pet grooming

What You Can Add to Your Pet’s Food Bowl?

The overwhelming majority of people nourish their pet using dry commercial pet food. But did you know that there are many other things you can add to your pet’s food bowl to help increase their overall wellness? While regular cat and dog grooming are known to be great ways to keep your pet happy and healthy, jazzing up what you put in their bowl can also make a significant difference.

Before you make changes to your four-legged family member’s diet, feel free to check in with your veterinarian first. You might also wonder ‘is there pet grooming near me that also knows about pet nutrition’? Chances are your groomers have some great knowledge in this area too, especially when it comes to what may help their skin and coat, so feel free to chat with them at your next appointment of what to put in your pet’s food bowl. 

Four Foods to Add to Your Pet’s Food Bowl

While the foods below are great additions, it’s important that you don’t throw off the balance of your pet’s overall diet. Keep these extra additions to 20 percent or less of your cat or dog’s total diet. Also, you certainly wouldn’t add all of these foods to your pet’s food bowl at once, try bits at a time and observe how it goes.

1. Kefir.

Kefir, which looks a lot like yogurt, is a fermented food loaded with probiotics and beneficial yeasts that help ward off bad yeast and bacteria. If your dog is smelly, itchy, losing fur, or has frequent ear infections, they may have an issue with yeast overgrowth and kefir would be a great addition to their diet. When you take your pet for their regular dog or cat grooming, ask your groomer for their assessment on your pet’s skin issues and if kefir might help. Start with just a half teaspoon before increasing the amount slowly.

2. Pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin has been a popular food supplement for years. It’s one of the best tools to help regulate digestion because of its high amount of soluble fiber. Amazingly, it can help bulk stool up or loosen it, depending on what your pet needs. Pumpkin also has a decent number of vitamins and minerals and is high in antioxidants. Adding a little pumpkin puree to your pet’s food bowl after their latest dog grooming visit would be a great treat!

3. Bone Broth

Adding bone broth can be a great way to add hydration to your dog’s diet. This can be especially important for pets that eat dry, dehydrated, or freeze-dried kibble. Water is critical for good health, and most dogs and cats don’t drink enough. Bone broth also promotes good digestion, detoxes the liver, and is great for joint health.

4. Fresh fruit and vegetables.

Fresh fruits and vegetables have cancer fighting properties. However, in order for your pet to really get the benefits vegetables deliver, you’ll need to pulverize or puree what you give to them.  While larger veggie pieces won’t hurt them, they can’t break down the cellulose which basically means they won’t make much use of the beneficial nutrients. Some of the best fruits and veggies to give your cat or dog include:

  • Blueberries (just 2-3 in their bowl every now and then).
  • Peeled apples.
  • Carrots.
  • Bananas.
  • Cantaloupe.
  • Broccoli.

Taking Care of Your Pet As Best You Can

As mentioned, taking your pet for regular dog or cat grooming, keeping up to date on their vaccinations and vet visits, allowing lots of exercise and feeding them a healthy diet all help you provide a happy and healthy life for your pet. Remember though, when you add extras to your cat or dog’s bowl, you are adding extra calories. Your pet’s weight is the best indicator of how much to feed them, but if you’re adding in additional foods, you’ll likely need to reduce their regular food in order to avoid over feeding them.

Want to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy? Search pet grooming near me to find out more about our four convenient Smoochie Pooch locations in Northern Indiana. Not only do we provide top quality grooming, but also our highly trained groomers can help you deal with any skin irritations or skin conditions your pet may be struggling with. Contact us today to make an appointment.

Dog Grooming

5 Reasons to Choose Dog Grooming as Your New Career Path

Dog grooming was once seen as a part-time occupation for animal lovers, today it is recognized as a rapidly growing professional industry! If you are passionate about working with animals, grooming can be a dream come true, but to be a viable career path, it needs to offer more than just job satisfaction. Keep reading to learn the top 5 reasons why taking a dog groomer training course can set you on the path to a rewarding and fulfilling career.

The U.S. pet grooming industry is expected to exceed $10 billion by the end of 2020!

