All 4 Pets Grooming
Areas of service:Orlando
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All 4 Pets Grooming - Orlando, FL
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About All 4 Pets Grooming
All 4 Pets Grooming is a small, high-quality pet store that offers the best grooming in the East Orlando area.
Our groomer, Karen, has been grooming for over 7 years and actively competes (and wins) at national level grooming competitions.
She is dedicated to mastering every aspect of animal care, and spends 100+ hours every year learning from the masters and experts in coat care, show grooming, animal nutrition, animal behavior, as well as breed-specific issues and grooming.
Ask her anything, and she will know the answer, or know who to ask to find out.
Questions and answers
- What brands or products do you work with?
Our salon firmly believes that without a perfect bath, a groom can never look even passable. To achieve the best bath possible, Karen uses a professional grade shampoo line called Show Seasons. It is a brand only available to professional groomers. Within this line, she stocks a wide array of shampoos to customize the bath to a particular dog. An itchy dog will be bathed in an oatmeal shampoo to soothe the skin. A white dog will be bathed in a brightening shampoo to remove any yellowing or dinginess, as well as rinsed in a mineral solution to create a white that shines almost blue. Dogs with pest problems naturally are washed in a pesticide free flea shampoo that is effective, yet gentle on irritated skin. And that is only the beginning of what is available for your pet.
- Tell us about the project or job that you are most proud of (in the last 12 months).
In March 2012, Karen won her first Best In Show at the Atlanta Pet Fair with her American Cocker Spaniel, Kermit. Atlanta Pet Fair is a grooming industry trade show that hosts the largest grooming competition in the country. During the competition, she had two hours to groom her dog to a perfect show style in front of judges. She competed against over 200 other top groomers, and won first place. She proudly displays her trophy in her grooming salon.
- What are the most frequent questions you get from customers? What are the answers?
Why does my dog shake when it walks into the grooming salon?
- Many smaller dogs start to tremble when they enter the salon because they begin to have a sensory overload. Even if your's is the only dog there, the activity of unknown people, the collection of smells of strange people and dogs, and the noise often overwhelms them. Still others begin to tremble because they know that their owner is going to leave them there. Smaller dogs often attach very strongly to their person, and become anxious knowing that they are going to be left alone. But rest assured, once you leave, 98% percent of dogs calm down and enjoy the grooming process. Many times, these trembling pups conduct a quick inspection of their kennel run and then settle down for a nice nap.
Why does it take so long to groom my dog?
- Dog grooming is not at all like visiting a human hair stylist. While a human haircut can be completed in 15-45 minutes, dog grooming often takes a minimum of 2-3 hours. When the dog is in the salon, the bath is started immediately. This bath includes teethbrushing, anal gland expression, application of a shampoo (or two) and a conditioner. The bath, on average, takes between 30 and 45 mintues. After the bath, the dogs are dried completely by hand in order to tame all the fur, remove any dead coat that would shed out, and brush out all the tangles. This hand drying takes about 15-20 minutes. After the drying, the dog is given a break to reset after standing for almost an hour in the tub or on the grooming table. After a short rest, the dog is then ready for the actual haircut. After a quick nail trimming and filing, the haircut can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour an a half (or more) depending on the size of the dog and the intricacy of the trim. A longer, fluffier cut on a pet generally takes twice as long as a short summer cut, due to all the hand scissored detail work that must be done. If you are dropping your dog off for an appointment with time constraints on when the dog needs to be completed, be upfront with your time expectations with your groomer so she can do her best to accommodate you.
- What services do you provide your customers after the work has finished?
Our groomer is always available to her clients. If you have questions about anything regarding your pet, be it skin or coat care, behavior, nutrition, or any other issues, Karen is always willing to help and suggest solutions or remedies.
- What do you wish customers knew about your profession or trade?
