Pet Grooming Specialist Buddy Center Volunteer Training Manual

Pet Grooming Specialist Buddy Center Volunteer Training Manual Thank you for choosing to be a Grooming volunteer! If you have any questions, please re...
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Pet Grooming Specialist Buddy Center Volunteer Training Manual Thank you for choosing to be a Grooming volunteer! If you have any questions, please refer to the grooming manual located in the grooming room or ask the staff groomer for assistance. Please do not attempt any of these processes or techniques until you have been trained by a DFL staff member.

Attendance and Vacations

If you are unable to make it in for your shift, please contact Volunteer Services at 720-241-7160 or e-mail [email protected] This way we know that you will be out and we may be able to find another volunteer to fill your shift. If you would like to change your position or the time and/or day you come in, please contact Jasmin Rice at 720-241-7146.

Grooming Animals at the Dumb Friends League 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Log in to the computer and identify animals to be groomed (see the Chameleon training manual). Retrieve the correct animal according to safe animal handling techniques. Pre-bath: nail trim, hair brush, mat removal, and ear cleaning. Bath: wash and dry. Groom: haircut and details.

Nail Trimming – Dogs

Nail trimming can be quite a challenge with some animals. It is important that nails get trimmed back as far as possible without bleeding. This is easier said than done! How to Trim a Dog’s Nails: While some dogs are indifferent to nail trimming, most will resist. As a safety precaution, always use a grooming loop. Start with a rear paw to check the animal’s reaction to trimming. If the dog reacts in a mildly adverse manner, remain calm and authoritative and continue with caution. If the dog reacts in an aggressive manner, STOP. Do not put yourself at risk of being bitten. If a dog becomes aggressive at any time during the grooming session, contact the grooming employee in the area for assistance. If no grooming employee is available, make the necessary notes in Chameleon and proceed with the remainder of the animal’s grooming. If the animal still needs to be spayed or neutered, nail trimming can be completed while the animal is under anesthesia. Quick: All dogs have what is called a quick underneath their nails. It is a reference to the vein under the nail; the quick is what bleeds if nails are trimmed too much. Dewclaws: Not all dogs have dewclaws, but for those that do, these have a tendency to get very long. A dog’s dewclaw can puncture the skin or pad.

Trimming clear or white nails is much easier than black nails because the quick is pink and is usually visible. Regardless of what kind of nail you are trimming, be sure to have Qwik Stop (or styptic powder) nearby. If the nail starts to bleed, place a pinch of Qwik Stop on the end of the nail and apply pressure. Hold and apply more Qwik Stop until the bleeding stops. If bleeding continues after three applications of Qwik Stop, contact the Health Care department.

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Trimming Clear or White Nails: • Look at the nail and identify the quick. • Trim the nail with scissors-type nail clippers. Trimming Black Nails: • Clip off the hook of the nail with the scissors-type nail clippers. • Look at the end of the cut portion. There will be a dark circle in the middle of the nail bed. This dark circle is the blood vessel, but it will not bleed. • Trim small portions off until you see the dark circle turn into a white dot in the center of the nail. This is as far as you can trim without causing bleeding.

Nail Trimming – Cats

Because cat claws retract, you must gently squeeze the cat’s toe between thumb and forefinger to expose the claw. Most cats have clear claws, which makes it easier to locate the quick. To avoid bleeding, trim the nail approximately 2mm from the quick. Always have Qwik Stop nearby in case of bleeding.

Cats have dewclaws. Don’t forget to trim these, as dewclaws do not always get worn down when the cat scratches and can grow in to the skin. Handling Techniques Some cats are cooperative and will sit right in your lap during trimming; other cats require mild restraint. Some cats will need to be wrapped in a towel. Start by using the least amount of restraint and see how the cat reacts. If at any point you do not feel comfortable handling the cat, STOP. Cat bites are dangerous and require immediate attention from a doctor. If you need help handling or grooming a cat, ask the nearest grooming employee or another more experienced volunteer. Cat Muzzle – The muzzle covers the cat’s eyes; for most cats, covering its eyes has a calming effect.


Kitty Burrito – The burrito method of restraint requires two people, but can be useful when you need to restrain a cat for minor medical procedures or nail trimming.

When finished trimming an animal’s nails, make a note in Chameleon documenting anything significant, adverse or otherwise. This is valuable information that adoption counselors can pass along to potential adopters. E collar- In addition to a cat muzzle you can use an E collar (because cats can bite through a cat muzzle an e collar can also be used to keep the cat from reaching around and biting)-. If the cat remains calm with a cat muzzle the e collar can be removed.

