"Don't Cats Groom Themselves?" Just One of the Many Myths About Cat Grooming!

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"Don't Cats Groom Themselves?"

At PreZoomably Cats, an exclusive cat salon in Regina, Saskatchewan, we love it when people ask this question.

Our answer is “No, cats do not groom themselves.” They do lick themselves all over and cover their fur with saliva, which in turn creates dander — a significant contributor to allergies in humans.

It has been approximately three years since we opened PreZoomably Cats: Feline Groomz & Roomz. The impact of our salon on Regina’s cat population has far exceeded our expectations.  We have learned so many lessons in this journey and here are a few:

  • Grooming a cat can genuinely change its life and that of its owner/s. Many clients have informed us their cat changes from grumpy to much more content and compliant — some even say more cuddly — with the Lion Cut. It has been remarkable.
  • Many of our feline clients felt the only way their cat could be groomed was to sedate it. Not only do we never sedate a cat; we also never restrain it during the grooming process.
  • There is a tremendous need for cat groomers to assist with matted/pelted cats, which in the past have had no opportunity to be groomed by a professional Certified Feline Master Groomer (CFMG).
  • With the right training and equipment, a professional can groom a cat with its health in mind, as well as its safety.
  • Grooming a cat professionally can solve many owner problems, such as shedding, dander, dandruff, scratching furniture, allergies, hairballs, matting, dirty ears, sanitation cleanliness and more.
  • Most importantly - There is a huge need to educate cat owners and demystify the myths, such as "You could never groom my cat," or "Cats hate water," and most of all, the line mentioned earlier, "Cats groom themselves."

 

LET'S LOOK AT THE MYTHS ONE BY ONE:

"You could never groom my cat."

The fact is if a groomer is qualified and trained with the proper skills, tools, and techniques; yes they can groom your cat.  In fact, we have three groomers who have become Certified Feline Master Groomers through the National Cat Groomers Institute, and they manage even the most aggressive cats.  In saying this, however, we are often surprised at how many clients come in thinking their cat may very well kill the groomer and the groom turns out to be rather uneventful, and the cat was compliant.

 

"All cats hate water!"

The fact is, all cats do not hate water.  In fact, when we deem a cat aggressive through our assessment, the first thing we do is take it to the bath.  The bath calms the cat down and enables us to complete the groom. Here is a cat that is quite enjoying its bath time.

"Cats groom themselves."

The fact is, daily we see cat clients arriving at our salon greasy, matted, smelly, litter stuck in their pads, ears waxy and full of debris, and packing overgrown nails that look like weapons of mass destruction.  It is evident these cats haven't done an adequate job of grooming themselves.  There is great confusion.  When a cat licks itself, it is not cleaning itself 

When a cat licks itself, it is covering its coat with saliva and an enzyme called Fel d 1. 

Fel d 1 is the allergen that is so toxic to many cat allergic humans. The saliva the cat deposits along with the enzymes and the inherent greasiness creates a situation where mating occurs.  If your cat is short coated it turns the coat to a lack-luster appearance and it isn't  pleasant to pet, plus the "smelly cat" syndrome exists.  Sometimes clients are not even aware their cat is matted.  A mat on a cat can be woven so tightly that it can be confused with the skin.

When a cat is pelted, it causes all kinds of issues.  The air cannot penetrate a pelted area and reach the skin.  Often moisture and bacteria are harbored in the pelt and skin irritations, or even infection can occur.  Also, there's the fact that the cat's mobility is impeded.  Mats and pelts are painful for cats!

Here is one of our worst examples of a cat who failed epically at grooming itself.

 This cat is extensively matted and pelted.  The fur is tightly interwoven to the point where its mobility is impaired

This cat is extensively matted and pelted.  The fur is tightly interwoven to the point where its mobility is impaired

 This picture shows the depth of the mats.

This picture shows the depth of the mats.

 We found twigs, and feces within the mats. 

We found twigs, and feces within the mats. 

Do not fear this cat left our salon happy and overjoyed to be freed of its pelt. 

 When you look at her skin, can you see where the pelt impeded air circulation?   (PLEASE NOTE THE BOOT LINE IS NOT WHERE IT SHOULD BE- DUE TO THE PELTING WE HAD TO ADJUST THE GROOM)

When you look at her skin, can you see where the pelt impeded air circulation? 

(PLEASE NOTE THE BOOT LINE IS NOT WHERE IT SHOULD BE- DUE TO THE PELTING WE HAD TO ADJUST THE GROOM)

Now, not all cats come to us with conditions like this.

MANY COME TO OUR SALON ON A MAINTENANCE PROGRAM. 

The client's request is to have their cat's coats cleaned of grease and debris;  to have their nails adequately trimmed and their ears, eyes and sanitary area cleaned. 

Once our clients experience what a clean cat should look and feel like, our education is complete.  Here are just a few before and after pictures to get a visual sense of the difference from a dirty cat to a clean cat. 

 

Example #1

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Example #2

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The results of a clean cat are more than a visual benefit; they are also a health benefit.  A fresh, well-groomed cat can eliminate hairball issues, shedding issues, lessen allergies, improve skin conditions, eliminate ingrown nails and more. 