Seeing new faces every day

Where so many professions keep people locked up in cubicles all day with only the computer for company, groomers get to interact with new people every single day. It’s a great way to build a social circle, develop professional interpersonal skills, and grow a network. Such energetic environments are often credited for giving greater job satisfaction too.

Learning new skills

Your dog grooming training is just the first step in a successful career in grooming. Groomers often specialize in particular dog breeds and work in industries like pet shows, animals in film, and caring for working dogs (support dogs, K9 units). There are many advanced certifications and dog groomer trainer courses you can enroll in to become a master in your field.

Lucrative salary

Groomers’ salaries can vary from city to city, but in a dog-loving part of the U.S. like Crown Point, IN, expect to make about $30-32,000 per year as a new groomer. Experienced groomers can command much higher salaries, and groomers in specialized industries can earn higher wages than the national average. Make sure you complete a dog groomer training course from a reputed academy to work with the best groomers and get lucrative gigs.

Flexibility in work

Groomers enjoy a far healthier work-life balance compared to virtually any other profession. Grooming studios offer full-time and part-time positions, and groomers generally work during the day. These convenient shifts are a boon for those with children or other responsibilities. Many groomers use this freedom to further their careers.

Essential business skills

Unlike most other businesses where business management is a closely guarded secret, groomers get to experience what it’s like managing all aspects of the company. You’ll build skills in administration, bookkeeping, client management, and pricing. In short, you’ll learn all the skills needed to help run a grooming salon! More than that, people who work in pet grooming enjoy a greater sense of responsibility from their work.

Starting a Career with Smoochie Pooch

Are you looking to work with pet grooming professionals that don’t just do good work; they work to be the standard that others in the industry compare themselves against. Once you’ve finished your dog grooming course, consider joining the Smoochie Pooch team. Contact us now about our career opportunities.

apprenticeship programs

3 Exciting Jobs You Can Pursue as a Professional Groomer

If you’re looking for pet grooming courses or apprenticeship programs in Indiana to help you start a career, be sure you take the time to learn about all the fantastic things you can do as a professional groomer. Chances are you’re searching for information about this career path because you love animals. Still, you’ll be happy to know that signing up for a pet grooming apprentice program can be the catalyst for a world of opportunity!

While working in a pet salon, like Smoochie Pooch, can provide an enriching career, there are several other exciting career paths you can pursue as a certified groomer depending on your own career goals, interests, and strengths.

How Pet Grooming Courses Can Help You Create an Exciting Career

Our award-winning expert instructors will teach a Smoochie Pooch Apprentice the standards of professional grooming.  They will put their knowledge, passion, and practical insight into helping many develop a rewarding career as a pet groomer.

High-quality pet grooming training is more than just about learning the basics. You can become an expert at handling, bathing, grooming, and styling, enabling you to become a confident and knowledgeable grooming professional who can work anywhere in the world.

Ready to sign up for the pet grooming apprenticeship program? Imagine yourself pursuing one of these three exciting opportunities once your training is complete.

  1. Pet Stylist.

As a groomer, this exciting career path can mean you’re styling pets for grooming competitions, films, TV appearances, and even social media campaigns.

  • Animal Support.

Not all people with pet grooming training end up working in salons. K9 units, animal shelters and rescue centers, animal hospitals, and boarding kennels all look for trusted pet groomers to help run their business and ensure the animals they work with get the grooming care they need. Many groomers start a mobile business that serves many of the types of clientele listed above.

  • Pet Handler.

Whether you become that trusted person for a particular pet or continue your education to become a professional handler for dog shows, your pet grooming education can get you started down this career path. Many high profile business people or celebrities hire pet handlers to take care of their pets daily, or you can focus on show dogs and pursue opportunities to learn how to showcase purebred animals.

Start Your Career with the Smoochie Pooch Apprenticeship Program.

What are you waiting for? With so many opportunities available, now’s the time to join Smoochie Pooch and start an apprenticeship. Our programs will help you become a well-rounded grooming professional who can confidently work with all breeds and owners. To find out more about getting started, contact us.

Dog Grooming

What is Breed-Specific Grooming and Why Should I Learn It?