Mat Removal and Rough Cut – Dogs

Depending on a dog’s condition, it is likely that it will receive a rough hair cut prior to bathing. Typically, rough cuts involve a full shave down of the animal; for some, it will mean just a trim. If the animal is extremely dirty or greasy, giving a rough cut before bathing can be hard on the tool’s blades and clippers. Seek advice from the groomer or an experienced volunteer until you are comfortable deciding what should be done, based on the condition of the animal. De-matting • Feel the dog all over, including behind the ears, in the armpits, and around the stomach, checking for large mats. • Pull out big chunks of fur and brush the dog. Cleaning the fur makes the mat easier to work through or shave out. • Remove as many mats as possible, using one of our many different de-matting tools. (For the safety of the animals, do not use any of the de-matting tools until you have received hands-on training. These tools have sharp blades and can injure the animal if not used correctly.) • If a mat is difficult to remove, bathe the animal and then try again.

Brushing/Undercoat Removal Types of Brushes Slicker Brushes Used on long-coated dogs and cats. A slicker is an ideal brush for removing loose hair and mats. Slicker brushes can also be helpful in de-matting long and curly coats. However, brushing the skin or hair too long in one area with a Slicker brush can cause brush, which is a red irritation of the skin. Slicker brushes come in firm and soft bristle types. Firm bristle slickers are good for dogs that have thick coats or have tangles, while soft bristle slickers are better for animals with short or medium coats, including cats and rabbits. Furminator® This is a great undercoat removal tool for long and double coated breeds. Use care with the Furminator®. Like the slicker brush, it can cause skin irritation and even bleeding if used too heavily in one area. Standard Metal Comb (Greyhound Comb) A standard combination comb has widely spaced teeth at one end and finely spaced teeth at the other end. Combs are an essential tool for fluffing, detangling, and removing dead hair from medium to longhaired dogs and cats.

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Undercoat Rakes There are two types of undercoat rakes: long-toothed and short-toothed. The long-toothed rakes work well on longer, thicker-coated dogs, for example, chow-chows and pomeranians. Short-toothed rakes work well on dogs with short thick coats, for example, Australian cattle dogs; short-toothed rakes also work well on cats that are not matted. Shedding Blade A shedding blade is a looped flat piece of metal with small teeth. It works well on shedding wiry-coated dogs, like Jack Russell terriers and rottweilers. As with the slicker and the Furminator®, the shedding blade may cause skin irritation. Kong Zoom Groom® Flexible rubber fingers collect loose hair on wet or dry coats, like a magnet. This tool works very well as a shampooer; the Kong Zoom Groom® works the shampoo down close to the skin and loosens the animal’s undercoat.

Ear Cleaning and Plucking

A healthy ear should look clean; the skin inside should be pink and shiny. If the ears are red, inflamed, excessively greasy or dirty, and the animal is not already on ear meds, place the animal on vet tech check and make appropriate notes regarding your observations. Look at the grooming manual for instructions on how to place an animal on hold. When cleaning an animal’s ears, never clean beyond where you can see. Do not use a Q-tip to clean an animal’s ears. The League uses a product called ProEar Cleaner. Many breeds of dogs have hair that grows inside the ear canal that should be plucked out prior to cleaning the ears. Some breeds commonly coming through the shelter with hair growing in their ears include the bichon frise, poodle, Maltese, shih tzu and Lhasa apso. This hair can impede healthy airflow and trap debris, causing ear problems. The hair should be plucked using ear powder. Ear powder improves your grip on the hair in the ear and helps to dry the ear canal. Sprinkle the powder into the ear and massage it in, then begin to remove the hair gently, either with your fingers or a hemostat. After plucking, clean the ears with a cotton ball that has been saturated in liquid ear cleaner.

Sanitary Trim

In the grooming trade, sanitary areas include the following: between the eyes, in front of the ear canal on drop ear dogs, the genital area, insides of the back legs, and the rectal area. These areas are prone to collecting discharge. Certain breeds are more likely than others to need a sanitary trim. In general, long-haired, fluffy dogs and cats benefit greatly from a genital and rectal sanitary trim, while short-haired dogs do not. Dogs with short hair around their eyes and ears can usually be maintained well with tearless shampoo and do not require shaving on the face. Dogs that require a breed cut generally require a full sanitary trim. Sanitary trims should be done with a sharp, well maintained, #10 or #15 blade. Always shave in the direction of the fur growth and use a gentle stroke. Many dogs with long hair or long feathers will need a rectal sanitary trim. Do not attempt a sanitary trim until you have been shown the process by the groomer in your area or another experienced volunteer.