The myths following cats and their grooming needs are de-bunked, and it is through education of both groomers and their clients, that so many of the feline skin problems and coat conditions are being remedied.

Trusting a Certified Feline Master Groomer is knowing they have been trained not only in the feline grooming aspect but also the physiology and psychology of a cat.  
 

All Fur Love,

Connie Buchanan

May Your Days Be Hairy & Bright: A Christmas Survival Guide for You and Your Pet

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Everyone knows the classic "Christmas Special" trope: a bright-eyed family sporting freshly-pressed flannel pyjamas...a perfectly adorned fir tree encased by dozens of hand-wrapped presents...and the family dog curled up by the wood-burning fire accessorized with a festive bandanna and not a care in the world. Western society subconsciously sets this cliche as the standard year after year. If you're anything like me, however, you're more accustomed to a sleep-deprived congregation around a Costco-bought synthetic tree that is grossly disfigured by a pack of estranged dogs who are forced to coexist in one household for an extended period. It's the only holiday narrative I know, and I wouldn't change it for the world. Be that as it may, I have developed some coping mechanisms to help eliminate some of the Christmas crazies from my household, and it's many furry tenants.

Like it or not – the holidays are built on an unspoken constitution of assembly - a topsy-turvy week of obligatory gathering. Meaning a motley crew ranging from your dearest friends to your less high maintenence in-laws , will be under your roof. In the hustle and bustle of trying to accommodate your many irregular guests, the four-legged patrons of the household often go forgotten. Depending on how socialized your pet is – the open-doored policy that comes to exist in the latter half of December can be anxiety-inducing for them (even more-so than it is for their owners). Not to mention the possibility of integrating other dogs into the home.

In my specific experience: I have two brothers, both of which are based in different cities than my parents and myself - and both of which (being our mother's son) have dogs. Every year they meet me at our childhood residence and bring their furry children along. Homebase is already inhabited by three dogs and two cats who belong to my parents to accommodate their "empty-nest syndrome." Throw me and my neurotic dog, Stedman, into the mix, and the result is pure anarchy.

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Even the most socialized pets are innately territorial, and the integration of others can throw off the whole dynamic of the household. What has been proven helpful is the sense of familiarity. Make sure that each pet has access to some form of safe-haven that represents their neutral home. Their year-round bed, a kennel, a blanket or a toy would suffice. Keep it somewhere removed from the chaos where it can be quickly accessed to provide a sense of ease.

The shining beacon that lies within the turmoil of the holidays is, of course, the food (and the alcohol). It's the one time of year that it's encouraged to have gluttony strewed throughout the interior of your home as though it's decoration. There's often not enough table space in a home to accommodate a Christmas assembly, and many guests have to improvise, eating in various nooks and crannies of the house. It's never considered how opportunistic this scenario is for a pet until you look down and your entire meal has vanished from your plate. All the while Rufus is hiding in the corner forcefully exuding a demeanor of innocence.

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Not only does this violate the pinnacle "Christmas Special" etiquette that we innately strive for, but it could pose potential harm to your pet. Many holiday delicacies are threatening to dogs. Chocolate, macadamia nuts, and fruitcakes all contain ingredients that are toxic to canines. Also be mindful of turkey bones as they are very commonly choked on. Moreover, many popular household decorations can fall under the category of "puppy poison." Poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe need to be kept out of reach. Nobody wants to find the result of Rufus's upset tummy under the tree on Christmas morning.

Foremost, I'd stress the maintenance of household boundaries. It's crucial that you don't let your daily obedience regiment slip. You also must enforce that your guests adhere to these rules and standards. The whole "It's Christmas!" one-off mentality doesn't apply here. It only takes Uncle Jim feeding Rufus one plate of scraps to confuse months of behavioural conditioning.

My final tidbit of holiday wisdom is quite simple but needs to be given priority. It can be summed up by the following profound ancient proverb: "Chill out, man!". With the impending weight of gifts and cooking and whatnot, people lose sight of the fact that this is meant to be an enjoyable occasion. Dogs are incredibly intuitive creatures and more often than not pick up on that energy. It's contagious - creating a toxic cycle of you provoking anxiety in your pet and vice-versa. So make sure you take a moment to breathe and enjoy the company of your friends and family; furry or otherwise.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Staff of Zoom Zoom Groom, PreZoomably Cats, and The Apex Academy.

 

By: Zane Buchanan

Why Would A Cat Require A Professional Groomer?

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"DON'T CATS GROOM THEMSELVES?"

At PreZoomably Cats, a cat-exclusive salon in Regina, Saskatchewan, we love it when people ask this question.

Our answer is “No, cats do not groom themselves.” They do lick themselves all over and cover their fur with saliva, which in turn creates dander — a significant contributor to allergies in humans.

