Malissa Conti-Diener’s Q&A Highlights (AJG Live)

Last week on our weekly live Q&A show, Ask Jun the Groomer Live (AJG Live), I had the pleasure of having my former boss, Malissa Conti-Diener, on as special guest to help me answer questions about dog grooming. Malissa specializes in essential oils and creative grooming (coloring and nail polishing, etc), and also has a lot more business experience than I do so I knew this was going to be a great episode! I’m so excited to share some highlights from the hour long conversation!

Malissa Conti-Diener is one of the most passionate, creative, and inspiring people I know. She loves animals! Malissa’s other passion is helping people with their pets, and educating groomers so they can enjoy their work more while earning a comfortable income. She’s conducted educational seminars and workshops, even free live webinars, in order to help groomers and pet owners understand how to take better care of their pets.

You can find her blog @ or her YouTube channel @

The following are some of the great points that Malissa shared:

  • Essential Oils are oils that are extracted from plants and has the essence of the plant or flower that it was extracted from. There are all different grade levels of essential oils so it is important to do your research when buying essential oils.
    • Never apply essential oils directly on your dog’s skin!
    • Always mix it with a carrier oil before applying to your dog’s skin.
    • Avoid the mucus membranes such as the eyes, nose, genitals, mouth, etc.
  •  Carrier Oils are base oils such as Argan oil, Avocado oil, Emu oil, Coconut oil, Grapeseed oil, etc.
    • Carrier oils are used to dilute the essential oils before applying them to the skin, and they carry the essential oils onto the skin.
    • Carrier oils can be given to dogs internally for added benefits.
      • Adding a few drops of Avocado oil or Coconut oil to their food or water works wonders for their skin and coat.
  • Lavender Oil is great for calming dogs that are experiencing anxiety.
    • Bugs also hate Lavender so it works great as a natural flea repellent. Scorpions hate it too if you’re in the Southwestern part of the US.
    • Considered the Superman of essential oils 🙂
  • DIY Detangler Spray Recipe: 
    • In empty Spray Bottle:
      • A few drops of Coconut oil
      • A drop or two of Glycerin
      • Fill up the rest with Water
  • To be safe, Spot Test a small area of your dog’s skin to make sure they’re not allergic.
    • Some dogs have an allergy to nuts.
  • Ears are SELF CLEANING mechanisms that usually get over cleaned by groomers.
    • Rather than get they clean and dry, they need fatty oils to keep the skin healthy and moisturized. The oils help keep the ears clean and healthy because they have natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to them.
    • Witch Hazel is good to use to clean the ears out with, and then follow with a light layer of Argan oil to protect the ears.
  • Hot Spot Remedy:
    • Using a Spray Bottle:
      • A few drops of Argan oil and/or Avocado Oil
      • A drop or two of Frankincense oil
      • A drop or two of Rosemary oil
      • Fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water
        • Spray once a day on the hot spot and gently rub it into the skin.
          • For Wet Hot Spots, use Corn Starch to dry it out first. You don’t want to add oils to an already wet and inflamed area of the dog’s skin. Dry it up first before adding oils to the skin.
  • Using Clove oil or Cinnamon oil to mark areas of the house like doors or stairs helps blind dogs know where everything is by scent. Both of these oils have a very distinct scent that can’t be mistaken for anything else so it makes it easy for the dog to know exactly where the doors are, for example.
    • Always mix with a carrier oil before marking! 
  • Bach Flower Remedies Rescue Remedy is a line of natural pet calming products that are available over the counter at most pet stores.
    • Using a diffuser is also a good way to put the essential oils in the air so the dogs can move away from it if they have had enough or don’t like the scent.
    • Adding a drop or two to a small bowl of water and putting it up on a shelf also has a similar effect.
    • You can also mix Lavender oil with a carrier oil and apply a light layer to the pads of the dog’s feet, tummy and ears if to help calm them.
  • Becoming a profitable groomer TAKES TIME and a LOT of dedication to the craft.
    • “We get paid for bringing value, and becoming valuable, to the marketplace. It takes time to become valuable – to bring value to the marketplace. But we don’t get paid for the time. We get paid for the value.” Jim Rohn
    • We must put in the time and the effort to become a skillful groomer by going to educational seminars and workshops. Then applying the knowledge everyday until we become a skillful, reputable groomer who is valuable to the marketplace.
    • Because this all takes time, have a Savings Plan!
      • If you want to start your own dog grooming business, have a Business Plan and a Savings Plan.
        • Have clear goals in mind, and why those goals are important to you.
          • Write down clear and concise steps outlining how and when you will reach those goals.
        • Know your unique strengths and play to your strengths.
          • Understand who your ideal clients are and become the kind of person they would want to give their business to.
        • Show your business plan to someone you trust and who genuinely cares about you. Get feedback and adjust your plans if you need to.

I hope these highlights are as helpful to you as they are to me! 🙂 There were so many more great points made during our conversation, but these were my favorite. If you’d like to join me during one of our live shows to ask a grooming related question, I’d love to see you Thursday nights at 9pm Eastern Standard Time Zone.

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