Bathing Safety • Always ask for help lifting a dog into the tub if the dog weighs more than 30 lbs. and will not use the stairs. Ask for help anytime you need to lift a dog weighing more than 30 lbs.


• •

Secure the dog in the tub using the grooming loop attached to the cable in the tub. Some dogs, if they are unusually squirmy, may need to be attached by the neck as well as the abdomen. Never leave the dog in a tub unattended as they can jump out and hurt themselves.

Shampoos Used at Dumb Friends League All the shampoos we use are concentrated and come in a one-gallon bottle. Please remember that you should never use the shampoo straight out of the original bottle. Diluted shampoo will be available and labeled for volunteers. If the shampoo you need is not readily available in the diluted form, speak to the Groomer or Animal Care supervisor. • • • • • • • •

Tearless: For all cats, puppies, kittens, and any other small animals. When bathing a dog, use tearless shampoo on the face. Aloe Silk: For any animal with normal skin and coat. Oatmeal: For any animal that appears to have itchy skin or a white flaky coat. Allow the shampoo to stand on the animal’s coat for five minutes. Bright Magic Shampoo: For any yellowing white dog who does not have skin ailments. Allow the shampoo to stand on the animal’s coat for five minutes. Cream Rinse: Use on dogs that are not being shaved, have lots of small mats or a dry brittle coat. Waterless Shampoo: Great for quick touch-ups and for cats that are difficult to bathe. Prescription Shampoo: We often get prescription shampoo as donations and utilize them as needed, based on the advice of the veterinarian or Health Care department. Do not use a prescription shampoo unless you have been instructed to do so by the groomer or Health Care department. Flea and Tick: We do not normally use flea and tick shampoo. Instead of flea and tick shampoo, we usually apply frontline. Flea and tick shampoo is used only on a case-by-case basis for animals with extreme cases of fleas or ticks. Application of flea and tick shampoo is limited to trained staff. Do not use this shampoo with any other flea or tick formulation. Before using this product, be sure it is properly diluted. Pure Oxygen shampoo: for any dog, cat or smam thought to have been exposed to ringworm. This is to be used as a rinse and left on the coat. DO NOT TOWEL DRY OR USE A FORCE DRYER

Bathing and Rinsing • Put the dog in the tub and use the stairs if needed. Ask for help from another volunteer or staff member if you need help getting the dog into the tub safely. • Secure the dog in the tub with a grooming loop. Some dogs will need to be secured by the neck as well as the abdomen. • Turn the water on and adjust temperature to a comfortably warm temperature; wet the dog thoroughly. Do not spray water into the dog’s ears; be gentle around the face and eyes. Always use tearless shampoo on the animal’s face! • Apply diluted shampoo and scrub with a rubber brush (Zoomgroom) or your fingers. Be sure to get the shampoo all the way down into the fur to the skin. • Rinse thoroughly; if the dog is extremely dirty, repeat this process. • If necessary, apply cream rinse. Most dogs do not need this extra step. Refer to the Shampoos Used at Dumb Friends League section when making a decision regarding use of cream rinse. • Rinse the dog thoroughly. Drying Blot the animal with clean, dry towels. Do not reuse towels. If the animal gets agitated or stressed by the dryer, stop. Towel excess moisture from the animal’s coat and put the dog in the cage dryer; set time and temperature at 30 minutes, ~70° F, following the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) regulations.

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Bath and Brush Finishing Grooming Table and Restraints Each grooming table should have two restraint arms or grooming loops. One is used to restrain the dog from the neck (over the dog’s head); the other is clipped around the dog’s abdomen. While not all dogs need the second restraint, it can be useful for dogs that insist on sitting down during grooming. Holding a large dog up in a standing position while shaving its underside is quite difficult. Occasionally a third loop can be used on larger dogs around their chest to further stabilize them and make them comfortable. The loop should be loose enough that the dog can breathe and stand on the table comfortably, but tight enough that it cannot move freely around the grooming table. Safety Once you have the dog on the table and ready for grooming, do not leave it unattended. Some dogs will attempt to leap off the table, possibly causing injury to themselves as well as damage to our equipment. Make sure the loops are snug around the dog but not overly tight. You should be able to slip a few fingers under the loop.