It has been approximately three years since we opened PreZoomably Cats: Feline Groomz & Roomz. The impact of our salon on Regina’s cat population has far exceeded our expectations. Through this incredible journey we have learned the following :

  • Grooming a cat can genuinely change its life and that of its owner/s. Many clients have informed us their cat changes from grumpy to much more content and compliant — some even say more cuddly — with the Lion Cut. It has been remarkable.
  • Many of our feline clients felt the only way their cat could be groomed is to sedate it. Not only do we never sedate a cat; we also never restrain it during the grooming process.
  • There is a tremendous need for cat groomers to assist with matted/pelted cats, which in the past have had no opportunity to be groomed by a professional Certified Feline Master Groomer (CFMG).
  • With the right training and equipment, a professional can groom a cat with its health in mind, as well as its safety.
  • Grooming a cat professionally can solve many owner problems, such as shedding, dander, dandruff, scratching furniture, allergies, hairballs, matting, dirty ears, sanitation cleanliness and more.
  • Most importantly - There is a huge need to educate cat owners and demystify the myths, such as "You could never groom my cat," or "Cats hate water," and most of all, the line mentioned earlier, "Cats groom themselves."

LET'S LOOK AT THE MYTHS ONE BY ONE:

"You could never groom my cat."

T"You could never groom my cat."
The fact is if a groomer is qualified and trained with the proper skills, tools, and techniques; yes they can groom your cat. In fact, we have three groomers who have become Certified Feline Master Groomers through the National Cat Groomers Institute, and they manage even the most aggressive cats. In saying this, however, we are often surprised at how many clients come in thinking their cat may very well kill the groomer and the groom turns out to be rather uneventful, and the cat was compliant.

"All cats hate water!"

The fact is, all cats do not hate water. In fact, when we deem a cat aggressive through our assessment, the first thing we do is take it to the bath. The bath calms the cat down and enables us to complete the groom. Here is a cat that is quite enjoying its bath time.

"Cats groom themselves."

The fact is, daily we see cat clients arriving at our salon greasy, matted, smelly, litter stuck in their pads, ears waxy and full of debris, and packing overgrown nails that look like weapons of mass destruction. It is evident these cats haven't done an excellent job of grooming themselves. There is great confusion. Many people think when a cat licks itself, it is indeed cleaning itself. 

When a cat licks itself, it is covering its coat with saliva and an enzyme called Fel d 1.


Fel d 1 is the allergen that is so toxic to many cat allergic humans. The saliva the cat deposits along with the enzymes and the inherent greasiness creates a situation where mating occurs. If your cat is short coated it turns the coat to a lack-luster appearance and it isn't beneficial to pet. The "smelly cat" syndrome exists too. 

Sometimes clients are not even aware their cat is matted. A mat or pelt on a cat is so tightly woven that it can be confused with the skin.

When a cat is pelted, it causes all kinds of issues. The air cannot penetrate a pelted area and reach the skin. Often moisture and bacteria are harbored in the pelt and skin irritations, or even infection can occur. Also, there's the fact that the cat's mobility is impeded. Mats and pelts are painful for cats!

Here is one of our worst examples of a cat who failed epically at grooming itself.

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Do not fear, this cat left our salon happy and overjoyed to be freed of its pelt.

 When you look at her skin, can you see where the pelt impeded air circulation? 

When you look at her skin, can you see where the pelt impeded air circulation? 

When you look at her skin, can you see where the pelt impeded air circulation? 

Now not all cats come to us with conditions like this.

Many come to our salon on a maintenance program. The client's request is to have their cat's coats cleaned of grease and debris; to have their nails adequately trimmed and their ears, eyes and the sanitary area cleaned. 

Once our clients experience what a clean cat should look and feel like, our education is done. Here are just a few before and after pictures to get a visual sense of the difference from a dirty cat to a clean cat.

Example #1

Picture22.png
Picture29.png

Example #2

Picture12.png
Picture14.png

The results of a clean cat are more than a visual benefit; it is also a health benefit. A fresh, well-groomed cat can eliminate hairball issues, shedding issues, lessen allergies, improve skin conditions, and eliminate ingrown nails and more. 

The myths following cats and their grooming needs are de-bunked, and it is through education of both groomers and their clients, that so many of the feline skin problems and coat conditions are being remedied.

Trusting a Certified Feline Master Groomer is knowing they have been trained not only in the feline grooming aspect but also the physiology and psychology of a cat. Acquiring the knowledge and skill is where safe and successful cat grooming is at its finest!

All Fur Love,

Connie Buchanan

Want a Well-Rouded Dog? Never Skip This!

January 18, 2018

Hi, my name is Melanie Kreker, and I am a dog groomer at Zoom Zoom Groom, but I am also a trainer. My passion for the language of dogs and their training is immense, and I hope that through the venue of this blog, I can share with you what I know for sure.

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Before I do this, however, I think it's essential that you get to know me (my training & background) and even more importantly my dogs. I have two important dogs in my life; Apollo, the genius, who has achieved his Champion Trick Title (pictured above) and much more, and Athena (pictured below) the newest and youngest member of the family, who is quickly emerging as the new prodigy!