Dog grooming is not a hobby, it is a demanding career that serious groomers are passionate about. It required constant education to refine skills and stay up-to-date on modern safety practices. And while many dog groomers love pets, the industry as a whole is not regulated. No state in the US has any licensing or minimum education requirements for a person to become a pet groomer. A quality groomer has the drive from within to continue their education and will be open with a client about their experience and knowledge, as well as their salon.
- How did you get started?
Karen graduated high school in Orlando, and left the city to attend Florida State University in Tallahassee. While pursuing a double Bachelor in English Literature and Clinical Psychology, she held down a part time job as a grooming assistant. It was during this time that she fell in love with the art of grooming. Always being an animal person, she felt that the continuing education aspects and always being challenged in her career made grooming a perfect fit for her. She immediately began training with some of the best groomers in the country, all while continuing to earn her degrees from Florida State.
- How many projects do you average in a year?
Karen grooms between 45-60 dogs per week, each presenting a different challenge. In her free time, she also prepares, travels, and competes at multiple grooming competitions, averaging about three to five competitions in a single year.
- What types of jobs are the most common?
The vast majority of clients want a cute, easy to maintain haircut for their pet. Something fluffy, but not so long as to knot easily between grooming sessions. This type of cut is known by many different names such as puppy cut, teddy cut, or kennel cut, but always carries the same hallmarks. Most companion dogs (Shih Tzu's, Lhasa Apso's, Maltese, Poodles) look adorable in these types of cuts.
- What questions should a customer ask before hiring a professional in your trade?
Grooming is an art. It does not matter how long a person has been grooming if they can not groom a dog to its breed standard properly. Before hiring a professional groomer, ask to see a portfolio of their work, as well as what continuing education classes they take to continue to master their art.
- What information do you recommend to have readily available before looking for a professional in your trade?
Knowing the dogs breed (or breeds, if it is a mix) is always helpful. Also knowing the age of the dog and how often it is regularly groomed is helpful as well. If you have gone too long between haircuts, be honest with your groomer. It will help them get a better idea of what the dog will require when it comes into the salon. Inform the groomer of any behavior issues, or known allergies, so the groomer can adjust their grooming routine appropriately. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on the shots that the salon requires. Some salons require more stringent shot records than others, and some require the paperwork to be submitted to the salon before grooming. Be sure you ask what is required before you book an appointment.
- What areas of your trade do you specialize in?
Karen specializes in show grooming, as well as American Cocker Spaniel and Standard Poodles. She is experienced in hand-stripping, the proper grooming technique for many of the terriers and spaniel breeds. Proficient at hand-scissoring, Karen can groom any breed to any style, including the demanding and technical show trims.
- What would you recommend customers looking to save money?
Be very careful about who you choose to care for your dog. The cheapest option is not always the best option. While you may save a few dollars on the haircut, the discount groomers do not always cover problems that could arise as a result of grooming. For the best money-saving option, choose a responsible groomer that can help you find the best haircut for your dog based on the amount of professional visits you would like and how much maintenance you are willing to do at home.
- What certifications or professional affiliations do you have?
Karen is a member of the National Dog Groomers Association of America, a national governing board overseeing voluntary certifications to help groomers attain a mastery of their profession. In August 2012, Karen will begin the first phase of a two year process to become a Nationally Certified Master Groomer. The testing process includes practical grooming tests on 5 different purebred dogs, as well as 6 written tests covering animal issues such as breed conformation standards for 250 AKC breeds,proper breed grooming, canine and feline anatomy, pet first aid, and proper use of pesticides and chemicals.
Karen is also a member of the Florida Groomers Network and Pro Groomer Network, both of which aim to connect groomers from across the state and country to share their experiences and knowledge to help fellow groomers.
- Tell us something customers may not know about you.
Karen is a complete and total dog nerd, something she readily admits to. She is knowledgeable on almost every dog breed in existence, and loves seeing an unusual dog breed walk into her salon. Her favorite thing to do it sit down with friends, most of whom are fellow groomers, and talk about dogs.
She is also very avid about furthering her profession. She actively participates in networks meant to help groomers grow in their knowledge and help the grooming industry build a strong respect as animal professionals.