Primping Your Pom

Love Dog

In This Chapter

  • Caring for hair 101
  • Gently managing eye problems
  • Knowing the ins and outs of ear care
  • Taking the bite out of dental problems
  • Mastering the art of Pom pedicures
  • Leaving it to a pro: Groomers
Can you imagine having a child and not bothering to brush her hair, give her a bath, or brush her teeth? Nobody would want to be around her, she’d feel awful about herself, and people would talk about you — and not in a good way. Taking good care of your dog makes sense for all the same reasons — not to mention that a clean dog is more enticing than a stinky one for you to hold, cuddle, and love.
This chapter covers all the steps for keeping your Pom gorgeous (or handsome as the case may be). Necessities such as caring for the hair, eyes, ears, teeth, and nails are clearly laid out for you. I even throw in some tips to take your Pom from ordinary (like that could ever be the case!) to extraordinary in a few quick moves.

Perfecting the Pom-Padour

One of the pleasures of sharing your life with a Pomeranian is being able to show him off in public. Few people can resist raving over a Pomeranian pom-pom. But if your dog looks more like a tiny tumbleweed, get out the grooming box and give your dog a new ’do.

Tip

As I mention in Chapter Prepare to Be Pomerized!, a grooming table is a luxury you’ll love, but if you want to spare the expense, simply place a towel in your lap and groom your dog there. Make sure both of you have a comfortable place for the grooming project. Otherwise neither of you will want to stay long.

Brushing the puff

The Pomeranian’s long, puffy coat is a combination of a long, coarse guard coat (the coat you mostly see) and a dense, wooly undercoat that allows the guard hairs to stand off the body. You can easily drag a brush over the outer guard coat to make your Pom look quite presentable, but the undercoat, if left unbrushed, weaves itself into an impenetrable mat of feltlike hair. So, to provide a good Pomeranian grooming, direct most of your attention to the undercoat, the part you don’t really see.

Knowing how often to brush

In an ideal world, you’d brush your dog every day, perhaps while watching a favorite television show or just as a scheduled relaxation time. Your world may not be ideal, but don’t despair; you can achieve excellent results by brushing every other day. However, waiting longer than that can create problems.
Shed hair has to go somewhere. It can get tangled in the other coat to form frightening mats, or it can ball together into tumbleweeds that bounce down your hallways, or it can cling to everything from your furniture to your clothes. The only other choice is for your brush and comb to catch it, which explains the need for daily grooming during shedding season. Brushing your dog every day cuts down on the amount of hair that decorates your home and clothing.

Getting the technique down

When you’re ready to brush, have your Pom lie down and relax. At first, when you’re teaching your puppy to let you groom her, just groom tiny areas, maybe her neck in the morning, her belly at noon, her legs in the evening, and her back at night. Each time, hand out treats like a politician hands out promises. With more experience, you can expand the areas you brush in one sitting, ask her to change position from one side to the other, and even have her stand for a while. Just keep doling out the treats!

Tip

Professional groomers, and especially show-Pom groomers, can’t imagine brushing a Pomeranian coat without first misting the coat using a spritzer bottle of water (or water with just the slightest bit of conditioner — see Chapter Prepare to Be Pomerized! for more on grooming supplies). The goal isn’t to wet the hair but to make the air around it humid. Brushing a dry coat in dry air causes static electricity, which in turn causes coat breakage.

If you’re trying to grow a long coat, avoid brushing it when it’s dirty because the hair can break. If you must brush it when dirty, be very careful, and brush as little as you can get away with; wash him immediately, and then brush him again when clean. Never wash a matted coat (see the section “Rats, those maddening mats!” later in this chapter).
In order to brush the undercoat, follow these steps:

1. Part the hair with your hands so you can see the skin; then spritz the air above it so the mist falls on the coat.

2. Use a bristle brush or a pin brush and gently brush from the skin out (see Figure 9-1).

Figure 9-1: Brushing out the coat in layers.

3. Make the next part close enough to the first so that you don’t miss any hair between parts.

4. Repeat Steps 1 to 3 in every area that has long hair.

5. Using your fingers and then a comb, make sure you didn’t miss any tangles or mats on his body.

Tip

If your Pom has a lot of undercoat or is shedding, whip out the slicker brush, a wicked-looking brush and — keep in mind — a wicked-acting brush. If you drag it through the coat with a heavy hand and stiff wrist, you’re likely to pull out a lot more coat than you planned. Instead, use it gently with a loose wrist, working on small sections at a time.