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To reveal my canine passions is essential so you can be assured I have the background to share future blogs with you. I am a member of the Manitoba Animal Actors- training dogs/cats and more for the film industry. I am also involved in flyball, agility, scent detection, dock diving and my favourite- tricks!    

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Dogs are my life, and I live and breath all aspects of their development, their physiology, and their psychology!

When I'm not training, I'm making them beautiful with the skills I have accomplished as a Professional Canine Groomer.

So, enough about me! The blog post is titled, "Want a Well Rounded Dog?... NEVER skip this!" What one must never skip is the importance of SOCIALIZATION!

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To start with I want to reinforce that the socialization period of dogs can be broken down into two subcategories.

1. Primary Socialization

2. Secondary Socialization

Let's start with the Primary Socialization. Primary Socialization occurs when a puppy is 3-5 weeks old. In this time the puppy can:

  • learn how to communicate with other dogs
  • recognize it's own breed
  • develop bit inhibition
  • Secondary Socialization occurs from 6-12 weeks of age. In this time the puppy can:
  • establish social competition and fight amongst its littermates
  • learn from the mother as her motherly discipline increases
  • will enter a fear period

Puppies that are removed from their mother and littermates before their eight week birthdays may exhibit fear, dog aggression and anxiety as they lacked this important time as a son/daughter under their mother's influence, and the experience of being a littermate in establishing rules and etiquette of the pack.

So what is the best thing you can do for your puppy?

SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE!

Puppies need to learn to play with various breeds to develop standard canine communication skills. Their experiences should always be positive and controlled.

Puppies should start foundation training at weeks of age. In doing this, you are teaching them appropriate behaviors and discouraging or even preventing bad habits from forming.

Puppies attention span and coordination may not be as good as adult dogs, but their learning ability and capacity for long-term memory is equal to an adult dog.

There are so many things to see and do as a new puppy! Puppies should be exposed to different people, surfaces, sounds, animals, and environments! In learning all these new skills, it is important you and your puppy understand socialization safety. For sure, always restrict your puppy from contact with unvaccinated dogs.

I am over-the-top excited to be teaching the first PUPPY START RIGHT classes at Apex Academy of Professional Grooming & Animal Arts in February! (refer to class information here)

In this course my focus will be to facilitate all owners and their puppies in the following skills and learnings:

  • the basics using the clicker training method (sit, down, stay and come)
  • grooming and vet table manners
  • crate training
  • house training
  • nail trimming
  • proper socialization techniques and how to play nicely
  • developmental periods
  • communication signals
  • and more!

Please feel free to phone Zoom Zoom Groom if you have any questions. I include the link for information on my future classes. If you are a client of mine, never hesitate to ask a question about your training needs. I am here to help! It's more than a passion- it's my life.

In closing I'm including a short video of Athena (5 months old) doing puppy tasks. Hope you enjoy it!

Melanie Kreker

An Anxious Boy and His Dog

 

I couldn't be more proud of the following blog, mainly because it was written by my son Zane, but also because it takes courage to speak about mental illness/wellness and share our experiences with others.  Being a dog lover to the core, I  see how they change and impact people's lives daily - "Stedman" has done just that!  Thank you Zane for allowing me to share this on my blog platform!  
Love you!
Connie (Mom)

an anxious boy & his dog

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The idea of dogs bringing humans happiness is by no means a foreign concept. In western culture, the integration of a schnauzer in even the most hostile of environments will spark a noticeable shift in disposition. This dynamic has always been ingrained in me, but I’ve never evaluated its source. Out of an unfathomable number of species that cohabitate this abounding planet, we are debatably affluent in that we are the most advanced – and out of all of the remaining lifeforms, we have predominantly enforced the domesticity of dogs. Whether the kinship between the two was innate or was something evolved over time through strategic breeding tactics is unknown. It is, however, common opinion that there’s an unspoken bond between dogs and humans that defies the confines of pet and owner. In my experience, this bond has often proven more therapeutic than resources provided by western medicine.


I would foremost like to preface that I’m by no means a psychoanalyst, nor do I have an advanced aptitude for canines; or any animals for that matter. In spite of the comical fact that I’m the heir to a rather large dog grooming empire (my parents’ business), I have no credentials that warrant me giving pet advice to strangers. My affiliation with dogs is limited to the fact that I’ve been exposed to many, and with few exceptions, I have thoroughly enjoyed their company. I do, however, have a somewhat noteworthy, feel-good story in which a dog is a pivotal catalyst.


Inherently, I have always been an anxious person. I have had an on/off relationship with Zoloft since the humble age of twelve. It’s so deep-seated in my psyche that I can’t say I would know a sober life without it – I suppose that’s why they call it chronic. It was a rocky adolescence but I always had access to the tools necessary for managing it. Not to mention a support system of family members who were similarly diagnosed. I followed the standardized steps that an ordinary young man did: graduated high school, graduated college, got a shitty job and an appropriately shitty apartment. My mental state didn’t throw a wrench in any of that, until about a year and a half ago, when without warning or reason I suddenly short circuited.


