Kimberly Srisark has been in the grooming business for seventeen years. She learned how to groom in Utah, and moved out to California in 2000. Kim started out in mobile grooming for two years, and than worked at a salon in Fallbrook.  This is when she decided to open her own salon which she had for 8 years.  In 2011, Kim and her  her husband Nat, purchased Sydnee’s Pet Grooming, which recently became a franchise in November 2014. They now have two corporate stores, and are also subcontractors in 3 boarding places; Helen Woodward, and  two Camp Run a Mutts. With three franchised locations in San Diego County currently open, two more are scheduled to open in the next few months! 

When deciding on a groomer what specific traits should they have and what are the top 3 questions to ask? 

“Your groomer should have a lot of patience and loving to dogs. Please do not be a groomer unless you absolutely love dogs. You can ask how long they’ve been grooming, and also if they are comfortable grooming all breeds of dogs. It’s also good to ask if they are comfortable doing different hairstyles. I would ask if their pricing includes every service, because many groomers charge extra for a lot of things. Sometimes when you go into a groomer they’ll tell you it’s one price, however when you pick the dog up it’s a different price. That’s definitely one of the most important questions to ask, what does my grooming price include.” 

 How often do you recommend to get your dog groomed and why?

“I recommend getting your dog groomed every 4 - 6 weeks to keep them clean. People treat their dogs like family, and like to bring their animals inside and also let them sleep in their beds.  Grooming your dog every 4-6 weeks will ensure they are clean and smelling good.  This also helps dogs that have longer hair or hair that needs to be trimmed keep the mats and tangles out of them. It keeps the hair from growing around their eyes and mouth which may get kind of yucky and even cause infection. Scheduled grooming like this keeps their nails  trimmed, because problems may result if their nails get too long. This  will also keep the fleas and parasites off of them and cuts down on  shedding.” 

What’s your favorite part about your job?

“Being around animals for sure. That’s definitely my favorite part of the job. I love my clients. People think it’s a job with animals but it’s very much a people person job too. I also love the creative aspect of it, being able to create unique and individual haircuts for each of the individual dogs. We like to put little bows in their hair. Some of the girls if the hair on the top or on their ears are long enough will braid them  and put bows on the ends.”

 How do you soothe a dog’s grooming anxiety?

“All of our groomers are extremely patient. We go really slow with them, make friends with them, and have the dogs trust us.  Sometimes we will give them breaks, and take them out for a little walk to show them we’re not their to hurt them. We want to show them that grooming can be a good experience, and just be really patient with them. If there’s something they don’t like, sometimes we won’t do it that grooming session. This way we can ease into it in a couple of groomings so it’s not so stressful on them.” 

How can I control my dog’s shedding?

“Getting them groomed every four to six weeks. People think grooming is for dogs with longer hair that need it trimmed. With dogs that shed grooming really helps cut down on the fur, because we do a really good de-shedding when we groom them. Some of the products that we use on them will really help cut down on the shedding.”

Can I teach my dog to let me trim their nails?

“Yes. What I usually tell people to do is start with a nail file. That’s usually what’s scary, and you can’t cut the nail that way. The dog will get get use to the owner messing with their feet, because sometimes dogs can be like “What are you doing?” They really don’t like the owner to mess with their feet too much. I tell people to start with a nail file and them both get comfortable with that first. Then you can go onto the clipping. The timing on the switch really depends on the dog. If the dog’s totally fine with the filing, you can go right on to clipping. I’m sure any groomer would be happy to walk the owner through it if they really want to do it at home. From my experience, majority of the time it’s better if the groomer takes care of it. One of the hardest things to get used to learning how to groom, the quick of the dog’s nail is really hard to see. You have to really get use to cutting the nail before you feel comfortable with not cutting it too short. Groomers will cut and file the nail so they’re not sharp.”

 Please share a funny/memorable grooming story.

“At Christmas time I had a client who asked if I could do her standard poodle’s legs in a candy cane. The dog was going to be in the Christmas parade. I had to cut the hair to look like this kind of circular shape, and then I dyed the hair red to look like a candy cane. It was really cute!”

A big thanks to Nat and Kim for participating in this week's Zen Groomer blog feature! For more information about Sydnee's Pet Grooming please visit their website!