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Discussion Starter #1
As a new Spoo owner i really want to do the best i can for him. I know everyone has a different opinion and i would love to hear what anyone has to say.
Question 1. Allergy testing. I know it can be expensive and probably no picnic for the dog either but is it worth it to do to be able to prevent causing skin and coat problems, or even bigger problems? I have been toying around with the idea of it.
2. Feeding. I have my dog on a partial raw food diet. He is getting raw medallions put out by primal and natures variety. The occasional chicken and beef fed raw, raw turkey necks and various bones. He was also getting kibble made from california natural (puppy food). I have recently switched him to natures variety dry kibble. Does anyone have an opinion on this, what works for your poo?
3. Grooming, what shampoos and conditioners do you use? Has anyone been to seminars on skin and coat?
I want my dog to be happy and healthy, i fear i sound a little anal =O but if i can provide good things for my dog it would make me very content =D
 

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I don't feel comfortable answering all of your questions... but here is my take

diet is largely a personal choice. I agree and disagree with raw feeding, so I have no opinion here other than to say that diet with have a lot to do with the condition of your dog's skin and coat.

I have never heard or thought of allergy testing for a dog who wasn't displaying some sort skin or coat issue. I don't think I ever saw a real allergy test done or even talked about at the clinic I worked at. So again I have no opinion

I can, however, speak to the question about shampoos. Personally I prefer to use products that are as natural as possiable and are soap free. If they can be dye free then all the better but unless as dog is allergic to dyes then I don't think it matters. The shampoo I use in my salon is called Bark To Basics. It comes in many different formulas, If in doubt I'd try the fresh scent personaly. At first I didn't like it, it's very low foaming, now I couldn't live without it. I know there are other shampoos who's make up is similar but I make it a point to never reccomend anything that I have no personaly used and loved. so I can't tell you if those shampoo's are worth your money or not. The cream rinse/ conditioner that we use from the bark to basics line is wonderful. I like to dilute conditioner in water and spritx my dogs all over when I am going to brush them out. Brushing dry hair causes it to break which only really matters if you're planning to tey and keep the hair long or grow it into a show coat. Anyway. The above mentioned condition has the added benifit of smelling nice for a long time. Another product line that I love is called plush puppy. I don't know that they are "all natural" but I love them anyway. What I would do without that stuff at a dog show I dont know. I haven't used any shampoos made by them but I have used a condtioning/ body building mouse and a conditioning spray that both work really well. I also use Chris Systems by chris christainsen, I can say that their shampoos do exactly what they say they will. I use mostly their color enhancing stuff and the thicker and Thicker shampoo and spray. I have also used their clarifying shampoo and likes it. I have yet to run across one of their products that doesnt meet my or vastly exceed my expectations.

For what it's worth, (and keeping in mind that others will have different opinions to share): If you were a client that walked into my salon and asked me general questions about shampoos and what you might use I would be most likely to reccomend the bark the basics or something along those lines. The other two products are probably more specific than you really needed for general cleansing and probably more expensive for you to try and purchase and I don't believe in spending extra $$$ on something when there was a less expensive alternative that was just as good.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thankyou WonderPup!
You mentioned something about using natural or closest to natural products, while i was in grooming school i used products by Pet aromatics one of the labels read "Pet Aromatics
dog bath, shampoo & conditioner in one
Woodsy Woof
A forest fresh fragrance
Contains no SLS, DEA, TEA,alcohol, pesticides, phosphates, detergents,
or dyes.
Helps naturally repel ticks and fleas
Prevents Itching and flaking.
Contains only vegetable-based cleansers
Vitamin enriched, low foaming
Cruelty free"
Im not sure if youve tried it, but i enjoyed using them while in school. I work in a grooming salon and use hydrosurge shampoos which im indifferent about i feel they could use a better product, but beside that i am actually just looking for personal products for my pup, thank you for your input!
 

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I know petsmart has switched to the hydrosurge in an effort to save on water useage. I have heard from the store managers of the two stores here as well as the groomers in the salons that they don't like it. My best friend down was up for a visit about a month ago and said she personaly felt like the products could be better and they were using old shampoos and hand washing really dirty dogs. Interesting to hear somebody else's take on the 'surge'

I have never used the pet aromatics shampoo, I just reccently hoped on the natural-ish bandwagon. Before I was using the green tea and mint shampoo by Top Performance that PetEdge sells. I still use the finishing spray in the salon and clients love the smell. I have small bottle here at home that I havent finished using up. It's not a bad shampoo and it's inexpensive.
 

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Thanks for all the info you two. Ive been wondering what I should try and know I have some more idea's.

One thing that you may be able to help me with is that my boy Eli has a very very thick coat and I cannot get that dog to blow "straight" for anything. I bathed him last night and blew him out and he is still just curls. He also has this frizzy spot of hair on this rear back area. Im not too sure if that's his real adult coat coming in not? He did a good coat change at about 10 months and he now is almost 15 months.

