If you’re gal and have had long hair at any point in your life, you know what I’m talking about.
You shower. You wash your hair. You step out of the shower and towel off. But before you do anything else from that point forward, you flip your head over and wrap your hair tightly in a towel. As you stand up, you flip the twisted towel toward your back. You are now sporting a turban style head wrap. You go about your routine letting the towel absorb the moisture in your long hair. Depending on the thickness of your hair, you might leave the turban in place anywhere from 5-20 minutes. By the time you’re ready to dry and style your hair, the towel has done its job. It has removed a large portion of the moisture from your hair. You‘ve greatly reduce the amount of time it will take to dry your hair simply by letting the towel do the work.
A pet grooming salon is no different. Using this trick can shave off loads of time over the course of an entire day. Even if you’re just doing six dogs, and you could save 5 to 10 minutes per pet in the drying process — you are saving anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes of time. Time is money, so it really starts to add up fast with each pet! Times that by multiple stylists and the savings really start to pile on.
There are other problems that come with not using a towel efficiently prior to starting the drying process with any type of dryer.
- The bathing area of any professional pet grooming salon is always humid. If you opt to high velocity the dog prior to utilizing a towel to remove the moisture, you’re putting all that extra moisture into an already humid environment. The more humid the environment, the harder it is to ultimately get the dog dry.
- In a highly humid area, it will be almost impossible get a beautiful fluff dry finish on any dog.
- Moisture will be going all over the walls and floor. Not only does this create a mess, it also creates slick floors which are dangerous.
- If you are in an environment where there is another bather working alongside you, you were getting their pet wet from the spray coming from the dog you are working on. (tisk-tisk!)
- It takes longer to dry a dripping pet straight from the tub – the longer the pet is on the table, the harder the grooming process could be for many pets – especially older ones carrying a lot of coat.
This method of drying works well for any pet stylist or groomer. I started applying this method when I was mobile – doing one dog at a time. Even then it saved me time. I would finish the bath, towel dry the dog well and then wrap it tightly in a towel and let it sit for a few minutes. I would write out my receipt. Clean up my van. Make bows. Answer messages. Even having the pet sit for just 5 minutes was a huge time saver. I would save at least 5 minutes in the drying process and save myself 5 minutes doing all those other things. Total time saving per pet: 10 minutes.
When I moved to a high volume salon, the same trick saved us boat loads of time. We would have 30-40 pet per session. (We offered half day grooming for most of our clients. Thus we had two shifts of pets; morning and afternoon.) In a high volume salon, we affectionately called the term of wrapping dogs as “wrap n stack ‘em.” We would bath all the pets, and then start putting them in our bank of kennels in the drying room. It became a very fun game.
At the foundation of every high quality groom, is the bathing and drying process. To ensure the maximum quality of groom on the finished pet, it is critical the dog is ‘squeaky clean’ and 100% dried using the optimum drying method for the coat type prior to it going on to the finished grooming process.
Here are the basic guidelines for the game. Every game (day) will be a bit different based on the type of pets you have coming in. My personal goal when I move to the high velocity drying process is to have now moisture coming off the dog. Not always possible but that’s my goal.
Basic Rules for “Wrap n Stack ‘Em”
- 6 week or less; pets go directly to the tub. No pre-clipping or brushing needed.
- The largest and thickest coats hit the tub first – smallest and lightest coats last. Tub priority will be totally based on the size and coat density of the pets being bathed during that session.
- Towel-dry the pet by hand first. Then wrap in a fresh, dry towel. Secure the towel with clips. (office style large bull dogs clips work great)
- Small dogs can normally be wrapped in a single towel. Larger dogs need to be wrapped in two towels plus have one to sit on.
- Place the pet in a secure area where they cannot move around too much as they are wrapped tightly in a towel. (kennel or wall tether)
- Bath all the dogs first while the others sit wrapped in towels.
- Once all pets are bathed, and then move to the drying process. Reverse your bathing order. Start with the smallest and lightest coated dog. Unwrap the pet and start the high velocity drying process.
- If the pet has sat for too long, they will be 100% dry before you get to them. You will need to re-wet the dog and start the wrapping process over. (typically this can happen on small, light coated pets)
- If the dog needs hand fluff drying with a heat dryer – do not move to that process until the pet is about 90% dry with the high velocity dryer.
- Dry each dog fully once you start the drying process so it’s ready to move on to the finished grooming procedure.
- Once the dog is dry, place dog in a non-humid environment to ensure the coat does not curl up or get moist from the humid air.
Here are the steps to wrapping a small dog:
#1. Use a large dry towel. Drape center of the towel over the dog’s back.
#3. Pull the towel snuggly around the pet’s belly and chest.
#4. Secure both ends of the two close to the withers of the pet with some type of clip.
#5. Let the dog sit for a short amount of time to let the towel absorb the bulk of the moisture from the coat.
Note: On larger dogs, use the same concept on the front part of the dog. Use a second large towel for the rear. Wrap it much the same. However, when wrapping the rear, do it close to the spot you are going to secure them while waiting for the high velocity drying process. Wrap the rear and then encourage them to sit. Once the dog sits, they will naturally pull the towel snuggly around their rear end.
There is nothing more gratifying than seeing the bathing and drying process whirr along at a smooth, consistent and highly efficient pace. It doesn’t matter if you are a solo stylist or part of a larger team in a salon setting. It’s all about working smarter – not harder.
High quality bathing and drying is at the heart of every successful grooming business. Every grooming shop is slightly different, work out a system that you can employ the wrap-a-dog drying method and I guarantee you save yourself time while enhancing your bottom line.