Ashli of La Jolla's most recent grooming business Green Paw Grooming, has been a groomer for 11 years. Starting out when she was 17 years old as a bather, she also learned how to groom dogs. Ashli's worked all over North County including: Solana Beach, Del Mar, and now La Jolla. In addition she worked 5 years as a certified veterinarian technician, where she was a part time groomer and part time technician. After Ashli bought her shop in La Jolla in August 2015, it took her a month to fix it up and she opened in September 2015. Her grooming business specializes in all organic, all natural products and practices. Ashli is married with a son, and has 3 fantastic dogs Whisper, Wiley and Eddie.
When deciding on a groomer what specific traits should they have and what are the top 3 questions to ask?
"I think reliability is really important in this industry, make sure you find a groomer that’s going to be reliable. You should find somebody that’s compassionate to your animal. Sometimes in the bigger salons they see so many dogs, so they just whip them through one after another. For my dogs, at times I have special need animals so that’s what I focus on, because they need a little more time. Honestly, companionship, that’s what I pride myself as a pet groomer and an animal companion."
"For me a big one is what products do you use? Do you use anything that’s harmful or toxic that my dog could get ill from? A lot of times people do put toxic chemicals on your dog, and just like people you don’t want that stuff around you, especially if you have children. What are your hours of operation? Am I going to be able to drop my dog off when I go to work in the morning, then pick him up later on? What are your prices?" Is it an open floor plan? Do you allow dogs to run around on the floor or do you kennel? We do both. We kennel dogs that don’t like to be around other dogs, but if they get along they are more then welcome to be on the floor."
How often do you recommend to get your dog groomed and why?
"It honestly really depends on the breed. Typically I like to see dogs no longer than 4 weeks out, so every month. A lot of my doodles I recommend every 2-3 weeks."
What’s your favorite part about your job?
"The animals. I knew I had to get into an industry where I was around them. I’m actually much more feline than I am human. I do a lot of cats in here too. I just love animals."
How do you soothe a dog’s grooming anxiety?
"That depends on the type of anxiety the dog is having. I typically keep my shop very mellow. I don’t take in more then about 6-8 dogs a day. If I have a dog that has severe anxiety, I get them in and out as soon as possible. Pretty much just catering to the needs of the dog, and of course every dog is different. It’s just about getting to know the dog and earning it’s trust. Like this little guy, Beau he used to be a biter, and now he’ll let me do a full groom on him. He comes in every 3 weeks, and he’s followed me for the past 4 years."
How can I control my dog’s fur/shedding?
"Shedding is hard because dogs shed twice a year, and in San Diego there’s not any difference between the seasons. Sometimes they shed all the time. Routine grooming, bringing your dog in, getting a good wash, and good brush out are highly recommended. Of course brushing your dog at home always helps. I definitely recommend having a nightly routine brush, where you sit down at the end of the night. It’s good bonding for your dog, and it gets your dog used to grooming tools, along with being touched. I recommend the Franks Universal Brush, it’s great. I actually sell it here it’s a really good brush. I’ve been using this brush for 11 years, it’s the only brush I will use."
Can I teach my dog to let me trim their nails?
"I definitely think so. It’s all about repetitions, just continuously doing it. I always tell people to start when they are puppies by touching each toe individually. We also do a lot of filing instead of clipping. It seems to be a lot easier on your pet."
Please share a funny/memorable grooming story.
"I had a lady once ask me if I would cut her dog under her belly, and I didn’t know what she was talking about. She brought the dog in, and it was the dogs vagina. She didn’t even know, this dog was 12 years old, had it for her whole life and didn’t know that was her vagina. Just this last Christmas, I had a client bring in a golden retriever that was a month over do for a groom and had an ornament wrapped up in it’s fur. It was a full ornament. I pulled it out and showed the lady and she was in disbelief. She was like “No way, that did not come out of my dogs fur!"
Thank you to Ashli and her adorable 3 dogs Whisper, Wiley, and Eddie for taking the time to participate in this week Zen Groomer blog feature. For more information check out Green Paw Grooming's Facebook page!