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Prepare Your Dog for Winter with These 8 Tips!

dog grooming license woman outside in the snow with her dog

When the temperature outside starts to plummet, does your dog get excited at playing in the snow? Or does he prefer to curl up on the couch with you?

Some dogs absolutely love the colder months, but, with winter coming up, it’s important to consider how to best prepare your dogs for the season. Even dogs who could play in the snow all day need a little extra care in the winter! Whether they show it or not, cold weather can have an effect on your dog – plus, no one likes to get too cold.

If you have your dog grooming license, or if you’re preparing to take courses to become a dog groomer, it’s especially important to understand how grooming can help prepare dogs for winter and the holiday season. You probably wouldn’t like to go outside without a jacket when it’s freezing outside, right?

Whether you’re a professional dog groomer or a concerned pet parent, there are lots of things you can do to help protect your dog’s health and wellbeing in the winter. Read on for our list of eight tips!

How to Prepare Your Dog for Winter

Buy a Coat

Some people believe that dog coats are more for humans than dogs. After all, dogs look so cute in them, so it’s probably just for our benefit… Right?

Wrong!

Although a dog in a warm winter coat looks adorable on your Instagram feed, those winter coats can actually make a huge difference in your dog’s comfort level during winter walks. While not every dog needs a coat, consider your dog’s breed and hair type.

For example, if you’ve got a furry Samoyed on your hands, he’ll probably be fine without a coat. A tiny chihuahua? Probably not!

dog wearing sweater

Care for Their Paws

A dog’s paws go through a lot – especially in the winter. One of the best ways to protect their paws against ice and freezing temperatures is to buy them dog boots. Make sure the boots fit securely and are waterproof.

However, not all dogs can handle wearing boots. Some are too big or too small to fit them. Others just hate them so much that it’s not worth the hassle. If your dog isn’t one for winter boots, look into natural creams and balms that will protect their paws against the elements.

Once you’re back from your adventures, make sure to fully dry their paws. Don’t forget to remove any de-icer or salt that might have gotten stuck between their toes! Doing this every time they come in from the outside will make a huge difference in their paw health during the winter.

You should also trim the fuzz between their toes on a regular basis, too. Check out our guide to choosing the best clippers here!

Keep Them Hydrated

A properly hydrated dog will be able to regulate her body temperature more easily than a dehydrated dog. Make sure your dog has plenty of water at home. If you’re planning on taking her for longer walks outside, bring a water source and encourage her to drink regularly. This is especially important if your dog is wearing a coat!

Learn Their Breed Requirements

As we’ve said, some dogs don’t just like the snow – they belong in it! If you have a wintry breed like a husky, malamute, or Saint Bernard, then you probably already know that your dog is happiest when he’s allowed to play in the snow for hours at a time.

But if your dog is generally more comfortable in warm weather, or his breed originated in a warm country, you’ll probably have to go the extra mile to keep him comfortable during the winter season.

dog outside in snow

Limit Outside Time

Unless your dog is one of those Arctic breeds, you’ll want to make sure her outside adventures are always followed by plenty of warm inside time. (And even cold-weather breeds should have plenty of indoor rest!)

If your dog begins to shiver, whine, lift her paws from the ground, or seems otherwise anxious or uncomfortable, you should get her inside as soon as possible. Once back at home, focus on gently warming her up.

Give Them Fewer Baths

Too many baths can strip the protective oils on your dog’s skin. This can be potentially harmful, since those very oils are what keep him comfortable and hydrated. During the cold and dry winter months, this means your dog could develop dry, flaky, itchy skin.

Professionals – such as those with a dog grooming license, as well as vets – can usually recommend moisturizing shampoos and other products, in case your dog has a particularly smelly day and needs to be bathed in the winter.

Give Them More Food (Yes, Really!)

Dogs use more calories to stay warm when they’re outside than they during the warmer months. This means that you have every excuse to give them extra healthy treats when you’re playing outside together! You can even increase your dog’s food intake ever so slightly.