Shedding misconceptions

A Pomeranian in shedding season looks just like a dandelion in a strong wind. Because shedding is controlled in part by changes in light, most natural shedding occurs as the days get longer. But because modern dogs live in our homes with year-round artificial lighting, they shed somewhat all year. However, they still tend to have more intense shedding periods in the spring and, for some reason, fall. Note: Females also shed following their seasons and especially after whelping puppies (they go practically bald!). During those periods of intense shedding, your house may look like it’s in a snow flurry.
Puppies shed parts of their coat at different ages:

– At about 14 weeks of age, the face starts looking slick; this stage lasts about three weeks.

– Around 4 to 5 months of age, its hair starts falling out in a stripe down the back. The shedding continues until an adult coat replaces the puppy coat. Because the puppy tends to shed unevenly and can look so scraggly, you may start to think your puppy’s a mixed breed or has caught some terrible coat disease. Don’t worry. Unless bare skin is showing, this is the normal puppy shed.

– About 9 or 10 months of age, your naked Pom blossoms into a powder puff.

Rats, those maddening mats!

Mats happen! Hair that’s dirty, ignored, chewed, scratched, or in a friction area is likely to mat. Areas with soft, fine hair are even more vulnerable, and the armpits, between the hind legs, and behind and below the ears usually mat first.

Tip

Deal with isolated mats by brushing or cutting. But be aware that your dog may end up looking moth-eaten if you keep cutting out mats. Always try to get rid of the mats first by brushing.

Brushing away mats

When you find a big mat, you doubt whether it can turn into pretty hair again. But like all big jobs, you just have to break it into smaller jobs. You may need to tackle it in several sections, mostly to give your dog a break. And while you’re persevering, repeat over and over, “I could have prevented this with a few minutes of grooming.”
Now get started. Use a slicker brush to lightly brush the outer surface of the mat, working your way in. Always brush the hair out of the mat, not the mat out of the hair.

Tip

Try working cornstarch into the mat to help you pull it apart. Or soak the mat in a hair-detangler liquid (human or pet products work fine). Don’t use cornstarch and detangler because you’ll coat the mat in a muddy paste.

If you’ve previously missed brushing down to the skin, your Pom probably has extensive areas of matting. The result is known as felting because the undercoat actually binds itself into such large areas of feltlike material that you can’t even find the skin.

Warning!

Don’t try to de-mat a felted dog. It’s far too painful for the dog, and this is no time for you to experiment. Instead, take her to a professional groomer who will shave her. The skin under a felted coat is very likely damaged, so your Pom may have large areas of irritated or even raw skin. For this reason, you may have to sign a release before a professional groomer agrees to tackle the job.

Cutting out mats

If you have a big mat attached by only a few hairs, you can snip it out. But when a big mat is attached close to the skin by a lot of hair, you may end up cutting your dog. To avoid this problem, try wriggling a comb between the mat and skin so the comb acts as a shield for the skin when you come at it with the scissors. Even better, use a small, rechargeable electric clipper that is almost silent. It’s safer to use than scissors, and most dogs don’t object. After the cut, use thinning shears on the area to avoid an unattractive straight-line cut.
You can also try cutting the mat lengthwise into several smaller mats, and then work on each of the small mats. You can wedge a comb between the mat and the skin to avoid cutting skin. A matbreaking tool combs and cuts at the same time, breaking large mats into small ones.

Bathing beauties

A clean coat smells and feels better. And because dirt and oil form the foundation of mats, a clean coat’s also less apt to develop them. Most groomers advocate washing a Pomeranian at least once a month.

Warning!

Bathe your Pom only when you have time to dry her thoroughly. Never let her run around in the cold with even a damp coat. Her small size makes her susceptible to chilling, and her thick coat takes a long time to dry on its own. Even in warm weather, her coat is so thick that her skin stays moist, providing, unfortunately, a great environment for flourishing skin problems.