Any idea's about my boy?
 

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Secreto, I dont know your situation with your poo, when i shaved my dog when he was younger (the rear end for a mod continental clip) his hair grew back more wiry and frizzy looking and is finally becoming more wiry all over it took what seems forever, maybe your pups coat is just going through another change? I found that the wiry frizzy spot is a beautiful scissor coat =) so maybe it could be a good thing. As for getting his hair straight, do you use a high velocity or are you just using a stand dryer and brush? I like high-ving my dog then finishing with the stand dryer. Hope some of that helped.
 

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secreto, I know what you are talking about!! Jazz's whole coat is that way and it drives me NUTS! Though knock on wood, I am fortunate to have a fair amount of crispt texture so I can ascissor it (if she had enough hair) if I desire. It is really common to accidently change the texture and thickness of the coat when you clip it. I can usually tell when something like a cocker has been shaved short all over because they will almost always be curly. Another thing that can happen is that you can change the color of the hair when it is shaved, although I've never known it to be so with a black dog, or for that matter with poodles at all. I could go into detail about gaurd hairs and undercoat and why these things might or might not happen but.. well I I'm lazy lol.

Anyway the good news: The curliesness in your case is probably not perminate. As the hair grows and you scissor it, it will become stronger and will probably straighten out eventually. Fancy is right, you do need to us a HV dryer to start. I HV my dogs from start to finish and don't bother with a stand dryer personally. Even my big "show cut" as his mom calls it get's HV all over.(fye the area I clip on him legs and around the rosetts groes back curly too) With inches and inches of hair on a jacket I can see the reasoning for the stand dryer and a little heat. However, if Eli's coat is shorter than the average show coat, (I'm right aren't I you did decide not to show him?), then you shouldnt really need the stand dryer. All HV dryers are not created equaly though, may I suggest at the vert least a two speed one. I'm a fan of the Air Force Camander dryer. I also have an air force master blaster that has two motors and is awsome, well worth the price. If the hair blows striaght when it is drying then it should dry straight - in therory :)

Ahh now look at that I knew I shouldn't have checked the forum, now I'm running late for work LoL.
 

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Secreto, I dont know your situation with your poo, when i shaved my dog when he was younger (the rear end for a mod continental clip) his hair grew back more wiry and frizzy looking and is finally becoming more wiry all over it took what seems forever, maybe your pups coat is just going through another change? I found that the wiry frizzy spot is a beautiful scissor coat =) so maybe it could be a good thing. As for getting his hair straight, do you use a high velocity or are you just using a stand dryer and brush? I like high-ving my dog then finishing with the stand dryer. Hope some of that helped.

I use the metro forced air quick draw dryer and a pin brush while blow drying. One other thing is that my dryer takes forever to dry. It blows at 160 mph and must take me atleast 1 hr to dry my dog. The air blow's very well but it takes so long. Is that normal?

Is the high velocity your talking about a dryer like mine? What is a high-ving? You going to have to explain this too me. lol
 

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do you have to stand there and hold the dryer or is it on a stand?
It has a 6 foot hose that I hold. The air blows out straight like she was saying it should....well what I call straight. lol

Here is a pic of mine. You can use it like you see it in the pic or attach the hose which is what I do.
 

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MsFancyPants ( love this name ),

my choice is raw feeding. very rarely dog will have an allergy to good quality meat.
I do not feed commercially prepared food - I just need to know what's in their food ( call it anal :))
Personally, I would not do any allergy tests on my dogs unless there is a valid concern.
Just make sure NEVER mix kibble ( or cooked food) with raw in the same meal. These foods digested differently, and mixing them together might harm your dog.

SECRETO: I would be dancing if it would take 1 hour for me to dry my Poodles. lol
I am using Metro Force, and it takes me good 2.5 per poodle ( Standards in full coat).
I was told to make sure the coat is completely dry after blow drying - to keep it from curling.
 

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Oh and about the questions you had about diet, allergies and bathing products.

Allergy testing...
My opinion about the allergy testing prior to showing signs of allergies seems un-neccessary. You know the old saying "don't try to fix something that's not broken" ....I think thats how its said. lol

Barf diet...
I think thats something that depends on the individual and the dog. I did the barf/raw diet for awhile a few yrs ago but found that it was a lot of work. I will still feed my dogs raw meat or eggs when ever we have extra or when I see a great deal at the store but there daily food is dry kibble.
By the way....Im a big Cal natural fan and think you can't go wrong with that food. I started feeding mine Health Wise which is made from the same company but a little lower priced. I have found that I realy like all the Natura foods!

Bathing products....
Im still using the regular products you find at petsmart. I have looked into Chris Christenson products and really liked what I read. I haven't ordered any yet but I also don't have a dog in a show coat. Im certainly going to take some of the suggestions wonderdog gave and go that route for now. We are trying to save for a house on one income so Im trying to cut corner's where I can. However, I hate the shampoo's Im using now and need to get something better with out spending a fortune.

