Close up of dog's head with a hand combing its hair

Grooming Tips by Doggone Fabulous

Jane Blackaby is the owner and head groomer at Doggone Fabulous, North London’s Premier Dog Groomers. Having run the UK’s most awarded photo lab for most of the 90’s, Jane’s eye for quality and style transcended into her grooming career. She has been grooming dogs since early 2000, and in 2002 she opened Doggone Fabulous, a bespoke home saloon in Maida Vale, London.
With a track record for delivering the highest quality grooms and dog focussed care, an expansion into Crouch End was secured in 2014. Jane prides herself on developing her team of groomers, providing dog centric care and listening to customer requirements.
The salon has a reputation for its passion for puppies and client education, along with specialist grooming techniques such as hand stripping and poodle cross cuts.

What grooming should you be doing at home?

Just like a good diet, grooming is an essential part of keeping dogs healthy, but that does not mean simply dropping your pooch off at the local groomers every few weeks for a bath or a cut. There are multiple things that should and could be done at home every few days or weeks to ensure our best friends are well cared for.

This is important now more than ever, as groomers have been closed for several weeks due to Covid-19 and will soon open with reduced appointment slots to abide to additional social distancing measures. Demand is going to increase significantly.

In this blog, Jane from Doggone Fabulous will be focusing on an area that is often neglected or seems too difficult or troublesome to many of her clients - dog’s feet.

Let’s talk about “Making Happy Paws!” in three easy steps.

Due to the hot summer weather, you might notice a change in your dog’s temperament and desire to walk and play.

The first stage is OBSERVATION.

Try noticing if your dog is nibbling, biting or licking their paws at home and when they are out walking to spot any abnormal actions. Are they favouring one leg to the other, tender on one foot or maybe their foot looks curled over? These are all signs that your dog might be in some form of discomfort.

The next step is INVESTIGATION.

When you come back from a walk make sure to check your dog’s feet. Just like if humans were to walk with no shoes on, dirt and grit could accumulate, and dogs are no different. Look for mud, especially after a rainy day. The soggy dirt under the paws can stick to the fur between their toes and become hard lumps of mud once dried. This can not only become extremely uncomfortable, but it can also make their underneath skin sore and red. Pay attention and you might notice your dog nibbling trying to get this out.

Additionally, summer months mean grass seeds are everywhere. These seeds are a real nemesis of our paw-friends as they can get into their ears, eyes, armpits, tail, paws and work their way under the skin. If your dog has fluffy feet, then grass seeds might attach themselves to the fur trying to re-seed in between your dog’s toes. Unfortunately, this can be incredibly painful and quite dangerous as the seeds keep working their way in, piercing your dog’s skin. It’s best to remove them early on to try and avoid expensive surgical procedures.

Lastly, the third step is MAINTENANCE.

Wiping and cleaning your dog’s paws after each walk gets rid of the grit and dirt, but it’s also important to wash their paws weekly. And let’s not forget the biggest area of maintenance, which is certainly the nails, as cutting these is vital for their health and enjoyable walks.

Long or curled toes can cause your dog’s feet to twist, and a playful dog with long nails can be very painful to human skin. To be safe, we do not advise you to cut dog’s nails at home, as it is too easy to catch the quick – the tender part inside a dog’s nail that contains nerves and blood vessels.

It may seem simple, but it’s better to leave this one to the professionals. The safest thing to do in between visits to the groomers would be to file their nails as and when needed. For this, you could get some sandpaper and wrap it around a wooden block, so it’s taut enough to not move with friction. It’s simple - just like filing our own nails!

Finally, establish a weekly schedule to inspect and file your dog’s nails and smooth away any rough edges.

This will make sure they are ready for your groomer when it comes to their appointment.

“Making Happy Paws!” can be simple, just follow the steps above and you will notice a difference in your dog’s health and wellbeing in no time!


Grooming Tips by Jane in association with Natural Instinct

Written by Doggone Fabulous