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Caring for Skin & Coat During Winter with Dave Campanella

Special Guests

Dave Campanella

Dave Campanella is an informative and entertaining seminar speaker, contributing trade columnist and genuine grooming enthusiast. He is Best Shot Pet Products sales and marketing director and has over 25 years of pet industry knowledge and experience. He and his wife Tracy co-owned a full-service pet salon and self-wash in Ohio prior to relocating with Best Shot to Kentucky. Together they enjoy exhibiting at grooming shows, being industry ambassadors and showing their Kerry Blue Terrier and Samoyed dogs.

Joe Zuccarello is back with Dave Campanella from Best Shot Pet Products. Learn how to keep dogs looking and feeling good during the winter! By understanding coat physiology, grooming products, and the science of shedding, you can keep clients and pets happy year-round.

  • How can a double-coat cause skin irritation?
  • When should I educate a pet owner about shed control?
  • How often should I see a client during the winter?
  • What can I do to get ahead of shedding issues?

Tune in to find out.

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    Announcer: Welcome to the “Hey Joe!” A podcast answering questions asked by our listeners. Created by pet professionals for pet professionals. And now, your host, “Hey, Joe!”‘s very own Joe Zuccarello.

    Joe Zuccarello: What’s up everyone, Joe Zuccarello here and welcome to “Hey Joe!” A podcast brought to you by Paragon School of Pet Grooming. Check out our site at paragonpetschool.com for lots of really cool information on a variety of programs, products, and to connect to educational resources such as webinars, podcasts, current events, special news, certifications, and lots of other helpful information to help you grow yourself, your team, and of course your business. Let’s get started with this week’s episode.

    Joe Zuccarello: Hey everyone, Joe Zuccarello again with another episode of the “Hey Joe!” podcast. And one of the really great things that I get to enjoy about the podcast is having guests that want to come back on the podcast. One, because they enjoy doing this with me. At least that’s what they tell me. But two, we get such great feedback from some of the episodes that we have our guests on. And one of those fan favorites, if I might say that, is a Dave Campanella with Best Shot. And Dave, thanks for joining us again today on another episode of “Hey Joe!”

    Dave Campanella: Glad to be here. Always

    Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. We have a blast. And Dave and I, I guess that’s probably, Dave, while we got to chop these things up a little bit, because you and I could go on for days, right? I mean, I’m really surprised I haven’t put both of us in a presentation or another show, but I guess they would be worried that we’d take up the whole day. But one of the reasons why we do multiple episodes is because Dave is you just bring such a great angle from an education standpoint when it comes to skin and coat.

    Joe Zuccarello: And the challenges that that serves up to the professional pet groomer and also the pet owner as well. And this week’s episode is focusing on winter coats today, spring shedding tomorrow. And we went into this whole show prep thinking that we were only going to talk about the troubles that winter deals to a coat. And after talking together, you and I, we discovered that, well, you can’t really talk just about winter without talking about what’s right around the corner, which is spring.

    Joe Zuccarello: So, we’re going to be focusing on both of those for you today for the “Hey Joe!” listener audience out there. And again, just like always, Dave has provided an incredible education tool that you can access and download for free. You need to go to paragonpetschool.com and go to the resources page, look up Dave’s podcast episode and it will be available for you. So, let’s just jump right in. Dave, you want to tell us a little bit about yourself for those that have not heard from you before and a little bit about Best Shot.

    Dave Campanella: Sure. Well, I got into this business almost 30 years ago. And I did that by marrying a groomer. And we co-owned, my wife Tracy and I, co-owned and operated a groom shop together back in Ohio. And I did a lot of brushing and bathing and helping out. I had a full-time gig. But when you have a family business, the one who’s… I was in a situation where at the end of the day, I helped out on holidays, weekends and whatnot.

