Grooming Pets for the Holidays and Year-Round

| December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

It’s around the holidays that we sometimes focus on making sure our pets look their best.  And, to make this possible, I spoke to two animal groomers who are passionate about their work and truly enjoy their customers, cats and dogs.

Salvador Gomez is the head groomer at VCA Hillcrest Animal Hospital, located at 246 West Washington Street in the Mission Hills/Hillcrest area. Gomez got introduced to the canine grooming industry when he was 18 years old. He worked with an afghan breeder and quickly learned the rules and tools of the trade. He observed how dogs of different breeds were to be groomed and also learned how to show dogs.

Now, some years later, Gomez has clients who refer to him as their only groomer. They wouldn’t go to anyone else. You can tell why this is the case. He is calm and communicates with each of his clients, whatever the breed, with extreme patience.

“I create a relationship with my canine clients by moving slowly,” said Gomez. “I want to make them feel comfortable with me and the surroundings.”

Gomez said that his canine clients sense the energy and feelings of the groomer. They know if this person is comfortable with them and in control. However, you don’t over power a dog.

When asked how the industry has changed, since he’s been a groomer for over 35 years, Gomez said that techniques haven’t changed. However the tools of the trade have improved, including shampoos for different animal needs, such as dogs with allergies.

We talked about when dogs or puppies should be introduced to grooming. Gomez said this should happen when they are around three-months old. This way, they get accustomed to the groomer, ears cleaned, nails clipped and being bathed. Then he laughed, recalling the many puppies he’s groomed and the fact that he gets wet from all of their energy and excitement. It’s never a dull moment as a groomer.

There are also many different options and reasons for getting a cat groomed, according to Meadow Beidler, who specializes in cat grooming at VCA Hillcrest Animal Hospital. She says some people bring their short-haired cats in just for a nail trim and deshedding. However, she will suggest a full groom with bath about once a year in those cases.

As cats age they can become arthritic and stop grooming themselves; so it’s good to have them accustomed to a bath before it gets to that point. Other clients with long-haired cats do well bringing them in for a bath and brush out maintenance, and maybe a sanitary clipping as needed throughout the year.

Depending on the coat and structure of the cat, some need a lot of help staying tangle free and clean. With Persians, if they are to be kept in full coat every four-to-six weeks is the maximum time between grooms to remain tangle free and clean, especially if the owner is not doing their own maintenance and brushing at home. Sometimes cats get hair knots. Depending on the location and the tightness, it may be best to shave the matting. However, in some cases, the best option to do a shave down and start anew.

Some people have found their cats seem a lot happier without a huge coat and keep it that way throughout the year. 

Meadows shared with me that when she was six-years old she began befriending the feral alley cats in her neighborhood.  Many became her house cats.

This passion for cats and her desire to help them is what she believes they “sense about her,” which results in a stress free situation during grooming.

In unique cases, when a cat is just too stressed, there are different sedation options available.

The outcome is a happy and groomed cat.  

Salvador Gomez, head groomer at VCA Hillcrest Animal Hospital, is shown with one of his canine clients.

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Category: Animals, Business, Local News

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