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December 2022

November 2022

THRIVE for the Holidays!


Strategies for not surviving but THRIVING through the holiday rush!!

•Make sure all of your tools are sharpened and replaced as needed.

•Make sure your dryers are serviced and operating at full capacity

•Pre-order all of your topical products and liquid tools since stocking delays and not meeting demand are a real thing these days.

•Get client holiday gifts in order and ready to go ahead of time. Gifts requiring bagging or wrapping can be done while you nosh at lunchtime, or as part of your opening or closing duties, or even on a day off just to power through it.

•In the last 6 to 8 weeks before your holiday rushes take affect, clip your client dogs down one blade length shorter as much as possible. This will speed up your final grooms during the holidays and possibly even free up more full groom spaces since you might be doing more bath and tidies during your last couple of weeks before the holiday. Don’t be afraid to dedicate one groomer/assistant just to handling your bath and brush appointments. If you’re busy enough, you may find this to be effective and helpful year-round.

•Really try to save your appts through the holiday for your year-round patrons who regularly support your business. It’s nice to have a few available spots in the event of a last-minute new client, but typically these people shop-hop and they will likely just end up being a pain in the neck if you accommodate like that right out of the gate.

•Embrace a blackout date for walkins and à la carte services such as nail trims which can easily eat into your time. Or schedule additional help just to tackle those so your groomers stay uninterrupted. Only do this if it still generates you greater revenue to offset the additional employee fees.

•Decorate if it helps morale. ♥️

•Be sure to take care of your staff during rush times. Gifts of good food and beverages, a smile and a thank you- these go along way during hectic times.

•As much as the holiday spirit may overwhelm you, try not booking extra activities or functions during your holiday rush time such as an open house or a Christmas event unless you have plenty of staff and available time. Nothing will sap your spirit faster than planning some thing great when you’re in the mood and then bottoming out when it comes time to do the work. Don’t set yourself up for failure!

•Give back. If you are a business- especially in a small town- it’s important to pay it forward. During holiday times there are plenty of opportunities for us to embrace the bigger picture and help out those who might be struggling. It lifts your heart and puts a little more meaning to your very hard work to know that each dog on the table helped out someone in need.

•Thoughtfully take charge of your scheduling to alleviate high maintenance/difficult clients at least for the last two weeks right before the holiday if at all possible. Some people will just loom on the book no matter how much they pay you.

•You need to be taking care of yourself. Even if you struggle with this year-round, the holidays are exceptionally important to be mindful to listening to your body and your emotions and honoring what they’re telling you. Get that massage, try to eat well and get your rest, pamper yourself in some small way after every single hectic day at work. You’ve earned it and you need it.

•Monitor your screen time at work. In this age of internet social-connectivity, the amount of time you spend on your screen at work can be a secret time sucker as well as pulling on your emotional heart strings and focus depending on what you see. Try your best to stay on task and stay focused while compartmentalizing your downtime. This practice increases efficiency and lessons overwhelm.

•Delegate, delegate, delegate.

•One of the best gifts you can give yourself extra time off right after Christmas or new year. It will give you something solid to look forward to at the darkest of times.

•I typically buy my next year’s appointment book at the very beginning of November. As part of my New Year’s preparation and holiday ritual, I will sit down with that book and thoughtfully process each week’s scheduling and vacations and time off for myself. This gives me milestones to look forward to and assures that I am running my business and it’s not running me.



Mindfulness for Canine Vestibular


If you’ve ever had an inner ear problem, vertigo, or even a bad case of roller coaster brain, you know how disorienting it can be to have your equilibrium off. 


In old dogs, idiopathic vestibular disease, otitis media/interna, ischemic stroke, and neoplasia as well as hypothyroidism can all cause balance and coordination issues. 


Second to this is the age related process of the breakdown in cognitive function as it plays a definite role in how pets process their world and move through the daily tasks of such things like a visit to the groomer.


Sometimes it is easily recognized and other times outward symptoms can be quite subtle even though the dog is still suffering. As groomers, we may or may not recognize these symptoms- but we can always handle older dogs with a bit of mindful attention to their comfort and sense of security while on the table.


I personally have found that not holding the chin hair on pretty much every dog lessens the amount of tugging that they do in return, but especially with all dogs avoiding holding the chin hair helps a lot. Aside from the possibility of dental issues or jaw pain, opting to not hold chin hair and to instead cradle the lower jaw of the dog while trimming the head and face can help to give the dog a much greater sense of security and balance as they work alongside you. 


Cradling and supporting the head and neck in a comfortable position gives them a sense of being able to lean on you for both balance and reassurance. This can further deepen your bond with them and help lessen their anxiety and increase their comfort. 


Simple small points like this of us thinking outside the box and making subtle changes are part of what makes our profession so rewarding and give us a chance to be empathetic to the clients in our care.




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