    Dave Campanella: A lot of groomers can relate to that, husbands and wives that have a business and work together. And I hooked up with the people from Best Shot. My wife basically groomed the founder, Bill Marshall’s dog. And one thing led to another over time. And I had a chance to meet the new owner, Mike Gallagher and started… really hit it off well with him. And had an opportunity to consult and to make a long story short, June zoom to present day, 15 years later, I’m with the company as the sales and marketing director.

    Dave Campanella: And the one thing that makes the job fun is that it started from a family business. My wife still grooms. Here I am at Best Shot. And actually, having the opportunity to work in the trenches, see an operation and take what I know and what I’ve learned with my experience at Best Shot. What’s exciting is now, as I’m dealing with the company and the marketing and all the fun things, that we also started giving back with seminars and more education.

    Dave Campanella: And it’s fun and worthwhile to bring a different aspect or a different perspective to the professional trade from a manufacturer’s standpoint. And even a marketing guy like me’s perspective. There you go.

    Joe Zuccarello: Well, I appreciate that. And I’ll tell you, if anybody out there, if you’ve ever had 30 seconds to talk with Dave, he is going to be able to quickly convince you that he is certainly a subject matter expert. And that is why we have such great feedback from the “Hey Joe” podcast. So, Dave, let’s hop on in. Let’s just jump right into coats, right? So, winter coats today and spring shedding tomorrow. Dave, you had, our last episode together, we talked a lot about conditioner and the importance of conditioner.

    Joe Zuccarello: If you were going to… obviously, we’re going to strongly encourage, if you guys have not listened to that episode, you don’t stop listening to this episode, but as soon as you’re finished with this episode, you’ve got to go back and hear Dave’s previous episode on conditioner. Dave, what were maybe the top… just real brief, real quick because we got a lot of content for this episode. Real brief, real quick highlights of that previous episode that you want to make sure that they take advantage of.

    Dave Campanella: Well, it really breaks down to three things. Understanding what a conditioner was and we talked about that. A conditioner’s anything that improves the surface quality and corrects and prevents further surface damage. Think about that. It’s a product, it’s a phase, it’s a part of the process where it lends itself to being mindful, and getting ahead of problems and managing things. So, number one, understanding what a conditioner is and how it’s different from a detergent.

    Dave Campanella: We talked about how detergents are anionic, they tend to repel. Conditioners are all about bonding to the skin and hair. But then, the next thing was really what do conditioners do and why we want to condition every animal. And we forget in our busy shops, in busy day lives that when you wash a dog the way shampoos work, you’re going to wash away the protective sebum and of course the oils and the dirt and everything.

    Dave Campanella: But you want to replace the sebum, which is the oily substance that the body produces, naturally on a coat. We’re going to talk a little bit about intelligent design of a lot of these breed coats and how they work. And the sebum plays a role, but it has problems. But when you wash, you want to replace it. And then, the third and final aspect, which is in the notes as we talked about what do conditioners do? Conditioners replace that sebum you washed away.

    Dave Campanella: They can increase the tensile strength of the hair. We talked about porosity, which is something that your listeners can review. But more importantly, aside from filling in and repairing damaged coat and all the benefits of that, what conditioners really do is they help extend the hair, the coat’s manageability. Preventing tangling, preventing matting, makes the code easier to maintain for both the groomer, but more importantly, the pet owner who lives with the day to day.

    Dave Campanella: And that ties in to what we’re talking about today with winter, and getting ready for spring, what we can do. Given what we know about conditioners and a mindful grooming process, to better manage and help our customers and having a pleasant, enjoyable experience with their dog, especially if it’s a double coat dog prone to shedding and skin issues and things like that.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right. Well, and Dave, what a great segue into today’s episode topic because it is a pet professional’s job. Whether you’re a veterinarian or you’re a dog groomer or you’re a dog trainer, right? If a pet owner is relying on us and paying us money to be a partner in the care of their pet, and the wellbeing of their pet, our job is to educate them. Now, when you talk about educating pet owners, pet parents, one of the challenges is that you could easily overwhelm a pet parent. And what I mean by that is sometimes they don’t really care.