I don’t think that what happened to me can be explained to someone without me coming across as sensationalistic. But in short, the tools I had to manage my brain had suddenly disappeared. I was a complete shell of a human – to the point that I had to fly to my childhood home so that my parents could take care of me and seek medical help. There was about a month of me being horizontal in my old twin bed before, with the right cocktail of anti-depressants, I was sent on my way. Propelled back into my mundane life like a finely tuned robot who completed all of it’s assigned tasks with due diligence, but minimal emotional responsiveness. This remission lasted about half a year before I malfunctioned again. We scrapped all of the meds and went back to my normal regiments which left me less stable but more life-like.


At this point, after dabbling with all kinds of holistic approaches, my mom pitched the idea of “a therapy dog”. This idea thrilled me intrinsically in a way that I hadn’t felt in months, only to be quickly intercepted by self-loathing logistics. “I can barely take care of myself”, was my immediate response. This was quickly followed by concerns regarding financial instability and the inability to stay rooted in one place long enough to create a home for a pet. My mom fashioned an ultimatum in which I would adopt a dog of her choosing for two months and if I felt it was counterproductive to my recovery, she would take it off of my hands; sort of a trial run.


Enter Stedman – a six-month old Brussels Griffon from the nearby town of Guelph, Ontario whom my mom manifested through her outrageous database of dog connections. This dog had all of the awkward energy of a prepubescent boy channeled into the 7 pound, wire-coated frame of a gremlin / Ewok hybrid. His head was in-proportionately large for his body; comparable to a grapefruit. Meanwhile, all of his facial features encompassed a minimal perimeter of that terrain – about the proximity of a mandarin orange. His eyes were both drastically angled outwards – resembling a hairy Steve Buscemi. In succinct terms, he was just bizarre – and it resonated with me deeply.


But I wasn’t wrong. I was far from mentally, socially and economically equipped to take care of this thing, or at least I was, up until the moment I got him. Stedman didn’t only check off the boxes as a loyal and loving companion for a depressed owner, but he embodied accountability. I couldn’t follow all of the destructive patterns that kept me unwell because now they would be destructive to an outside party. I had something depending on me to get out of bed every morning, maintain a steady income and leave my apartment numerous times a day. I had no choice really. And with that came the preceding fulfillment of achieving something I deemed myself inadequate of  – subsequently opening other doors that were previously locked by self-doubt.


A cardinal trigger for my anxiety was loneliness. Every single panic attack I’ve endured has happened in solitude. It’s kind of a vicious cycle in the sense that my mental maladjustment has transformed me into an introvert, but my detachment is a primary source of uneasiness. I always made a joke that I want to be in a serious relationship solely so that I can have a physical body around at all times. One whom I don’t feel the pressure to entertain – because, for me, it’s the physical loneliness that stings more than the lack of conversation. Perhaps there’s a scientific philosophy in that vein that I’m unaware of. Regardless, Stedman fills that void. That loneliness has subsided. I can see how this could be perceived as counterproductive in the sense that human-to-human socialization is also crucial – but that’s improved as well. My relationship with Sted sort of acted as a stepping stone in that regard.


Now, although I like to brand myself as a broad-minded romantic, that’s more of a self-fulfilling prophecy in the works. Innately, I’m a skeptic and a realist – I have trust issues – and while I was mentally flat-lining, my cynical outlook was rampant. When people would tell me that dogs are receptive to your emotions and can gauge illness or pregnancy or menstruation or whatever, I wasn’t convinced. I held dogs at face-value: cute but mindless auto-companions who’s emotional capacities are limited to either excited, hungry or sleepy. It soon came to my awareness that I wasn’t giving these animals due credit. As soon as Stedman and I established our codependency, my recovery was very much a joint project.


In the midst of my remission and his puppy-hood, Stedman was a busy body – always able to self-entertain. However, his motor would come to an instantaneous halt the moment I hit a wall mentally. He would become stagnantly glued to me until I showed signs of vitality again – sometimes this would span over an entire day. Even now, he won’t leave my side if I show any symptoms of uneasiness – but can switch to complete self-sufficiency when I’m of sound mind. I’ve noticed him taking on this caregiver persona with my roommates when they’ve been sick or depressed as well – which brought to mind a conversation I had with my mom at my lowest point (prior to purchasing Sted). I asked her what she thought brought dogs fulfillment. They have no real future ambitions or perspectives as far as romance goes – so what’s their driving force? How to they maintain happiness? Without a moment of hesitation, my mom insisted that dogs live to make their owners happy. In hindsight, that might not have been such a far-fetched (pun intended) notion after-all.


In layman’s terms, Stedman’s just a good time. There’s no psychological data necessary to support the fact that he makes me smile. He makes me laugh. And he makes others laugh and smile which makes me laugh and smile. And with that, I’m back to my normal, moderately anxious self, who at the end of the day has a weird and wonderful dog to return to. I’m living in the tumultuous, confusing whirlwind of my early twenties…but with a dog!  Stedman’s an inevitable shining light in even the darkest of times – something that I didn’t have, or at least was too ignorant to see, before Stedman. And as of his recent second birthday, Stedman is now a certified therapy dog at a local hospital – where he makes others smile – which makes me smile. Sort of the cliche ending to my self-produced hallmark movie of the week. So no, Stedman didn’t perform a medical miracle and strip me of all of my mental woes – but he was happy to be along for the ride, and in turn, I managed to regain the ability to be happy to have him.