Some Pom owners stick cotton balls in their dogs’ ears to try to prevent water from getting in them, but this trick usually just leads to ears with sopping-wet cotton balls in them. A better idea: Just be careful around the ears. If water does get in them, use a drying agent, such as drops for swimmer’s ear. (The Pom’s upright ears usually allow plenty of drying without such aids.) Don’t put powder in them because it can turn into a muddy paste.
Brush your Pom thoroughly before you bathe him. Your aim is to remove as much loose hair as possible because wet hair tends to mat. Loosen the dead hair by sprinkling it with baby powder before brushing. Then when you bathe your Pom, you also remove the powder.
Bathing a tiny Pom in a big bathtub is possible, but it’s hard on your back. It’s easier to bathe your little dog in a sink with a hand sprayer. Take these precautions:

– Place a nonslip pad in the bottom (a towel works too).

– Put a strainer over the drain so it doesn’t get clogged with hair.

– Make sure your Pom can’t accidentally bump a handle and turn the hot water up without you noticing.

Tip

Many male Pomeranians have bad aim and manage to get urine on a front leg when urinating. Rather than giving your Pom a full bath each time he prances in the door with a pee-leg, keep a spray bottle of rinse-free shampoo and a washcloth close at hand.

Picking the right shampoo (and conditioner)

Put down your people-shampoo bottle and step away from the Pom! Your Pomeranian’s skin has a pH of 7.0, and your people shampoo is formulated for a pH of 5.5. Using a shampoo made for more acidic hair can eventually dry the Pom’s hair and skin.

Remember

You can’t judge a shampoo by its suds. Sometimes more suds simply mean more residue. Because shampoo interacts with your water’s hardness, no single brand is best for all Pomeranians. Keep in mind these special shampoo needs:

– Color-enhancing shampoos can make whites brighter, oranges more vibrant, and blacks deeper.

– Texturizing shampoos can add body to an overly limp coat.

– Oatmeal-based shampoos can help soothe itchy skin.

– Tar-based shampoos can help cut greasy scaling.

– Antimicrobial shampoos can help heal damaged skin.

– Rinse-free shampoos can spot-clean your Pom without rinsing.

– Flea shampoos can kill fleas, but most nonflea shampoos also kill them.

As for conditioners, you want one that maintains body so your Pom stays poofy. Adding too much conditioner just makes the coat hang.

Washing your soggy princess

When you bathe your little love muffin, follow a protocol to make sure you get her as clean as a whistle (and keep yourself clean and dry in the process). These steps can guide you:

1. Wet the dog down to the skin with warm water, starting just behind the head and working from front to back. Save the head for last. Use a sponge for her face.

Holding her ears and holding the nozzle very close to her skin may cut down on how often she shakes water all over you.

2. Gently massage shampoo all over her body, making sure it reaches down to the skin.

Tip

If you mix one part shampoo to ten parts water, it’s easier to apply, lasts longer (saving you a little money!), and still gets your Pom clean.

3. Rinse until the water runs clear, this time starting with the face and working back and down to the feet and tail.

4. Shampoo and rinse again as an optional step.

This is the best way to get your dog really clean.

Shampoo left in the coat can cause dry skin and itching. As an optional step, you can use a doggie conditioner to help alleviate dry skin, but again, you must rinse it thoroughly. Experiment with various types because some can leave your Pom’s hair too limp. Remember, a little goes a long way.

Remember

A Pom’s eyes don’t need special attention; just be careful when bathing and rinsing around them. You can use tearless or soap-free shampoo made for dogs, but eye ointments tend to trap irritants and prevent the dog’s tears from cleansing the eyes.

Drying your doused dog

Quick! Close the door! When you’ve finished rinsing, put your Pom in a safe place, step back, and let him shake. His next plan will be to run amok like a crazed animal escaped from the zoo. (That’s why you shut the door!) But don’t let him run on slick surfaces where he can slip and hurt himself. If you let him do this outside, he’ll just end up looking like a mud ball and you’ll have to start over.
When he’s finished shaking and you have him under control, use your hands to squeeze the excess water from his coat. Next, towel-dry him, taking care not to rub so vigorously that you create tangles.

Tip

The best way to dry your Pomeranian is with a blow dryer, preferably using a no-heat forced-air dryer. Note: Your own blow dryer relies on blowing heated air to dry your hair. A forced-air dryer blows unheated air at high velocity. It dries faster and with less chance of burning your dog’s skin, but it does cost more. If you do use a hot-air dryer, set it at the lowest possible temperature and be very careful that you don’t overheat the skin or hair.

For best results, follow these steps to dry your Pom:

1. Give her an overall drying until the coat is damp rather than wet.

You can use a towel for this step.

