During Covid, pet ownership increased by four percent, according to statistica.com and a recent study cited in CNN indicates that long term pet ownership can actually delay memory loss and cognitive decline but pet ownership, especially of dogs and cats, also brings additional responsibilities, including making sure that the pet is properly groomed for its health and wellbeing.
Pets like dogs and cats need regular grooming. Even though animals have different types of coats, they should be groomed around every month. DogTime states that “Dogs aren’t aware of or concerned about what’s dirty and what they should avoid when they’re outside playing” and so it falls to the pet owner to be aware and take action. In an interview with the Matador Messenger, Noriko Shinzoaki, a licensed groomer located in Placentia, California and owner of Zen Pet Grooming, shares that she “unfortunately, quite often” sees pets that aren’t properly groomed.
As a pet groomer, Shinzoaki understands the diverse pet fur and coats and the skills necessary as a groomer to care for these different requirements and maintain good health for her pet clients. For example, Shinzoaki states that “some people think that short-haired dogs don’t need grooming often. These dogs have very long nails and tend to have arthritis” and while these dogs may not need the same type of grooming as their fluffier cousins, they still need regular nail trimming.
Shinozaki added that some new popular dog breeds such as the “doodle”, a cross between a poodle and a golden retriever, are what groomers call “high-maintenance dogs.” “Owners need to brush them regularly to prevent tangles. We see doodles coming back with tight mats,” explained Shinozaki. “These need to be shaved, there is no way we can save the hair.”
Curly coated breeds, double-coated breeds, and long-haired breeds need to be regularly groomed by a groomer or properly managed at home. Shinzoaki says that “…poodles, poodle mixes, doodles, bichon frises…Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds…Rough Collies, Shih-Tzus, [and] Cavalier King Charles Spaniels” are some examples of high maintenance breeds. Long-haired cats should also be regularly brushed at home because cats tend to get stressed out when it is in the care of a groomer.
When asked the question “What do you most like about your job as a groomer”, Shinzoaki shares that it is when she sees “a dog wagging [it’s] tail after grooming and happily going home with its owner.” A difficulty Noriko Shinzoaki has faced in her job is “grooming a dog that has had bad trauma in the past…we try to find what scares the dog,” states Shinzoaki.
“Owning a grooming salon, there is a big difference between working for someone. If I work for someone, I wouldn’t consider that much about responsibilities. As I own my salon and groom dogs, I am responsible for any issues such as dogs’ injuries, how the haircut went, how customers are satisfied” comments Shinzoaki. “This is what I wanted to do since I was a teen.”
“Grooming is fun, but not only that, we have many senior dogs that visit us regularly. When the time comes to them we have to say bye. This is the hardest moment as a groomer. Because of that, I always try to give [pets] good memories while they are in our care.”