Dog Breed Info

Sanitary Care

Care of sanitary areas on man's best friend is important because these areas are normally soiled and tangled. How much care is required to maintain sanitary area in reference to what must be accomplished and how often task must be done depends upon coat type and individual breed. Lifestyle of dog along with likes and dislikes of pet family must also be taken into consideration. Sanitary area is considered to be stomach, groin, scrotum, vulva, rectal area and upper inner thigh muscle.

Rectal Area
Clipper about 1/4 to 1/2 inch just around rectal area to prevent fecal matter from sticking to coat but to maintain a natural and untrimmed appearance.

Underside of Tail Area
Clipper underside of tail at base so when tail is tucked, fecal matter will not stick to coat.

Groin Area
Clipper around vulva area.
Clipper around testicle area and penis.

Stomach
Female - Clipper stomach area to naval.
Male - Clipper stomach area past naval to prevent male dogs from urinating on coat.
Maternity - Clipper stomach area to elbow for females nursing puppies.
Long Legged Terrier Trim - Clipper upper inner thigh muscle and area under tail inside cowlicks.

Coat Type Can Determine Sanitary Procedure
Some coat types require all procedures, depending of course on whether dog is male or female and some coat types require just one or none at all.


For example, short coat types, such as the Whippet, do not have enough coat on stomach and rectal area to warrant trimming coat, whereas tight curly coats on Poodles requires stomach, rectal and groin areas trimmed. Other coat types such as long and flowing found on the Maltese, require trimming stomach, groin and just slightly around rectum.

Clippering Sanitary on Short Coat Types
Short coat types typically do not receive sanitary clippering because coat is very short and does not require trimming, however, if clippered, dog must be monitored closely to prevent serious skin irritation. Short hair is stiff and when clippered feels like little pins. Each time dog moves legs or tail (friction areas), hair sticks groin and underside of tail area. This causes dog to scoot and lick and if not noticed immediately and ointments applied, within a short period of time, underside of tail and rectum area can be rug burned. To deal with this as a professional, discourage clippering sanitary on dogs with this coat type. If requested, inform pet family of possible consequences and make sure to apply a medicated ointment immediately after clippering. This will not only soothe the skin but the ointment will also soften the hair.


Breed Determines Type of Sanitary
Type of breed determines areas trimmed on sanitary. For example, long legged terriers such as the Lakeland, Airedale and Wire Fox Terrier, require area around rectum, between cowlicks, groin, upper inner thigh muscle and stomach area trimmed short. Other breeds such as the English Cocker Spaniel require only area around rectum, groin and stomach clippered.


Sanitary Clippering
Males
  • Clippering hair short on stomach area past naval prevents male dogs urinating on coat, especially on short legged body types.
  • Clippering hair around testicles or groin prevents coat from matting. Dogs lick and chew at matts causing moisture to collect resulting in skin irritation, coat staining and odor.
  • Clippering long hair from penis keeps area drier and prevents dog from licking.

Females
  • Clippering stomach is standard procedure for most female dogs to prevent matting.
  • Clippering around vulva (friction area) prevents coat from matting and holding moisture causing odors, skin irritation and coat staining.
  • Clippering entire underside of pet is standard procedures for nursing females to help maintain good sanitation and to prevent coat from matting.
  • Clippering around rectal area prevents fecal matter from sticking to coat and creates overall cleaner sanitation.

All Dogs
  • Clippering around rectal prevents fecal matter from sticking to coat.
  • Clippering underside of tail at base prevents fecal matter from sticking to coat on tail, especially when tail is tucked.

Size Matters When Clippering Sanitary on Pets
Size of dog determines how much of the stomach area is clippered. Small to medium small dogs are typically lap dogs and require more trimming on sanitary area than larger dogs. When pet families pick up their dogs, they secure them under their stomach and then place their precious pets in their arms. If area is soiled it certainly becomes a messy pick up.


Over Trimming or Over Exposure
Many families with dogs with long and flowing coat types such as the Maltese and Shih Tzu like for their pets to be trimmed short on underside of tail, groin and around rectum to prevent fecal matter from sticking to coat. If dog receives a short trim on body trimming these areas short looks fine. However, if coat is left longer on body, trimming these areas short does not work! Over clippering or over exposure of rectum, groin and underside of tail must be discussed with pet family before conducting this procedure. Pet families often request coat be left slightly longer to cover vulva or testicles when viewed from rear and also left on the sides of body to prevent exposing penis on males.