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How A Single Poodle Named "Gracie" Inspired a Successful Dog Grooming Business Named Zoom Zoom Groom

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“Difficulties come when you don’t pay attention to life’s whispers. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you’ll get a scream”~ Oprah

In 2006 I heard the scream loud and clear.  I was teaching a grade 4/5 split class in a public elementary school. I was 42 years old, taught for 20 years, and feeling I wasn’t doing my life’s purpose.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVED TEACHING, however, being disheartened by school funding constraints, larger class sizes, and limited supplies and resources, my love for the “Teaching” part was extremely compromised.  It was during this time of my wavering conviction to the teaching profession, that I purchased a beautiful, white Standard Poodle puppy named “Gracie“.  She was intelligent, charismatic, and loving, and she somehow knew at the end of the day, just how to de-stress me!


She was a Poodle from an amazing line and she was to be shown in Conformation Shows in hopes to receive her Championship status with the Canadian Kennel Club. Although I didn’t handle her in the show ring, I did take care of her coat, with hours of bathing, brushing & combing- and thus the whispers began…  GROOMING GRACIE RELEASED MY PASSION, AND EXCITEMENT- I became an artist and all I wanted to be was a dog groomer!

My husband (Randy) and I have three beautiful, incredible sons, which at that time were young adolescents/teenagers, and were heavily involved in extra-curricular activities. We had a mortgage, bills to pay, and letting go of a job (which I worked hard to acquire in the first place), was a huge risk/responsibility.  In 2006, I took a one- year-leave-of-absence, purchased a small grooming trailer, and promised my husband and family, I would make as much as I did teaching, and all would be well-  No clientele, no formal training (I went to dog shows and literally sat in a corner watching the professionals groom)- just me and my determination and motivation to make this work.

Gracie became my mentor.  She taught me everything I know on how to groom. To this day, I believe if you can groom a poodle, you have the skills to groom any breed! Gracie became my logo.  Her picture was wrapped on my Zoom Mobile, and she became the famous dog of Zoom Zoom Groom.  My fleet of mobiles grew to three in a year and a half.  My staff was small but growing, and the demands for the mobile grooming service were high.  Needless to say, I never returned to teaching in the public school system. BUT…

“Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher”…. (remember these words as I share more of Gracie and my story).

As expansion continued, I opened a Salon in Regina.  Now, clients could pay for a premium service of the mobile coming right to their door, or they could bring their dogs to our salon at a reduced rate. Our “IN” Salon grew rapidly as well.  Today we have a total of 20 employees who share the Salon and Mobile responsibilities.

Just as we were about to reap some of the rewards financially  (the infamous 5 year point), life threw a curve ball, and I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  I was off work for a year with treatments, but thankfully the staff did an amazing job of keeping things running.  During that time Gracie once again became one of my inspirations. During chemo she would literally lay on top of me- at times it was all I could do to breath or move.  It was uncanny- she was telling me all would be fine, life was great, and this was just a “hiccup”.  She was absolutely right!

Remember I said “Teaching” would be reentering my story……  During my isolation year of treatment, I kept myself busy by creating a proposal for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education…… to open a Grooming School that could facilitate students across Canada who wanted to learn the art of Grooming.  I spent hundreds of hours on the proposal- (a proposal that perhaps would never have been submitted if I hadn’t had this downtime).  In 2012, I became the official founder and instructor of Apex Academy of Professional Grooming & Animal Arts– a school that would work directly with Zoom Zoom Groom and allow students to have intensive hands-on training at a very busy salon.  Gracie once again became an integral part of learning for our students… whether she was used for demonstrations, or as a volunteer for a student groom- she contributed wholeheartedly!

As I walk through our Zoom Zoom Groom building, and I look at our mobiles, and I look at our school, I see Gracie everywhere.  She is Zoom Zoom Groom, she is responsible for what I call our “Beautiful Monster”- she was the inspiration.  I can never thank her enough for all she has provided for me and my family.  She is a “God Given Gift” & blessing.

On June 8, 2016,  we sadly said good-bye to our very special family member.  She is now in a place of peace and no pain, where she can continue to share her beautiful spirit.   The story of “How a Single Poodle Named Gracie, Inspired a Successful Dog Grooming Business Called Zoom Zoom Groom” , displays how one dog enriched the lives of our entire family- touching our hearts in ways unimaginable, and creating a legacy in which we are all eternally thankful for!

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” – Will Rogers

Five Winter Dog Grooming Myths That Have Dog Owners Confused

 

THERE ARE SEVERAL MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DOG GROOMING IN THE WINTER.

Myth 1: The longer and thicker my pet’s coat is, the warmer it will be in the cold temperatures.

Truth: Grooming in winter is extremely important to your dog’s health. Long, wet, matted hair can create a cold, wet and infection-susceptible dog. Matted fur does nothing to insulate the dog; it can cause discomfort, pain and even hot spots.