    Joe Zuccarello: Now, I want to follow that up quickly by they love their pet, they love talking with you, they care about what it is that you have to say, but only to a point. What they want is to make sure that their pet is well taken care of. In this case we’re going to talk a lot about shed control. They want the pet to be clean. They want the pet to feel good in their hands when they put their hands in their pet’s fur, right? So, they want something that’s a little bit different. They want the end product.

    Joe Zuccarello: Do they always need to know all of the nuts and bolts on how to get there? For example, Dave, you and I’ve talked about there are drivers of cars and then there are mechanics for cars, right? I drive my car. I don’t work on my car. I know when something’s wrong because I get a little light that comes on the dashboard or a beep or buzz happens to call my attention to the light that’s been on the dashboard that I’ve been ignoring for a while. But when it comes to diagnosing, I really don’t care necessarily other than a little bit of education.

    Joe Zuccarello: But if my mechanic went into the nuts and bolts literally of how something works, it doesn’t benefit me, right? So, because I’m a driver and I would like to say that a lot of us are the driver equivalent to being pet owners, right? So, we just want to know our pet is well taken care of. But it doesn’t give the groomer or the other pet professional, pet care provider, a hall pass or something to say, “Well, I just know better than you do. You just have to do it the way that I want you to do it.”

    Joe Zuccarello: There is this happy medium of educating them. So, that’s why we’ve got Dave on the episode today to talk about this shedding problem. So, as we’re coming out of winter and now you’ve listened to the highlights of the conditioner episode, maybe you’ve heard the conditioner episode, now we’re getting into the next phase. And remember, the time to educate pet owners is not at check-in for that particular day. It happens over time.

    Joe Zuccarello: So, Dave is going to make some really nice recommendations later about how to use your space in which you co-exist briefly with a pet parent to provide some education. So, let’s jump right in, Dave. So, as we’re talking about shedding coat, you said these three really cool words, especially in our show prep. You called it coats by design or intelligent design for coat types. What do you mean by that?

    Dave Campanella: Well, sure. Well, we forget with domesticated dogs that most breeds were developed for a purpose. If you follow an AKC show or a dog show on TV. Westminster’s coming up in a couple of weeks, you’ll see they break it down by working, herding dogs, et cetera. Actually, they have seven groups. And it’s so easy to forget that these dogs, let’s take a Newfoundland that’s got a waterproof coat. It’s a big dog, it swims, it loves the water. Well, you get into these winter months and that dog may be cooped up.

    Dave Campanella: It’s not as active. It’s not out there running and allowing nature. And it’s the intelligent design of its coast. And in this case, when you look at a Newfoundland’s coat, and you’ll see this… in other breeds, they have the long guard hairs and underneath that… one difference between dogs and in humans is dogs can have multiple hair coming out of the skin. And the guard hairs are designed to re repel the sun, think of a shady forest.

    Dave Campanella: When we talk about the sebum and how the skin produces it and the coats, the hair, well, in a Newfoundland, that type, that’s going to help with the waterproofing when the dog’s in the water. And you have all that undercoat. Well, if they’re sitting at home and it’s winter time, now, a lot of that undercoat can get compacted. It can start to mat and suddenly it’s not working as efficiently as it was supposed to because that dog was intended to be out running.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right. We’re going to watch Westminster, right? And we’re going to see a Newfoundland, let’s use your breed example. We’re going to watch a Newfoundland, being demonstrated there and somebody in Phoenix, Arizona is going to decide that that’s the breed they want to have in their family. There’s nothing illegal about that. There’s nothing that’s going to keep them from doing that. So, what your point is sometimes we transplant, right?

    Joe Zuccarello: We subject breeds to environments or even sometimes, it might even be inappropriate environment, but it’s a lifestyle. Let’s say you live in Alaska and you have a Newfoundland, right? Or a Husky or a double coated breed, but it’s inside most of the time in your nice temperature-controlled environment. So, we’re messing with the dog’s coat, right? We’re messing with its design, its utility.

