On the Dog Grooming Side of Things

Different Aspects of Dog Grooming From the Groomers Perspective

There are many different things that go into dog grooming that many pet parents are unaware of.  From check-in to check-out there are many behind the scenes issues that groomers have to deal with.  The purpose of this blog is to inform all of our pet parents of what happens throughout their dog’s grooming process and beyond.  Everything that keeps your dog healthiest and happiest is our priority at all times.  This article will give you all more honest insight on the groomers perspective when  facing conflicts in the dog grooming room.

Ethical Dog Grooming Concerns and How We Handle Them

First of all, let me start by telling you that most dog groomers completely understand that things happen and sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with the best care for your dog.  We are here to help in any situation in the best way possible so never feel afraid or embarrassed to bring your dog in or have us come to you for an always free consultation on how to better care for them within your personal dog grooming budget and needs.  Believe me, we’ve seen it all before and have the experience to help!  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Let’s move on to some of the issues that us dog groomers deal with from time to time.

Dogs with parasites – This unfortunately is a common occurrence in this Houston, Texas weather. Summertime is prime time for flea and tick infestations.  The heat and lack of or even overabundance of water drive these nasty critters closer to homes and their pets.  So, what do dog groomers think when they see dogs come in with fleas/ticks?  Probably something along the lines of “Eew” and that’s about it.  We give the dog a flea and tick bath where they sit in a pet safe (but not parasite safe) lather before being rinsed clean of these little blood suckers.  Ticks have to be removed with hemostats to make sure the entire body and head are removed before being put in an alcohol solution.  Now, if a dog continuously comes in with these parasites then it’s time for the dog groomer to speak with the pet parent about solutions for eradicating the pests.  The only time we get frustrated is when we see animals come in completely infested over and over again because it’s so easily preventable.  Another common parasite is ear mites.  These little mites live deep inside the ear canal and can cause pain and damage to your dogs ears if not treated.  Our reaction to ear mites is pretty much the same as it is with fleas.

Pet Parents That Don’t Understand Their Dog’s Pain- Some pet parents just don’t understand that their dogs can feel pain just the same as we do.  That’s okay!  We are here to help educate all pet parents out there how to properly care for their pets so that they can better enjoy their furry family member even more!  There are situations that we deal with as dog groomers that can make us uneasy because they are unsafe for the animal.  For example, we have had customers in the past that have dogs with extremely grown out nails and want them trimmed.  That’s not a problem!  We can definitely do that, but only as far back as is safely possible without harming the animal.  Dogs nails are like people nails in that they hurt when they are trimmed back too far.  The staff at Hot Shot Dog Grooming will never perform any service that may potentially harm the animal when it is completely unnecessary.  If your dog has excessively long nails we can refer you to a vet that can sedate your dog and perform this procedure painlessly.  Another common example is when we see overly matted dogs come in and their pet parents want them de-matted.  We are more than willing to de-mat any dog that can safely be de-matted.  If the tangles are too close to the skin, in an area that is highly prone to cuts like the hocks, armpits, or ears, it’s not safe to de-mat them.  The risk of cutting the dog or causing brush burns or excessive pain is to great.  The dog groomers perspective on customers that won’t budge on the brush out idea (being honest):  If you want it long and fluffy, brush it out to begin with or shave it down.  We will not harm animals simply for aesthetic appeal.

The Unsatisfiable Pet Parent – This is a kind of tricky thing to write about because we always want to satisfy all of our clients in every way possible.  There are times, however where we try everything to accommodate a pet parent and their pet to no avail.  In fact, that is one of the reasons I came up with the blog section about dog grooming terminology and blade uses etc.  We want it to be as easy as possible for everyone out there, whether they are our clients or not to be able to go into their dog grooming salon and have a pretty clear idea of what they want for their dog as far as style goes.  Still, there are occasions, though few and far between that a client will want us to achieve the unachievable for their particular dog.  For example, we cannot make a completely matted dog look fluffy and beautiful.  As we groomers put it, “we don’t have a magic wand” that can make everything perfect all of the time even though we would love to!  Also, we can’t jump inside the pet parent’s mind to see what they would like done so please, feel free to bring a picture, illustration, at home drawing, or other sources if you have something specific in mind.  Do NOT tell us to “just do your job.”  Our job is to make the pet parent happy to the best of our ability with whatever situation we are working with, while also considering the safety and well-being of your pet.

Strange Dog Grooming Requests

From time to time we get strange or unreasonable requests from pet parents.  Most of the time we welcome these interesting or challenging ideas and appreciate when our clients think outside the box.  Some of you might wonder what dog grooming professionals think when you request unique things for your dogs.

Hair Dye – This is actually one of our extra services and can be a great way to express your creativity and dog grooming style.  There has been much controversy on this topic in the dog grooming world.  Many believe it can be harmful to animals, but there is no evidence of such a statement as long as you use pet safe hair dye.  It can be very challenging and frustrating to the groomer simply because the dog can move at any time and spread the dye from the desired area to another part of it’s body.

Setting Strange Patterns – Sometimes we are asked to create some pretty interesting patterns on poodles and other fluffy dogs.  We have a long-time client that likes to get a checker board pattern shaved into her lab during the summer.  As creative beings, most dog groomers love to be able to “play” and create new, fun works of art while grooming.  On the other hand, if your dog is too wiggly it may just be impossible to work with.  It’s like forming a clay pot with sand..just doesn’t work out too well.

Tattoos and Piercings – Yes, some pet parents like to get piercings or tattoos on their dogs.  The only tattoo that should be on a dog is an identifying marker that shows the dog has been surgically altered or something else that is medically necessary.  Many people out there including a few of us have tattoos and/or piercings of some kind.  BUT, we as humans choose to have those things and to go through the pain.  Your dog doesn’t.  It’s not fair to the dog to put them through any unnecessary pain just for visual appeal.


In summary, dog grooming is not about judging or criticising anyone no matter what condition their dog may be in.  It’s about the pet’s well-being as a whole and we are here to make the lives of our clients, both human and four legged alike happier, healthier, and more enjoyable for the lifetime of the pet and future pets to come.  Education is the first step and we are here to help with all of your pet parenting needs.  If you have further questions, feel free to post on this site or contact us today!

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