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Myth 2: I have a double-coated/heavy-coated breed, so I don’t want to remove any coat in winter.

Truth: If your dog has a shedding coat, the shedded hair will remain interwoven in the healthy coat, not allowing proper skin insulation. This often causes dandruff, itching, excessive shedding and matting. Without proper distribution of the natural oils, the coat picks up dirt and other pollutants, resulting in a dirty, smelly dog.  

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Myth 3: My pet is fairly sedentary in the winter and isn’t getting dirty enough to warrant a bath.

Truth: Pets require bathing as often in the winter as in the summer!  Pets often suffer from central heating-related dry skin and can absorb salt and gravel into their coats.

Myth 4: I can weather the storm, and bath and comb my pet to prolong its grooming until spring.

Truth: It is possible to maintain a home grooming program and stretch your dog’s grooming needs a few extra weeks, but only if you groom your dog correctly. Different breeds have different coat demands. If your dog has a curly or naturally long coat, there are certain imperative techniques. Your dog has to be 100 percent free of any tangles prior to the bath. If you bathe a matted dog and allow it to dry naturally, the knots become tighter and create a woven pelt.

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Myth 5: I want to leave the hair on my dog’s pads to keep their paws warm.

Truth: The hair that grows between the pads can grow long and matted. If left unattended, it can cause great discomfort. Snow, ice balls, and even rocks can collect in your dog’s pads. Imagine walking around with rocks in wet shoes! Overgrown hair in the pads may also disguise foot problems such as long and ingrown nails or cracked, dry pads.

A happy, healthy dog has strong, shiny, matt-free fur — all year long. Your dog’s coat provides insights into its physical or emotional condition. A professional groomer can help with your pet’s physical appearance and assist you towards your goal of a healthy pet — both inside and out.

All Fur Love,

Connie Buchanan

We Know From Experience That It's True- There's A Super New Skin Technology For Dogs & Cats

I have seen a change in your pets (cats & dogs) since I started grooming in 2006 and it isn't a good change!

More and more, we as groomers are seeing your furry loved ones suffering from various skin issues, such as yeast infections, ear infections, hot spots, flakey irritated skin and more. These pets are crazy itchy, uncomfortable, and are often driving you, their owners, CRAZY- crazy watching them, and crazy to find relief for their heartbreaking conditions.

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We all know what feeling itchy is like. Whenever I see itchy pets, I remember a time when we had our rugs professionally cleaned- My husband Randy had a terrible allergic reaction on his feet. Rarely, have I seen him in such anguish. He said it was agony! He was literally going squirrely, until he was given a prescription to return him to normalacy.  I often wonder what many of these itchy, allergic dogs or cats are going through day in and day out, and what they would say to us if they could.

When it comes to ear infections, I think of my mother. She chronically suffered from ear infections all her life, in combination with her genetic deafness. She expressed immense compassion for any child or adult experiencing the pain, as she knew all too well what it was like.

I'm not sure if my need to assist dogs and cats with skin issues stems from past experiences.  All I know is I feel so incredibly bad and want to do anything I can to make things better!  Seeing a cat that has scratched itself raw, or a dog that has licked a hotspot until it is open & infected, begs me to assist.

In the past, we as groomers have only been able to use medicated shampoos. I have always carried an array of shampoo products, containing from Oatmeal, Aloe Vera, Tree Tea Oil and more.  Although these shampoos can make a difference, usually it is short lived.  I am excited to say we now have amazing technology that can really make a huge difference in skin conditions.  Please note I am not a veterinarian and I can't diagnose, and this treatment isn't meant to be a substitute for a veterinarians treatment, however, it can prove to be an excellent companion to it. 

Thera-clean can be used on dogs and cats without skin conditions too.  It can be a way to ensure your pet has the cleanest skin possible.  It is so beneficial to those dogs who are smelly all the time.  The bubbles are odor ninjas!  I notice a HUGE (pardon the pun) difference on my 120 pound Black Russian.  "Buttercup" is a beautiful, lovely girl but she has an odor that creeps in shortly after her normal bath.  The micro-bubble bath takes care of this and no more smelly dog!

Introduce the Thera-clean difference!

So what is the Thera-clean technology?

Thera-clean is a micro-bubble technology created by a machine. It creates tiny bubbles that are smaller than a red blood cell and can penetrate the skin right down into the pores, cleaning them to a level that has never been experienced before. It's truly amazing!  There is a ton of science behind this technology, but I will allow Kyle to explain it in the video below.

Before the video though, I want to share results! I need to show you pictures that display the reason I am so over-the-top-excited about this!

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As promised, here is a video from Thera-clean where Kyle is explaining the science of this technology. We are one of two facilities in Saskatchewan (the other in Saskatoon) that offers the Thera-clean experience. This technology can be received at both Zoom Zoom Groom and PreZoomably Cats locations. 

Please give us a call if you have any questions, or if you want more information venture over to our websites; www.zoomzoomgroom.com or www.prezoomablycats.com 

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Welcome to our New Websites

October 25, 2017

Have you sniffed something different around here? Or, have you been "feline" the change at Zoom Zoom Groom & PreZoomably Cats: Feline Groomz & Roomz ?