One of the reasons that dogs make such amazing pets is that they each have their own unique personality that pet owners come to love. However, it’s not just their personality quirks that distinguish dogs from each other, it’s also their breed-specific differences that can set them apart. For those looking into pet grooming courses, be sure your training will include how to handle the many different breeds you may be asked to work with.

You may be wondering if breed type really matters that much when it comes to grooming services. It most certainly does. Professional dog grooming courses will always start with the basics, but it’s the in-depth knowledge of how to treat each pet and their unique skin and coat needs that will help set you apart from other groomers.

Why Pet Grooming Courses Teach About Breed-Specific Grooming

As mentioned, if you’re really serious about a career in dog grooming, you will absolutely need to learn about breed-specific tricks and techniques. Dog grooming training really is a comprehensive process, and in fact, should never be considered complete! There is always something new to learn as the industry continues to evolve.

When it comes to breed-specific grooming information, here’s why it should be included in your dog grooming courses:

  • Some particular dog breeds have a traditional cut style that you’ll need to know about. Not all pet owners choose to have their pet groomed in their breed-specific style. From Standard Poodles to Schnauzers and Havanese pups, not only will you need to know what the final look is supposed to be, you’ll also need to know what tools to use to accomplish the desired result.
  • Many breed types have predominant skin and coat characteristics that need to be considered when completing a groom. Failing to keep this information in mind can result in an unhappy dog and an unhappy pet owner. Remember, grooming is not just about how a pet looks, but plays a significant role in their overall health too.
  • Understanding the different tools you need for grooming different dogs. Dog grooming training is certainly not complete without learning about the tools you need to do the job. For example, a pin brush can be used for medium to long hair and a slicker brush is helpful when removing mats and tangles on dogs with a thicker coat. Bristle brushes can be used on all coat types but you should choose your bristle spacing based on the length of the fur.

Learn Breed-Specific Dog Grooming at Smoochie Pooch Academy

At the Smoochie Pooch Academy of Pet Grooming, we know how important it is for students to learn about every element of their four-legged clients. Our programs focus on mastering the skills and technical knowledge needed to become comfortable grooming pets of any breed. Offering small class sizes, hands-on training, and flexible instruction means that every one of our students receives the personalized attention they need to succeed. To find out more about our programs and how to enroll, contact us.

Dog Grooming

Do Short Haired Dogs Need Grooming?

For dogs with longer hair, it’s usually more obvious to know when it’s time to make a grooming appointment, but owners of short-haired dogs may not get the same cues. There’s no hard and fast rule about when you need to call the local mobile dog groomers or make a pet salon appointment, it really does depend on the breed, how much brushing they get at home, and their lifestyle.

However, it’s also important to understand that caring for your dog’s coat is only one small portion of what happens at a pet grooming appointment. As a result, it’s important for all dogs, regardless of their coat to have regular grooming appointments to ensure that their hygienic needs are being met.

What You Need to Know About the Grooming Needs of Short Haired Dogs

Short haired dog owners in Indiana should connect with a local pet grooming salon to find out more about what their pet may need. Some short haired dogs may only need occasional baths and limited brushing, while others may benefit from a shed relief system to reduce shedding. Planning for dog grooming sessions seasonally is a great way to remove the dead undercoat before it ends up all over your furniture.

In short, the answer is that yes, short haired dogs need grooming too! There are many options for pet owners in Indiana, including local mobile dog groomers that can conveniently come to your location, or you can book your short-haired four-legged family member into a pet salon for a complete groom if you prefer that option over dog grooming vans.

