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Zen Groomers

Who Are my Local Solana Beach Groomers? We Get to Know Kim of  Sydnee's Pet Grooming!

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Who Are my Local Solana Beach Groomers? We Get to Know Kim of Sydnee's Pet Grooming!

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!

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Who are my Local Sorrento Valley Groomers? We get to Know Myke of Absolute Pawfection

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Who are my Local Sorrento Valley Groomers? We get to Know Myke of Absolute Pawfection

                           Absolute Pawfection groomer and team member Sara!

                           Absolute Pawfection groomer and team member Sara!

 

Myke Ross has been grooming for 11 years, falling into the trade by what we would call fate. Previously owning several different businesses from a photo studio to two tattoo studios, business savvy Myke was asked by a friend who had recently taken over a grooming shop for some help on the paper side of things. As the shop continued to grow and the need for more help grew larger Myke decided to jump right in and start brushing dogs. He then decided to take things to the next level and learn how to groom. Along with taking classes Myke was able to learn the secrets of the trade through apprenticing under two seasoned groomers and one master groomer. It wasn’t long after the shops growing success that Myke was asked by another friend for his assistance in watching over the grooming shop she was working at while she was away. Within a year Myke was then managing the successful business himself. Four years later in May of 2012 Myke had made the decision to buy his first van and Absolute Pawfection was born. In March 2013 he purchased his second van fallowed by opening his first shop in Encinitas that fallowing May. A year later business was booming and the demand for more of Myke’s groomers grew higher. It was then time to open up his newest location in Sorrento Valley. He will be celebrating his 4 year anniversary this May with a fabulous party!  

                        Absolute Pawfection fearless leader and owner, Myke Ross!

                        Absolute Pawfection fearless leader and owner, Myke Ross!

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

 “I believe every groomer should be educated, currently there is no requirement in California to be certified as a dog groomer. I require all of my groomers to be certified or to have the goal to be certified. They should always be continuing their education including going to seminars and classes on a regular basis.  The shop needs to be clean and airy,  with nice people working there, and the grooming stations should be clean. Recommendations from friends are a great way to find a groomer, and you can also check out their online reviews. Also you should know how long they have been grooming for and if you can really tell they love what they do. Look at the shop you’re going to, the more professional shop, the more professional groomers you should be encountering.”

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

“I recommend every 4-8 weeks, however 6 weeks is the most common. It really depends on the different breeds and also the different hair/fur condition.”

What’s your favorite part about your job?

“I love dogs! I live, sleep, and breathe everything dogs. Currently I have 5 rescue dogs at home that get to run in and out of the house all day. It really is like a dog park. It’s fantastic! I work all day with dogs and then get to come home to my dogs.”

                                    Absolute Pawfection team member Clifton!

                                    Absolute Pawfection team member Clifton!

How do you soothe a dog’s grooming anxiety?

“I have an easy going demeanor.  I do my best to stay calm, and I’m always talking to the dogs.  People always laugh at me because I talk to them all day. I recommend having the dog groomed in the van if they don’t like noises, or going into the other room for less noisy distractions. I believe working one on one with a dog. It’s finished in a shorter amount of time and done better.  I am pretty quick at what I do, and then it’s over with. I also do not force them into crazy yoga positions.”

                                     Myke doing what he loves and does best!

                                     Myke doing what he loves and does best!

How can I control my dog’s fur/shedding?

“You can bring them to me! This really depends on the dog and there are also different tools, not every tool is the same for each dog.  The best grooming supplies/tools we actually use on ourselves for the dogs. You can find out how often you need to brush your dog by brushing them daily and checking for tangles. No tangles means a brushing is not needed that day”.

                                     Absolute Pawfection team member Lorie!

                                     Absolute Pawfection team member Lorie!

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

“It’s not that hard to do, but if you attempt it yourself you should have all the required equipment and styptic powder.  A groomer does have all the tools necessary and as other people have said, “Why would you want to do something most dogs don’t like to have done to them?”  Just have someone else do it so they don’t associate that with you.” 

 

Please share a funny/memorable grooming story.

“Often people don’t brush their dogs. I had a client bring in their dog that was completely matted. I had asked her if the dog was matted over the phone and she said no. When they arrived I could clearly see the dog was matted and stated, “I thought your dog was not matted.” She said, “Oh! Driving over the dog had its head out the window the whole time. That must be why she’s matted!” A woman called me while I was working on another dog saying it was 911 emergency and I must come immediately. She even offered to play triple the normal rate. She said her dog must have been in a fire because it smells like its coat was burning. I told her if her dog was on fire you need to rinse it off with a hose right away. She kept begging and insisting for me to come over, and I ended up giving the dog a $300 bath because her dog had been skunked!”

