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Skin Care Knowledge & Care with Christein Sertzel

Special Guests

Christein Sertzel

Chris is a career pet stylist and dog person of over 30 years. Currently she is the owner and operator of Finer DeTails Pet Spa & Wellness Center in Mazomanie, WI. She has multiple national grooming certifications from the NDGAA, IPG, and WAPPS/WPGA and is a Certified Canine Esthetician specializing in canine skin & coat care and nutrition. Christein is the first pet groomer and industry teacher to ever gain her accredited title as a Holistic Animal Educator, thru the HAA. Chris has also attained her CCMT degree, and is a Master Level Usui Reiki Practitioner. As well she is certified in basic Canine Kinesiology, Pet Aromatherapy, Dancing Lights Color Therapy, and has attained enrichment certification in Flower Essence Therapy, Canine Acupressure, TTouch, and Energy Balancing. In addition to her efforts within the grooming salon and its industry, Chris is the founder of the Wisconsin Association of Professional Pet Stylists, and as a breeder of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, she also sat as the WI State Director for the National Cavalier Rescue Trust and helps in small breed dog rescue & foster work. Chris actively writes and is the author of several industry guidebooks and continuing educational courses, has created her own line of all natural canine spa products, Canine Spa Therapies, and a newly formed aromatherapy business specifically for groomers & their pets, Groom Therapy. Find learning opportunities from Chris at: www.ChrisSertzel.com

This week, Joe Zuccarello discusses skin care with Chris Sertzel. Learn what skin conditions indicate about a pet’s health and sensitivities, and find out what groomers can do to help!

  • What skin conditions should I bring to my client’s attention?
  • What do different coat issues tell me about a dog’s health?
  • How can I roll skincare into my services?
  • Should I have a separate check-in area?
  • How can I address flakiness, dryness, and oiliness?

Tune in to find out.

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Transcript
Speaker 1: Welcome to 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.

Hey everyone, this is Joe Zuccarello, your host of the Hey Joe! Podcast and as we do this every week and we have new releases every week on Fridays and such, and just a quick reminder, you can go to Paragonpetschool.com and listen to any of the previously recorded podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from. But as you can imagine every week we try to find subject matter experts that bring you information that are some of those aha moments or some of those moments where you’re like, Oh my gosh, I didn’t think about it that way or that’s really great to know, I’m going to actually help coach my team on that. And this week’s guest is a perfect example of just that, subject matter expert, her name is Chris Sertzel and Chris is an expert in skin and coat conditions and challenges that pets have and she’s a certified canine aesthetician. And I mean talk about the textbooks student, Chris is a forever learner. Somebody that if I could just bottle up and say everybody should want to learn and consume information, Chris is that type, so I don’t want to steal your thunder Chris. Chris, thanks for joining us today and tell us a little bit more about who you are and what your qualifications are.

Chris Sertzel: Yes, thank you so much for having me. So, I have been in the pet grooming industry since high school at some capacity, have been a groomer ever since my sophomore year of school and then growing up we had dogs as well and have just came up through the ranks. I was self taught at first and then went back and got some independent education to help me better my skills and I’ve just been kind of vigilant and ever present in the grooming industry since. I’ve gotten certified with MDGAA and IPG, I support all of the big three national certifying boards within our industry. I think we need more continued education for sure and more credibility options for our professionals within the industry. So, I have just done pretty much everything I can to get involved with taking on continued education in whatever form I can find and passing that kind of just filtering and funneling that through to people that are interested in learning and feeding their skills level, developing their career, giving them some alternatives.

I think that grooming is wonderful, but we do need to try, I think for career longevity to diversify our portfolio as much as possible as professionals, not just to better care for the pets and the people that come into our businesses, but to help us be able to groom and be involved in this industry for as long as possible. But you know, I’m going to be 50 soon enough and I’ve been grooming for half of my lifetime. And you know, you really at some point have to start thinking there’s more curiosity, there’s more things going on that I want to learn about and that’s just basically what I did. I have a very curious mind, very scientific mind and I know there are a lot of groomers out there that do for sure.

