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Dear Daisy Dog

I have been home-grooming my dog, Maggie, but I’m not very good at it, so I want to take her to a professional groomer. What can I do to minimize Maggie’s risk of catching a disease while she’s at the grooming shop?

Daisy Responds

I regularly visit my groomer, who keeps me lovely and also maintains my good health by cleaning my ears, trimming my nails and checking for any lumps or skin changes.

Her grooming shop accommodates only a few dogs at a time, so I don’t worry about catching a cold while I’m there. But if you see many dogs at your groomer’s at one time, consider having Maggie vaccinated to protect her from kennel cough, a contagious upper respiratory infection.

My sister Molly developed warts, which sometimes erupt in professionally groomed dogs. Warts are caused by viruses that spread on clipper blades and other grooming tools.

On rare occasions, dogs have acquired furunculosis, a severe skin infection, after being bathed with shampoo or creme rinse contaminated with bacteria. This problem occurs in grooming parlors, self-serve dog washing facilities – and even in pets’ own homes.

To minimize these risks, ask your groomer about sterilizing clipper blades, hand tools, shampoo containers and pump nozzles.

If Maggie is hand stripped, a procedure that can predispose a dog to furunculosis, delay bathing for at least two weeks.I feel great after I’m groomed, and if you take these simple precautions, I’m sure Maggie will return from her grooming sessions both beautiful and healthy.

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