Thank you you to Myke and his happy, friendly, and loyal staff for welcoming us in, and allowing us to share Absolute Pawfection with you. We can't wait for that party in May! For more information please check out their website here.

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Who are my Local San Diego Mobile Groomers? We get to Know Elyse of Awesome Doggies Mobile Pet Grooming

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Who are my Local San Diego Mobile Groomers? We get to Know Elyse of Awesome Doggies Mobile Pet Grooming

Operations Manager and Leader Groomer, Elyse Agone, has been grooming professionally for 11 years.  When she was a kid she used to go to work with a babysitter that was a groomer,  It was her favorite summer job. She's been around all sorts of animals my whole life though – dogs, cats, horses, ferrets…  and even had a pet skunk once! Elyse has two Australian Shepherds and two rescue cats now, plus all the dogs & cats she takes care of at Awesome Doggies. To quote Elyse,  "I can’t picture life without animals in it."

                     Elyse with her adorable dogs!

                     Elyse with her adorable dogs!

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

"I think the top traits are being gentle with the pets, being reliable, and having good communication skills. I would ask what’s included with every groom, so you know exactly what you’re getting & what –if anything - will cost extra… what kind of products they use, so you know they’re using quality products designed specifically for pets & preferably all natural… and if they’re experienced with handling anything specific to your pet’s needs (an older pet, a rescue, anxiety, a new puppy, etc) – they should be familiar with special circumstances and how to accommodate them."

                                                        Elyse and Henry!

                                                        Elyse and Henry!

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

" Most people go about every 4-6 weeks, and that’s about right for most pets. It all depends on how active they are, how stinky they get, and if they need a lot of brushing or regular haircuts. We see a few dogs every week or so because they either go to the beach all the time or have a lot of fur to maintain… and we see others every few months or so that are low maintenance and keep pretty clean. Pets that sleep in bed with their owners or the kids tend to get groomed more often, too."

                                   Eylse and Drake!

                                   Eylse and Drake!

 What’s your favorite part about your job?  

"Building a relationship with the pets I take care of and their families. I love being out and about in San Diego, too (catching a quick view coming down Soledad Mountain is a great reminder of what a beautiful place we live in), but getting to know the pets & their people is the best thing. I’ve got some I’ve known since they were puppies, and some that used to hate being groomed that have gotten much better over the years."

 How do you soothe a dog’s grooming anxiety?

"Most pets just need a lot of love. We talk them through it, offer treats & take it slow if they need it… it’s like taking a kid to the doctor – they might be scared & might not like it, but it’s good for them & you just have to get them through it as smoothly as possible. We can limit the scope of work if a pet is really stressed, but a lot of times it’s just a matter of paying attention to what bothers them, and customizing our approach so that we can get the job done without asking them to get too far out of their comfort zone. Lots of positive reinforcement helps too: praise, patting, treats, and even games. Over time, most dogs start to realize it’s not so bad. When they start waiting for us at the door, and come running to the mobile salon, we know we’ve made a convert… but even for the ones that aren’t thrilled to see us, if by the end they come out of the salon prancing & happy, we know we’ve done our job & made them feel great."

How can I control my dog’s fur/shedding?

"Brush and de-shed regularly, or get somebody to do it for you!  We’ve got a great de-shedding process. We use the FURMinator before and after a bath to brush out the undercoat (that’s the part that sheds all over your house), plus a few other tools for various coats… and we also work out a lot of fur during the drying process. We can reduce shedding up to 60-80% if we’re coming every 4-6 weeks. If you prefer to do it yourself, the FURminator tool can be purchased online and at most pet stores. Just be careful not to overdo it (a good rule of thumb for do-it-yourselfers is to limit the FURminator to ten minute sessions to avoid possible skin irritation) and repeat regularly. Consult with your groomer about what other tools work best with your pet’s coat. Not every brush & comb works on every coat type."

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

" You can, but it’s not for everybody. There are two parts to the process: one is to get your dog used to having his feet handled, and to participate calmly in the process. The other part is that you have to the right equipment, and handle the clippers properly. There are a couple of tricks to using nail clippers that take some practice – knowing how short to go, and being able to round the nails off a bit so they’re not too sharp. It is definitely possible to hurt a pet while trimming nails, so be very careful and only trim a little bit off at a time. We have several blog posts on this topic, which you can access here."

 

 Please share a funny/memorable grooming story.