How to Determine Type of Sanitary
Partner with pet family to evaluate dog, coat type, lifestyle of dog and family and their likes and dislikes in reference to overall appearance of sanitary area. Required sanitary for trim style for breed must be considered but is typically not the first consideration. Clippering sanitary on dogs for conformation ring is a different story. The professional must abide by the rules. For beginners, clippering around rectal, groin and stomach area may not seem like a big deal, but many breeds must be shown in a natural state with no signs of trimming anywhere on dog. The wrong sanitary on a dog in the conformation ring can be a real "show stopper. As a professional in the art of bathing, grooming and styling dogs, it is your job to know the difference.


Why
A sanitary area is clippered to prevent urine and feces from gathering in coat which would leave a foul smell and can cause coat to matt.


When
Clippering sanitary on dogs with longer coats should be a standard procedure.


Where
Sanitary clippering should take place on grooming table during prep or finishing phase. If the sanitary is clippered during prep phase, same procedure must be performed during finishing phase to achieve the results.


How
Clippering techniques are used to remove coat on sanitary areas. Blade length #10 or #15 and determined by color and density of coat as well as sensitivity of skin.


Tools
Clippers
Blades #10, #15

Equipment
Table

Secure Dog
Secure pet properly for sanitary trimming to prevent injury. The easiest way to clipper stomach and groin area of dog is by holding two front legs and lifting dog up, however, on large breeds, this is not possible and for dogs with special needs with back or leg disorders this may not be possible. For pets with special needs, with dog standing, lift back leg slightly to clipper stomach area.


Be Prepared for Pet's Reaction
Professional must be prepared for pet's reaction at all times when clippering sanitary areas. Great care must be taken not to stick or poke dog with edges of blade. Use gentle scooping type motions when clippering and monitor temperature of blade at all times.


Technique
Small to Medium/Small to Medium Size Dogs
Female and Male
Procedure for small to medium/small dogs physically able to stand on hind legs. Pets with Special Needs - senior pets and pets with back and rear leg disorders cannot be lifted up in this position.


Pet Position:Standing
Professional Position: Front
  • Place mat on grooming table to prevent dog's feet from slipping.
  • Place dog on grooming table.
  • Secure pet with safety loop.
  • Check adjustment of safety loop.
  • Adjust pet to comfortable standing position on table.
  • Massage around shoulder area to relax dog.
  • Take both front feet in one hand and lift dog to comfortable position using other hand to assist if necessary.
  • Allow dog to adjust footing.

Female
  • Clipper stomach area to naval.
  • Clipper to elbow for maternity clip.
  • Clipper down inside of back legs approximately 1 inch.
  • Clipper around vulva area starting at base to tip.
  • Lower dog slowly and allow dog to adjust footing before releasing.

Male
  • Clipper stomach area past naval.
  • Clipper penis working from base to tip.
  • Clipper around testicles.
  • Lower dog slowly and allow dog to adjust footing before releasing.

Pet Position: Standing
Professional Position: Rear
  • Lift rear leg forward to make sure dog bends when lifted.
  • Move leg backward or frontward but not outward when lifting.
  • Steady dog in this position.
  • Clipper front and sides of vulva area on female.
  • Clipper around testicles on male.
  • Clipper scrotum on neutered dogs.

Long Legged Terrier Trim
  • Clipper upper inner thigh muscle.
  • Lift other rear leg and repeat procedure.
  • Lower leg slowly and allow dog to adjust footing before releasing.

Technique
Medium Large to Large Size Dogs
Female and Male
Procedure for medium large to large dogs physically able to stand. Pets with Special Needs - senior pets and pets with back and rear leg disorders cannot be lifted up in this position.


Pet Position:Standing
Professional Position: Side/Rear
  • Place mat on grooming table to prevent dog's feet from slipping.
  • Place dog on grooming table.
  • Secure pet with safety loop.
  • Check adjustment of safety loop.
  • Adjust pet to comfortable standing position on table.
  • Massage around shoulder area to relax dog.
  • Lift rear leg forward to make sure dog bends when lifted.
  • Allow dog to adjust footing.

