Fur, Feathers, Fluff and Fuzz, Pets, Saving Money, The Piggy Bank

It’s a Ruff Life

It’s a ruff life for a long haired, adventurous pup on a farm ya’ll. I didn’t realize quite how bad it was until we’d lived inside Colorado Springs limits for 2 years and then moved back to the farm. Poor Mac, our mini schnauzer, literally gets everything his fur.

Mac needed a trip to the groomers about every 2-3 months in Colorado still, and those winter snow drifts could really mat up his fur, but it’s nothing like life on the farm. Here he needs grooming at least once a month and a bath every week to every other week. the cost really adds up.

To save money, we decided to start grooming him ourselves. My dad bought some Oster Clippers made for pet grooming, some hair shears, and a mini clipper and we got to work.  Yes, it is slightly expensive, but in 3 months it paid for itself. The bigger investment is the time it takes.

It takes anywhere from an hour and a half to 3 hours to groom Mac. He hates it. I mean he loves getting toweled off at the end, but everything else is a definite hate. So it really depends on how well he cooperates with us. Additionally, about once a year Mac’s beard just gets too long, is easily matted and needs either a serious trimming or to be completely started fresh.

This last time we had to start fresh.  And that takes more time.

I generally start with the Oster Clippers on Mac’s back and neck clipping against the direction his fur grows. I also hit his tail and legs with it as well as the tops of his ears. It is important to be careful not to catch any of the edges or the thin skin flaps of the ear and around the upper leg where the thin skin membrane attaches from the leg to the belly.  Ask me how I know.

Next I use the shears to trim the hair on the edge of his ear as I firmly hold the edge between my fingers to ensure I do not clip him. I trim his eyebrows with these as well, clamping my fingers together firmly at the base of them to protect his eye. The rest of Mac’s face is trimmed with the mini clippers that are blunt and much safer around his eyes.

When we are finished trimming and clipping and cutting, Mac gets his bath. In case you wondered… he also hates this part. He shivers in the warm water with his ears pinned back, standing stiff legged and unmoving while I douse him under the water spout and lather him up with Citrus and Sea Salt wash.

I use this soap because there has been so much controversy over the name brands available at our local stores. I figure it’s less dangerous for him and the label even says it is versatile enough for pets. After I rinse Mac off, we finally get to his favorite part; he LOVES being toweled off. He will charge the towel over and over like a Spanish bull, tail wagging the whole way.

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