Canine care comes first for Barcaldine dog groomer

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Dog lovers keen to learn more about the health and wellbeing of their beloved pooches and how to react in an emergency are being given the opportunity to attend sessions over the next two months.

Barcaldine groomer Nikki MacGillivray will be at the Rockfield Centre on Thursday October 17 for her canine health and wellbeing evening, and again on Wednesday November 20 to deliver her canine first aid course.

Having been a groomer for the last three years Nikki comes across a lot of conditions and ailments in dogs in the course of her work due to working on areas that are not always visible or easily seen, and is keen to pass on her knowledge.

‘As groomers we are in no way veterinary trained or qualified, neither do we claim to be,’ she said.

‘We always refer into Oban Vets, and/or advise the owner take them to be checked when we have any concerns.

‘However there are some preventive measures that can sometimes be taken. Spotting certain conditions/ailments early is often key.

‘We are therefore going to be delivering an information session that will cover topics such as worming, neutering, parasites, vaccinations, common conditions, and how to spot them.

The first aid course will cover basic measures such as bandaging, choking, fits/seizure, types of bleeding and how to stem it, broken bones, tail injuries as well as how to perform CPR on your dog if the need arose.

Nikki is in the process of publishing her own booklet which she hopes will be ready in time for her to hand out to each participant to take home for future reference.

While there are no licensing requirements to be a professional dog groomer, Nikki has been bucking the trend. She has achieved three City and Guilds diploma’s in various aspects of her work and is currently working towards her Masters.

There are currently only seven UK International Certified Master Groomers (ICMG) and she is committed to becoming number eight.

She said: ‘Dog grooming isn’t regulated at the moment but I feel that it is really important to promote good practice within the industry and to ensure the welfare, health and safety of the dogs is a priority.

‘This includes how to carry out daily health checks, as well as information on worming and good routines. This is all about prevention of illness and disease, and common signs and symptoms.’

For more information or to sign up to any of the classes contact Nikki through her Nikki’s Canine Sassoon Facebook page.