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If you want to see dogs dyed and fluffed up to look like pandas, Muppets, dragons, or Yoda, the internet is there, waiting for you. Just don’t ask Nicole Felsher of Demi’s Dog House in Montrose about such nonsense. “Our clientele is pretty cut-and-dried,” says the owner of the one-stop shop for grooming, boarding, and doggy day care. “They mostly want the basics.” Yes, Felsher will do a doggy Mohawk, fashionable sheer (like a lion or lamb cut), or painted claws upon request, but she usually keeps it simple. Here are her tips for great grooming:

Avoid shaves.

Taking a razor to your pup’s fur in the hot summer months may actually put him at a disadvantage. Pets’ coats insulate them from the sun, Felsher explains, and a close shave on a dog who spends time outdoors can lead to overexposure and increased risk of heat stroke. 

Furminate, furminate, furminate.

Felsher recommends this practice for dogs with double or triple coats. To de-shed while keeping your pet’s protective layer in place, a rake-like “furminator” tool pushes through to a dog’s undercoat, removing dead hair beneath the surface and enhancing ventilation through the top coat.

Try a puppy cut.

A bit of a misnomer, this ’do works on adult dogs, too, and is Felsher’s preferred style for doggy maintenance. What began as a trim style for poodles on the dog-show circuit is now one of the most popular cuts for many longhaired breeds, with hair trimmed to one length all over, resulting in a short, but fluffy, look.

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