Joe Zuccarello: So Chris, obviously I love what you say for career longevity because that is absolutely the case. You know, we talk a lot about just how physically exhausting this job is and I had Dr. Matt Phinney on who compared it to professional athletes. This is an athletic career, right? So, it takes a real toll on the body, which I know we’re not telling an audience something that they don’t know. But when you talk about diversification of what it is, it’s your knowledge base and how you partner maybe with the clients and the pet care. I mean obviously you’ve done a lot, right? A lot of that diversification, but one of your superpowers and we’re really big at Paragon and learntogroomdogs.com about super powers and one of your superpowers is definitely the skin and coat focus of your education. Why did you hone in on that? Why did you feel that there was a need to really go in with both feet on that one?

Chris Sertzel: Just what kept coming into my salon. I mean I saw these continued cycles of symptoms and issues that were going on with my client base and I wanted to figure out what was going on and I wanted to help that in some way. I am really an advocate for mindful grooming. And while your simple standard bath and haircut is wonderful and necessary, we all know that the canvas that we lay our grooming skills on, if we can better care for that and give a better quality of life to the pet, that our grooming is going to look better and we’re going to add some niche areas to our business as well. So it really just was taking better care of my clients and being curious about what was really going on and starting to connect the dots because the longer you groom you begin to see dots and they do connect if you’re paying attention to things. You start to see things that seem very interconnected and indeed they are.

Joe Zuccarello: I love that you just paid attention and I think a lot of our professional groomers out there get kind of, and I’m guilty of this in everything I do. If you get caught up in a day to day grind, sometimes you don’t explore things that can make you even that much more valuable and really give yourself a competitive advantage among those who you share the marketplace with, which some we’ll call your competition.

So, you’re paying attention to what you’re seeing coming into your shop and your salon and you’re like, “Hmm, I need to know more about this. I need to do more about this. I need to be able to speak not from a veterinary, not from a medical standpoint necessarily but,” and we’re going to talk about here in just a few minutes, we’re going to talk about how to open that dialogue with the clients. But what are some of those things seasonal wise? So, if we go into the different seasons, and I know that seasons are different all across the states and really this podcast is even listened to internationally as well. So, I understand seasons vary a little bit, but what are some of those things? I know that you have a big caution that the standard oatmeal bath isn’t kind of the one size fits all. So, what are some of the things in the seasons that we might mistake for other conditions that we need to pay attention to?

Chris Sertzel: Yes, I think across the board, any of the groomers that come through my program and myself here in my own little corner of the world, what we deal with most commonly is generalized itchiness or pruritus. So, they come in, the owner says that he’s just kind of itchy kind of all over or chewing feet. That’s another big one. It gets worse at certain times of the year when the humidity level and surface bacteria or mold and fungus is at its height depending on the season. But yeah, generalized itchiness and feet itching and then yeast. Yeast is everywhere. It’s just naturally present in the ecosystem on the surface of pretty much everything. And yeast keeps you healthy but if you get a yeast overgrowth due to some other issue that’s going on, it can present symptoms similar to a true allergy. And the depending on what veterinarian you’re working with and trying to network and get that pet the support it needs, it’s important to try to have a veterinarian that can understand that certain issues like that may present as an allergy, but it may not be a true allergy and it’s most important to get that pet clean and re-moisturized.

Sometimes those are just the missing links, getting them clean on a regular basis, getting the dead hair out of the skin and getting them re-moisturized because dry skin is itchy skin and if they’re itching that just acerbates the problem and you get a domino effect and secondary symptoms from there that can really get out of hand.

Joe Zuccarello: Right. Because a simple itchiness it, you know, when they’re scratching right? They can actually open that skin and actually cause even bigger, they can introduce bigger issues to what might not have been even maybe not even the root cause of the problem to begin with.

