For Crysta Phillips, grooming is so much more than a haircut; it’s an opportunity to truly express a dog’s personality. Growing up, Crysta always loved dogs and knew she wanted to work with them in some capacity. To her, no dog is the same - they each have their own distinct personality and she loves getting to fully express them all in her work.
Where some jobs can become a lackluster routine, Crysta finds daily rewards and challenges in her role as a groomer at Bark & Fitz Burlington East. Grooming can sometimes be an overwhelming experience in the beginning, but Crysta enjoys taking the time to get to know her clients (both 2 and 4 legged) and takes pride in seeing the transformation at the end of every appointment.
Her favourite part of the job is in knowing each dog is leaving their appointment feeling and looking their best!
Outside of The Grooming Room, Crysta enjoys spending time with her 7 year old Jack Russell, Leroy, and her part-boarded horse, Ally. Animals are a big part of her life and her passion for animals, big and small, is apparent in her grooming techniques.
1. My dog is hot! Should I have him shaved in the summer?
This is a very common question and really depends on the type of coat your dog has. For single coated breeds, such as Shih Tzus and Poodles, I recommend keeping their coats fairly short in the hot months. For double coated breeds, such as Huskies and Golden Retrievers, more harm than good can be done in shaving their coat! The top coat is a natural way to keep your dog cool and protected from the sun. The undercoat can make your dog too warm, so I recommend having this layer professionally brushed out.
2. Are there coat conditions that are more likely to occur in the summer?
Yes! With the rising temperatures and the hot sun there are two common issues I see in the summer: dry skin and hot spots. Dry skin is easily identified if you notice your dog is itching more than normal and has flaky or irritated skin. It is a good idea to point this out to your groomer; however, this can be easily treated at home with an all-natural shampoo such as one containing oatmeal. Hot spots are more difficult to treat and appear as a wet scab that is constantly itchy to your pet. These often occur in humid weather and should be treated by your vet.
3. How often should I brush my dog at home during the summer?
I recommend brushing your dog every few days, especially with double coated breeds.
As mentioned above, double coated breeds grow an undercoat that can make them hot.
Staying on top of removing this layer will help keep them cool.
4. Aside from brushing, what else can I do between grooming visits to keep my dog’s coat healthy?
I like using Earth Bath Pet Wipes in between grooming appointments to wipe dirt and dander from the coat and help bring natural oils to the surface. Also, I recommend using a similar wipe to keep eyes and ears cleaned between appointments.
5. What brushes and products do you recommend for dog owners to use at home?
I really enjoy using the Earth Bath Oatmeal + Aloe Shampoo for its all-natural ingredients.
For brushing, I recommend the Deshedding Tool, the Steel Comb and the Slicker Brush all
from Andis. These tools help manage shedding and keep your pet’s coat soft.
6. Any other tips you’d like to give pet owners for the summer?
During the summer months we love getting our dogs in a pool or a lake to help them cool off.
A great tip is to rinse your dog afterwards to remove any chlorine or lake sediments that can cause dry skin and itching!