2. Have her lie down so you can focus on more thorough drying efforts; part the hair just as you did when brushing (see the earlier section “Getting the technique down”) so the blow dryer’s air reaches to the skin.

Continue with this step until all the hair is almost dry.

3. Dry her the rest of the way, starting at the rear and blowing the hair forward, brushing slightly so the hair fans out.

The hair shouldn’t have any parts in it when you’re done.

4. Comb through the hair with a coarse, then medium-toothed comb for the final touch.

Warning!

Some owners put their wet Pom in a crate and aim a fixed hot-air blow dryer at her. Do not do this! Countless dogs have been killed because their owners too often forget them — the hapless dogs can’t escape the heat. This is a dangerous way to save you a little effort.

Trimming those tresses

The truth is that you don’t need to trim your Pom unless you want him to look like a show dog. Even then, the Pomeranian standard only allows for “trimming for neatness and a clean outline.” Grooming a show Pomeranian means judicious trimming well ahead of a show so that the shaped coat grows back looking entirely natural. Of course, you may opt for a cute clip to beat the summer heat or just to cut down on grooming.

Ears

Neaten up the ears so that scraggly hair doesn’t frame them. If you want that show dog look, you can round the tips, which naturally grow to a point. Consider the following suggestions:
1. The easiest way to trim is by running your thumb up the inside of the ear to the very end of the ear leather (the skin) and a tiny bit beyond (for safety).
2. Use small scissors to cut around your thumb for a rounded look. Don’t miss!
If you do accidentally slip, be forewarned that ears bleed a lot! Use styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Severe cuts may have you heading to the veterinarian for sutures. If this happens, maybe leave this step to a groomer next time.
The ears normally poke up from the rest of the coat, but if the rest of the coat is too long, the ears may be invisible. You can ignore this detail or you can use thinning shears to shorten the coat in that area.

Feet

You can also tidy the feet so they almost form little columns, but with the feet clearly visible. Here are some suggestions:

– Trim the feet by cutting in a circle around the bottom of the foot (the pads); then flip the foot up and trim all the hair so it’s flush with the foot.

– Cut down on mud and dirt that your Pom tracks in your house by trimming

  • Behind the front foot up to the stop pad (the rounded knob behind the wrist, technically called the metacarpal pad)
  • Behind the rear foot up to the hock (the first joint)

Rear

Trimming around the anus lessens the chance of feces getting caught in the coat. Two suggestions are as follows:

– Using your thinning shears, carefully cut in the direction of hair growth all around the anus.

– Raise the tail so it’s over the back, and then trim away excess hair at the base of the tail.

Note: If you’re trimming for a show look, the entire rear of the dog is almost flat. But this is a job for an experienced show groomer!

Clipping the coat for function or style

The time may come when you just don’t want to fool with all that coat. In this case, clipping your Pom is a far better alternative than letting him mat. If you do decide on a clip job, use a professional. Your dog will look better, and there’s no chance that you’ll mangle her or her fur.

Tip

If you’re just clipping your dog in order to keep her cool in summer, try combing out the undercoat as much as possible instead. This thick undercoat (not the longer guard hairs) traps body heat. Combing it out may be enough to keep your Pom feeling as cool as he looks.

Professional groomers can suggest a variety of cute haircuts that simplify your grooming time. For example, the lion cut leaves the front half of the body fairly long and natural, but the rear half, from the last rib back, is short.
You can also have your dog cut short all over. This shaved do takes about a year to grow back to its former length. Some groomers caution, however, that cutting the hair too short can actually damage the hair follicle so it never grows back right again.

Cleaning Your Pom’s Peepers

All Poms have some eye tearing or crusty eye goo, so tear-staining is pretty common, especially on light-colored Poms. Staining is not caused by eating certain foods. The orange stain contains an iron substance that’s excreted in tears, saliva, and urine, which explains an orange area that she may get around her lips or any area she licks a lot. Exposure to sunlight makes it worse. To minimize the problem, do the following:

– Wipe the stain daily with a moist tissue.

– Give antibiotics in low doses to block the staining. (You can get these meds from the vet.)

In addition, some people advocate

– Giving only distilled water

– Giving vitamin C

– Using eye-moisturizing drops

As a first step, however, your veterinarian should check her for an eyelid or lash problem that could be irritating her eye or blocking a tear duct. Sometimes a simple surgery can fix the problem.

Tip

If your dog has severe staining, especially if he’s a light color, you can apply a homemade stain remover taking these steps:

1. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide, one part cornstarch, and one part milk of magnesia.

