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Etiquette

Good way to offer dog grooming?

I have a cousin who is going to be one of my bridesmaids. She is legally blind and has a Seeing Eye guide dog to help her get around. We have already joked about getting him a bow tie to match her dress, and I absolutely, 100% am not considering asking/suggesting/doing anything to make her think I don't want her dog to be there for her at the wedding.

That said, he is a yellow lab who sheds like crazy. We were at the wedding for a different cousin a few weeks ago and I noticed how much dog hair ended up on my dress and fiance's pants, just from the dog sitting under our table while we were eating. (As he is trained to do. It is safer for him there than in an aisle where someone could trip over him.)

Is there a tactful way to offer to get her guide dog groomed so he doesn't shed all over the legs of everyone in the bridal party? She is on a limited budget because she only recently graduated from college, and I don't want to add that expense for her.

Re: Good way to offer dog grooming?

  • Honestly, a sheddy dog will continue to shed, even after grooming. I had a sheltie/eskimo mix. I'd brush a dog's worth of hair from her, she'd still shed a dog's worth of hair... And somehow she was still covered in hair. It's just how it is.
    doeydoMairePoppyBlue_Bird
  • Maybe make a comment such as "I'd have him get his fur done with the rest of us but since he can't I'd be happy to pay to get him groomed."
    southernbelle0915rsbloomwrigleyvilleSP29
  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I have a cousin who is going to be one of my bridesmaids. She is legally blind and has a Seeing Eye guide dog to help her get around. We have already joked about getting him a bow tie to match her dress, and I absolutely, 100% am not considering asking/suggesting/doing anything to make her think I don't want her dog to be there for her at the wedding.

    That said, he is a yellow lab who sheds like crazy. We were at the wedding for a different cousin a few weeks ago and I noticed how much dog hair ended up on my dress and fiance's pants, just from the dog sitting under our table while we were eating. (As he is trained to do. It is safer for him there than in an aisle where someone could trip over him.)

    Is there a tactful way to offer to get her guide dog groomed so he doesn't shed all over the legs of everyone in the bridal party? She is on a limited budget because she only recently graduated from college, and I don't want to add that expense for her.
    Well you would obviously be the one to pay for this. I would check with her first . Voice your concerns about the shedding then see if you could make a girl's day out of it. You two could get lunch while the pup gets groomed.
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    SP29
  • Just when I thought I couldn't be surprised on these boards....

    Anyway, I like Teddy's suggestion. But agree with PPs that the dog is going to shed no matter what. I'd just make sure you pick light colored BM dresses so she doesn't look covered in dog hair.
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    OliveOilsMom
  • Im with SouthernBelle.  You could offer to have her groomed as close to the wedding as possible to at least try to tame some of the loose fur, but you probably wont get far (I've had labs they shed).  Your best bet is to be prepared with something to help remove the fur from the dresses...like those sticky rolls, special brushes, etc.  Also, I get its a service dog/required, but try to be sensetive to anyone else who may have allergies to the dander.  (i.e. keeping her table free of people with allergies/keeping people as far away as possible if they're severe etc).

    Also, kudos to you for thinking of this ahead of time and not doscounting your friend because of a disability!

     

    peachy13weddingcactus
  • Thanks for the responses. I don't know if I was just making a bigger deal of it in my head than it actually is. My mindset was that when her dog has his harness on, he's an extension of her. I wouldn't ask her to lose weight or dye her hair for my wedding, and the shedding is just an aesthetic problem.

    I am saving money so I can pay for my bridemaids to get their hair done, but I'm not going to require that they do it professionally. Am I correct in thinking that the consensus is that offering to have her guide dog groomed is closer to offering to get her hair done professionally than offering to get her hair dyed because I don't like the color?

    As for allergies, I have already thought of that. No one in the wedding party has dog hair/dander allergies. If previous family weddings are a good indication, she'll be hanging out with cousins during the reception, all of whom have spent time with her guide dog before with no problems. I may ask FMIL to mention to some of her extended family that there will be a guide dog there. I don't know if there's anything else I could do about that, if someone has severe allergies.
    cowgirl8238
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Grooming won't help with the shedding. I suggest having some lint rollers handy.

  • Thanks for the advice. I've never had dogs, so I didn't realize that grooming might not help. (My pets only shed once every few months, and then it all comes off in one big piece.) I'll offer to get him groomed as a treat, and definitely make sure we have lint rollers around.
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2014
    I will just add that my best friends family had a yellow lab. Her sister would groom and groom that dog and he'd still shed.  I remember she would scrape one side of his leg with a special grooming comb. She'd have such a big pile of fur you'd expect that spot to be bald, and it didn't look any different.

    Lint rollers, definitely!

    @lolo883 has some good language for suggesting grooming.  It may help a little, but still expect shedding.


  • Some dogs just shed all of the time.  And most Retrievers fall into that category. I have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and although she rarely gets groomed (occasional bath here and there due to her coat and the oils in it) - she sheds like crazy. Since getting her - I vacuum every other day and continuously pick up the amount of fur you would find on a 10 week old puppy.  I agree with the lint rollers.