Chris Sertzel: Yes. Yeah. You do. You get a domino effect. That cutaneous, the skin mantle, the oil mantle of the skin. Okay? Is the skin’s cutaneous immune system, so if that’s compromised, whether it’s an underlying medical condition where they’re just not moisturizing or they have bad gut flora and they’re not getting the nutrition that they have or they have a compromised immune system, you will see this waterfall effect of symptoms on the outside that really can be welling deep within. And while we can’t intervene on a medical level, obviously, we can definitely, and I think we should as much as possible work alongside the veterinarians that support our business mindset to try to get to the root cause of what’s really going on. And even if you can’t, as a pet professional in the grooming industry, you can definitely do procedures within the salon just during the course of one visit that will offer immediate relief. And then just try and follow up simply with the owner and let them know what you did and why. I think owners appreciate you coming to them and being approachable and down to earth and honest about what you see and telling them why. You’ll get further with a client if you just have some discussion with them about what you’ve tried to address and given some credibility to why you did what you did than just trying to sell them something. For sure.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. Yeah. And one of the things that I know that you use is, now for all of the Hey Joe! Podcast listener audience out there, Chris has actual clinics that she puts on and actually certifies folks in regards to this skill set. And what Chris is going to be making available at the end of the podcast, so you’re going to want to stick around, is she’s going to make available a really nice handy tool for you to start. And we’re going to talk about opening some dialogue with the pet parents, but she’s also going to make available to you kind of a private, a one hour video course that she put together that you’ll be able to take advantage of. And again that is a private opportunity and she’s been gracious enough to make that available. So, stick around to the end and find out how to you get your, I guess eyeballs and ears on that course.

But so let’s talk about that for a moment, Chris is when you’re talking about, obviously when you have the pet in your care, it’s after check-in. So, let’s take a half a step back and let’s talk about the check-in or the consultation or the intake process. I know that you in your workbooks and such provide a 10 point check-in guide and there’s another tool that you’re going to make available at the end of the podcast. But what are some of the things, of course on a check-in guide, I’m sure that there are or intake guide, I’m sure there are things like, you know, a contact phone number and a time to pick up and all of those things. But what are a couple out there that you, in your expertise or in your observation of watching people check in pets into grooming salons, what are some things that you think we miss?

Chris Sertzel: Just the awareness. I think sometimes when the animal comes in to put the current animal that you’re working on away and give a little bit of undivided attention to the one that’s coming in. If you just open for dialogue very simply with the owner, you know, has anything changed during the time between now and his last grooming visit? Is there anything I should be brought up to speed on in terms of any vetting that he’s had since then? Any change in food? Is he itchy at home? Just really simple general questions that the owner may pick up on in day to day life with their pet at home.

I’m a big proponent of having a separate check-in area and I don’t have a lot of space in my salon, but I do have a separate check-in area right next to my grooming table where I’m able to take the small and medium dogs and put them up off of the floor and do a nose to tail assessment. I’ll be very careful about how I do it, especially with new clients, but I take a look at their eyes and ears and teeth as much as possible. I look at their feet and I look at their overall coat condition starting at the tail, I’ll press the coat backwards and take a look at the skin as best I can underneath and look for things like flakiness, a lot of dead hair laying in the coat that needs to be removed, oiliness or dryness or lackluster and brittle coat. Those symptoms are some of the most common that you will see with dogs that do have some type of underlying sensitivity, they have poor nutritional support or compromised immune system.

So, all of those dots that I spoke about earlier may present in very similar ways that you can then very briefly address with the owner, let them know what you’re seeing, show them what you’re seeing because that really seals the deal a lot of times with people. And then let them know what you plan to do during the course of that visit. And I am not a big person for adding on a bunch of services. I will typically roll in everything that pet needs into my price and I just price it out that way and let them know what I did when they come back. So yeah, very important just to take a minute. Yeah.

Joe Zuccarello: I’m sorry not to interrupt, but now obviously you know, and I’m a big fan of adding extra services, but what you’re doing, you are doing that, but you’re doing it differently. You’re just saying you’re rolling it in. So, one way or the other, you’re not just doing a base groom. So, whatever you feel that pet needs is what you’re going to kind of roll into that pet’s appointment that day.

How do you feel, Chris, about obviously any time that a groomer takes away from their table, right, they’re not grooming. Grooming is their true superpower. Anytime that they take away from that. So, what is your position? What do you think about training other staff? There’s a lot of grooming salons that have receptionists or people that help work the front desk for more of the administrative duties of phone calls and that. Should those people also be trained in what you’re talking about so that they can partner with the groomer when they’re talking with the client?