2. Apply the mixture very carefully to the stained area with a cotton swab, making sure it doesn’t get in the eye.

3. Let the area dry; then, holding the eye closed, carefully brush the mixture off using a small, soft toothbrush.

4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for optimal results.

This procedure is something you’d do for special occasions or when the stain just gets too bad. Otherwise, the mixture eventually dries the hair.

Clearing the Hearing: Getting the Wax Out

Peer down into your dog’s ears every week. A little bit of wax is normal, even desirable, because it serves a protective function. Overzealous cleaning (digging down with cotton swabs and scratching the delicate lining) can actually contribute to ear problems by creating a foothold for bacteria.

Tip

If you see dark gunk, use an ear-cleaning solution from your veterinarian or simple mineral oil (although it’s a little messy). To use the solution:

1. Squirt the ear flush solution quickly into the ear.

The slower the liquid goes in, the more it tickles.

2. Gently massage the liquid around the base of the ear (see Figure 9-2).

3. Let go and stand back while your dog shakes.

4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3.

Carefully swab out the ear, taking care not to pack debris down the canal or irritate the ear lining. If the ear is especially dirty, it may need veterinary attention (see Chapter Doctoring Your Dog).

Figure 9-2: Massaging your Pom’s ear to make cleaning easier.

Brushing Up on Tooth Care

Fact: Little mouths tend to have big dental problems. To give your Pom’s teeth the best care, you need to know the most common problems and how to solve them. You also want to maintain good dental practices for your Pom.

Caring for the pearly whites

You wouldn’t think of going days, weeks, months, or even years without brushing your teeth. Nor would you expect to eat a hard cracker in place of brushing your teeth. Poms are the same. If you let food remain along the gum line, it feeds bacteria that produce plaque, a gluelike substance. When minerals from food, water, and saliva collect on the plaque, it turns to a cementlike compound commonly known as tartar (but veterinarians like to call it calculus). The plaque spreads rootward, causing irreversible periodontal disease with tissue, bone, and tooth loss. The bacteria gains an inlet to the bloodstream, where it can cause kidney and heart valve infections.
Although many Poms start losing their adult teeth at a very early age, you can help save your dog’s teeth by being vigilant about her dental care — beginning in puppyhood — as you teach your Pom to enjoy getting her teeth brushed. You can use a soft-bristle toothbrush and meat-flavored doggy toothpaste.

Remember

Because dogs don’t spit, the foaming agents in human toothpaste can make them feel sick when they swallow it, and the high sodium content of baking powder is unhealthy for dogs. Besides, how many people toothpastes are meat-flavored? Make a habit of brushing your Pom’s teeth a little once a day. Many veterinarians believe that regular tooth brushing may be the number-one health preventative you can do for your Pom.

Hard, crunchy foods can help reduce plaque, but they don’t take the place of brushing. If tartar accumulates, your Pomeranian may need a thorough cleaning under anesthesia. Check the teeth, especially the upper ones at the back of the mouth. If they have a line of tartar around the gums, or if the gums are rimmed in red at the gum line, they need cleaning (see Figure 9-3).
Figure 9-3: Healthy teeth and gums (a) versus unhealthy teeth and gums (b).

Inspecting your Pom for dental problems

In the correct Pomeranian bite, the top incisors (the little front teeth) fit just in front of the bottom ones. However, a Pom’s teeth are comparatively large for their mouth and can be crowded or have somewhat shallow roots. Crowded teeth can affect the bite, which in turn affects dental health.
In a related problem, Pomeranians normally shed their baby teeth between 4 and 7 months of age, but some of these teeth (particularly the canines) tend to stick around. As a result, the permanent teeth grow in alongside them and may be displaced. This situation is okay for a few days. If it persists for a week or more, ask your veterinarian whether the baby tooth needs to go so it doesn’t permanently affect the bite.

Tip

Likewise, some toy dogs never get all of their permanent teeth. So, before having baby teeth pulled for any reason:

– Have your veterinarian make sure (usually with an X-ray) that a permanent tooth is ready to take its place.

– Be sure that a permanent tooth isn’t mistaken for a baby tooth. Pom teeth can be so small that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference!