Don’t go overboard, though! Always speak to your veterinarian if you aren’t sure whether your dog is getting too much or too little food.

dog about to catch a treat

Brush Them

Brushing your dog is a way of preparing his coat for the winter. Of course, an expert with a dog grooming license would be the best person to trust with this job. After all, they’ll know exactly the right way to prepare your particular breed’s coat.

However, brushing regularly at home is recommended either way. When you brush your dog, you’re removing old fur that would otherwise clump and tangle. Fur like that takes longer to dry, which means your dog will be colder, longer. Most dogs grow a fuller coat in the winter to protect themselves from the cold, but brushing your dog encourages that growth.

Once you’ve brushed out all that hair, check out our guide to removing dog hair around your home! You can thank us later.

Winter can be an amazing time to get outside with your dog. Even if you aren’t a fan of cold weather, watching your dog bounce around in the snow never gets old! But winter also brings its own challenges and considerations. Thankfully, with a little preparation and research, your dog will be able to enjoy her time with you all winter long!

Want to become a professional groomer? Earn your dog grooming certification by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

3 Dog Owner Types You Should Blacklist from Your Dog Grooming Business

Let’s be real for a second: your dog groomer training taught you how to tend to a dog with the professionalism and finesse of a true pro! Chances are, your training also introduced you to some of the different kinds of clients you’ll encounter throughout your career. Unfortunately, there are some types of clients that you’ll only come face to face with once you’re in the real world, booking jobs.

Of course, we’re referring to nightmare clients. These are the people whose level of ignorance is so profound that you might find yourself questioning your skills, your worth, and even your sanity.

But you aren’t required to work with these people! After all, you went through all that dog groomer training and launched your own business so that you can be in charge of your career. You didn’t come all this way just to get abused by the wrong types of customers!

Here are 3 examples of clients you should think twice about working with…

1. The Anti-Masker

We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and yet for SOME bizarre reason, some people think they don’t need to wear a mask. Well, as a professional dog groomer, you know better. Your business needs to be run safely. Part of this means that you, fellow staff, and all clients NEED to wear face masks when in your work space.

If a potential client refuses to wear their mask? Easy peasy lemon squeezy: guess they’re not getting Fluffy groomed until they do!

They might throw a tantrum, and threaten to huff and puff until they blow the house down, but stick to your guns. No mask, no service. It’s better to lose this one stubborn customer than it would be to potentially contract something dangerous, and pass it along to other clients.

2. The Know-It-All

This is the kind of client who thinks they know everything there is to know about dog breeds and proper grooming, despite having never received any form of dog groomer training in their life. They may base their ‘facts’ off of what they read online, or simply off of their aesthetic preferences. If they want a certain kind of cut, but you know it wouldn’t be optimal, due to their dog’s breed?

Too bad! They’ll expect you to do it anyway!

The Know-It-All may also be prone to having unrealistic expectations. In their mind, they want it done a certain way, and it’s your job to make them happy. Even if it’s not in their pooch’s best interests, or it’s beyond your capabilities as a groomer.

The best part? If you try your best to give them what they demand and it doesn’t turn out the way they wanted (as you expected, and tried to warn them), it’ll still somehow be your fault. Fun times.

3. The Non-Payer

Ahh, the ‘Non-Payer’. We all know exactly the type of client this is, although the Non-Payer can come in many forms. They’ll believe they’re above you in every way, and that the world revolves around them. “The customer is always right” is their favorite expression. It’s probably the mantra they repeat to themselves during their morning yoga routine.

Non-Payers will have unrealistic expectations, and threaten to destroy your career if you ever have the audacity to not meet them. For example, this is the kind of client who would likely not understand that you’re a groomer and not a vet, but will expect the same types of services out of you. Then, when you can’t provide them, they’ll demand to speak to the manager, potentially start filming, and promise to leave you a scathing review online.

And, of course, they’ll refuse to pay for the services you’ve already provided them.

A Non-Payer will be your best friend until you do something they don’t like. Then the beast will be unleashed. Unfortunately, the politer and more professional you are in response to a Non-Payer, the more it will only feed their rage. It’s important not to get intimidated and switch tactics, though. Continue being respectful and polite, even if it’s to tell her to leave.

