Archive 2008 - 2019

Coat Maintenance for a Better Grooming

by Serena Keating

A little maintenance can go a long way.  It will save stress and time when your pet does visit the groomer, while potentially finding out about a health issue that can be dealt with before it gets really serious.  Here are some things you can do between professional grooms

•    Collars — Keep collars off your dog as much as possible, especially in the house. Collars wear down the fur, create matting, and can cause skin irritation if left on for long periods of time. If the collar is wet or damp, remove promptly and dry before putting it back on your pet. Most collars can go in the dishwasher or washing machine if they start to get dirty or stinky.

•    Ears — Floppy-eared dogs can be prone to ear infections due to the lack of air circulation. Use an over-the-counter ear cleaner once a week. Wipe a cotton ball around the inside of the ear, without going into the ear canal. Pointy ears on dogs, such as German Shepherds, get dirty because they are sticking up and attracting dirt.  Those ears should also be regularly cleaned.

•    Pads — Hairy dogs can get mats between their toes and pads. Foreign objects such as twigs can lodge in your dog’s pads and irritate the foot. Even short-haired dogs such as labs get “hobbit toes,” where the fur grows long at their pads. This can make it slippery on tiled or hardwood floors.  Check in between toes and pads periodically.
•    Rear of your dog — Don’t ignore the back end of your dog. There’s nothing worse than “dingleberries.” This situation can lead to very sore skin if not kept clean. If your dog does not appear to be clean in the rear area, take a baby wipe and clean that area of the fur. Then comb it so it doesn’t get matted as it dries. Keeping that part of your dog clean will make him or her feel better, will protect their skin, and your pet will not be dragging his or her butt on your new carpet trying to remove it

•    Teeth — There are many products on the market now to keep up with teeth cleaning. There are liquids to add to your pet’s water, edible and chewy treats, sprays that go on the teeth, gels that are applied to the teeth and the old fashion toothbrush and paste. All these items should be available at your groomer’s or local pet shop. In order for tooth maintenance to be effective, it has to be done often.

•    Coat — Brushing and combing are two of the best ways to keep your pet’s coat in shape between grooms. Check "armpits", back and front of legs, the base of the tail and tips of the ears for matting. Try to remember where you started with your comb or brush and work your way around your pet. If your pet starts to get antsy, pick up where you left off the next day. Remember, the goal is to make the experience as pleasant as possible for you and your pet. Talk to your groomer about the best tools for your pet’s type of coat. You may need to use a combination of tools to effectively get through the coat.
Think about how much time that you can commit to your pet’s coat.  If you want cute and fuzzy, there has to be some consistent Mommy or Daddy and me time with your furry baby.  Your lifestyle will contribute largely to the style your pup will sport.  Tools are critical.  Your groomer should be more than willingly to spend time showing how to take care of  your pup between grooms.    Have fun with it.


A resident of Holliston, Serena has lived here for over 14 years with her husband, teen-age son, and fuzzy friends – two dogs named Scooby (who usually can be seen in the Celebrate Holliston parade with his shower cap on) and Beef, and two cats, Baron and Picasso.  She holds a B. A. degree in American Studies from Brandeis University, and attended Boston College’s Masters Program in Administrative Studies in Business.

Serena decided to leave the corporate world where she had worked since graduating from college. Because she always had a love for dogs and cats, she took the plunge about seven years ago and made the leap to pet grooming.  She completed the course at Mount Ida College in Newton and received a Certification in Canine Grooming and Animal Care.

Serena opened her own pet grooming business initially in Sherborn, and relocated Serena’s Groom Room two years ago to Holliston.  She loves making pets feel and look good.  She believes a knowledgeable pet owner is a good owner.