Jen Berrigan, owner and groomer at Muddy Paws Pet Grooming, gives a Yorkie-cross named Rusty a hair cut on Thursday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Jen Berrigan, owner and groomer at Muddy Paws Pet Grooming, gives a Yorkie-cross named Rusty a hair cut on Thursday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Groomers busy in Red Deer: Puppy socialization lacking during pandemic

Spring time is grooming time

Puppies have made for good company during the pandemic, but some need to catch up on their social skills, say Red Deer dog groomers.

“Normally they’re out walking and meeting other dogs. That wasn’t happening as much,” said Reagan Stokes, owner of Reagan’s Dog Zone.

“Often those puppies were a little isolated and need a little more work to be socialized now that people are getting out and about a little more.”

She said some people are holding back on grooming because of COVID-19, but she has been getting a lot of new puppy clients.

“I do think there are a lot of puppies out there. It’s just been a weird year,” Stokes said.

Leslie Wright, owner of Tall Tails Grooming, said a lot of first-time dog owners didn’t really know what they were getting into, but groomers can help answer questions.

“There’s a lot to learn, but I think it’s great that they’re getting a companion. It makes a world of difference when you’re at home. We’ve heard great things about how many dogs have been rescued,” Wright said.

She said her shop is busy and unfortunately new dog owners might not realize it can take a few weeks get an appointment. That means it can take longer to address issues like matted fur which will grow longer and may require shaving. That can be difficult for young dogs not used to being groomed.

“It’s not a great experience when they’re matted. Plan ahead. Call a groomer that you like, and you get along with, and just book ahead. Our regulars, some of them are booked out for the full year,” Wright said.

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Groomer Kathleen Shand, at Muddy Paws Pet Grooming, said her shop has also seen a lot more puppies during the pandemic, and spring is a hectic time for groomers.

“It’s the same every year. Spring time is just a busy time because all the shedding dogs are coming in,” Shand said.

She said it will slow down in the fall. Then comes the December rush when people want their dogs groomed for Christmas visitors and photos.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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