Female
  • Clipper stomach area to naval.
  • Clipper to elbow for maternity clip.
  • Clipper down inside of back legs approximately 1 inch.
  • Clipper around vulva area starting at base to tip.
  • Lower dog slowly and allow dog to adjust footing before releasing.

Male
  • Clipper stomach area past naval.
  • Clipper penis working from base to tip.
  • Clipper around testicles.
  • Lower dog slowly and allow dog to adjust footing before releasing.

Pet Position: Standing
Professional Position: Rear/Side
  • Lift rear leg forward to make sure dog bends when lifted.
  • Move leg backward or frontward but not outward when lifting.
  • Steady dog in this position.
  • Clipper front and sides of vulva area on female.
  • Clipper around testicles on male.
  • Clipper scrotum on neutered dogs.
  • Lift other rear leg and repeat procedure.
  • Clipper upper inner thigh muscle.
  • Lift other rear leg and repeat procedure.
  • Lower leg slowly and allow dog to adjust footing before releasing.

Clipper stomach and underside up to elbow for pregnant dogs to prepare "nursing area" for newborn puppies. Procedure keeps skin and coat cleaner and prevents coat from matting due to constant dampness.

Safe & Gentle Handling
  • The sanitary area is clippered with lay of coat using #10 or #15 blade. Length determined by color and density of coat and sensitivity of skin.
  • Never use an open tooth blade to clipper the sanitary.
  • Special care must be taken to prevent nicking skin with edge of clipper blade around rectal area, vulva, nipples and testicles.
  • Take care when landing blade to trim around rectal area does not nick skin.
  • Clipper penis from base to tip to prevent injury.
  • Tail is an extension of spine and many dogs are not able to lift their tail in a vertical position due to tail set. Dogs with arthritis may also have trouble lifting their tails above a horizontal position.
  • Check blade often to prevent clipper burning skin.

Short legged dogs are considered pets with special needs when trimming stomach and groin area because it is difficult to lift legs to get to area you need to trim.

Overweight pets have physical disabilities that prevent lifting legs enough to reach area. Dogs with pink skin, puppies and senior pets are in this category when clippering sanitary to prevent severe skin irritation.

If skin is irritated from clippering, apply an antibiotic ointment. If rectum, testicles, or vulva are nicked with blade, apply pressure with sterile pad to stop bleeding, then apply antibiotic ointment. If bleeding does not stop take dog to veterinarian.

Professional Image
To create and maintain professional image during sanitary clippering, method used to secured dog plays an important role. Legs held too high makes dog struggle to keep its balance and makes dog react in a negative manner.

Safe & Gentle Handling
Always use #10 or #15 blade. Always use blade with teeth close together. Never use skip tooth blades or blades that teeth are separated that can catch loose skin or nipple on stomach. Always check temperature of blade to prevent clipper from burning skin. Always make sure dog has secure footing before lifting front or back legs. Never lift leg outward or too high. For pets that tend to develop skin irritation after sanitary clippering use a #10 blade rather than a #15 blade and trim with lay of court.

Sanitation
Clean and sanitize tools including hands after clippering sanitary areas.

Time Management
To maintain excellent time management prepare several clippers with sanitary blades. If clippers are not available, make sure to have 2 blades with coolant.

Client Relations
Notification to Pet Family
Notify pet family of any skin irritation on stomach or rectal area or if skin is nicked or scratched or irritated from a hot blade. Explain to client difficulty in cleaning and clippering area and how, if pet moves just a little bit, clipper may scrape skin. The pet owner must understand the importance of keeping a soothing ointment on the area to prevent licking and biting. The dog may also scoot his/her rear on the floor causing even more damage if not treated properly.

Recommendation to Pet Family
Recommend pet family monitor irritated area and apply medicated ointment until skin is healed. Recommend frequent visits for sanitary clippering on senior pets to assist in keeping rectal area cleaner. and recommend a more frequently sanitary clippering so that the skin becomes more accustomed to the clippering.


Pet Family Education
Educate the client on the importance of regular scheduled appointments to create and maintain excellent sanitation.
Pet Grooming Training