    Kudos to you for offering this to your cousin! I'm sure the service dog would enjoy being pampered for all of the hard work he does :).
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  • cowgirl8238cowgirl8238 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2014
    Thanks for the responses. I don't know if I was just making a bigger deal of it in my head than it actually is. My mindset was that when her dog has his harness on, he's an extension of her. I wouldn't ask her to lose weight or dye her hair for my wedding, and the shedding is just an aesthetic problem.

    I am saving money so I can pay for my bridemaids to get their hair done, but I'm not going to require that they do it professionally. Am I correct in thinking that the consensus is that offering to have her guide dog groomed is closer to offering to get her hair done professionally than offering to get her hair dyed because I don't like the color?

    As for allergies, I have already thought of that. No one in the wedding party has dog hair/dander allergies. If previous family weddings are a good indication, she'll be hanging out with cousins during the reception, all of whom have spent time with her guide dog before with no problems. I may ask FMIL to mention to some of her extended family that there will be a guide dog there. I don't know if there's anything else I could do about that, if someone has severe allergies.


    I'm so glad you considered the allergies.  I didn't think you wouldn't have...but sometimes people just don't think of it :)  It seems like you have gotten some great advice and you are considering it all.  Sounds like you'll have a lovely wedding.

    ETF Very important word...

  • marie2785marie2785 member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2014
    That's such a sweet thing of you to offer to your cousin and her dog. When you two bring the dog into the groomers, just mention that you're trying to control shedding for a wedding. They wont be able to solve it, but perhaps they can do some stuff to minimize it. I know our groomer does some crazy brushing/washing right before we take our dog on trips, which really helps (doesn't solve the shedding, but minimizes it).

    And yes, LOTS of lint rollers. Costco sells 5 packs of them which may be good to distribute around the wedding party.

    If you find a matching bow tie for the dog, post pictures. That sounds like such a cute idea! 
    [Deleted User]wrigleyville
  • I don't have a lab, but I do have a German Shepherd that sheds a ton. Brushing does help but it simply cannot completely stop the shedding. We have a shedding tool that looks like a loop with one jagged edge (geez that sounds like I'm torturing my dog - I promise I'm not). The shedding tool also really helps. It gently pulls out a lot of the loose fur which causes most of the shedding. I'm not sure if a professional groomer can remove any more fur than a good brushing. 
    I would second the suggestion to have bridesmaids wearing lighter colored dresses that hopefully won't show the light fur as much. I would also extend that to the groom and groomsmen that you might want them in lighter colored suits (maybe gray instead of black). Keep in mind that some fabrics attract pet hair more than others, so you may want to choose bridesmaid dress fabrics accordingly.
    If you and your bridesmaids are all getting ready together, you might bring along a brush into the suite so that your friend can give her companion a quick brush before the show. And definitely bring along several sticky rollers to help remove hair.
  • It's a sweet offer and I think you've figured out how to phrase it well. 

    Definitely let the groomer know the appointment is for a de-shedding (not the official word) because with a short haired dog, the groomer may think it's mostly about getting the dog clean. When dogs are given a bath they end up shedding even more so stick to just a grooming if you can. 
  • I have a German shepherd and honestly grooming helps her tons.
    She wasn't shedding nearly as much for about 1.5 months. 

    Especially if the groomer uses a furminator - it helps a TON.

    I don't have any advice about phasing it - but I do personally think it will help a lot.
    image

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  • I used to groom dogs and cats as my college job. I sometimes would bring our family's chocolate lab (who was always getting herself gross around the farm) and also my cat in and groom them. After a good grooming, which includes brushing before and after the bath, I found they both did shed a lot less. And I had a lot of regular customers who brought their animals in every couple of weeks to keep the shedding down. A good grooming will not eliminate the problem entirely, dogs will always shed some, but I do agree it will help and will also give the dog a more pleasant smell. 

    I would concur with the folks who have also recommended keeping some lint rollers handy. 

    As to how to ask her, you know better than we do how she will take it, but maybe just say you'd like to treat the dog to a bath if that's ok by her, so that he is pampered before the wedding too. 
    image
  • @scribe95 has a great point. For some dogs, going to the groomers is a very stressful situation. I'm sure your bridesmaid will be able to determine whether or not going to the groomers is too stressful for her dog and you can go from there!
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    doeydo
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Everyone else has covered the shedding/grooming aspect.

    I'm just here to add that I, too, would love to see the pictures of doggie in a bow tie. :)

    [Deleted User]theartistformerlyknownas
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited October 2014
    I don't think anyone mentioned this - but labs have a double coat - it's designed to keep them insulated from cold AND heat.  They shed all year round with two particularly heavy shedding periods in spring and fall.    Cutting or shaving it is actually going to cause them more harm than good potentially and it's not going to stop the shedding (they'll just shed shorter hairs).  Bathing should be kept to the bare minimum because it strips their skin of much needed oils and reduces the weather-proofing effectiveness of their double coat.

    The ONLY thing that is really going to potentially minimize the amount shed (not eliminate, just make it not that bad) is a good thorough weekly brushing of his coat (maybe even twice a week or every other day during heavy shedding in spring/fall) done consistently for months and maintaining a healthy diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (so no quick fixes - a one time trip to the groomers isn't going to be effective).  And since it's not your dog, I'm not sure it's really your place to critique or make suggestions on the care of her service animal if she isn't doing that already, in my opinion, unless the dog is being abused or neglected.
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