Chris Sertzel: Absolutely. I have people that have came through the course and had members from their salon staff get certified, specifically in aesthetician as an esthetician, which teaches throughout my course, all of the basic physiological aspects of the skin and coat and how everything works together and how to address and notice certain symptoms. So, they’ll have those people go through the course and then they come back home and say they’re working the front reception area and their job is to create care programs and care plans for the pets that come in that are symptomatic as well as those that are asymptomatic. So, if it’s just a simple groom and everything looks good, then they get passed on to the bather and onto the the groomer that way. But if there’s a care program that needs to be put in place, they design that at the reception step and get the owner abreast of everything, get them all taken care of, and then they pass that information onto their bathers and onto the groomers as well. So, it really streamlines everything and kind of brings a melding of the minds together so that everyone is touching on the aspects of the care that that pet needs during the course of that visit.

But yeah, diversifying your staff and growing your staff is so important to salon longevity and just like I said, creating those niche business opportunities. If you can’t sell training or can’t sell nutrition, have networking options within your area that you can refer to. But if there’s something that you can do in your salon, try and grow yourself or grow your staff to address those things. And anytime we step away from the grooming table, we should be getting reimbursed for that time regardless. But this is a way for you to make additional income as well without having to groom more dogs and actually taking a lot better care of the dogs that come in to see you, in my opinion anyways. And I think a lot of people that come through the course come through for that very reason. They’re already thinking outside the box and seeing things and they want to take better care of those clients, so.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, I totally agree with you. I mean this is again going back to how we first started this conversation and really one of the things that in the Hey Joe! Podcast and what we do at Learntogroomdogs.com or Paragon Pet School, and I know partners and educators such as yourself, listen, we want our professional groomers out there to not only have the best income potential, but also to have the best impact potential out there on pet care. So, one of the things in that care program that you talked about when we were planning for this podcast is you talked about the need or the implementation of using descriptive words. And I put that in quote in my notes here and am I understanding, are those, and I want you to kind of take it a little bit, unpack that a little bit more but are those a way of translating, once again, trying to translate groomer speak to clients?

Chris Sertzel: Absolutely because they have no idea of what we do so it is part of our job to communicate in a way that we are effectively relaying information to the owners. So, when I’m doing that nose to tail assessment at check-in and I’m looking the dog over, I’ll ask the questions that I had mentioned before and address any issues that I may see upon arrival. But you really, how do I want to say? You really want to try to keep everything streamlined and simple with the owner when they come in so that they’re not overwhelmed but really get to the heart of the things that you’re seeing.

I had mentioned that I have that 10 point questionnaire which I can share a few points from that, but the biggest thing I think is taking the time away and using those descriptive words with the client so that you’re relaying what you’re seeing on a professional level in a way that they can really resonate with or that will make it click. We all have a scope of practice allowance within this industry because of being unregulated and unlicensed at current, there is a scope of practice allowance for each state that outlines what we are not allowed to do as pet care service providers that would inherit us some liability. So, if you go to the Avma.org over to the main frame on their homepage, if you click on their dropdown bar, there’s specifically a tab that says scope of practice. And when you click that, it’ll open a PDF and it’s a list of all of the states in alphabetical order and then an outline summary of what you are not allowed to do as an unlicensed pet care professional.

And honestly, you should be checking that a few times a year, three to four times a year on average. Most of the things that are outlined on there have to do with minor surgery, dental and reproduction issues and docking is another thing, too. So, they’re not looking so much at your grooming aspect of the industry. It’s more I think a breeding, like a breeder concern because they deal so much with reproduction.

