Pet Grooming: The Why’s & The Who

Your furry friends deserve to be spoiled with pet grooming from time to time. While it can be very costly, many experts say that the benefits of taking pets to the groomers actually outweigh the cost. So before making any decisions, you might want to consider these pros and cons.

Pet Grooming Services Pros

  • Being groomed by experts. Pet groomers work with animals for a living and they can expertly clean your pet from head to paws. They have the facilities and right supplies for pet wash and grooming. As you may already know, just bathing and drying your pets can be very difficult to bathe and dry. And it’s even harder to cut their hair.
  • They have grooming supplies. A groomer has all the supplies to get their job done; from a grooming table to shampoos and other necessary supplies. By having your pet groomed regularly, you don’t have to worry about buying the right grooming supplies and stacking them.
  • They can inspect your dog’s skin. Having extra set of eyes to visually inspect your dog’s skin can be quite beneficial. Professional pet groomers will then notify you if there are problems you missed.
  • Your pet’s nails are kept trimmed. Having your pet’s nails trimmed is much more than a matter of appearance. When their nails become too long, it can be too painful for them. It also makes it difficult for them to walk around. Although nail clipping seems easy, it is actually a tough task where even the slightest mistake can lead to bigger problems.
  • Treating fleas and dog lice. Your pet groomers can easily spot flees and dog lice that need to be dealt with immediately. While flea shampoo can help, they will simply return to your pet if you don’t take care of the fleas at home.

Pet Grooming Services Cons

  • It can be costly. As mentioned above, the benefits of pet grooming services outweighs the cost. But if it is really an issue, you can always look for expert groomers that offer the most reasonable price.
  • It can be hard to trust groomers. We often read and hear about the bad experiences pet owners had with the groomer. But note that not everything on the internet is true. So do your own research and look for local groomers that you can trust. Make sure that you personally inspect them in action and ask reviews from some of their customers. If you want to observe how groomers work, you should pick a busy day and go their unannounced. This way you can see how clean they work, as well as how they handle other people’s pets.

While having your pets groomed is essential for your furry friends, it is equally important to find a qualified groomer in the area. But how do you know if he/she is experienced and an expert in his/her field to safely groom your cats and dogs? Before scheduling an appointment for grooming services, follow these helpful tips.

Pet Grooming: The Why’s & The Who

1. Check federal laws.

Check the laws of your state whether they require groomers to be licensed in order to operate their business. There are some states that have strict licensing requirements for grooming facilities and for those who want to work as a pet groomer. Meanwhile, other states don’t have such requirements. However, bear in mind that grooming license only applies to the operation of a grooming facility or the place of business (such as requirements for spacing and housing). Currently, there are no educational degrees or certificates required in the grooming industry.

2. Ask if they are certified.

Since there are states that have no legal standards for pet grooming business in terms of education/certification, pet owners have to ask and find out whether the groomer is certified. If they have no certification, then ask about their history; if they trained or apprenticed under an expert groomer, how long has he been grooming pets, and etc. If they’ve been certified, on the other hand, you can do research about their certification program to make sure that it is of high standard.

3. Ask your pet’s veterinarians.

If you clearly don’t have any idea where to start on your search for a qualified groomer, then ask your veterinarian. There are veterinarians out there that offer grooming services at their clinic. Although they may not offer the whole package, but they usually have bathing, nail trimming, hair brushing, and shaving services. Or, better yet, they may point you to their favorite groomer in town.

4. Do your research online.

One way to get useful information is to do a research online. The internet has a lot of information, and it’s being updated every minute. Look for reviews or other types of postings that can help you to learn more about the grooming services available in your area. You may also encounter an article about the best groomer out there. Keep in mind that when you read online reviews about a groomer or a business, you need to objective. You need to have a critical eye. That means that instead of looking for one bad review or one good review, look for trends. Read a bunch of bad reviews and great reviews. This will allow you to have a balanced online perspective on deciding who should groom your pets.

5. Before taking your pets to any groomer, visit their facilities first.

Whether you prefer mobile pet groomers or you just want to drop off your pet at a grooming business facility, it is very important that you visit their place first. Although the grooming boutiques can be very chaotic and furry, grooming tables and tools should be clean. They should look organized and still in very good condition. Also make sure that pets are consistently supervised as well and that they are never left alone on grooming tables.

Pet Grooming: The Why’s & The Who

For your pets to be happy and healthy, it is important to keep them clean and well-taken care of. Find a high quality pet groomer that can do their job well. By doing so, you’ll get the best value for your money.

Helpful Tips in Training Your Dog

When teaching your dog tricks and appropriate behavior, it is important that you do it the right way. As much as possible, make it a worthwhile experience for your dog.

