When grooming most dogs and cats, a good bath is a must.
Water, shampoo and conditioner work together to remove dirt and debris from the animal’s skin and coat, and leave their hair clean, shiny and ready for styling. As beneficial as a good scrub in the tub is, adding water to pet hair has its drawbacks.
Hair can absorb approximately 30 percent of its own weight of water, and damaged hair may soak up even more. Then it is the groomer’s job to move all that water out of the coat, a job that many groomers dread.
“Because of the noise and the time it takes to dry dogs, this can be the most tedious part of our job,” Cheryl Russell-Miller, master pet stylist and owner of the Grooming Gallery, Mooresville, Ind., said. “For those same reasons, it is often the pets’ least favorite part of grooming, too.”
New and innovative products and techniques are constantly being developed to make drying pets a faster and more efficient process.
“I would say that groomers need to keep an open mind for new or different approaches to drying,” Barbara Bird, a grooming educator in Arizona, said. “Too often we get set in stone with one method that we consider to be ‘the only right way.’ This prevents us from evolving as the equipment and techniques grow and evolve.”
Adding conditioner to the coat during the bathing process helps attract extra moisture to each hair shaft. This is good for many types of pet hair, but it adds to drying time.
The heavier and more effective the conditioning treatment, more the time groomers will spend at the drying table.
Chris Christen products offer a non-moisturizing rinse that may be used in place of a conditioner. After U Bathe may be used in place of a conditioner when you want to add manageability without altering the coat texture. While it is not designed to detangle matted coats, this product can be very beneficial on coats that are in good condition.
Show Season Animal Products offers both a shampoo and after bath spray that are designed to assist in getting from wet to dry fast. Speed Dry Shampoo and Speed Dry Spray both contain a proprietary ingredient that drastically cuts drying time. It works by reducing the surface tension of the water on the hair shaft, allowing water to sheet off the hair cuticles more effectively.
The products may be used together or separately, according to Sandy Gyorgyi, owner of Show Seasons. Speed Dry shampoo may also be used as an additive to other brands of shampoo to help reduce drying time.
Many groomers will not be without their Davis Quick Dry spray.
“I have groomers call me near tears because they were out of the product and couldn’t get more fast enough,” Sheila Louie said.
Quick Dry spray works by altering the water tension so that the mechanical process of drying with air and/or heat more rapidly slides it off the hair shaft. Just spray the product on a damp dog, wait a few moments and then begin to dry. Many groomers say that this product cuts their drying time in half.
MDC Romani offers an alternative to terry cloth towels. Moisture Magnets work like a sponge to pull moisture from pets’ coats. Stop to wring water out of the towel and then reuse over and over.
Even large, double coated dogs can be towel dried with just one Moisture Magnet. These towel alternatives can be machine washed and dried on low heat. They not only save time in the tub, but reduce laundry costs.
A new and unusual drying product has been on the market since early in 2011.
The Soggy Doggy Doormat was created by Joanna Rein when she became frustrated about muddy paw prints left by her dog, Buddy. The “noodley” microfiber rug is not only highly absorbent and odor resistant, but also super soft.
Creative groomers have found the mats make an unsurpassed crate rug, absorbing vast quantities of water from even the hairiest pets. The added bonus is that pets also have a comfortable place to rest.
The product was so successful that Rein created Super Shammy towels and other products to absorb pet-induced wetness.
Groomer Rachel Conner uses the Super Shammy as she grooms door to door.
“I love how wonderfully absorbent the Shammy is; it truly reduces my drying time, and the Shammy itself dries fast between customer visits,” Conner, owner of Grooming Goddess House Call Pet Grooming in Massachusetts, said.
If you find the drying process to be a tedious part of your work, these products may help.