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January 2009

November 2008

It’s Way Too Cold Outside……

There is no reason to be cold inside!  We all know how important it is to keep our vans toasty.  There is nothing worse than frozen pipes and water heaters not to mention cold gloppy shampoo that makes dogs just cringe.  Over the many years of being a mobile groomer I have gone through multiple electric fan operated ceramic heaters each winter.  Since my hot water heater is run by propane I prefer not to use my furnace to reduce my propane usage.  Due to the fact that the generator is in use all day I have found the most cost efficient way to stay warm would be to use an electric heater.  However, the ceramic heaters as well as electric fan operated heaters have a heating element and fan which pull the dog hair into the heating element.  This significantly reduces the lifespan of these units, not to mention the foul smell of burning dog hair.


Through years of trial and error I have now found electric oil filled radiators to be the “bomb”.  The low profile model sits very nicely underneath my grooming table.  This radiator is thermostatically controlled.  There are no moving parts to get clogged up with dog hair.  Once the oil in the radiator warms, it produces the most even radiant heat very similar to baseboard hot water heat in your home.  If you are using a stand dryer or a dryer of similar amps you may want to turn the radiator off.  The oil will continue to stay warm even in the off position for quite a while.  After I finish drying the dogs I turn it right back on.    I always found that even when using ceramic heaters my feet always seemed to be cold during the day.  With the oil filled radiator I am never cold. 


I also use the same heater when I plug the truck in at night.  One radiator in the grooming area is all I ever need.  I open my towel hatch (Wag n’Tails model van) which allows warm air to reach the

back of the van.  The average winter temperature here in NJ can range from the single digits to the teens.


There are two models that I have seen, the regular radiator and the low profile radiator.  I prefer the low profile radiator which I find more suitable for the mobile environment due to the fact that it is less likely to shift between stops.  I purchased mine at Home Depot for about $59.  I have seen them at Bed, Bath & Beyond for slightly more.


The ice and snow can be a challenge during the winter season.  Staying warm and keeping your truck warm can be as simple as the right heater.


Stay warm..........Think Spring!           Jodi


If you have any questions or concerns feel free to email me at


In And Out With Style, Mile After Mile

Hi everyone, welcome to my blog page.  I am very excited to share with you articles that I have written as well as tips and techniques that I feel will help you become the best groomer that you can be.  I am also planning on sharing topics that I speak about at trade shows for those of you who are unable to attend.  My first article is geared to the mobile groomer although I strongly suggest that everyone take a look and apply it to your shop as well.  Happy Grooming!!

Mobile grooming should be all about convenience.  The more convenient we become to the pet owner the more often they will have their dogs groomed.  I can remember many of my clients that started their dogs on a six, eight, even ten week grooming schedule.

After just a few appointments they came to realize just how convenient this service truly is and then gradually moved to a four to five week schedule. The fact that they did not have to be home was even more appealing.  Now we have them on great schedules, let’s modify their trims to fit their individual lifestyles.  Many of my client’s dogs are cute little lap dogs that very rarely touch the grass.

Then we have the majority which are very busy outdoors. There are many breeds that love to be in the water during the summer months.  Many people love to bring their dogs to the beach and even camping.  You have to take all these things into consideration when putting trims on their dogs.  In these situations I will tighten my trims for the summer.

Leaving hair in the wrong places will only contribute to matting.  You can put style in your trims by leaving hair in the right places. I prefer to maintain stylized trims rather than spend endless hours dematting and setting lines all over again at each visit. Maintenance is the key word here.  Maintaining a good trim is my goal.

Adding style to your work is easier said than done.  It takes an artistic eye. Groomers are very artistic people in nature.  Although it does take time, experience and practice to develop that artistry.  It is very important for groomers to visit dog shows to see how these breeds should look as well as how the breeds are being stylized. Just as our hairstyles are always changing, so are the breeds. Our objective as mobile groomers should be to custom tailor our trims to bring out the best qualities in our pets as well as keeping our trims practical and manageable for the pet owner.

If the client’s pet is consistently matted every time you go to their home, than adjustments need to be made. The first thing I recommend is to modify the trim.  It may take a few visits to find the right trim for their dog.  If you are still having problems with matting and the client is happy with the trim, at that point I would recommend changing their schedule by one week or possibly even two weeks.

You may also want to take a hard look at the products you are using.  Products will make a big difference in how your trims hold up. If you are using a shampoo that is deep cleansing at every visit and you are not using some form of conditioning the coat may become dry and begin to mat. There are many leave-in conditioners that work great on areas that are prone to matting, i.e. tails, ears, and beards to name a few. 

Your bathing, drying and coat preparation can either make or break your trims. Everything from bathing systems, dryers, clippers, blades, brushes and scissors all play a major role in your efficiency.  Investing in good equipment is vital in the grooming industry.  When your grooming appointments become lengthly, you will become inconvenient to that client.  Taking all these things into consideration is quite a task but just remember it’s all about style, mile after mile!