case of the dog being bathed but not brushed. With each bath more and more excess fur was trapped in this shell of matted fur until his skin could no longer breathe and bacteria began to build up.

    I recommend that you have your pet professionally groomed every 6-8 weeks. This will ensure you never have an extreme case like the ones I have described. Check out the online specials on our website here for $10 off a groom for your pet. Remember, a clean pet is a happy pet!

    Be sure to check back often for more tips and tricks on giving your pet the happiest and healthiest life possible. George Domsic is the owner at Benchmark Pet Services, and has more than 40 years experience in the field of dog training and psychology.

  • Cat Grooming

    Hi all, George here. Today I’d like to talk about cat grooming. Yes, you read that right. Cat grooming. Many people would respond to this by saying that having your cat professional groomed is unnecessary because they groom themselves. This is false. While your cat can make themselves appear clean, all they are really doing is spreading proteins all over their coat that bacteria feed off of.

    Over time, your cat’s coat will get a buildup of oils and loose fur. They will also get a lot of matted fur. Just as you appreciate a nice shower after a long day of working outside, so does your cat. Clearing away matted fur and oils allows your cat’s skin to breathe. Without clearing away all the excess fur, your cat can develop sores and lesions, so properly grooming your cat is just as important for their general health as it is for a dog.

    Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed is also just as important as it is for a dog. I have already done a blog on keeping your dog’s nails trimmed, which you can read here. In it, I outline all the reasons it is important to keep your dog’s nails trimmed, and many of them apply to your cat as well. As always, if you are not comfortable doing these things on your own, you can bring them to us. Our groomers are professionals, and offer very competitive rates.

    Be sure to check back often for more tips and tricks on giving your pet the happiest and healthiest life possible. George Domsic is the owner at Benchmark Pet Services, and has more than 40 years experience in the field of dog training and psychology.

  • Trimming Your Dog’s Toenails

    Hi all, George here. Today I’d like to talk about trimming your dog’s toenails. This is something that affects every dog owner. I tend to focus a lot on issues about training your pet, but this is something you’ll have to deal with no matter how well trained your dog is. Just as keeping your dog’s coat clean and trimmed is important for their comfort, so is trimming their nails.

    First, we must understand the differences between a dog’s toenails and our own. Unlike our own nails, a dog’s toenails are actually a part of the skeletal structure. Your dog can flex and extend their nails on command. It helps them with their gait, and to maintain balance. A dog that goes for walks regularly will have back toenails that mostly stay trimmed on their own because with each step they push off with those nails. A dog that mostly stays inside however will not have any regular trimming, and their nails can get long enough that it begins to cause serious issues.

    When a dog’s nails get too long, it can throw off their gait. As the nails become longer, it forces the dog to put more weight on the heel of their paw, rather than the front. Eventually, this leads to a dip in the dog’s spine as they compensate for the imbalance. I had one very unfortunate case with an older dog that became paralyzed because of a ruptured disc due to this very problem. The dog was older, and could not go through surgery to correct it, so ultimately it had to be euthanized. It was definitely a tragedy, and one that was completely preventable.

    So how often should you trim your dog’s nails? The easiest rule to follow is that if you can hear your dog’s toenails clicking and clacking on a hard floor, then it’s time to trim. Doing it once a month is a good schedule to follow, or you could just do it whenever you trim your own nails. If you intend to do it yourself, it is very important to know that a dog’s nail is not like yours. You can not simply trim down as far as you like. A dog’s nail is like tree bark growing around a bit of living flesh that we refer to as the “quick.” If you trim down too far and cut the quick, you will cause your dog a lot of pain, as well as a lot of bleeding. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, then bring them to us. Feel free to check out the grooming section of our website here.

    Be sure to check back often for more tips and tricks on giving your pet the happiest and healthiest life possible. George Domsic is the owner at Benchmark Pet Services, and has more than 40 years experience in the field of dog training and psychology.