top of page

Dog Hair, Don't Care - Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries about grooming, owning a small business, and taking care of your pet.

Competitive Grooming

Sept 17, 2019

Competitive Grooming

I have dabbled in competitive grooming a few times over the last few years. This year, for the first time... I placed. Well - we placed. I let one of my best friends convince me to join her in a dual competition where two groomers work together on one dog. I have battled with nerves each and every time I have entered the ring in the past. I have repeatedly made her promise not to let me enter again the next year... and she never listens!

This year, she was eager to enter and needed a partner. I agreed because that's what besties do, right!? Imagine my surprise when we placed second! I looked around that ring in amazement... I was surrounded by world class groomers. Some of the competitors are (or had been in the past) members of Groom Team Canada. I have a hard time believing I'm anywhere near as talented!

Now, don't get me wrong! I enjoy what I do for a living. I work hard to keep learning and growing and improving as a groomer. I can't imagine doing anything else for a living. However, I do not see myself in the same class as the groomers that were in the ring around me. I'm not sure I ever will.

So... the question is... will I do it again next year? I will keep telling my friend to never let me do it again. I'm sure I will be a bundle of nerves and stress when she doesn't listen!

Ear Care

Aug 15,2019

Ear Care

Cleaning Ears:

Keeping your dogs ears clean is one of the easiest things that you can do to keep your pet happy and healthy. Dirt and gunk can collect in your pets ears, and needs to be cleaned out. Bacteria in the ears can cause ear infections, and regular cleaning can help to prevent this. Dogs with long floppy ears are more susceptible to ear infections as their big ears trap moisture and limit air flow within the ear, allowing bacteria to flourish and ear infections to fester. It is important to keep an eye on your dog's ears, noting any discoloration, redness, discharge, heat, or irritation. These symptoms should be closely monitored, and will likely require veterinary attention. The first step to keeping your dogs ears clean and healthy is to invest in a good ear cleaner, and learn how to properly clean your dog's ears. When cleaning your dog's ears, ensure you are using a dog safe ear cleaner. There are many options available from your vet, your groomer, your local pet store, you can even make it yourself. Just make sure that it is safe to use on your pet. Once you have chosen an ear cleaner, apply it to a cotton ball or cotton makeup pad, wand wipe out the inside of the dogs ears. Clean out all you can from the ear, then move on to the other. Ensure that you don't use the same cotton ball for both ears. If your dog has an infection or issue in one ear, you don't want to pass it on to the other ear. If you notice anything abnormal while handling your dogs ears, call your vet.

Ear Infections:

Ear Infections are a common issue in dogs with floppy hairy ears, but can affect any breed of dog. These infections can cause redness, heat, discharge, foul smell, or excess scratching. They can be painful and uncomfortable for your pet and should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as you notice the symptoms.

Ear Mites:

Along with ear infections, there are also parasites that can live in your pets ears. These are called ear mites. Ear mites are very small creatures that live inside your pets ears, causing irritation, itching, redness, and dark brown discharge. Often you will see the discharge before you will see the mites themselves. Ear mites are easy to treat, and can be eliminated with a simple pesticide medication from your veterinarian. Ear mites should be treated as soon as they are found, as they can cause many issues if left unattended, including total collapse of the ears.


Dogs who spend a lot of time in the water are at a higher risk of ear infections, as they have more moisture in their ears. You should always wipe your dogs ears out with a pet safe ear cleaner when they are done swimming, preferably one that has alcohol or another drying agent in it, to help alleviate this excess moisture, especially if you have a floppy eared dog.


Mar 22, 2019


I think one of the most common questions a groomer hears is, “How often should I have my dogs nails trimmed?”. There is no right answer really, though I recommend every 2 to 4 weeks. Each dog is different; you have to factor in breed, how often and where they are walking and that kind of thing.

A dog that is walked every day on pavement/sidewalk usually wears down their nails more than a dog that spends time in a yard, or walks on a trail or grass. Senior dogs that don’t get out for walks anymore, need a trim more often than younger dogs.

Have your pup stand on all four legs. Do their nails touch the floor? If they do, they are much too long, and will need to be trimmed for sure. Can you hear them click on the floor when they are walking around the house? If so, they probably need a trim! If your dog is chewing at their feet/nails, I’d guess the length is bothering them, and they are due for a paw-dicure.


The most important thing for a dog, as far as nail and foot care, in my opinion, is keeping them pain free! Have you ever worn shoes that are too tight, and push against your toes all day? I imagine this is what it feels like when a dogs nails are too long… each step pushes their nails to the floor and causes pressure. This can’t be comfortable and when severely long, it must be painful. Dogs with over-long nails have a much higher chance of catching or twisting their toes and breaking them as well. Regularily trimmed nails makes for a much happier, healthier, pain/discomfort free dog.


You can definitely learn to trim your dogs nails yourself! We would be happy to show you. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, then stop by your vet or groomer and have them trimmed up regularily. I have included a picture that describes cutting nails! But I'd be happy to show you how in person!

How often?

Feb 11, 2019

In a perfect world, I'd have all my clients booked in every 2 weeks. In a perfect world I’d groom my own dogs, Peppy and Charming, every week or 2. But lets face it, life happens and it’s just not a perfect world. I make an effort though, because I want my dogs to be clean and tidy, as well as happy and healthy. Its can bit like the mechanics car, or the plumbers leaky sink around here... the groomers dogs are often the last to get their tub time! LOL

Because life happens and funds can be tight (and it’s not a perfect world), I’d like to say that as a groomer, it would be awesome to see my grooming clients every 6 weeks (or less). 