Non-Payers are drained of their power so long as you maintain the moral high ground.

Tips for Dealing with These Types of Clients

While it’s 100% your call whether you choose to blacklist a client from your business or not, the main point we’re trying to get across here is that you’re not obligated to service clients who treat you poorly.

Of course, there can be plenty of example of these 3 kinds of clients who may be frustrating, but may not cross the line into “I’ll never work for you again” territory. Ultimately, you need to use your best judgement, and decide based on your comfort level.

Should any of these kinds of clients really take it too far and cross a line, though, remember the following:

  1. Remember your dog groomer training. YOU’RE the expert in this situation. While a client’s input will always be valuable, there’s a reason why you’re the one with the professional certification.
  2. Provide them with one chance, and one chance only. If a client treats you in a way that you know is unacceptable, don’t book with them again. If you let them get away with it once, they’ll believe they can get away with it a second time.
  3. Trust your gut. If you get a bad vibe from a client, feel incredibly uncomfortable, or get any other sort of terrible gut feeling when interacting with a client, don’t ignore it. You want your workspace to be one you want to come back to every day. If you continue to service a client who makes you feel negatively, it can wind up sucking the joy out of your work.
  4. Don’t let their intimidation tactics scare you. There will ALWAYS be more customers out there for you. Stand your ground and don’t let a bad client bully you into submission. So what if you lose one lousy client? There will be plenty of awesome ones headed your way in the future, so focus on them instead!
  5. Always remain professional and polite, no matter how they treat you. Don’t get swept up in the moment and stoop to their level. Even if you need to tell them to leave, so long as you’re conducting yourself respectfully, you’ll always maintain the upper hand in this type of situation.

Can you think of any other kinds of nightmare clients you should blacklist from your grooming business? Let us know in the comments below!

Start your dog groomer training today by enrolling in QC’s internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course.

Maximize Your Time at Home by Getting Your Dog Grooming Certification!

The COVID-19 pandemic has kind of turned everything upside-down, hasn’t it? With many cities having declared states of emergency, people everywhere are being advised to stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with others. Streets are barren, all non-essential businesses are closed, and toilet paper has become the world’s hottest commodity. This situation is definitely surreal, to say the least.

While it’s absolutely essential that we all do our part to flatten the curve, let’s also be real: being cooped up at home all day, every day, gets old pretty fast. You can only watch so much Netflix, or play so many video games, before things begin to feel stagnant. What you need is something productive to maximize your time!

If you love dogs, and dream of a job where you get to interact with them all the time, then a career as a dog groomer would be perfect for you! The good news? You can use this time to work towards your professional certification by enrolling in online dog grooming school!

By the time things go back to normal, you’ll be ready to enter the industry and start booking clients!

Learning online is just as useful as learning at a physical school!

Let’s get something out of the way immediately: there’s a misconception that online grooming courses can’t possibly be as beneficial as in-person ones. This is false – full stop.

Admittedly, there are scam ‘schools’ out there that take people’s money in exchange for nothing but a few flimsy quizzes. To be clear, these AREN’T actual dog grooming schools, and they can’t be trusted.

On the other hand, legitimate, accredited online grooming schools provide high-quality training and course materials that are just as beneficial for learning as what you’d get at a brick-and-mortar institution.

If you’re worried that online dog grooming school won’t provide you with hands-on training, don’t worry. You absolutely will receive this as part of your education, alongside the practical grooming knowledge you’ll read about and be tested on!

You’ll also learn other valuable information, such as:

  • Dog anatomy
  • Dog breeds
  • Health and safety
  • Dog behavior/temperament
  • Client relations
  • Skin conditions, etc.

As part of your tuition, your online school will also provide you with high-quality dog grooming tools of the trade. Your program will help teach you all about each one, and what they’re used for.

Videos and textbooks will examine – from the ground up – how to groom all types of dog breeds, ages, etc. Your expert tutor will review all of your work thoroughly, so they can always provide feedback that will allow you to grow.

Many grooming institutions will also offer students some sort of First Aid Course. QC Pet Studies provides this course for free for all Dog Grooming Course students!