So, the only thing that would really affect us on average would be dental care and massage. There are some states that are really picky about massage. But just talking to a client about what’s going on with their skin and coat doesn’t inherit you any legal liability. And I know some groomers who come to the course are nervous about that, but that would never be the case as long as you’re not diagnosing and saying words like this ear is infected or using medical terminology, you are quite safe by just using descriptive words like this ear is very weepy or very odorous or very red and swollen. And then show them there’s a lesion on the skin here that I can feel, or there’s a matte. Show them and have them get involved in that identification process because that will lend credibility to what you’re saying and let them know that what you’re seeing does need to be addressed. Whether it’s a vet referral that the dog go and see a vet because it’s not something you can address or a matted coat that needs to be taken care of and started over again, or dry and itchy skin. Like I said, you know, creating a care program, using certain tools and topicals that will address those issues. But yes, descriptive words are very important.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. What I really like about the descriptive words, because I have probably been in, oh I don’t know probably, I probably talked to thousands of pet salon owners and managers in my time of doing consulting and such and I will tell you that I hear very often, “This pet has an ear infection,” or, “This is an allergic reaction,” or I mean some of those, you know, you probably cringe when you hear those words because you know that it very well may be, right? It very well may be but we are kind of out of the boundary of where we’re supposed to be living and what you’re doing is, we’re not saying you can’t do those things. What I think Chris, what you’re saying is use descriptive words. I think it actually has a greater impact for the pet parent and it might not be as scary for the pet owner but also, there’s a certain amount of guilt that probably goes along with if they have also noticed something going on and even if it’s repetitively mentioned by a pet care professional, it’s not taken care of.

So, you’re not kind of sticking your finger in their eyeball a little bit or putting them in more of a guilt ridden state. So, I’ve often said using your descriptive words, would it be best then to say that one of the things I’ve recommended on a number of occasions is approach it from a position of observing and reporting. And I think that reporting uses your descriptive words.

Chris Sertzel: Yes, yes. You embrace your role as an advocate for that pet. You don’t need to hang yourself out there with any legal liability by diagnosing or playing medical professional but just keeping it simple and being approachable, like you said, and coming from a place of humble, empathetic professionalism. So, you’re not calling someone out because then they get defensive and they’ll shut you out. You’re wanting to be an advocate for that animal to carefully get them the attention addressed to what is going on and to be an advocate for getting that taken care of as much as possible.

So, if you do stick with descriptive words and show the owners you’re quite safe. I’ve never in all my years ever had, I wouldn’t say, “You need to go to the vet right now,” or anything like that. I would just say, “In my opinion, this does need followup medical care,” and urge them tenderly, you know, make eye contact but thoroughly and let them know that it needs to be addressed. And I’ve never had someone call me and say, “You owe me for a vet bill because there was nothing wrong with my dog.” And just by being approachable and casual with people, you avoid that legal liability that you could have if you’re using diagnosing terms or dealing with situations where your going outside that allowed scope of practice.

Joe Zuccarello: So Chris, if you’re using descriptive words and you’re assuming the role of observer and reporter, right?

Chris Sertzel: Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah.

Joe Zuccarello: I think there’s a big question out there because I’ve had groomers ask me, I’ve heard groomers ask other groomers this question, but since you’re the expert, I’m going to put you on the spot for just a moment. I guess, what condition should we not move forward with grooming? So, if a pet presents with X, don’t groom them the pet, don’t bathe the pet, don’t brush the pet. At what point is it not worth that grooming appointment and you have to recommend care before groom?

Chris Sertzel: The first thing that comes to mind is structural compromise. If you have a dog come in that is favoring a leg, walks in in a cowering position with an arched back or a dropped tail is really just putting out the vibe that they do not feel well. I would definitely stop what you’re doing and really give some attention to that pet in front of the owner. Document everything if you do move forward but gosh, that’s probably the biggest thing is people will push through a groom and a dog may not be feeling well because of tummy upset or something structural going on with them and then it exacerbates the problem and you end up having secondary issues that can then be blamed on you once that pet goes back home.

That’s a huge thing. And then open sores, open bumps, open lesions, anything that’s bleeding or open and clearly needs some type of topical addressed by a medical professional, I would say you probably want to turn that pet away. And then overly aggressive pets, too. Sometimes there’s just certain pets that can’t center themselves and rid themselves enough to get safely through the grooming process. And it’s okay to tell those people, “I think this pet would be best cared for in a medical environment with a supportive staff and perhaps a little bit of medication to take the the edge off because he’s so frightened or so aggressive.” So, you want to stay safe, you want to get that pet into the hands of the people that can best care for it, and once in awhile it’s not us. You know? You just don’t want to inherit any opportunity to maybe make things worse. There’s that saying if you cannot help, at least do not hinder because if you do, you may end up finding yourself with a backlash.

