Choosing the Correct Brush for your Pet

It is so important, in any thing you do, to choose the right tool for the job. This rings true, especially for caring for your dogs' skin and coat. Proper brushing stimulates hair growth, exfoliates dead skin cells, stimulates oil gland secretion, to keep skin soft snd supple, gets rid of shedding hair, as well as keeping the long coats matt and tangle free.

Short and Smooth Coated Breeds ( Beagles, Dobermans, Pugs, Chihuahuas ) I especially love a KONG® Zoom Groom Brush a great grooming brush for long and short hair. Massages skin and stimulates capillaries to promote natural oil production for healthy skin and coats. Effective for all dogs and they love the way it feels. Collects loose hair like a magnet and leaves coat shiny and beautiful. Works great as a bathing aid too, helps scrubs away dirt and grime.

All breeds can benefit from using this brush wet or dry and it give a mini massage while ridding your pet of shedding hair. You will get the most shedding hair out AFTER the pet is bathed and completely dry. Rub the Kong brush over your dog and watch the hair fall out.


You can follow up with a bristle brush to lay the coat flat and add a shine. A de shedding or carding tool can be used but be very careful not to go over the same spot more than 5 times to avoid brush burn to the skin. You can also follow up with a very fine tooth comb or flea comb.

 Double Coated Breeds ( Corgis, Siberians, Pomeranians, Golden Retrievers) Because these coats are usually thick and dense, I recommend a hard Slicker Brush. This is a stiff wire brush that can get through dense coats. Use these brushes to get through mats and tangles, and follow up with a wide tooth comb.


Long Flowing/ Wavy/ Silky Coats ( Lhasas, Shih Tzus, Maltese, Yorkies, Havanese,  ) A Pin Brush is recommended for these breeds , BUT...the coats need to be mat and tangle free for them to work. If your pet has matting or tangles, then I suggest a soft wire slicker brush to break the matting up. Then you would need to follow up with a Greyhound Type metal comb to make sure you got all the tangles out. It is very beneficial to use a fine mist coat spray to SLIGHTLY dampen the coat when you brush to help prevent static and breakage. If your pets have mats and they get wet, the mats will become larger and tighter.

Cats.....a Soft Slicker Brush and Greyhound Comb work great on Longhair kitties. Smooth coated cats benefit from a  Kong brush and bristle brush.

 Pay special attention to certain areas that are prone to "Friction Mats". These mats are caused where the pet's coat comes into contact with something else. Some common friction spots are, armpits, under the collar, behind ears, feet, rear end, where they sit.

 I am attaching a link to a video that instructs owners on the proper method of brushing called LINE BRUSHING. This method gets the coat brushed from the skin out. I have see many pets, over the years, who the owners swear they brush the dog, (I am sure they do) BUT the layer of coat against the skin is completely felted against the skin, even though the top layer is brushed. The only solution to a coat felting is shaving it off and starting over.


line brushing video...


This is just a basic overview of proper brushing techniques. Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions regarding your pet.


Are Your Pets Safe With Us?

Are your pets safe with us?

There has been so much attention being directed at pet groomers and the safety of client’s pets in our care. Some unfortunate incidents have caused the American pet owning public to demand better standards in regards to pet grooming. You may not know that the pet grooming industry is a totally unregulated industry. There is no oversight in a pet stylists credentials or how they handle the pets in their care and run their salons. Basically, anyone can pick up a pair of clippers and scissors and open a pet grooming salon.

As we speak there is a new law being steamrolled through the system in New Jersey called Bijou’s Law. It is expected to pass very soon. Unfortunately, pet groomers were not able to be very involved in the creation of this new law. Many of our New Jersey peers are going to have a tough go at it. It is hard when there are people making decisions about our industry that have never worked in our industry. Once this law passes I expect many other states will follow suit.

I am actually for the licensing of pet groomers, but I prefer that the standards be set from within our industry, by people who understand our concerns. Also once the government gets involved there will be fees and I expect grooming prices will increase. I wanted to take this time to tell you what my company has and will be doing to keep your pets safe in our care. We are doing this voluntarily because our values and morals match these guidelines.

There is a standard in care called the PPGSA Standards of Care, Safety for Professional Pet Groomers and Stylists. Hopefully, these guidelines can be used by lawmakers in other states. It is a code of ethics of sort.

After reviewing these guidelines I am happy to report that we, as a company are in line with the majority of these recommended guidelines. Our state of the art mobile grooming van is created with safety in mind. It is climate controlled and the pets’ comfort is first and foremost. There are no crates to house animals. The tubs, tables, and dryers are of the highest quality and built to provide a safe, clean environment to complete the grooms.