" Oh man, every groomer has so many of these. We always remember the pets that maybe aren’t in great shape when we first come out & we’re able to really make them feel better, or the ones that we succeed in winning over in time, and the puppies that we get to watch grow up or the older pets we get to love on in their last years. But animals are always making us laugh, too. I’ve got one house I go to where the family cat is pretty bold & he always comes in the trailer while I’m grooming their Golden Retriever. You can imagine most cats we groom don’t walk right in begging for a bath, but this guy hangs out over the tub where there’s a sunny spot he can lay in, or walks around under the dog while I’m brushing her. One time he crawled into my truck while I was working & decided to take a nap in the back. I didn’t know he was in there until I got in the driver’s seat & he hopped up and came to sit beside me. Of course I took him back to the house, but now I always check the truck for stowaways before leaving. We groom cats as well as dogs, so you never know, someday he may get his wish!"

Thank you to Elyse for participating in this week's Zen Groomer feature, and to Cam Schultz, owner of Awesome Doggies Mobile Pet Grooming! For more information please visit their website.

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Who Are my Local Veterinarians in Pacific Beach? We get to know Dr. Reed of Turquoise Animal Hospital

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Who Are my Local Veterinarians in Pacific Beach? We get to know Dr. Reed of Turquoise Animal Hospital

                                                                  Dr Reed and adorable ferret Zaya!

                                                                  Dr Reed and adorable ferret Zaya!

Dr Melissa Reed has been in the veterinary field for 17 years. She grew up in San Diego and for 12 years she very much enjoyed being a vet technician. At the age of 27 she decided to go to school at the University of West Indies in Trinidad to become a veterinarian. She’s now been an official vet for 5 years. Just by looking at Melissa you would never guess she has her 17 years in the field as she looks refreshingly young and has a very light, and easily likable spirit about her. Having a fresh face isn’t always the easiest when your younger when it was impossible to get in anywhere, however to quote Doctor Reed, “ Well I’ll be cute when I’m 80!” And we absolutely agree although we’re pretty positive she’s been cute all her life. Here’s more from the Doctor!

What  are the top 3 questions to ask when deciding on a Veterinarian?

“If they are AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association,) accredited that’s really a good sign, and there’s a website. Say your moving into a town where you don’t know anybody you can always go on the website and see which hospitals are accredited. This just means you adhere to stricter guidelines, then you have to. You certainly can ask for referrals and talk to your neighbors to see who they use. Also, if they are close to your house I think that’s another benefit. If you have an emergency you want to be able to get there quick.”

What’s the most common question you receive from an animal’s owner?

“People really want to know if their animal is normal, whatever they’re doing. Sometimes animals make these weird reverse sneezing noises and puppies get the hiccups. Puppies and kittens also lose their baby teeth. People don’t realize that and they find a tooth on the carpet and they are really alarmed. People just really want to know if things are normal or not.”

Turq 3.jpg

What is the most common reason an animal comes to see you?

“Most the time it’s wellness visits. We make sure they are up to date on their vaccines, check their poop once a year, do heart worm testing, and with senior pets test their blood and urine. Mostly wellness I would say.”

What is your favorite breed of dog and why?

“I’d have to go with mutts. We get all these fun little french bull dogs, and really cute adorable little pure breed dogs. They tend to have more health issues then some of the mutts. And I just think it’s so cute all the Heinz 57 dogs, all the different shapes and configurations you see. They tend to be healthier dogs.”

How often should you bathe your dog?

“It depends on the dog, if the dog is going out and getting really dirty all the time monthly is a good rule of thumb to start at. It’s not going to strip all the oils and everything that are important for their coat. Certainly if you have a short hair dog that tends to stay clean you don’t have to bathe them that often. Also, some dogs are very clean, and some dogs have terrible allergies. Sometimes when they are having a really bad outbreak we will have people bathe them a couple times a week or weekly. This just gets all the pollen off of them and their skin so their comfortable.

What is your number one piece of advice to give a client when getting a brand new puppy?

“Brush their teeth. Start brushing their teeth early and get them use to it.  You should really just be brushing their teeth along the upper gum line. I think the little pet tooth pastes are nice fun flavors for dogs, and just starting slow is a good tip. We have a whole little “30 Days to Brushing Your Dogs Teeth” guide that we give to people. They just start with giving them a treat, sitting them down, and making it part of the routine. This eases them into things. You should have them lick the tooth paste,and then have them play with the tooth brush. We have the whole step by step guide, it should definitely be fun experience. If it’s not fun for the puppy they will not want to do it and if it’s stressful for the people, we don’t want to do that to our puppy. You should brush their teeth everyday but only for about 10 seconds. It should be real fast, people have more trouble remembering to brush their dogs teeth, then actually doing it.” 

Thank you to Dr Reed, Zaya (pictured above) and the fantastic team at Turquoise Animal for participating in this week's Zen Veterinarian blog feature!

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