Tag Archives: dog grooming

The Dogs’ December Expense Report

Not a whippet - but too cute to resist! (Photo: Montana Dogware)

The Real House Whippets’ December Expenses:

  • Food/Treats:   $154
  • Vet:                      $85
  • Interceptor:      $89
  • Supplies:             $ 6

Total:          $334

Food: I try to keep the dog food around $2 per pound – the 3 whippets together eat about a pound a day – while keeping the ingredients as organic and healthy as possible. The best source I’ve found is National Pet Pharmacy. The NYC House Whippets love Castor & Pollux Organix – they’ll pretty much guzzle as much as we give them. They seem to do really well on that and on Natural Planet Organics, which has made their fur super silky. They also don’t smell at all. Could be the good nutrition, or could be a whippet thing. As the Narrow Dog author said, his whippet, Jim, smells like “buttered toast.”

Picchu (front), Biski and Sesame tackle Avalanche Mtn in Boyne City, MI.

Vet: For Sesame’s annual checkup. Fortunately he didn’t need any vaccinations and Dr. Brown said he seems super healthy. She mentioned he’d make a good model for anatomy class at vet school. Part-time job opportunity?

Interceptor: A six-month supply for Picchu, Biski and Sesame. We order from Drs. Foster and Smith, which has a good price and free shipping. I read once that it’s rude to your vet to get prescriptions elsewhere because that’s part of their livelihood. But with three well-cared-for dogs at Manhattan prices (several times we’ve paid an $85 office visit for a 5-minute consultation), I consider our vet duly compensated and don’t feel guilty saving money on prescriptions.

Shortlink: http://wp.me/ptNqu-hz   Permalink for this article

Leave a comment

Filed under Getting a Dog / Adding to the Family, Pet Finances

Cost of Dog Grooming

Thank goodness whippets are the dog equivalent of a no-iron dress shirt. They require minimal bathing, no brushing, and are generally self-cleaning. Teeth and nails excepted. 

I was shocked yesterday when I ran into our neighbor and his maltese-bichon frise dog, who had just come from the groomer. As I admired his trim, my neighbor said they tried a new salon and it had cost the same as Petco: $90.

Like a silk shirt, a fluffy white dog comes with a high cost of up-keep

Like a silk shirt, a fluffy white dog comes with a high cost of up-keep

$90?! I had no idea dogs were so expensive to groom professionally. And this is a very small dog, which means it gets much more costly than that. Granted, we are in Manhattan where a half-gallon of (organic) milk is $5 or more. Still, if I had picked out a fluffy dog rather than a smooth-coated one, I never would have thought to budget more for their grooming than I spend on my own haircuts. 

As with nail trimming, I like to think I’d learn to brush and trim a long-coated dog myself. I do think it’s a good bonding experience for dog owners and pups, and of course it costs much less. Here’s a basic grooming primer from the ASPCA

"Save on salon trips and just buy me another coat!"

"Save on salon trips and just buy me another coat!"

Then again, C-Biscuit and Machu Picchu don’t have “special conditions” like impacted anal glands (Gr-oss!). The groomer’s website explains that manually “expressing the anal glands,” as needed, lets out an “especially putrid liquid.” I expect more – or, in this case, less – from my little bundles of joy. So professional grooming might well be worth it for some dogs – just be prepared for the cost.

Or, in my opinion, consider a “wipe & wag” dog, like a whippet!

Permalink for this article

1 Comment

Filed under Grooming & Health, Pet Finances

Nail trimming nightmare

We were told to trim C-Biscuit’s nails once a week. I spent $25 on a high-tech nail trimmer with warning lights as the blade gets closer to the quick. While I was trying to adjust the first nail in the guillotine to read the lights, Biski got nervous and restless so I dove in and pulled the trigger – BLOOD EVERYWHERE. That was the end of that.

C-Biscuit loathed the guillotine-style nail trimmer and I could tell why: it bent back the nail before it cut it. Ouch. I could only get a couple tips off while she was held barely under control by Bob. Reading Cesar’s tips to “drain the dog’s energy” before nail trimming did nothing. She could be exhausted from hiking and actually asleep, but she bolted awake in a panic if I even thought about the clipper.

After 2 months, I resorted to taking her to PetCo. I had to capture her and stay with her while she was put on the grooming table and had her neck lassoed. She stood shaking while the groomer tipped each nail, which took a matter of seconds. It cost $12 and seemed worth it, except for how traumatized Biski was. Plus, I got a look at the clipper, which was a scissor-style rather than guillotine-style, and thought that was worth a try myself. 

The scissor-style (another $10) worked MUCH better, slicing through the nails without bending and squeezing. However, C-Biscuit still didn’t take to it and still had to be captured and immobilized, which was nearly impossible.

I got the idea to trim while giving her a bath. While Bob massaged and shampooed her, I got ahold of her paw and got a nail clipped without Biski realizing what I was doing. Unfortunately: BLOOD! I had hit the quick again. Biski didn’t seem to notice the stream of blood flowing onto the wet towel at the bottom of the tub, but Bob certainly did. “SHE’S BLEEDING!” he announced. “Maybe we shouldn’t do this!” Not a confidence booster. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Grooming & Health