Tool and Table Sanitation • Vacuum tools (including clippers and blades), table, and floor use Accel disinfectant and a paper towel or rag to wipe down the table and other surfaces. • Use Clippercide for all sharp edged tools and clipper blades (do not use Accel on these items as it will damage them) • Spray disinfectant cleaner on non-bladed tools and 10:1 diluted bleach on tables; use a rag to wipe off the table. Place tools upside down on a drying towel.

Finish Cuts GROOMING 2 VOLUNTEERS ONLY Clipper Blades The clippers used at the League have removable blades. There is a release lever on the front of the clippers, allowing the blade to be pulled forward and removed. Clippers and their blades become hot when in use. When the clipper and blade become hot, stop grooming and switch blades, or spray the blade with clipper coolant. A hot blade can irritate a dog’s skin and may cause burns in sensitive areas. The higher the number on the blade, the shorter the blade cuts. The highest number blade is #40, typically used for surgical shaves. A #40 blade is ideal for using under a comb attachment. When shaving a badly matted animal, a #10 blade is a good blade with which to start. If the #10 is not getting under the matting, upgrade to a #15. To shave a cat, a #10 blade is commonly used. Please be extra careful when shaving cats as they have very delicate skin. Allow your blade to cool during the shave, or have multiple blades available. Be careful on the belly to watch for nipples. The most commonly used grooming blades:


40 Very Close Cut – Surgical 1/100" - 0.25mm

30 Close Cut 1/50" - 0.5mm

15 Medium Cut 3/64" - 1.2mm

10 Medium Cut – Used with heavily matted animals and for shaving cats 1/16" - 1.5mm

Size 8-1/2 7/64" - 2.8mm

7FC Finish Cut 1/8" - 3.2mm

5FC Finish Cut 1/4" - 6.3mm

4FC Finish Cut 3/8" - 9.5mm

Clippers Hold the clipper like a large pencil, between the thumb and fingers, rather than palming the clipper. Holding the clippers like a pencil improves dexterity and reduces fatigue. In order to create the least amount of stress on your wrist and fingers, grasp the clipper so that the weight is equally distributed from front to back. As mentioned above, the clippers will get very hot if used continuously; you may need to stop and allow the clippers to cool, or switch to a different clipper before you are through. Scissors and Thinning Shears There are three basic types of shears: straight shears, curved shears, and thinning shears. Shears should be very sharp and cut through hair easily. If they are dull, please let the groomer, manager, or supervisor know. Puppy Cuts A puppy cut is a haircut in which the fur on the entire body and legs of the dog are the same length. The hair can be left at any length in order for the cut to be considered a puppy cut but usually it is anywhere from 1/2 inch to two inches. Hair on the face and tail may be left longer and trimmed to blend with the body. This type of cut is typically used on breeds such as the shih tzu, Maltese, bichon frise, poodle, and Lhasa apso. A good puppy cut can only be done on a dog that is not heavily matted. The easiest, fastest way to do a puppy cut is by using a comb attachment over a #40 blade, where the comb can run smoothly through the fur. Stripping (ONLY WITH APPROVAL FROM STAFF) Animals that are heavily matted are completely shaved down, or “stripped.” It is much easier on the dog (and on the groomer) to simply remove heavy matting rather than trying to de-mat the entire dog. Usually a #10 blade will work, but occasionally mats will be so close to the skin that a #15 or #30 is necessary. It is very easy to injure the animal using a #40 blade, so a blade closer than a #30 is not recommended unless you are very experienced. Make sure to have several blades nearby so you can change them as they get hot, or have blade coolant available to spray the blade and allow it to cool before continuing to shave.

