bathing a pet groomers typically perform up to 5
procedures. They are:
· Brushing and Combing,
and as necessary De-Matting
· Nail Clipping and Filing
· Ear Cleaning and Deodorizing
combing, de-matting, ear cleaning and nail
clipping procedures are sometimes loosely lumped
together and termed "prepping."
requires more advanced
those of a
is usually performed by a skilled assistant
groomer or full-charge groomer,
and it is
to bathing. Common
pre-clipping duties are placing the pattern on a
Poodle (the close clipped stripes on a Poodle), as
well as clipping Poodle feet and feet, and other
styling attributes. Pre-clipping can be done on
most any breed of dog when the coat is so heavily
matted the groomer "removes" the matted
by clipping it off. Coat removals are done before
the bath so the pet will dry much more quickly,
and if the coat is matted, water would only
increase tangling and matting.
clipping and filing and ear cleaning procedures
are done before the bath for one very good reason.
These procedures can loosen dirt, ear wax, foreign
matter and even blood in the case of nail
bleeding, and that would spoil the the main
objective of bathing, to produce a clean pet.
combing and de-matting are done before the bath to
loosen dirt and dander, and prevent any hair shed
from causing worsening any existing tangling and
matts. Hair shed held in living coats typically
begins to matt around the good coat in the
presence of water, almost immediately in the case
of some Poodles and always the Bichon
is another objective of bathing though very
important to stylists. Not only must the dog be
clean and dry before styling, but the coat must be
prepared for styling. Hand-fluff drying most coats
lifts and fluffs coats, and in some cases
straightens the coat, readying it for the fine art
of styling by professional groomers.
Poodle not bathed and fluff-dried properly will
have areas, or even small spots, of curly coat
that was not straightened by brushing under the
moderate heat of a blow dryer. Those beautifully
groomed Poodles require their coat to be bathed
and brushed precisely to prepare it for sculpting
by the stylist.
pet groomers working alone must of course
complete pre-clipping, bathing and any "finish
trimming or styling" procedures.
These groomers are usually experienced
full-charge pet groomers (sometimes called
"trimmers" or titles gained
such as a National Certified Master
Groomer or N.C.M.G.
groomers bathe cats
businesses have not only full-charge groomers, but
"pet bather" or
"bather-brusher" employees that assist
the full-charge groomers with complete trim and
bath pets, and highly-skilled pet bathers can even
completely groom some bath-only dogs not receiving
finish styling from a full-charge groomer.
other grooming business employ another loosely
termed position, the "assistant
groomer." This position's skill level is more
advanced than the pet bather position, but not as
advanced as the highest level of grooming skills
associated with full-charge groomers.
latter are capable of executing the art of finish
styling and certainly not meeting artistic
certification standards. The Assistant Pet Trimmer
is not widely standardized but there are extensive
resources to study this unique position in the
grooming business book, From
Problems to Profits. Maddie Ogle, pioneered
the development and application of this position
as early as 1961, and formally presented its job
description and theory for the mutual benefit of
other grooming business owners. Today there are
professional groomer is expected to be a master of
bathing procedures. There are several steps to
bathing once the pet has been given the
"pre-bath" procedures mentioned above.
Check the grooming service order for any
- Have all products ready and organized at
- Protect pet ears and eyes.
- Place dog in tub safely for both groomer
- Express anal gland (optional).
- Rinse the coat with lukewarm water, not
- Shampoo and/or condition the coat with
- Rinse the coat (possibly shampoo one
- Additional conditioning as necessary.
- Thorough final rinse, especially
armpits, toes etc.
- Lightly squeeze excess water from coat.
- Remove dog from tub safely for both
groomer and pet.
- Blot, do not rub, coat with towels to
- Dry and fluff coat.
- Final comb and brush as necessary.
- As indicated, hair buns, bows, bandanas,
state-of-the-art shampoos and conditioners can
loosened and clean just about all dirt and oil
without having to "scrub" the haircoat.
Scrubbing breaks down hair shafts. Lightly massage
shampoos in and allow the right choice of product
to dissolve dirt and oils. Your hands will feel
less tired at the end of the day too.
The drying process
is perhaps the most controversial. Some salons
never "cage dry" any pet, not even
owning cage drying equipment and instead
hand-fluff dry every pet with no exception.
businesses use a combination of cage drying and
hand-fluff drying. The pros and cons of cage
drying is discussed in more detail here.
Some amount of hand-fluff drying is necessary at
some point in the drying process for all dogs who
coats will be styled by the full-charge stylist.
Many professional stylists require hand-fluff
drying on all dogs they style, and no cage drying.
To reduce drying time on heavily-coated pets there
are high force dryers than can blow off excess
water quickly before hand-fluff drying. Grooming
suppliers can provide you with product
We suggest you
learn more about the most well-documented bathing
procedure, Madson's Humane Bath Procedure included
here. It has exceptional
professional suggestions for a safe, caring
and successful bathing procedure every time. Keep
in mind that it's author developed and
refined the Humane Bath Procedure more
than 40 years; she was a true pioneer in
documenting bathing procedures.
brushing and combing can cause to red, irritated
patches of skins called "brush burns." Even
moderate brushing can lead to brush burns on dogs
with sensitive skin, and every dog can get brush
burns on areas of the body where the skin is
always sensitive such as the stomach and male
sheath. Wire slicker brushes are very effective,
but their misuse often results in brush burns, and
they are very evident to pet owners. There is no
reason to brush the skin with one but instead stop
above the skin level and brush up and outward.
Generally, the lighter the dog's skin, the more
sensitive their skin. Even using a hot dryer
setting on sensitive skin pets can cause redness
and irritation, and we always favor a moderate
setting and never hot. Highly-skilled groomers
often believe that the strong force of the blowing
air causing friction that dries the coat better
than hot temperatures.
many pets at once are usually warm and even
require higher loads of air conditioning to ease
temperature levels. Small grooming businesses may
have less heat to temper, but it also means that
the bathing and drying area could be cool. Wet
pets take chills easily so keep your bathing and
drying area warm but not hot at all times.
you consider the amount of spills and
splashes of water associated with bathing
dogs, you get an idea that safety is
important for people and pets. Add the
amount of electrical equipment like blow
dryers in the vicinity, and you get even a
better idea of the potential for
wait! There's also that dog that says, "You
don't really expect me to get wet do you?"
There are also experienced groomers allowed to bathe
a pet while another is secured on a grooming bench
or table and under a blow dryer. Usually there are
water heaters with pilot flames. Chemicals of all
sorts can be found in the bathing area including
shampoo and conditioner concentrates and flea and
tick treatments. Okay,
you probably got the point by now. Safety and
supervision should be the foundation of any small or
large bathing operation. The finest safety and
supervision "program" in print is easily
available for you in the book, From
Problems to Profits. It also helps you to
develop a customized program for your business. In
addition, you will learn about a unique job
position, the Bathing Department Supervisor, for
medium to large bathing operations. The key to this
position is its focus on safety and supervision, as
well as productivity and quality control.