Welcome to the Spa!

There’s no doubt about it: dogs LOVE Sirius Dog Spa! It was wall-to-wall wagging tails when I walked in last Wednesday for the interview and photo shoot. (click here to see all photos)

With 16 years of grooming experience, owner Liz Clarke is a wealth of information. She and her staff offer doggie daycare, boarding, and grooming 7 days a week. Although they specialize in canine grooming, cats are welcome on Sundays. “Cats aren’t that bad”, she commented, “they usually just call you names. It’s definitely a two-person job!”

Liz was kind enough to chat with me about her work while she focused her attention on Bo, a shaggy pooch sporting an over-the-eyes emo look.

 

I asked her to tell me three things pet owners can do at home to keep their pets healthy. As she snipped and buzzed her way through Bo’s mane, she gave the following advice:

Three Grooming Basics for Pet Parents

1. Bathing

There is no rule of thumb for how frequently dogs should be bathed. Just like people, it depends on how wispy, thick, curly, or coarse the hair is. Also, some dogs have oilier coats than others. Your vet should be able to tell you how often you should bathe your dog.

Above all, remember to only use shampoo labeled for dogs and stay away from perfumed shampoos, as many dogs are allergic to them.

2. Ear cleaning

Dogs with ears that hang low (and wobble to and fro!) are at a higher risk of ear infection than dogs with perky ears.

Noah has "hanging down" ears

Millie has "perky" ears

The reason is, hanging ears don’t allow air to circulate through the ear canal, so the inside of the ears stays wet longer and yeast builds up, resulting in infection. This is especially true in humid Arkansas weather.

To prevent this, regular ear cleaning is necessary. The best place to buy ear cleaning solution (and other pet meds) for dogs is  at a feed store, both because of their reasonable prices and their animal-savvy staff.

3. Nail Trimming

Nail trimming strikes fear into the heart of many a dog owner because pet parents fear cutting into the “quick”, or blood supply, of the toenail. It’s daunting for first-timers, but nail trimming is extremely important to the health of your dog.  If toenails go unchecked, they can curl into the paws and get infected. Long toenails can also cause the toes to splay apart, resulting in arthritis. Liz doesn’t charge for nail trimming, but considers it a public service for the community.

No one wants to hurt their pooch, so watch a groomer like Liz or a vet do it the first time and then try it on your own. First, you’ll want to purchase doggie nail clippers. Look for clippers that look like this:

Available online at PetsMart.com

When shopping for grooming tools, Liz recommends Millers-Forge products. When giving your dog a mani-pedi, don’t forget the dewclaws, which don’t make contact with the ground and therefore can’t be worn down by walking.

Following these three tips will help keep your dog healthy and free of infection.

To sign your pet up for a room or a groom at Sirius Spa, call 501-663-4630

Pay Liz a visit at 2223 W. Markham (next to the schools for the blind and deaf). Hours are 6am-6pm Mon-Fri and 8am-5pm Sat/Sun.

Visit Sirius Spa’s Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sirius-Dog-Spa/128626141936

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