Giving Your Pom a Pedicure

For Poms, having their nails just so is about more than beauty. Nails that grow too long can get pulled from the nail bed if they get caught in carpet loops. And dew claws (those rudimentary thumbs on the wrists) are especially prone to getting caught and ripped out. As they grow back, these claws can even loop back into the leg. Regular nails that are overly long can push against the ground with every step, splaying apart the toes and causing discomfort.
Ideally, cut your Pom’s nails every other week but at least once a month. Unfortunately, some dogs think they’re losing their toes as well as their nails. To convince your Pom that this ordeal is worthwhile, heap on the treats after you cut each nail. If you use this reward from the time he’s a puppy and avoid cutting the quick, your Pom will be wishing he had more toes.

Tip

Follow these guidelines for a painless pedicure:

– Use sharp, small nail clippers; even those for cats work well with Poms. A nail file also works to shorten these tiny nails. Dull clippers crush the nail and hurt.

– Hold your Pom upside down in your lap (okay, try to hold him that way!), and look at his nails (see Figure 9-4).

  • If they’re light colored, you can see a pink core inside them. That’s the quick — the part you don’t want to cut (see Figure 9-5).
  • If he has dark nails, look for where the nail suddenly gets fatter. Stay below that point.
  • If you look from the underside, you can see where the tip of the nail is somewhat hollow. That’s the safest place to cut without cutting too far.
Figure 9-4: How to carefully cut a Pom’s nails.

Remember

Occasionally you cut too far. It happens. The short nail stings and bleeds, and you run around in a panic trying to make it better. Instead of panicking, place your pup somewhere off your white carpets and press some styptic powder (best choice) on the nail. Then beg his forgiveness with even more treats. In a pinch, forage in your pantry for some flour or a wet tea bag to press over the nail in place of styptic powder. And beg his forgiveness with even more treats. 

Figure 9-5: Where to cut a Pom’s nails.
Just not up to it? Take your dog to the veterinarian or a groomer for a nail trim. Most dogs become amazingly cooperative in a strange place with a strange person. The charge is usually fairly nominal, maybe $5 to $10.

A Spa Day at Pom Springs

Many Pom owners prefer to have a professional primp their precious pup rather than do it themselves. An experienced groomer can have your dog looking her best with a visit about every six weeks. You still need to brush her several times a week, however.
Professional groomers have often graduated from dog-grooming schools or apprenticed under experienced groomers. Many attend grooming seminars and a few are even certified by professional grooming associations. Although groomers may have their own shops or work at veterinary clinics or pet supply stores, some work from home or have mobile grooming vans that come to your front door.
Ask for a tour of the facilities before even making an appointment. They don’t have to be fancy, but check out the following:

– Each dog needs a clean cage or run that separates her from the other dogs. The groomer should sanitize the cage for each dog and clean the clipper and scissor blades with a sterilizing solution between dogs. Otherwise bacteria and even parasites can transfer via the cage and tools from one dog to another.

Warning!

– Reliable groomers never leave dogs unsupervised on grooming tables, in tubs, or inside closed cages with dryers. Dogs left alone in these circumstances can meet with serious accidents. Look for such situations on your tour, and ask the groomer whether they use drying cages. If dogs are left unattended, look for another shop.

– Professional groomers don’t use drugs to sedate your dog for grooming, although they may use a muzzle. These people are trained to handle dogs (even old and lame ones) safely and comfortably, but always advise them if you have special concerns about your dog. If your Pom isn’t manageable, seek a groomer who works in a veterinary clinic, where a mild sedative can be given under veterinary supervision.

The groomer trims the nails, cleans the ears, brushes out the coat, removes any mats, and bathes and dries the dog. During the bath, the groomer may empty the anal sacs. Emptying the sacs is only done when the dog needs it, so discuss this step with your groomer ahead of time. Depending on your wishes, the groomer may also clip or trim your Pom.

Tip

One important advantage of an experienced groomer is that she may spot an abnormality that you overlooked. For example, alert groomers are often the first to notice infected anal sacs, skin disease, parasites, dental problems, and eye or ear problems. The cost for professional grooming varies greatly. Groomers who work from their homes are less expensive than those with fancy shops. Those in big cities are more expensive than those in small towns. And of course, those with more experience and expertise can charge more. Expect to pay from $30 to $70, with higher costs for dogs that are matted or need clipping. Most groomers allow you to drop your dog off in the morning and pick her up after work.

A good, professional groomer will have your Pom looking gorgeous and looking forward to her next day at the spa!

by D.Caroline Coile,Ph.D.

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