We are offering premium grooming rates for our clients when they have their dogs groomed more frequently.

Clients that book every 1-2 weeks get a 40% discount, and clients that book every 3-4 weeks get a 25% discount.

We find that dogs have healthier skin and coat when they are groomed more often. What I love most about it, is that the dogs can generally be kept a little bit longer, and always look clean and tidy. Peppy and Charming are at work with me every day. I love being able to bring them out so clients can see what length of hair I am talking about or how cute short ears look, etc. Health-wise, more frequent grooming means I check over my dogs, nose to tail, every couple of weeks. I notice anything unusual, like a lump or rash, and can treat it or get the dog to the vet before it grows or becomes a big scary issue. More frequent grooming also makes the grooming process quicker and easier for both the dog and the groomer, thus the discounted price! We love each and every one of our furry clients, and the goal for us is to help their humans keep them healthy, comfortable and happy.

If bringing your dog in for a full groom more frequently is not an option, you can most definitely bath your dog at home in between grooms. We recommend a bath every couple of weeks for some breeds, and monthly for others. Please chat with one of our staff about what we would recommend for your breed.

Here are a few tub time tips:

  • Brush through his or her hair before the bath. This is the best time to catch mats. Each time you wash a matted dog, the mats become more “felted” and closer to the skin. It makes it harder to get them out, and more painful for the dog.
  • It is best to invest in a dog shampoo! Dogs have a different ph level on their skin than humans, and some shampoo ingredients found in human shampoos are toxic to dogs. Every dog shampoo can be watered down. Professional shampoos are usually watered down 30:1 at least.
  • Water down your shampoo. This ensures that you get the shampoo right to the skin. It also makes it easier to rinse the suds out. Leaving soap residue behind will cause itchy skin and often leads to hot spots and other rashes.
  • Towel drying is simple when you have a short haired dog like a lab... there is no danger of causing tangles... Shih-tzu, Maltese, Poodles, Doodles, and other higher maintenance coats mat easily. It is best to wrap the dog in a towel and pat dry, not rub them dry.

Can we bath our dogs too much... I’d have to say that I rarely ever come across a dog that gets bathed too often. But it is important to remember that each time we bathe our pups, we strip the natural oils out of their coats. If you bathe more frequently than once a month, you should consider using a good conditioner to replace the oils. A monthly bath is generally a good goal. Some dogs like labs or German Shepherds can go longer. Regular bathing and blow drying with a high velocity dryer will cut down on shedding though.

Nail trims generally need to be done every 2 weeks. You can do them at home, or have your groomer or vet do them. We will talk about nail care in between grooms more in another post.

Have question? Please pop by or call us so we can help you out. Overall, we want your pooches to be healthy and happy. 

Don't Panic - It's Just Lice...

February 9, 2019

First of all, it is dog lice - it doesn't transfer to people or cats, etc. It's generally found most commonly in spring and fall here in Kamloops... but with mild winter or summer weather, I have found it on clients dogs all year round. 

Second, it's easy to treat, and easy to prevent. Check with your vet about his/her recommendation, but I treat my own dogs every 3 months with Bravecto. Another common treatment prescribed by your vet is Revolution, which is applied monthly. Both of these treatments work to prevent ticks, lice, fleas and some other parasites.

If your dog does have lice, your vet will prescribe the treatment that he/she thinks best. With Revolution, you will likely be given 3 treatments; the fist is applied immediately, the second is applied in fourteen days, and a third is sometimes applied thirty days later (especially if your dog attends a daycare, a kennel, goes to the dog park regularly etc.) to ensure there is no chance any parasites are missed and passed on.

With Revolution, and other treatments like it, all live lice are dead within hours of application. The second application will ensure any eggs that may have survived and hatched will also die.

Bravecto works continually for 90 days, so there is no need to re-treat.

That's it! For real. No panic, no fuss, no need to worry about your home being infested; lice do not live for long without a "host". I felt better when I had washed my dogs bedding... though it isn't necessary!

If your dog is itchy, and now that you've read this - you will probably want to check anyways - the most common places to find them are behind/under the ears. Sometimes I find them at the base of the tail or  the armpits. They look like tiny little brownish purple specks on the skin. Eggs (nits) are found on the hair shaft and look a bit like dandruff, but will not shake off.

I see lice and ticks often here in Kamloops. They are both common in our area. I always recommend preventative treatment. Please talk to your vet about what they would recommend for your dog. More than anything, we want to se your pooches happy and healthy!

Our First Blog Entry

Dec 2017

Lavender Dog Grooming Company - Friday, December 22, 2017

Copied from our FB page

Well!!! 2 and a half years in to this business venture... 

It has been a huge learning curve for me... I have learned about finances and the value of a good bookkeeper! I have learned that I have a lot left to learn about dog grooming and I have learned how important it is to have a great team of staff at the shop!

We have added in some retail into the shop this fall, including a treat bar full of yummy, mouth watering doggy treats like bully stick, chicken feet, and puppy bonbons!

I am looking forward to 2018 and what Lavender will become in the next year... We have plans to attend a grooming show in Tacoma, WA this spring, and the Master Groom Canada show in Calgary, AB... Yes, I say I will never compete again every year when I get there and am stressed out... but then I start planning what I’m going to do at the next show... I am learning that I am crazy that way!

Thank you for all of our clients LOVE AND SUPPORT in 2017 - without you, there would be no Lavender Dog Grooming Company

bottom of page