    Dave Campanella: That’s right. And it’s so easy for us as groomers at the busy shop to… we’re ordered takers. And what I mean by that is we book the dogs. Many of us have learned, if you book them more frequently, that’s a good thing. But springtime comes and you’ve got all this accumulated hair and problems that have… basically neglect, let’s just call it what it is, intentional or not, show up at your shop in spring. And now, you’ve got to deal with it.

    Dave Campanella: So then, we scramble and we get them out and we do what we got to do. We do the voodoo that we all do so well as far as our different styles. And we get those dogs in and out. But did we solve anything? And it’s a lot of stress. A lot of us are looking forward to spring because it’s money time in a salon. But a lot of at the same time, we’re regretting it because… or not regretting, we’re just getting anxious because we’re dreading it. That’s word I was looking for.

    Joe Zuccarello: It’s a lot of hard work.

    Dave Campanella: A lot of hard work. And what we’re talking about here is let’s take a step back and if we’re using our products wisely and we understand the basic physiology of the hair and we know the basic chemic strip properties of the shampoo, you don’t have to be a PhD, we can come up and we can better manage. And there is a way to get ahead of these problems. And that’s where you and I initially were when we were planning this, came up with the thought that “Yeah, what are some things that we can do to get ahead of this?”

    Dave Campanella: And in order to get ahead of the problem and better manage it, we need to understand what’s going on and acknowledge the facts, the science, what it is that we’re doing. You always hear from me, everything ties in with being mindful. And mindfulness and science work hand in hand here. And this is no different. We’re taking what we talked about in conditioners and we’re applying it to reality. And you can’t-

    Joe Zuccarello: When you know-

    Dave Campanella: Yeah, go ahead.

    Joe Zuccarello: You know what’s brilliant, Dave, too, is when you say mindfulness, when I think of mindfulness, there’s very few times in our career and our lives or whatever where we can predict the future. And I will tell you that if you approach grooming from a mindfulness position, you know what’s going to happen. Professional groomers out there know that the double coated breed are the dogs that have more of a tendency to have undercoat build up or greater degrees of shedding.

    Joe Zuccarello: And we’re going to talk a little bit about… almost, believe it or not, separating the two. You know what’s going to happen. So, to your point, part of being mindful is you can see into the future. So, start addressing that now with the pet owners that are bringing in the shedding breeds. In fact, maybe even get out ahead of that and start hopping on the phones and things and, or texting or emailing your customers and saying, “Hey, listen, now is the time when we have to start addressing shedding.” I mean, how cool is that?

    Joe Zuccarello: So, as a business right now, let’s go… I’m a lot about dollars and cents too, right? But again, I’ve always said financial or money, right? Sales revenue, money is a reward for performance, good or bad. Bad performance, less money. Good performance, more money. But it is a result. It’s a reward for performance. So, what is the argument? What’s stopping us from now starting to reach out and saying, “Listen, I want to start educating you and letting you know that we can provide a better shedding season experience with your pet.”

    Joe Zuccarello: Less problematic if we start addressing that now. Yes. At the time of this airing, right? At the time of this airing, it is July… it’s the end of January. See, I’m already in the summer. It’s the end of January. So, now is the time to start addressing that. So, and again, the pet parents, they just want less shedding in the home. So, to your point, Dave, we’ve gotten to be really good order takers. So, Dave, let’s talk about when the dog comes in… in our show prep, you talked about matting or accumulating undercoat versus shedding, right? And the difference. All right, walk us down that path for a few minutes.

    Dave Campanella: No problem. If it’s a single coated breed or double coated breed, some are going to shed a lot and some breeds are going to shed more than others. In the winter time, many of the double coated breeds by design, their DNA, they’re going to produce more shedding undercoat. In the winter, the way the coat works is as that undercoat comes in, your cool air gets blocked out because that undercoat is holding in the body’s heat that it’s releasing. And those guard hairs on that breed help hold that heat that’s generated.