You may not be sure of what to do when training your dog. And when you ask around, they might get give you all sorts tricks that you end up getting confused. Here are some great tips that you can use to effectively train your furry friends.

Helpful Tips in Training Your Dog

Pay attention to your dog.

It is important give your dog the attention that he needs. If your dog is not comfortable about meeting another dog or animal, don’t insist. He is not shy; he’s simply telling you he’s uncomfortable for a reason, and that should be respected. Note that forcing the issue would just lead to bigger problems in the future.

Helpful Tips in Training Your Dog

Be consistent.

Whenever you train your dog, it is important to get the family involved. If you tell your dog “off” when he gets on the couch and someone else tells them “down” (to mean the same thing), while another wants him to just hang out there; how will he ever learn? In any training, consistency is the key to your success.

Helpful Tips in Training Your Dog

Give affection to your dog when necessary.

Most people don’t have a problem about punishing their dogs when they behave inappropriately. However, some often ignore an appropriate behavior, which is actually a big mistake. Make sure to give your dog lots of attention when they do something right. Give him treats or take him to the groomer. Let him know he’s been a good boy, and take time to be very generous with your praises and affection.

Does he like the treat you reward him?

Not all dogs love the treat you reward them. Some dogs may be very selective about the food they like to eat. Often, soft and chewy treats are usually more exciting for your dog than those that are hard and crunchy. Pay attention to what your dog actually enjoys.

The difference between bribery and reward

Treats are usually equated to bribery. But to be honest, dogs do what works for them. If treats get them to do an appropriate behavior, then go ahead. Every human-to-dog interaction is actually a learning opportunity. If you think about it, you don’t have to use food very often when teaching your dogs except for active training sessions. Often, they continue to hang out with you because of the praises, games, and walks you reinforce to them. Just bear in mind that the behavior should produce the treat, and not the other way around.

Set realistic expectations.

Training your dog takes a lot of patience. You need to set realistic expectations when you change or correct their behavior. Note that while it is easy to teach dogs when they’re still young, you can actually train them any time. It is never too late to change their behavior, although it will sometimes take longer.

Teach Your Dog the Basic Commands by Means of a Useful Method

Most dog training methods are actually based on the owner’s feelings, rather than what actually makes sense to the dog. Take, for example, the “positive reinforcement” dog training. It has become increasingly popular nowadays. With this kind of training, you actually bribe your dog to repeat a behavior by giving them food or toys. When he does a behavior you like, you give him a reward.

But what happens when he doesn’t do the behavior? Well, nothing happens. You don’t give him treats. You don’t show him how to do it. You just stand there, waiting and hoping.

Positive reinforcement training usually involves a clicker device. It is a little metal tab that produces a clicking sound when pressed. Clicker training is actually a type of operant conditioning.

How does a clicker training work, you might ask? The instant when your dog does a desired behavior, you press the clicker. Then, you immediately give him a dog treat. From then on, the dog will learn that whenever there’s a clicking a sound, whatever his behavior is, he will get an instant treat.

What are the Problems of Positive Reinforcement Training?

Positive reinforcement training and clicker devices are a very noble form of training. This method works very effectively in dogs that are food-oriented. And it works very well when you teach them fun tricks where it wouldn’t matter whether they obey you or not. However, it doesn’t work on the following instances:

  • Training your dog to come when there are temptations and distractions
  • Teaching your dog to stand still while brushing their teeth or grooming your dog at home
  • Teaching your dog to be polite around strangers and other animals
  • Teaching your dog behaviors you want a civilized family would or wouldn’t do

Think about this: what would happen if there is a squirrel around and you want your dog to come to you, but at that moment he’s not hungry or would rather chase the squirrel than much on a treat? Owners that rely on positive reinforcement training are quite stuck when their dog doesn’t want to do something.

One of the major flaws of positive reinforcement training is that it doesn’t teach your dog to respect you. Bear in mind that respect motivates your dog to be well-behaved even if doesn’t want to.

Why should your dogs have Respect Training instead?

Respect training involves learning from both positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement encourages your dog to repeat the behavior, while negative reinforcement discourages them from repeating it.

For example when a puppy plays with his mother; if the puppy plays reasonably, the mother responds in a positive way. But if he gets rough, she will quickly growl or bite her puppy. Does that make the puppy depressed and never play with their mother again? No. The puppy is still happy to play, but now more gently.

While positive reinforcement training is intended for a good purpose, it isn’t really the best way for dogs to learn. Dogs learn best from balanced dog training where there can be positive or negative consequences to their actions. By giving positive and negative reinforcements to your dog, he can make a choice whether or not to do the behavior.

