Max is twelve and, sadly, he’s still waiting for a home. This gorgeous boy is the sweetest, most gentle dog; he loves everyone and is really good with other dogs, cats and chickens.
Whenever his carer arrives home or prepares his dinner, Max puts on his little happy dance; he’s excited about food but doesn’t scoff. He's a very easy-going dog with no bad behaviour at all.
Max was formerly an outside dog, used to lying on bare concrete. He now enjoys a comfy bed, good food and lots of love. He just needs to find his forever home!
Name: Teagin Henderson
Job: Owner and trainer at Four Paw, Brisbane
Tell us about what you do at Four Paw.
We groom dogs and cats of all breeds and sizes. We can do breed specific styles, creative styles of your choice, de-matting, de-shedding and hand-stripping. All our services include a bath, blow dry, nail clip and lots of love and care.
What are the biggest owner mistakes you see when it comes to grooming?
A lot of people think their dog doesn't need grooming in winter. They let their coat grow, without much brushing and put jackets on them. By the time the warm months come around their dog is so matted we have to shave them from tip of nose to tip of tail. We can do maintenance grooming in winter to keep the knots at bay and trim the eyes, feet and hygiene areas.
What are your three top tips when it comes to grooming?
1. Start your puppy as early as possible to socialise them to the grooming process.
2. Brush, brush, brush and comb long coats too. Even short coated dogs & cats need brushing.
3. Brushing your dog while in the bath with shampoo or conditioner, helps to loosen any knots
and shedding hair.
What is the most popular request you are getting at the moment?
At the moment its a bit cooler. So lots of what we call "Bath and tidies" - a warm bath, blow dry, brush out, nails clipped and tidy of the face, feet and hygiene areas.
Should you clip a lab's coat?
We don't recommend clipping lab's coats. It usually ruins the coat. We don't believe it makes them any cooler in summer. In fact after a few regular summer shaves, their hair grows back thicker and looses the ability to shed which makes them hotter, and is detrimental to their skin health. We try to get our lab clients on a monthly de-shed schedule. Of course there's no way to stop the shedding 100%. But a monthly treatment with us will definitely see less hair around the house and healthier skin and coat.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Meeting lots of different breeds, and unique mixed breeds. Each has their own little personality. You grow to appreciate all types of dogs. It makes you want to have one of each size and breed at home, but you just can't do that so we are lucky we get to interact with them regularly at work.
What type of person would be suited to this kind of job?
The first most important part of our job is dog handling. If you have a good understanding of dog behaviour and a passion for making dogs look good and feel happy and comfortable, then you're on your way to being a good dog groomer. Oh and lots of patience.
Cocoa was surrendered weighing a massive 67.2kgs. He was unable to walk or even stand without assistance. He needed to be carried everywhere and had absolutely no quality of life.
Daily swimming, short assisted walks and a very strict diet started him on his road to recovery. Cocoa’s weight started dropping; he became a little more active all the time and even started walking up and down the stairs – a major triumph!
Cocoa now weighs in at 36kgs and has been adopted by a lovely family in Sydney. Cocoa’s life is now such a happy one, thanks to some very dedicated foster carers.
Living with our dogs, we have become intimately familiar with the dog smell.
There is one easily available ingredient you’d need in your pantry, which can be very helpful with combating those not so pleasant scents. We are talking baking soda.
Did your pet have an accident on the carpet? Pour some white vinegar right on to the spot, then sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda and let it do it’s magic! It’s best to leave it in to let it dry, covering it with a bowl or a plate keeps it safe from being walked on. Vacuum thoroughly when completely dry, and that is the end of the ugly, yellow spot on your carpet!
If you want to refresh your floor rugs, the couch or dog’s bedding, put two drops of favorite essential oil into a jar of baking soda, shake well, then sprinkle liberally on all fabric surfaces and leave it in for a while before vacuuming.
To substitute baking soda for dog shampoo, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with 1.5 cups of warm water. Avoid using this shampoo on your dog's face, but soak it into the fur of your pet’s body, massage it in and let it sit for a minute. You may want to use a rubber brush to help release dead skin and hair. Then rinse out with water - adding few spoons of apple cider vinegar would make the coat extra shiny!
For treating insect stings and bites, make a thick paste from baking soda and water, apply to the spot and leave on for few minutes, then rinse clean.
Consult a Vet if the itching doesn’t go away or gets worse and always remember that baking soda in powder form is dangerous if consumed in big amounts by your dog.