• The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has changed our world. One of the short term issues many families are dealing with, not only in many U.S. states but nations around the world, is that professional pet groomers everywhere are closed temporarily. And people are spending more time at home with their dogs and long-haired cats, generally unaware of the importance of home grooming at this historic time.

    While most “Shelter in Place” states have, appropriately, deemed pet grooming as “non-essential”, as has been declared here in Illinois, where I am also the President of the Illinois Professional Pet Groomers Association (www.ippga.com), we all know that grooming a dog or long-haired cat is not just about looking pretty, it IS about their health and well-being. Dirty, matted, un-brushed, un-groomed dogs and cats whose toenails are too long are facing serious problems ranging from discomfort to conditions that produce infections, sores, yeast and fungal and bacterial skin issues, ear infections, orthopedic problems, and other veterinary attention-requiring conditions.

    We are already aware in our area of pet owners desperate to find an open groomer, and of course, none can legally be open.

    The solution? You must step up for, at least, the basics in grooming your dog at home. And if you don’t have the right equipment, your can order it online from any number of suppliers. We do strongly recommend against some kinds of home grooming tools, for example, the “furminator” which is absolutely a dangerous and poorly designed tool that can injure your dog. It is does not “de-shed”, it cuts hair – it does not discriminate between living hairs still growing and firmly rooted, and dead hairs ready to fall out. And dogs have very thin skin and are easily injured by this tool. Do not use them on any kind of dog or cat coat.

    If you are not a client of mine but of another groomer, even during Shelter in Place, many groomers are reachable. You can probably contact your groomer via email, their website, or social media.

    For my Love Fur Dogs clients to get advice, you can contact Jennifer by emailing Grooming@LoveFurDogs.com or messaging us on our Facebook page . I will respond and even set up a phone or FaceTime conference if necessary to help you with a grooming problem at home. We are all in this TOGETHER!

    And especially for my Love Fur Dogs clients I have made two 15-minute long videos, one addressing bathing, the other addressing brushing, combing, and nail trimming, that I have posted to YouTube, that should help you take your own grooming skills to the next level during this difficult time, to keep your dog generally clean, and most importantly, NOT letting them get all matted up, or clumped up undercoat.

    You can view these videos on YouTube. Video #1 is about bathing and general grooming information. Video #2 is about brushing, combing and nails.

    Be well. Stay safe. Can’t wait for the danger to pass and to see you all back in the lobby of Love Fur Dogs. This crisis is teaching us many things, but one thing it has reinforced for me is how much I love my clients, both the two-legged and four-legged! Please take care of your health. Nothing matters more.