Tips on dog grooming from a professional groomer

During the Circuit Breaker period, many pawrents had to result to emergency DIY grooming to ensure that their pets were in pristine condition.

In order to provide our wonderful fur parents with some guidance, we had a chat with Andrea, co-owner of Shaggy Wagon. She shared some valuable tips on how to do DIY grooming, along with some things to take note of before you start out!

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and Shaggy Wagon!

Well I’m a crazy dog lady & have so much love to give to the animals! I was a makeup artist for 15years plus working in the office for my family and one day my (now) husband Rei saw how much I love animals and ask me, what does Singapore don’t have for pets.

I said a physical mobile grooming vehicle like in the states. Where we bring the grooming to your door step. So that’s how shaggy wagon was born.

But unfortunately due to the restrictions Singapore have, the wagon has to go on hold for now. However, we have Shaggy Hangout to provide all the pets in Singapore with our love!

Personally, I believe in the organic way of creating a comfortable environment for the pets before, during & after a grooming session.

What attracted you to the dog grooming business?

I grew up with dogs all my life, their well being has always been my priority. I have send my dogs for grooming and always thought there should be a way I can let the dogs hangout and enjoy themselves before their turn to be groomed and after, Instead of a cage system, but I would say cage systems is done to prevent accidents among the dogs which is not wrong too. Every groomer have their ways, but I’m sure they always mean well.

For Shaggy, we would want the fur kids to have fun before their groom. More importantly the team and groomer to interact with them before we start. So the pets do feel more at ease and don’t feel stressed out.
We will take note of the dogs health issues or past injuries on their record card, and work around what is more comfortable for the fur kid.

For first time pet owners, what are some important things to note when choosing a groomer (for both big and small dogs)?

Hmm, there is no difference for a big or small dog to a groomer.
More importantly, you can check with the groomers if they have groomed the breed that you have, to ensure they understand what your dog needs the best. Another important point is to always let the groomers know of any health or behaviour issues of the dog, so you can find a groomer that can provide the right way to handle and care for your pet.

What are the differences between grooming smaller dogs and bigger dogs?

Actually there is no difference, both still need the same amount of patience and care. The only difference is the time frame required for grooming due to their sizes, or if the dogs needs more time due to health or behaviour.

How did Circuit Breaker affect the way you ran your business?

Yea, we couldn’t operate due to lockdown, it was beyond our control. But it was for the best for the people! When lockdown was over it was our job to help all the dogs who were lacking a proper grooming and pampering session.

What are some common mistakes first time pet owners should avoid when trying to groom their pets at home?

Nail trimming is definitely a common error. Don’t cut their nails too deep of the quick. On many instances, when the trim is so deep they actually do remember the pain, and it affects their future grooming experiences. Expressing anal glands without knowledge – expressing anal glands without knowing the right way, may hurt or rupture your pets anal gland.

Brushing your pets fur is also another one – always brush your pets if the breed needs daily brushing, and be sure to brush them in layers. If the fur becomes matted, it can cause irritate their skin and even cause more serious skin issues.

Just picture a rubber band on your finger tied up, which cuts off circulation. Pets will get the same feeling. When matts are released the blood will start to circulate again, which could lead to the itching of skin, inflammation, or even hematoma’s the ears.

What are some things pet owners ought to know when grooming their pet at home for the first time?

Make sure to always visit your friendly groomers for tips before you perform DIY grooming! Also, having monthly visits to the groomer will eventually help your pet become accustomed to strangers and aid their social skills.

What do you love the most about your job?

What I love? I love it all, their company, grooming them, getting to know them, talking to them like kids, learning along the way what can be improved for each individual dog personality.

Because they they are not just a dog, they are like my kids.
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THE WOOF AGENCY would like to thank Andrea & Shaggy Wagon for sharing these insights for all pawrents!

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