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What's that big yellow thing in the sky?

Saturday, 1 July 2023 10:09 AM

What’s that big yellow thing in the sky??
By Stuart Simons

Phone rings:
Groomer: ’Hello, Groom Dog City’
Owner: (panicked) I NEED MY DOG GROOMED…… NOW!!!….He’s far too hot. he’s panting. Im really worried about him. 
Groomer: Im really sorry, we are fully booked. We have nothing to offer you for at least 6 weeks. 
Owner: But my dog is hot, he’s really struggling…..

This is what happens to every groomer as soon as Spring has sprung. it is a conversation that is played out at least 10 times a day in my salon in London. I have a small shop in the heart of Bethnal Green, E2. I employ 5 groomers and we do our best to manage a diary so as to be able to attend to all the requests possible. Within the four walls there is only so much space and time within a full day to be able to assist all those lovely dogs but we do our very best usually forgoing a proper lunch break and occasionally, even time to go to the loo. 

We groomers realise that we are a necessity but why is it that the dog owning public only really realise it during the summer months or when they suddenly discover that fido is struggling. Prevention is always better than cure. 
Summer is not a surprise. It happens every year. The UK is currently reaching record temperatures in the summer and it’s well documented on news and radio stations. So why don’t we remember this during the cooler months and book our appointments in advance? My favourite customer is a regular one. Not only does it help with skin and coat care but also mental health of the owner and the dog. Its an essential part of dog ownership as far as I am concerned. 

Shouting at your groomer because they can’t physically fit your dog in helps no one. The Groomer will be exhausted from trying to keep up with demand because no dog lover wants to see a dog suffer. All it will do is change a groomers view on you and your dog in other months and therefore, be more reluctant to groom your dog in the future. A better option would be to understand that they are busy, ask to be added to a waiting list and explain how far away you are (in case it’s short notice) and save the groomers number in your phone so that you know that its them when the call comes in. Asking for some tips wouldn’t be a bad idea too. Here are some I have come up with. I hope they help. 

If your groomer is fully booked and you are worried about the heat, here are some tips for keeping your dog cool.
1. Regularly brush your dog: Brushing helps to remove loose fur and prevent matting, allowing air to circulate through the coat and keeping your dog cooler.
2. Provide access to shade: Create shaded areas in your garden or provide a shaded spot indoors where your dog can get away from direct sunlight and stay cool.
3. Offer plenty of fresh water: Ensure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times. 
4. Use cooling mats or towels: Place cooling mats or damp towels in areas where your dog likes to rest. These can help to reduce heat from their body and provide a cool place to lie down on.
5. Set up a paddling pool or sprinkler: If your dog enjoys water, provide a shallow paddling pool or turn on a sprinkler in a safe area for them to play and cool off. (as long as there isn’t a hosepipe pipe ban)
6. Avoid hot pavement: Walk your dog during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or evening, to prevent their paws from burning on hot pavement. Stick to grassy areas whenever possible.
7. Limit outdoor activities: Reduce the duration and intensity of outdoor activities, such as walks or playtime, during peak heat hours. Opt for shorter and more frequent sessions instead.
8. Use cooling accessories: Consider using cooling bandanas, vests, or collars specially designed to help regulate your dog's body temperature.
9. Freeze treats and toys: Freeze treats or toys in water and offer them to your dog. Chewing on these frozen goodies can help them stay hydrated and provide relief from the heat.
10. Keep your house cool: Keep the indoor environment cool by using fans, air conditioning, or natural ventilation.

Ensure proper airflow and never leave your dog in hot, enclosed spaces like cars or poorly ventilated rooms.
Remember, if your dog shows signs of heatstroke, such as excessive panting, drooling, or weakness, seek veterinary assistance immediately. Stay vigilant and prioritise your dog's safety during hot weather.

Remember, if your dogs hair is getting in his/her eyes, just tie it up. better that than risking injury trying to cut the hair yourself. Contrary to belief, grooming isn’t just playing with dogs all day, it’s highly skilled and shouldn’t be done by untrained hands. 

The moral of this story is that summer is no surprise…so book your appointments in advance…you’ll thank me later. (so will Fido)

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