    Dave Campanella: In the summer and spring, they’re going to shade like a… imagine a nice walk in the forest. It’s going to shade. The problem that we run into, and I’ll try to… realizing we’re on essentially radial hair and I want to make it clear, is the problem is that because we’re in this domesticated environment for some of these dogs, if they’re not as active, the normal undercoat and the normal shedding starts to accumulate if they’re lying down a lot and sleeping a lot.

    Dave Campanella: Or you’re out at work, and they’re just lying around at home, naturally it’s going to start to compact. And over time, that compacted shedding, while it holds the… it almost does too good of a job holding in the heat. It’s the difference between a windbreaker and putting on a raincoat. And it’s holding that in, the heat in, and you’re going to get more moisture buildup. You start to get the dander.

    Dave Campanella: So, you have the potential over the winter months for skin problems to develop only that lead into springtime and allergy seasons on top of that. So, there’s compounding possibilities that can develop. What we want to be able to do rather than inherit this mass that accumulates when they come in at spring, if we can start now by getting them to come in early, the role of the groomer, the role of the pet parent, if they’re informed, we can get some of that shedding undercoat out.

    Dave Campanella: Allow the process to work more as nature intended. And you’re going to have less of that skin issues you don’t even wash out the dander, get a lot of that shedding undercoat out. Get ahead of the horrible matted mass that’s going to walk in in the springtime. Think of the twice a year, once a year dogs that come in. That’s what we’re trying to avoid here. And [crosstalk 00:22:57].

    Joe Zuccarello: Really, Dave, at the end of the day, these dogs are not out long enough to have the… if you live in a cold region of the United States, right? The dog, let’s say you own a shedding breed, a dog that has more than one coat in many cases, but by design, right? The intelligent design of their DNA. Some folks are afraid to remove too much or they don’t promote shed control during the winter because the pet owners don’t realize, the pet owners think they need to hold onto this.

    Joe Zuccarello: So, it’s like a winter coat. Let’s face it, those dogs are not out long enough in most cases for the elements to negatively affect the dog as far as their temperature is concerned and such. I mean, you see small dogs with short haircuts going out. They still go outside to go to the bathroom in most cases. So, we’re literally talking minutes. Or just a string of seconds when that pet is outside. So, to start addressing that now is really important. I think some of the skin issues are not skin issues first, they were coat issues first that created skin issues.

    Dave Campanella: Exactly. And what happens is people, that the consumer, the pet owner doesn’t understand shedding. And as groomers, sometimes we forget. We’re not talking about removing undercoat, all the undercoat. What we’re talking about is removing the shedding undercoat that builds up in the dog. There’s a couple facts. The first fact is all animals are going to shed their hair, double coat or single coat. Some will hold onto their coat a lot longer. The “hypoallergenic” type of breeds that don’t shed as often.

    Dave Campanella: And then, there’s still the ones that had seemed like they shed all year round as well as the ones that twice a year they blow coat. Okay. We’re not talking about eliminating all of their undercoat. What we’re talking about is getting rid of the shedding undercoat that they weren’t able to extract or release because they’re not as active in the winter months. We’re getting ahead of the problem. An ideal coat has that proper balance. But sooner or later, they’re going to need help getting that shedding undercoat out.

    Dave Campanella: And that’s what the owners are usually experiencing. I want to jump ahead and, and reel me in if I can’t if you have to, Joe. But how often do we get a dog that comes in and we do a de-shedding process and the customer calls back and says they’re still shedding. And I’ll see things on social media, “Oh, the product didn’t work.” Well, unfortunately, I don’t want to embarrass anybody, but that’s a clear example that both the pet owner and the groomer didn’t really understand the shedding process.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right. [crosstalk 00:25:55] In fact, that’s probably a sign the product did work because if you’re conditioning that coat and based on what you taught us in our last episode, there’s less friction, right? And when you have friction in a coat, it’s like Velcro. So, one hair holds onto another, whether it’s supposed to be or is connected or [crosstalk 00:26:13].