Joe Zuccarello: So Chris, what about specific to skin care or coat challenges? So, let’s say that they present and you said if they have oozy, weepy sores or anything, if there’s blood. One of the things that we do at Paragon School of Pet Grooming, when we’re doing a practical exam and we’ve got a student who’s trying to pass a particular technique, right? Our staff says, “If the dog is wet, it’s an immediate zero on the test.” I mean you can’t pass the grooming technique if a dog is wet other than maybe a bathing technique obviously. But do you have any of those, like what we call them red rules? So, if you see this stop. If you see this, it is not safe for you or the pet or the procedure to move forward. Do you have any of those clear cut kind of guard rails you can offer the pet [inaudible 00:00:27:54]?

Chris Sertzel: Yeah, specific to skin and coat care, it’s open lesions and sores. Things where you cannot safely get soap into them because that skin is open and compromised and able to take in secondary bacteria. Anything that can be clearly painful because the nerve endings are damaged and things are not closed. They’re not sealed up so you can’t run water across it because that would hurt, different temperature water would hurt, soap could hurt. Anytime there’s coat loss on the skin and the skin itself is open, you would probably want to refer to a veterinary. Whether that’s just to get the go ahead and have them come back with their prescription shampoo or whatever, you’ve at least said, “Yeah, this is outside my realm of skill or my pay rate. And for the goodness and safety of the pet, I would prefer to have them go and see a vet first before moving forward with just a haircut.”

Some people will see that as an out and they won’t get the pet the medical care they need and you don’t want to cater to that. But even for the people that are genuinely concerned and may just not know what’s going on, your job is to be the voice for that animal and kind of close that circle of communication and hopefully get them into the hands that need to address it. So, yeah, open skin, open sores, stuff that if you have road rash or a cut, you know, you’re not going to scrub it in the shower and put soap in it. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to make a pet reactive and they’re not going to have a good time on top of the fact that you might be inheriting liability.

Joe Zuccarello: I think that’s a good point. If it would irritate you during any bath, shampooing, haircut, whatever process, it’s probably going to also affect them because I’ve seen dogs present in grooming salons before with just some angry red skin and some coat loss or some scaling and things. Would you say that those are kind of borderline? Do we still bathe those? Do we do a touch test? Do we do anything that we can kind of get a real quick gauge at intake or at check-in where we can kind of make that call?

Chris Sertzel: It is really just like so many other things in grooming, it is truly a case by case because you don’t know how reactive that pet is, you don’t know how long they’ve been living with those symptoms. So they may be more desensitized, but you know, typically there are always going to be things that you don’t notice or see until you have that owner in front of you. And sometimes even once you get the dog wet in the bath, that’s when you’ll notice things. So, it really depends on the dog themselves, whether or not we can get them clean, get the coat cleaned up and the dead hair out of the the coat and get everything opened up and debrided and cleaned out without exacerbating the problem or causing additional pain. It is, it’s really case by case.

Joe Zuccarello: [crosstalk 00:31:04] It really depends I think on your education level. Right? So, that case by case, your level of education will help you determine whether it’s something that you can continue with or something that you need to do to take a temporary pass on by recommending that they get some medical attention. So, let’s talk through that education piece. So, tell us about your classes. Tell us about your certification program.

Chris Sertzel: So, the classes that I have, it’s a eight to ten hour course and it deals specifically with understanding the canine coat physiology, learning how everything functions together towards the immune system, the cutaneous immune system of that pet. And how to best address the issues that we see coming in and how to step away and refer when we can’t help those things get better.

So, it really teaches you the scientific foundational aspects of what we see in front of us on a daily level, but on a microscopic level, like what’s really going on on the skin surface on every animal that comes into us for care and how we can work to kind of be a, well, how do I want to say? We work to streamline everything and get the pet the best care they need without making anything worse if there are symptoms.

