This year we decided to have our entire kennel of sled dogs groomed. This is something we have never done before and something we absolutely loved. Amber Travis of Bully & Bug Grooming, a local dog groomer here in Seward, Alaska came out to our kennel to help us tackle the enormous project of grooming our dogs.
We first decided to have our kennel groomed after we took our older german shepherd, Betty, in to see Amber. I was sick of finding Betty’s hair everywhere as she was heavily shedding and she looked like a hot mess. Betty, however, did not enjoy me brushing her and, running two businesses, I had very little time that I could dedicate to the project. Upon advise from friends, I called Amber up and we set a date. Betty went in to Amber’s grooming facility and emerged nearly 4 hours later sleek and gorgeous. Her thick undercoat was entirely gone.
Amber had special combs and blow out tools that she used to help get rid of the fur Betty was trying to shed. We talked and after thinking about it for a few days I decided that this was something I wanted to do for our sled dogs.
Why Groom Sled Dogs?
Most mushers would say that they don’t groom their sled dogs and that they rarely give their dogs baths. We, however, decided that grooming our dogs would be beneficial for several important reasons:
- Our dogs work hard and they deserve to be pampered.
- Getting rid of their heavy undercoat would help them run tours in the warm summer temperatures.
- When dogs have problems shedding their coat in can lead to skin irritation and infection; by having their coats blown out we avoid this problem all together.
When we looked at these reasons, we decided that they really aligned with our kennel’s mission to provide consistently excellent dog care. We were also able to help another local business which, in our book, is always a great thing to do. We can help be a part of our local community by hosting events like Paint-A-Palooza and we can also be a part of our local community by supporting local businesses, such as Amber’s.
Looking back, I can’t believe we hadn’t done something like this before because it really has significantly impacted our dogs overall well being. Not only did they (mostly) enjoy being blown and brushed out, they are also now much more comfortable as temperatures continue to climb as we enter the warm summer months.
Here is a short video of the dogs being groomed:
Because our dogs do tours, they will retain less of their body heat and will be better at keeping themselves cool. It also significantly impacts the dogs who will go up on Godwin Glacier for the summer as by blowing them out, they will now shed significantly less on the glacier meaning our crew will have less work. Believe it or not, we have to rake up dog hair on the glacier all summer long!
We are really happy with our decision to have our dogs groomed and will be looking forward to letting their hair fly again next year!