    Dave Campanella: And they trap everything. So, what’s the goal is to better manage, extend the manageability of the hair using the right conditioners or right products. And we’re able to humanely, safely extract more hair out in the tub and with our dryers and less pulling and tugging. And that’s how you get ahead of shedding. And it’s something that we need to convey to our customers so they have a better understanding. You’re always going to have the customers that never get it.

    Dave Campanella: But if you plan on being in this business for a while, you want to be prepared and you want to be able to convey to the willing customers, the reasonable customers, how to get ahead and help manage. And if you talk to most reasonable people and said, “I think we can come up with a program to better manage the shedding as well as get ahead of any potential skin issues and in the comfort of Sparky,” I mean, who wouldn’t be all for that?

    Dave Campanella: And that can also equate to less vet bills. Smaller yet more frequent grooming appointments. But in the end, you have a happy, healthy pet and a thrilled pet owner who finally feels like they’ve got a handle on things.

    Joe Zuccarello: Well, and Dave, to your point, so shed control from a business perspective. So, let’s talk about driving a healthy business, shed control happens all year round. No matter what climate you’re in, no matter what dogs you’re dealing with, shed control from a business perspective should be a focus all year long. And what’s really great about that is that now, and I’ve talked to Dave, I’ve talked to 100s, 1000s of groomers, and everybody has their different opinions. And that’s what makes this industry so awesome, right?

    Joe Zuccarello: And the diversity of opinion and in expertise. But I will tell you that all of the businesses that I’ve been fortunate enough to help either in consulting or help lead in grooming businesses, a lot of groomers will tell me, “Well, I do shed control on every dog that comes in.” So, every golden retriever, whether… “I don’t have an extra fee that I charge.” And I’m like, “Well, that’s wonderful.” I just urge you to always remember and be cognizant of the amount of time that you’re spending so that you’re rewarding yourself for that appointment, right?

    Joe Zuccarello: As many dollars per hour or per minute even for that service as you do for a full haircut on a dog. So, that’s number one. Number two, I think that there is a real benefit to making sure that we talk to the pet owner and say, “It’s included, so you’re paying for this.” But I’m calling special attention to shed control in what we do so that you can keep that customer coming in all year long. And hopefully, it’s every month.

    Joe Zuccarello: Because if a little bit of education goes a long way and especially the outcome, the pet owners are going to be so much more happy because you are now you’re calling attention to it. It’s not just gratis, it’s not just included and you glaze over it. Call special attention to it. I guarantee you’re going to see results. So, Dave, let’s say though, obviously, there’s some groomers that do this really, really well in their salons and their businesses and some that that are like, “Oh, my gosh, that’s exactly what I needed. I’m going to do this. It’s going increase my revenue. It’s an increased customer experience and the dog’s health and everything else.”

    Joe Zuccarello: We’re going to still have those pet owners though that bring their pets in and they walk in and they say, “I’ve had enough of this hair. I’ve got this 80-pound golden retriever who is just a fur factory right in my home. And shave them down because that will reduce the amount of shedding.” What do we say, Dave? I mean, because beyond just an awkward looking golden retriever for six to eight weeks is that coat grows out sometimes not as even or sometimes it takes several months to come in.

    Joe Zuccarello: But because of the different types of hair types, what other jeopardy are we putting in that pet’s path by shaving a dog that normally has a coat that is not designed for shaving?

    Dave Campanella: Sure. Well, the good news is… and I’ll explain that the little spoiler alert is that the end of this, I have a great resource with a visual that I’m giving you permission to share your shops. Something that you can actually present to the client very easily that help make your point. And to answer your question, I want to start off again. We confuse removing undercoat and shedding with the fact that what we’re doing is removing shedding undercoat. Because the reality is the lie, the thing that nobody wants us to know.

    Dave Campanella: I joke, but the reality is, is no one discusses this and no one explains it scientifically, factually is that the dogs are going to shed. Once the customer understands that you can’t stop shedding, you can manage shedding. Then, we can answer this question, okay? Now, I talked a little bit earlier about how that double coat, the undercoat and the cold months as the body radiates heat, that undercoat holds that coated. It’s like a down jacket, a thermal coat.