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Starting at either the top of the head or the back of the neck, work down the body towards the tail. Always shave in the direction of the hair growth. Start with the body, move to the legs, then head and face. At this point, the dog looks very strange. That’s okay, the cut can be evened up after the bath. Use a shampoo for dry or irritated skin, for example, oatmeal shampoo. Face Some dogs are sensitive about the clippers around their face and will struggle. Allow them time to become accustomed to the noise of the clippers. When trimming near skin flaps such as flews and edges of ears, it is best to use a #10 or #15 blade. Be very careful. It sometimes helps to have a second person present for the face trimming, to distract the dog and reassure it. When you first start grooming, faces can be a challenge, and you may need help from a staff member or more experienced volunteer. Ears Trimming matted fur from ears can also be tricky. When the hair is very thick and matted it may be impossible to know where the hair ends and the skin begins. It cannot be stressed enough that you need to be very careful. Shave in the natural direction of the hair growth; ask for help if you are the least bit uncomfortable. The ears contain huge amounts of blood vessels and bleed profusely if the edge receives even a minor nick. If you do nick the ear, try to remain calm; it probably looks worse than it is. Apply pressure and contact the Health Care department. Unless you can clearly see or feel the edge of the dog’s ear, do not use scissors to trim the edges. Always cover the skin with your fingers and then cut around the ears. Clippers may cause a minor nick, but scissors can do major damage. Please do not use scissors to trim matts behind the ears, it is too easy to cut the animal’s skin. Feet The finishing touches, including cleaning the feet, make your grooming job look complete and polished. Don’t overlook the details. Many dogs have large amounts of hair growing between their pads; this hair can become matted. If the hair between the pads is extremely dirty and matted, it is best to bathe the dog first and concentrate on scrubbing the feet well beforehand. Once the hair is clean, use a #10, #15 or a #30 blade to carefully shave the surface of the paws. Start with a rear paw, keeping the clipper blade flush with the pad and barely making contact with the pads. Remove all excess coat from the foot pad by shaving over the surface of the pads, using a #10 or #15 blade. Do not dig the clipper in between the pads; instead, gently separate the toe pads from the center pad and scoop the excess hair with the clippers. Be very careful in this area; do not use scissors to remove matting from between the dog’s toes. Breed Cuts The Dumb Friends League does not do many breed cuts; it is easier to train volunteers to do basic haircuts that make the animals look well kept and cute. If you want to learn more about breed-specific haircuts, there are several good books available at

Kennel Card Paperwork

The kennel cards for dogs and puppies are located in the plastic pouch hanging on the kennel door or on the wall next to the kennels. They are on the wall above the door for G and H kennels. Kennel cards for kenneled cats are located on the clipboard on their kennel door and in the plastic pouch on the wall in the colony rooms. If the card is not in with the animal, check the computer to see if there are any holds on the animal. If there is a hold, that means we need to do more research on the animal before grooming.

Grooming Log Sheet

The daily log sheet keeps track of all the grooming done on a particular day. Daily log sheets are located on a clipboard on the grooming desk. Fill out the daily log sheet as completely as possible.

Grooming Signage 9

When removing an animal from the kennel for grooming, always place a “Gone to Grooming” card in the plastic pouch or the clipboard on the kennel. The “Gone to Grooming” cards are located near the computer in the Grooming area. These cards provide important information that allows staff and volunteers to locate an animal. When the animal is returned to the kennel, remove the sign and return it to the grooming area.

Cleaning Kennels

Once you have finished grooming a pet, you need to make sure it returns to a clean kennel. In some cases, you will be responsible for cleaning the kennel environment. Cleaning Catteries • Open the kennel gate without blocking the opening. • Watch the cat to be sure it is comfortable with your presence. • Scoop any poop out of the litter box; if the litter box is really messy, dump the litter and replace it with fresh litter. • Use a paper towel to sweep loose debris into the soiled litter box or into a dustpan. • Remove and replace a cat’s towel only if it is soiled. If it looks clean, shake it out and refold with the cleanest side out. This allows the scent of the cat to remain on the towel, helping to reduce the cat’s stress. • If the kennel is soiled, spray Accel on a paper towel and wipe the kennel. If the cat is not in its kennel, you may spray the Accel directly into the kennel. • Most cats will have small plastic bowls for dry food and water. This food will only be filled during morning clean. Kittens, and cats that spill their water or food, should have ceramic bowls that do not tip easily. Use a clean plastic container to measure food and water for the ceramic bowls. Cleaning Dog Kennels • Remove the dog from the kennel. • Remove bedding, toys, rawhides, paper dog dishes, dog biscuits. • Shake out the bedding to remove any loose fecal matter. If there is a large amount of diarrhea or feces stuck to the bedding, it should be thrown away. If the bedding is dirty or shows a small amount of dried feces, put it in the laundry. If it is still clean, you may return it to the kennel. • Use the water hose to spray organic material into the drain. Be sure the solid material is flushed to the main drain. • Use a squeegee to remove as much water as possible. Be careful not to squeegee water into the dog’s water dish. • Return the dog to its kennel.

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