 After several months of collaboration & design with the great Heather Pinay and her staff at  Authentically , we have unveiled our New Websites! It's a fresh new look with new logos, colours, and a whole lot of canine, & feline fun!

After several months of collaboration & design with the great Heather Pinay and her staff at Authentically, we have unveiled our New Websites! It's a fresh new look with new logos, colours, and a whole lot of canine, & feline fun!

After several months of collaboration & design with the great Heather Pinay and her staff at Authentically, we have unveiled our New Websites! It's a fresh new look with new logos, colours, and a whole lot of canine, & feline fun!

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You will notice on our websites some new grooming services offered to clients in the Regina, Saskatchewan area:

and promotions:

to better the health of your canine or feline, including a new technology called Thera-clean that is life-changing to canines and felines with skin issues and allergies. I can't tell you how excited I am to see the incredible difference this technology provides!

I love to write so I'm super excited to explore topics about cats, dogs & even being a woman entrepreneur on this space. Please feel free to tell me what you want to read about too! My background is teaching and you know what they say, "Once a teacher, always a teacher" - I'm here to help and inform, and if I don't know the answer, I will explore and find someone who does!

I will be inviting guest speakers to this page to share their experiences and knowledge in the dog and cat world. In fact, one of my first guests will be my son Zane (a journalist extraordinaire) who has a story to tell about his dog Stedman- so stay tuned!!!

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Take a moment to explore our new sites, perhaps bookmark us, and be sure to check back regularly for more information about our services as well events and classes taking place.

If you have any questions about our new site or, indeed, any other matter then please get in touch via our contacts section or email – info@zoomzoomgroom

Yes, I Groom Cats At PreZoomably Cats: Feline Groomz & Roomz!

It’s amazing what a conversation starter it is when you tell someone you groom cats!  If you bring it up at a party the conversation inevitably gets quite silly!

Imagine sitting with friends around a campfire after a few cocktails, the subject of cat grooming comes up,  and suddenly the jokes start rolling… mainly from the male demographic…. I’m sure you know what I mean.  Then by habit, (I’m a follower of Danelle German- found of the National Cat Groomer’s Institute)  

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I RESPOND … “CATS DON’T GROOM THEMSELVES, THEY LICK THEMSELVES…. IF YOU LICKED YOURSELF WOULD YOU BE CLEAN?”  AND SO THE STORY GOES.  

This exact thing happened at a fun get-together and the jokes carried on for two hours!

For many people to wrap their heads around the facts that: yes, cats require professional grooming, &  yes, a human can actually be crazy enough to do this as a career- (& live to tell about it), is just plain mind boggling!

But I DO GROOM CATS and I LOVE IT.  In fact, my salon; PreZoomably Cats: Feline Groomz & Roomz, employs 4 CFMG’s (Certified Feline Master Groomers), and they are incredibly busy!

As much as people want to believe their cats self-groom by licking themselves for years and covering their coat in layers of saliva, (without ever having a bath) is simply “mind boggling” to me.  Problems such as trimming nails, cleaning their ears, solving dandruff and shedding problems, and removing the grease (cats are extremely greasy creatures), and last but not least, eliminating their mats- are not problems your cat can address, no matter how much it licks and “grooms” itself!

PreZoomably Cats: Feline Groomz & Roomz is the first exclusive cat salon in Regina, Saskatchewan. We groom anywhere from 80-100 cats per week.  The impact our salon has had on our cat population has far exceeded all my expectations.  The following is a list of just some of the “Wow” realizations I have had….

  • That grooming a cat can truly change it’s life and their owners’ life.  The many, many, many clients who have informed us that their cat literally changes from a grumpy cat to a much more content- even some say more cuddly cat, with the Lion Trim, has truly been remarkable!
  • That many of our feline clients were previously sedated at  veterinary clinics, only to be shaved by staff with no cat grooming training whatsoever.
  • That there is a tremendous need for cat groomers to assist with matted/pelted cats, who in the past have had no opportunity to be groomed by a professional CFMG!
  • That with the right training and the right equipment, a professional can groom a cat with it’s health in mind as well as their safety!
  • That there is a HUGE NEED TO EDUCATE cat owners and demystify the myths! Myths such as, “You could NEVER groom my cat!”, or “Cats Hate Water”, & most of all the one mentioned earlier, “Cats groom themselves!”
  • That grooming a cat professionally can solve many owners’ problems- problems such as shedding, scratching furniture, allergies, hairballs, matting, dirty ears, sanitation cleanliness, and more!  We all want a healthy cat!
  • That watching  a new client’s reaction when they see their clean/ groomed cat is a most rewarding gift!   Many are in tears, as they had no idea how truly dirty their cat was, until they see the results!

 It is my hope this blog starts conversations of any sort about cat grooming- yes, even the silly conversations around a campfire after a few drinks…. my mission, as with other CFMG’s out there, is to share that Cat’s Need To Be Groomed