Lastly, if you have aspirations of one day starting your own grooming business, the best online grooming schools will ensure to include a business component to their curriculum. However, you’re also equally trained to work within a salon as well!

The fact is, every school – online or in-person – is different. The right school for you is dependent on YOU, your lifestyle, and your learning habits.

A dog grooming certification will help you stand out from the competition!

It’s true that dog groomers don’t technically need formal education or training. You don’t even necessarily need a professional certification in order to do the job. Since there isn’t any regulation for this profession, a ‘license’ isn’t legally required.

That being said, you really shouldn’t be grooming a dog WITHOUT knowing what you’re doing. If for no other reason than you could be putting the dogs in danger. Beyond that, though… Don’t you want to be the very best groomer you can be?

If you’re passionate about making this your career, you’ll want to receive proper training. You’ll want to learn all there is to know and become a true expert.

Not to mention, while having your dog grooming certification isn’t mandatory, it’s definitely going to improve your resume! Whether it’s to potential clients or salon employers, seeing that you’ve put in the time, effort, and dedication to earn professional qualifications will be very impressive.

It illustrates your professionalism. It says to the world that you’re a hard worker, and you know your stuff!

Think of it this way: if you wanted to have your dog groomed, and had to choose between a groomer who has no formal training or certifications, versus one who does… who would YOU likely pick?

Online dog grooming school is convenient!

Right now, there are many people who don’t have the option to go to work or attend school – because most in-person establishments are closed indefinitely. You, on the other hand, have the freedom to pursue your career goals, without needing to leave your home!

This flexibility, in general, is one of the biggest reasons why online schooling is so popular (pandemic or no pandemic). Online schools are also flexible in the way they allow their students to approach the curriculum. Because the thing is, not everyone learns the same way, and some people have incredibly busy schedules.

Not everyone can commit to the rigid deadlines imposed by real-life schools. This is especially the case if the schooling conflicts with something else taking place in their life, such as work or taking care of children.

Online schools, however, are done entirely at your own pace. With all the time having to be spent at home these days, we’re willing to bet that you have at least some open availability in your schedule that you can semi-regularly devote to your schoolwork!

Many of QC’s students and grads have found that, on average, devoting 1-2 hours per week on their studies was all they needed to be able to finish their course in as little as 6 months. This is totally doable for most lifestyles!

Pro tip: One downside to there being no deadlines or due dates, is that it can become all too easy to push everything off to the last minute. Try your best not to procrastinate on your schooling! Set yourself a realistic schedule that works with the rest of your lifestyle, and then do your best to stick with it as much as possible.

It’s also extremely affordable, even during a pandemic!

Investing into any lifelong passion is going to require at least a little bit of money. This is just reality. In fact, as a general word of caution: if you find an online dog grooming school that promises suspiciously low tuition rates, proceed with caution. A high-quality education can be affordable – but it’s never going to be dirt cheap!

(The flip side is also a red flag, too. If you find an online grooming school that charges outrageous fees in exchange for very little course work/materials, it’s probably a scam.)

All that being said, we also understand that things are tough right now. The economy is in a difficult spot. And thanks to COVID-19, a lot of people are either currently out of a job, or living on a reduced income. For many, money is tight. So, what you DO have can’t all be going towards your schooling. That’s just not realistic.

But you still have options! When it comes to dog grooming school, online courses will almost always be more cost-effective than in-person ones. This is in large part because there’s no physical campus incurring fees or maintenance costs.

On top of offering cheaper tuition than brick-and-mortar schools, online courses will often offer students the option of affordable, low monthly payment plans. You should be able to pursue your goals, advance your career, and earn your dog grooming certification – WITHOUT worrying about going broke in the process!

The important thing to remember is that although times are hard right now, they won’t last forever. Eventually, life will return to normal! Use your current circumstances to your advantage, and keep your sights focused on your bright future ahead!

That way, once you’re able to break out into the industry, you can hit the ground running and take the dog grooming world by storm!

Earn your dog grooming certification by enrolling in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course! Get started today!