And then the latter part of the course is when we talk about topicals and how they work specifically on the coat and what to reach for when we see certain symptoms come in the salon and that flowchart that I’m going to offer is part of that. It kind of simplifies everything that if you see certain symptoms coming in in a cluster, this is what you could reach for without narrowing it down to product name. Like you said, I like to remain open to any product type or brand, but an actual type of product like a benzoyl peroxide shampoo or a clarifying shampoo in certain situations to best care for the coat without painting yourself into a corner with a certain brand because there’s so many things to choose from.

Joe Zuccarello: So, how do they take your classes? How do they get you in front of them?

Chris Sertzel: You can find me at Chrissertzel.com. You can find me on Facebook all over the place. There’s always a listing of classes on A Girl and Her Dog Productions, which is my business that kind of umbrellas over all of the teaching aspects. And yeah, I mean, like I said, online, if you do a search for Chrissertzel.com you’ll be able to find all of the educational opportunities that I currently have.

Joe Zuccarello: Great. And we’re going to make that very easy for all of the Hey Joe! Podcast listener audience out there. You’re going to be able to go to the Paragonpetschool.com website and you’ll find her link there as well plus a couple of really great bonus items.

So, you started to hint around to your flowchart. Tell us a little bit more about the flow chart and this is going to be a downloadable PDF document that we are going to make available to all of our Hey Joe! listener audience again at Paragonpetschool.com, but tell us a little bit about this tool for use during intake.

Chris Sertzel: Yeah, it’s simple, it’s safe. Basically what it does, it shows you is if a pet comes in non-symptomatic, if a pet comes in with oily coat, a pet comes in with dry coat or a pet comes in with combination coat, which is dry and flaky, lackluster coat but also oily. And it basically funnels those symptoms into what you can do during the course of that grooming visit to address those symptoms without making anything worse. So, it’s a very simple introductory safe way to start to put your head around picking certain products and certain topical methods within the salon towards skin and coat care without being overwhelming and without inheriting liability on your behalf.

Joe Zuccarello: What I usually ask all of my Hey Joe! podcast guests is to provide kind of a bonus for the listener audience. So, that was one thing, but you want even above and beyond. You said, “Hey Joe, how about if I give you this link to this private kind of one hour,” I think it’s about an hour if I’m not mistaken, but about an hour, a private video where you do some instruction that way. So, we’re going to provide the link. What are some of the highlights you’re going to cover in that video with everyone?

Chris Sertzel: Well, that’s a really fun video in that we always get through all of the material during the duration of the two day class but sometimes we fall short at the end with actually giving them the information to the pet stylists on a case by case level of how to implement everything that they’ve learned when they get back to work. And we do have a private online discussion group on Facebook so that we can share case studies and let other groomers that have been through the course know this is what I’m doing and this is the effect that I’m seeing or we can bounce questions off of all of the different minds within that group and kind of use that pool of knowledge and experience to maybe fill in the cracks, fill in the crevices of things that we may be overlooking. But the video specifically goes into different types of topical products and how they affect and benefit the skin and hair coat with certain situations without being brand reliant. Like I said, that’s a big thing. I want my students and my interns to be able to choose whatever product they want and not specifically reach for a brand of product so it’s a great video. There’s a lot of information in that hour. I think it’s like an hour and 10 minutes.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, it’s jam packed. I mean way beyond the price of admission, which is free. Right? So-

Chris Sertzel: Yes.

Joe Zuccarello: I mean, all you need is some time so grab a hot tea or a hot coffee and sit down and enjoy an hour watching this private video recording by Chris Sertzel.

So Chris, thank you so much. I know that we could probably unpack any one of the topics we talked about today and go on for hours about that. So, what I hope that we’ve done is I hope for all of you out there in the audience is that we just called some additional awareness and attention to this because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re being asked to do by the clients that visit your businesses every day.

Chris, thank you so much for being a podcast guest, and I’m sure we’re going to have you on here and see more education pieces from you in the future.

Chris Sertzel: Yes. Thank you so much for sharing time with me. I appreciate it. Thank you.

About Joe

Joe Zuccarello is VP 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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