Daryl Conner

Daryl Conner has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for almost 40 years.  You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter and infant granddaughter, or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism.  She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and too many animals. 

Handy Hacks for the Pro Groomer

A creative, novel, or unusual approach to solving a problem, or a tool used in an unexpected way, is often called a “hack.” Here is a list of some of my favorite grooming hacks.

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First Aid for Animal Bites

When pets feel threatened or discomfort, their natural tendency may be to bite. Some animals have higher bite inhibition than others, but all of them are capable of biting in certain circumstances. Pet groomers are in harm’s way because we handle dogs and cats in an up-close and personal manner and sometimes inadvertently cause them pain merely by doing something as innocent as flexing a joint that we have no way of knowing is sore.

 If a bite happens, knowing the proper way to treat the wound and having first aid essentials on hand is crucial. Here are step-by-step instructions for what to do if you are bitten by a pet.

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Tool Organizing Tips

I am a self-confessed tool junkie. If I see a grooming tool that I don’t own and think would be useful, I’ll buy it. Sometimes the purchase is a win, other times a dud. Then there is the grey zone, a great tool for a few specific tasks but not something I will use on most pets. It turns out I have quite a few of those grey zone tools...

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Carding for Beginners

Picture this scenario… you are clipping a pet Spaniel with a thick coat, and you realize that you have unwittingly created what looks for all the world like a corduroy jacket on that pup. Usually, it’s not the fault of the blade, the clipper, or even your clipping technique. The problem is that the dog has a thick undercoat.

So, what’s a groomer to do? One choice is to clip the dog shorter, but that is not the best plan. Instead, spend a little time removing that undercoat. This will enable you to achieve a lovely, smooth clip while improving the dog’s skin health at the same time.

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Face First

face first pet grooming blog

Imagine you have just finished grooming a small, fluffy dog. You take it to greet its waiting owner, and they "ooh" and "ah" appreciatively to see their freshly trimmed pet. Do you know what they are looking at first when their dancing dog greets them? It's their precious little face. There are ways to step up your game to make those canine faces exclaim worthy. Of course, it all starts in the tub. We all know that prep work is the basis of an excellent groom. However, perfecting prep work on faces can take some extra steps.

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Dog Grooming Claw Care

Claw Care for Dog Groomers

No doubt about it, most pet owners are very concerned about their pet's claws. I feel reasonably sure that one reason we have such a loyal clientele is that we pay extra attention to those nails with every groom. So here are some suggestions for ways that you can up your claw care game!

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When it's Time to Retire Grooming Tools

Do you have a favorite old slicker brush? The one you grab first when you start on almost every dog? If you give it a hard look, do you see that there are bent, twisted and missing tines? I know it's hard, but it's time to let it retire. Damaged tines on brushes can scratch and injure delicate skin. They can also cause harm to that fur you are trying to take good care of by damaging the hair shaft's cuticle as you work. I know it's hard to say goodbye, but it's time to retire that tired old brush and replace it with a new, unblemished one.

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Four Uses for Flea Combs

Flea combs might not seem like a very important tool. They are small, inexpensive, and seemingly not terribly useful, right? Think again!

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Time Saving Drying Tools

Experienced groomers know that the time and skill put into preparing a dog for grooming is the cornerstone to good results. A great groom cannot happen on a pet that has not been cleaned and dried correctly. Getting a clean pet dried appropriately takes a lot of time, but tools are available to make the job go much quicker.

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Safe and Secure on the Grooming Tables

Safe and Secure with The Trach Saver

Imagine you are grooming a small, older poodle. To prevent any falls, you put the grooming loop around her neck, making sure it is not too snug, but the dog keeps hanging her head down, and the pressure from the loop makes her cough. She’s a little wobbly on the table, so you want to keep a loop on her for safety’s sake, but she is clearly having a problem with this traditional restraint.

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