Both Mariah and I pride ourselves in our ability to provide compassionate grooms, on a one on one basis. We do not do an overabundance of pets each day. We spend the time to do the job safely taking care not to overly stress a pet by rushing through the process. Our prices may be a bit higher but those that appreciate the priority we give their pets do not mind paying a bit more.

The products and tools we use are of the highest quality, to do the job we need correctly and safely. Our shampoos, conditioners, sprays are top of the line giving the proper finish to the coats and keeping the skin and coat on the pet healthy. We have first aid kits visible as well as a fire extinguisher. The van and all the equipment inside is well maintained and kept in good working order.

What we are going to do to make our pet care business even safer?

1. I will be taking a CPR and first aid course in 2019. I took one many years ago but I need a refresher. Mariah will graduate from SUNY Canton in May 2019 as a Licensed Veterinary Technician

2.We are going to make sure our record keeping is up to par. We will be requesting Veterinary and emergency contacts.

3.As the owner of IFRMPS I will be creating Animal Handling guidelines for all that work within my business can adhere to.

4.We will continue to attend trade shows, seminars, and online webinars to become better at what we do and keep on top of the trends

5.I will complete my Certified Feline Master Groomer status in 2019. I will then be part of an elite group of 300+ cat groomers worldwide offering superior, safe service to cat owners.

6.We will continue to communicate any concerns and/or recommendations about your pet(s)

If anyone has any suggestions or comments feel free to contact me. We are here to serve and want to make sure your expectations are being met.

Thank you for listening,


Keeping the Zen in Grooming

My Sunday morning thoughts.....................Keeping pets calm. How do I do it? First and foremost is experience. With experience comes confidence. With confidence, there is calm. Animals respond to energy. That is a way of communication to them. As long as I stay calm, the pets follow suite. I do a low key greeting and calmly put them in my work area.

Think about going to a new hairdresser. Because of their inexperience, they may be anxious about doing your hair. You can hear it in their voice and by their actions. That in turn will make you nervous and unsure of what is about to happen to you and your hair. You will become anxious. It is the same for the pets, with an inexperienced groomer.

Calmness makes the pets feel secure and safe. Mobile grooming is the perfect scenario for creating a Zen environment. I focus on one pet at a time, essential oils are diffused and sometimes music or a low key podcast will play in the back ground. Sometimes it is just silence.

I do not talk to the pets much. I move about them in a rhythmic fashion, treating them with respect. There is no grabbing and pulling. I ease my hands over the pet to the place I need and then do what I need to. I also find that the least amount of restraint is best. If they are more comfortable lying down, I get as much possible done in that position and then move on. Most pets hate the drying process and I do everything in my box of tricks to make that as short of time as possible. No one likes air being blown in their face.

I look at grooming from a pets point of view. They don’t want to be there. They don’t mind that they are smelly. I understand where they are coming from and try to make the process as gentle and easy as I can. Yelling, pulling and tugging will only make the pet afraid and want to escape, making the grooming difficult, if not impossible. The groomer’s anxiety will increase, and so will the pets. It is a vicious cycle. Calmness is the key.

I do not overbook myself and only do a few pets a day. There is less stress on my end on having to rush and get to my next stop. I do not answer the phone during the day to be able to stay focused on the job at hand. Most of my clients know this and will text me or e mail me, which I check when I take a break.

I used to manage a very busy salon that had approximately 300 pets per week coming through the door. It was noisy and electric. The phones were ringing off the hook. Dogs barking and howling almost nonstop. Noisy dryers going a good part of the day and lots of people came in and out. Energy good and bad hung in the room. It was a very stressful place. I learned what not to do from working in that environment, for my mental health and the pets I cared for. One of the many reasons I chose to be a mobile groomer.

It is important for pet owners to be confident, themselves, when handing over their pet to a groomer. Sweet talking and coddling will only reinforce their nervous behavior. Quietly and calmly hand the pet over and walk away. If you do not make the separation a big deal, neither will the pet. The pet groomer takes over with a sense of calm and gets the job, at hand, done with the least amount of stress. When they are behaving calmly I reward that state of mind with a cuddle and kind words. I am rewarding the calmness, not the frantic, trying to get away, behavior.

Finally, I personally am grateful to be able to do this for a living and remind myself everyday of how lucky I am. This positive attitude on my part exudes a good energy that the pets read easily and respond to. I appreciate each and every one of my wonderful clients and look forward to all the wonderful ones I will meet in the future.


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