Here are some top reasons why short-haired pup’s benefit from regular pet grooming:

  • Since short-haired dogs also shed their coats, they need a thorough brushing every now and then. Groomers will have the right tools needed including a stiff bristle brush made specifically for short-haired dogs.
  • Experienced groomers will have the right shampoo and conditioner for bath time that will be gentle on your dog’s skin and short coat. Using the wrong products can result in their coat feeling sticky which can lead to skin irritation or a rash. Remember, regardless of their coat length, their paws and face still need to be cleaned regularly, especially if you have an adventurous pooch who loves their outdoor time!
  • Every dog requires that their nails be trimmed regularly. This reduces the risk of overgrown nails which can lead to pain and discomfort.
  • Professional pet grooming also means your pet will get a complete visual check at every appointment. Groomers will inspect your pet’s paw pads, ears, as well as check for dryness, cracks, cuts, weird odors, and any skin lesions or irritations. A regular review of your dog’s appearance can help mitigate further issues, provide a proactive approach to their health, and generally help to ensure they’re feeling their best.

Short Haired Dog Grooming At Smoochie Pooch in Indiana

If you have a short-haired dog, Smoochie Pooch can provide regular professional grooming using high quality products that support your pet’s health and happiness. We have four convenient locations throughout Northern Indiana as well as dog grooming vans that can bring our services right to your door. If you think it’s time for your dog to be groomed, contact Smoochie Pooch and book an appointment.  With highly trained groomers and a commitment to exceeding our customer’s expectations, we know your pet will love their grooming experience with us!

Dog Grooming

Could Your Dog’s Destructive Behavior Be Due to Boredom

Is Boredom the Reason behind Your Dog’s Destructive Behavior?

Your dog groomer in Valparaiso, Indiana often comments on how much energy your dog has and you’re always amazed at how much running they do when you visit the dog park. So, does it really come as a surprise that your dog may be dealing with boredom when they’re left alone?

If you’ve ever returned home and found that your dog has destroyed a shoe, your furniture or a pillow, try not to get too discouraged. A bored dog will resort to these destructive behaviors if they need more mental stimulation and physical activity. Take a deep breath, pay attention to what your pet is trying to tell you and then make a plan to ensure they get what they need.

How to Keep Your Dog from Becoming Bored at Home

You’ve found local dog grooming services, a veterinarian, and know where to buy their food and favorite treats, but have you made a plan for keeping your dog busy? In particular, young dogs and certain breeds need to burn off energy and keep their minds engaged, or else they’ll start to make negative choices.

Owners are usually concerned about the destructive behaviors boredom can bring, but you should recognize that boredom also typically indicates an unhappy dog, and nobody wants that! Keep reading for great ideas on how to keep your four-legged family member busy and happy.

Physical Exercise

If you tire out your dog, they are more likely to sleep when you’re out than to get into trouble. Ask your vet, your breeder or your local dog grooming service for advice on how much exercise your dog needs. Try heading to a local dog park and be sure to take varied routes around your neighborhood to give your dog a chance to explore different sights, sounds, and smells.

Mental Stimulation

Try out some puzzle toys and games. There are very exciting dog toys out there that include hidden squeakers or lift flaps as well as balls and cubes your dog must engage with to get at the treats inside. Also be sure to keep your pet’s regular appointments as it’s another great way to get social stimulation. A trip to the dog groomers in Valparaiso, Indiana can be quite the exciting day for your dog!

More Training

No doubt your dog already knows the basics but signing up for additional dog training class gives them an opportunity to learn tricks or practice agility. The regular classes will not only keep your dog busy, but also, you’ll both get some social time too. Look for a class that uses positive reinforcement, training, and focuses on teaching dogs how to learn and encourages their participation in the process.

Mealtime Games

Making your dog work for their food can be incredibly exciting for them. Consider putting their food in a slow feeder bowl or a food-releasing puzzle toy. Nearby dog groomers may have a selection of options they can recommend. For a simple solution, sprinkle your dog’s meal around the house or backyard and let them sniff for each piece.

While the ideas listed above are great places to start, in some cases hiring outside help may be the best option. From a dog walker or pet sitter, to a full day doggy daycare there are plenty of options worth considering.

Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy

There certainly is a lot that goes into keeping your dog happy and maintaining their overall health. If you’re looking for nearby dog groomers you can trust to keep your dog looking and feeling their best, contact Smoochie Pooch. Visit our Valparaiso location on Calumet Avenue or make an appointment at one of our other three convenient Northern Indiana locations. For those pet owners who prefer a mobile grooming service, we offer that too! Contact us to learn more about our services.