Well, I don't know how much help I was but hope all the info is helping ease your mind.
 

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MsFancyPants ( love this name ),

my choice is raw feeding. very rarely dog will have an allergy to good quality meat.
I do not feed commercially prepared food - I just need to know what's in their food ( call it anal :))
Personally, I would not do any allergy tests on my dogs unless there is a valid concern.
Just make sure NEVER mix kibble ( or cooked food) with raw in the same meal. These foods digested differently, and mixing them together might harm your dog.

SECRETO: I would be dansing if it would take 1 hour for me to dry my Poodles. lol
I am using Metro Force, and it takes me good 2.5 per poodle ( Standards in full coat).
I was told to make sure the coat is completely dry after blow drying - to keep it from curling.


OMG.....2.5 hrs. Well I guess Im doing good then. lol
I have got much better with the clipping and can do that rather quickly now. I guess all the grooming time is spent on drying the coat. Well that makes me feel better. I thought I must be doing something wrong for the coat drying to take over an hour. lol
 

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While i was in school we used the K-9II force dryers (high v-ing) its just what i call it i guess, its using the same tool you bought but with more air force! I personally would buy something with a little more oompf that might help cut drying time :D
 

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Moose is eating the new Blue Buffalo WILD diet, went from the Puppy Blue Buffalo to this and he loves it. Great for active dogs that burn a lot.
 

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Hey Secreto I can see the problem right off, you don't have a powerful enough dryer. I used that model in the picture at the vet clinic and you it took my bather over two hours to dry our big poodle in the show trim... before he was in full coat. We used it with the hose too, I hated that dryer buuuuuutttt it was an improvement (sad to say) on the one they had before I arrived and demanded a real dyer.

The Wonder Puppy has had baths in the following (and approved of them)

Shampoo at petsmart: Look for Wags natural wheatgrass shampoo. I've used it on some of the tibbies, it's Wonder Puppy approved and doesn't make her grandfather itch. It's in a dark green bottle and you can also buy a conditioner.
Inside the salon at petsmart they also sell their best versions on groomax, I like the rasberry oatmeal myself, but mostly what you'd be wise to be interested in is the unscented remo condtioner. Dilute and it's awsome.

Shampoo at petedge: Top performance Green Tea and Mint , also comes in a conditioner, finishing spray, and deodorant spray. This is what I use most often at home, though not on the poodle. Jazz never gets baths at home so she is a bark to basics user in the salon. I use this scent of finishing spray and get loads of requests for it at work. Smells nice and I like the results with the shampoo. Not hypoallerginic though.
 

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Gosh darn it! lol

Well I do have a warranty on it so possibly I can still return it and get a better model. I'll have to look and see what a better model will cost.

Do all of the dog dryers just blow forced air or can you get them to blow heat as well? Just curious...

Now Im editing and ading to this;
amazon.com has the commander air forced dryer for 126.00. They say this one blows 220mph and has two settings...is that good enough? Also the commander comes in a few different models (1, 2, and 3) anymore input on which is good enough with out paying too much $$
 

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I'd caution you against using heat if you can avoid it, certainly don't buy a dryer with a heating element. Aside from maintence heat can damage the skin and coat, you can also burn the dog if you aren't careful or cause the dog to overheat during the drying process. Ahhh, all the things you learn at a vet clinic because you're bather is dumb. Anywho, if you get the commander dryer or if you really upgrade to one with dual motors the motor itself will heat up thus the air passing through it will be slightly warmer. It doesn't get hot though by any stretch of the imagination it's just slightly above room temp. As far as the model numbers, I can't say for sure, but I will see if I can find out.
 

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I have the one with two settings. A groomer mentioned the one with two motors but opted for the more economical model. I have trouble finishing Max before part of him dries curly. I'm still new and haven't gotten us to the point of being hands free. I think that will help a lot. He squirms so much that I am afraid he's choking with the noose thing. He winds up curling up in a ball and I do what I can. I suppose I have a lot to learn at this point!
 

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I'd caution you against using heat if you can avoid it, certainly don't buy a dryer with a heating element. Aside from maintence heat can damage the skin and coat, you can also burn the dog if you aren't careful or cause the dog to overheat during the drying process. Ahhh, all the things you learn at a vet clinic because you're bather is dumb. Anywho, if you get the commander dryer or if you really upgrade to one with dual motors the motor itself will heat up thus the air passing through it will be slightly warmer. It doesn't get hot though by any stretch of the imagination it's just slightly above room temp. As far as the model numbers, I can't say for sure, but I will see if I can find out.


My dryer now warms up slightly from the motor but like you said its just warmer then room temp. I think I may return mine and up-grade to the commander. Either way, the commander (model 1) has two settings and blow's 220 mph instead of the 160mph mine now does. I think the extra 60 mph will help dry the coat faster and better. Thanks for all your help!
 
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