Obedience Training

Now that you know how dogs can learn best, it’s time for you to teach your dog about some basic commands that can be helpful when tackling a more complex behavioral problem. First, perform obedience training.


Teach Your Dog the Basic Commands by Means of a Useful Method


The sit command is among the easiest basic commands you should teach your dog. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Hold a treat close to the nose of your dog.
  2. Move your hand up to allow his head to follow the treat. This will also cause his bottom to lower.
  3. When he’s already in a sitting position, simply say “sit”. And then give him the treat and praise him.

Repeat this every day until he mastered it. Then ask them to sit before meals, before leaving for walks, and during instances where you want him calm and seated.


Before you attempt to teach this command, make sure your dog has already mastered “Sit”.

  1. Ask your dog to “Sit”.
  2. Open the palm of your hand in front of you and say “Stay”.
  3. Take a few steps back. Then give him a treat and praise him if he stays.
  4. Increase the number of steps you take gradually before giving him the treat.
  5. Remember to always give your pup a treat for staying put even if it’s just for a while.

The “Stay” command can be difficult to master especially for high-energy dogs.


This command is one of the more difficult ones because it is submissive in nature. But with consistency and patience, you can teach your dog to be obedient.

  1. Look for a good smelling treat and enclose it in your fist.
  2. Hold your hand to your dog’s snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor so he follows.
  3. Then slide your hand along the ground to encourage him to go down.
  4. Once he’s down, say “Down” and give him a treat and praises.

Repeat this every day. But remember not to push him into a down position.


The “Come” command helps keep the dog away from trouble. It brings him back to you when you lose your grip on their leash or when you accidentally left the door open.

  1. Put your dog on a leash.
  2. Go down to his level and say “Come”, while you pull his leash gently.
  3. Reward him with treats and praises when he comes to you.

As soon as your dog mastered this command, try it without the leash in a safe and enclosed area.

Leave It

The “Leave It” command keeps your dog safe when he’s getting very curious on a dangerous ground. The goal here is for your pup to learn to ignore something.

  1. Place a treat in both of your hands.
  2. Show him your enclosed fist with a treat inside, and say “Leave it”.
  3. Let him try to get it, but ignore the behaviors.
  4. As soon as he stops trying, reward him with the treat from the other hand.
  5. Repeat until your dog masters the behavior.
  6. Once he mastered it already, only give the treat when he moves away from the first fist and looks up to you.

Note that this command takes a lot of patience, so don’t rush.

Correcting Inappropriate Chewing Behavior

It is not a secret that dogs love to chew. It is actually their way of learning about the world. While chewing is a normal dog behavior, it becomes pretty much a problem when it becomes destructive. Intervention is necessary, and the owner should be very committed to teach the dog about what is and what is not an acceptable chew toy.

How to Handle Inappropriate Chewing

To avoid this behavior, you need to keep your valuables out of your dog’s reach. If there are certain items that are at risk of chewing, you shouldn’t leave them lying around where they can reach them. Books, socks, magazines, children’s toys, and underwear seem to be attractive to a dog’s mind. Put everything in its rightful place, in a drawer or basket.

Do not let your dog chew on an old shoe for a toy, and then expect him to be able to tell the difference between an old shoe and a new one. Be very realistic in your expectations. Dogs will always be dogs; they’d somehow chew on something that they shouldn’t. Then that happens, correct the behavior immediately and offer something that is acceptable like dog’s chew toys. Do not scold your dog for chewing, most especially if you haven’t caught him doing it.

Correcting Inappropriate Chewing Behavior

Mitigate their inappropriate behavior by giving opportunities to be mentally stimulated. Give your dog interactive toys that have treats inside, or give him toys meant for active chewing. Be creative when giving him dog bath, let him bathe in a pool (actual or inflatable) with pool noodles in it. Teach him to retrieve thrown toys (like Frisbees or balls); but do this on-leash at first so they won’t get the idea of chewing on the item. Reel him back toward you by encouraging him, and then throw back the toy again.

If your dog chew on kitchen tables or deck rails, spray them with bitter-tasting substance or cover them with aluminum foil. Doing so may prevent them from chewing the item until they grow up and don’t feel the need to chew.

Chew Toys

There are a lot of chew toys available in the stores today for both puppies and dogs. This will keep them entertained for an hour or two, satisfying their need to chew on something. Avoid toys that are too hard to chew on as these may crack your dog’s teeth. Also, don’t give him a small toy that is easy to break apart as they are choking hazards. Always ensure to match your chew toy to their size and strength.