Nikki Budaj-Chattfield, the co-owner of Scrubbers self-wash and grooming shops, said haircuts might be needed more often in the fall months as dogs shed.

Nikki Budaj-Chattfield, the co-owner of Scrubbers self-wash and grooming shops, said haircuts might be needed more often in the fall months as dogs shed.

Photo provided by Nikki Budaj-Chattfield, co-owner of Scrubbers


A fresh cut at the ‘barkershop’

Grooming needs change as temperatures fall

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published October 10, 2018

 Soap-free shampoo and moisturizing conditioners are essential to protect the skin under dogs’ coats during cold-weather months.

Soap-free shampoo and moisturizing conditioners are essential to protect the skin under dogs’ coats during cold-weather months.

Photo provided by Nikki Budaj-Chattfield, co-owner of Scrubbers

 Sweaters can help keep animals warm in colder months, before the rain and snow set in.

Sweaters can help keep animals warm in colder months, before the rain and snow set in.

Photo provided by Lisa Bardy, of Bow Wow Baketique

 Animal clothes can be as functional as they are fashionable.

Animal clothes can be as functional as they are fashionable.

Photo provided by Lisa Bardy, of Bow Wow Baketique

METRO DETROIT — Does your barber leave a little more on the top for you as the temperatures drop in autumn?

Well, Fido wouldn’t mind a bit of extra insulation either. Like anything else, grooming trends for dogs change a bit for colder months, with longer cuts, special tools and even outfits that are as helpful as they are fashionable.

This time of year, pet owners bring their furry friends more often for grooming, according to Nikki Budaj-Chattfield, the co-owner of Scrubbers Self-Serve Dog Wash and Professional Grooming, which has locations in Royal Oak, Rochester Hills and West Bloomfield. That’s because dogs’ coats are in a shedding cycle, and with dogs staying indoors more often, that extra fur around the house can get messy.

“(For) dogs that need haircuts, their owners will grow out their coats a little more and come in a little more often to keep the longer hair mat-free,” said Budaj-Chattfield. “I notice our self-serve baths are busier, and they’re starting to do more of the high-powered blow-outs and the (hair removal) rakes.”

Pet parents who like to keep their dog’s coat shorter to avoid those shedding woes can continue with the short or even shaved cuts, Budaj-Chattfield said, but only if their dog spends most of its time indoors — not just a shelter, but actually in the house with the family. 

“If they’re just going out to do their business and come back in, it’s not like us going outside without any clothes on. They’ve still got hair,” she noted. “And if they’re going to be outside playing a little longer, that’s when you might bring out coats or sweaters.”

Lisa Bardy, the owner of Bow Wow Baketique in Grosse Pointe Woods, said dog clothes are more popular than ever, and not just for style. There are clothing options for pets that are as practical as our own attire.

“Sweaters are really big, and sometimes so are the wraparound coats with Velcro. The idea is you want easy-on and easy-off, because if it’s too complicated or takes too long to get the dog into it, it’s not going to work. They won’t let you do it,” she said. 

Smaller dogs and breeds with shorter hair, like dobermans and pitbulls, are usually pretty chilly, Bardy said. Adding a sweater to their extended fall outings might help them stay more comfortable. In the wintertime, when the temperatures are bone-chilling and the forecast is wet to boot, a weatherproof jacket that repels wind and water is a good idea. 

And don’t forget those paws.

“There are boots that work great if you can get your dog to wear them. There are also these paw covers that look like balloons that are a little easier to get on and off and for them to walk in,” Bardy said. “And if those don’t work, nearly all pet stores will sell mushers wax, which is what sled dogs use to protect their paws. And it’s clear, so it’s safe for your floors and carpet.”

Lastly, under all that fur and fashion, doggy skin needs a little extra love in cold-weather months too, Budaj-Chattfield said. 

“A soap-free shampoo is important, and a moisturizing conditioner, something like an oatmeal formula,” she said. “And cutting back on the bathing a bit will help too, so their skin doesn’t get dry and irritated, just like ours when it’s cold out.”