    Dave Campanella: In the summer when they… in the spring, we notice the dog start blowing their coat and they’re getting rid of it in the perfect world. As nature intended for many of these breeds, they’re getting rid of a lot of that undercoat. And now, if you envision those guard hairs have far less than undercoat underneath. So now, when the skin breathes and the wind blows and air circulates freely underneath those guard here is, like the trees in the forest, a nice walk, in the forest and nice cooling effect.

    Dave Campanella: That compacted hair that accumulates in the matting, that builds up too much heat moisture, which leads to festering problems, dandruff and other things. That’s bad. So, the customer, since they don’t understand that intelligent design, they think, “Oh, well, if I shave it off, they’ll be cool.” Here’s the problem, you shave off that hair. Now there is no guard hairs to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. So now, when the cool air goes across, there’s nothing shading, it’s just all opened exposed to the sun and we forget.

    Dave Campanella: Well, not forget because we never learned that a dog skin may only have six or 10 layers. A human by contrast, depending on nationality, is 16 to 20. So, you just shaved off all that hair. There’s no guard hairs to trap that… imagine yourself out at a fair under a tent, at a family reunion and there’s a nice breeze that goes underneath that shaded tent. That’s what the guard hairs are doing. As opposed to no tent and everybody’s having a miserable time baking in the 90 degrees sun.

    Joe Zuccarello: Standing, touching each other. Standing all clumped up.

    Dave Campanella: So, by shaving you’re causing more problems. It’s not so much you’re damaging the coat. And with some breeds, when you shave them, it does affect the after growth. But more importantly is the dog skin is an organ. That’s how they regulate their temperature. It’s a little different. By eliminating that dog’s natural guard hairs, you’re really creating more problems. In the winter, you shave them down.

    Dave Campanella: If you’re concerned, you can put a sweater on them, you’re not going to put a sweater. There’s nothing you can put on that dog. And there isn’t enough suntan lotion with the right… what is it, the SF factor or whatever, it escapes me. There’s not enough suntan lotion you can put on them that prevent [crosstalk 00:34:50].

    Joe Zuccarello: So, the guard comb, aren’t the guard combs, the guard hairs protect it because pets don’t sweat, right? Their skin doesn’t produce enough moisture, I guess, let’s put it this way. They don’t produce enough moisture like people sweat. The sweating of a person in the summer is a cooling mechanism because when air evaporates, right, it’s naturally, it’s a cooling effect on a very important organ to your point, which is the skin, right? Well, dogs don’t behave that way.

    Joe Zuccarello: So, they need those guard combs or those… gee, what’s guard combs? I’m stuck in haircut mode. The guard hairs to protect… like you’re saying, I love the analogy that you used, I like that tent or it’s like the trees in a forest walking in a path in a heavy canopy type of forest. So, Dave, obviously again, what we’re talking about is a whole lot of education, not only for the pet groomer. So, let’s say, the pet groomer gets it, right? And now, it’s just making sure to educate the pet owner.

    Joe Zuccarello: And one of the things that, and you alluded to this, is that you’re able to provide all of our listeners out there to “Hey Joe!” listen our audience, Dave always bring some really great tools to the table. And one of them is this a free PDF that you are able to download by going to paragonpetschool.com. And again, even if you go to bestshotpet.com which is Best Shot’s a webpage, there’s lots of other resources on there.

    Joe Zuccarello: Dave, let’s talk for two minutes about how the shop owner, the salon owner, the groomers that work in the salons, whatever, can use the amount of wall space to just maybe provide a little bit of this education so that over the course of time we’re not waiting until that pet parent brings the dog in and they’re busy and they’re in a hurry. They’ve got to drop the kids off at school, they’ve got to go to the office, they’ve got to go to the grocery store or, whatever, whatever, whatever.

    Joe Zuccarello: That’s not the time to start educating the pet owners. So, we need to start educating them over time. So, what’s the most simple thing that somebody can do to educate the pet owner? Even indirectly.

    Dave Campanella: I’m going to paint the picture this way and keep it short. When you get new tires or new brakes, you go there and while you’re waiting and sitting in the chair, you can see on the wall some simple examples that addressed some of the issues you may be facing. And it tells the story. When we think about ourselves as groomers, first of all, I want to applaud and acknowledge every groomer out there because sometimes you’ll hear, which is harder being a beautician or being a dog rumor.

    Dave Campanella: I’m going to tell you right now, it’s being a dog groomer. When I go in to get my haircut, I go in, they cut it and I leave. If you’re getting your hair colored, that’s about as involved as a beautician’s going to get, they’ll caution you on the chemicals and then how to maintain it, how to maintain that coloring or that perm. That’s about it. Everything else is pretty straight forward. With dogs, you have their coat to consider, their skin to consider, the shedding. So, you’re like that service center. You have to find a way. How do we convey the message?

    Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. Their teeth, their nails, their… I mean, it goes, there’s [crosstalk 00:38:15] 10 different things, right?

    Dave Campanella: But what I learned, running a shop with my wife is there’s a lot of wall space. Maybe if you get a lot of shedding dogs or a lot of matted dogs, try to figure out a creative way of maybe putting up some posters, where everybody can see it. It’s a great reference that you can point and allude to. But at the same point, for those people who come in regularly or you’d like to see even more regularly, while they’re sitting in waiting, or when they come up, they’re going to see these things. And people read what’s on the walls.

    Dave Campanella: And it’s an icebreaker. Try to think of creative ways to initiate the conversation. Plus, it’ll give some credibility. I’m not talking about the duct tape sign on the wall that says, “Please drop your dog off at this point.” And, “Don’t show up before we call you,” and things like that. Let’s put our walls to better use to help tell the story and add the credibility and give some integrity, build some integrity in what you do in the great service you can provide by better managing and getting ahead.

    Dave Campanella: And if you can point to the wall and show someone why, they just need to see. Sometimes, they say a picture’s worth a thousand words. The example that the PDF that I’m going to give you could probably be converted into something you can put on a wall. Go ahead and do it. You can see why shaving’s not the best interest and maybe you can read the compromise. But the idea is to make it simple. Put it out there because this is what we do.

    Dave Campanella: Finally, when you go to a chiropractor, and I only say that is because a lot of the hardworking groomers out there have a very good relationship with their chiropractor, okay? When you go into that office or the dentist office for that matter, what do you see on the walls? That’s what we’re talking about here. And a dentists’ case, he’s talking about preventative maintenance. Why you need the floss, why you need the brush.

    Dave Campanella: That’s what we’re talking about here. And I think it really is going to make the customers see us in a different light. And maybe perhaps more pet owners will value the services that we do provide and why they’re coming.

    Joe Zuccarello: Well, and it’s an opportunity for us to further our relationship as the expert and the expert partner in the wellbeing of the pet. So, Dave, thank you so much again. A wealth of knowledge. And I can’t wait for the next topic to bubble up and we talk about it. But I think what we’ve done with this episode is you’ve been able to start to change the perspective a little bit in how we view shedding and what we can be doing now.

    Joe Zuccarello: Not only to educate the pet parents, but also to start encouraging regular visits now by shedding breeds so that we can prevent some of these problems in the future as we move into the new year and beyond. And also, improving the health of not only our business, ourselves, but also, the pet and the pet owner relationship as well. Dave, thank you so much. We appreciate every time you come on at a show. And I can guarantee my listener audience out there, Dave will be back. So, Dave, thanks again. I appreciate all your help.

    Dave Campanella: Awesome. Thanks, Joe.

    About Joe

    Joe Zuccarello is president of the Paragon School of Pet Grooming, leaders in grooming education on campus and online. He possesses more than three decades of experience in the pet grooming, product development and pet business consulting disciplines.

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