BECKVILLE – If you’re looking to get your pet groomed and give students valuable experience at the same time, look no further than the Beckville ISD ag Department Dog Grooming Program.
The program is part of Beckville High School’s Small Animal Management Program, which is an introduction for students to their veterinary animal science journey, teacher Amy Podlewski said.
“Our students will start in this course with hands-on training in working with animals, so they will learn the basics of grooming, bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, hair cutting, etc. “, she said. “The main thing is to prepare them to work with live animals and have them properly mastered when they enter the veterinary field because by the time they graduate from high school they should be able to get a Certified Veterinary Assistant certification through our program, so they can become certified.
Podlewski said the only requirement for dog grooming is for the owner to provide proof of rabies vaccination in the form of a certificate during the first appointment. Prices start at $5 for a nail clipping and go up from there.
“Because of the weather, haircuts are really hard to schedule for us. We usually have to do a two-day appointment because they have to do the prep work one day and then the trimming the next. So we can’t really do anything too fancy, but it gives (students) an idea,” Podlewski said. “Most of what we do is bath, nails and stuff. We have people asking us to do haircuts, as long as they understand they’re high schoolers and it might look a little wonky, but it should be fine.
Freshman Jessie McAfee is looking forward to a career in animals and said the course was helpful.
“Dog grooming here is something you can’t just learn in a classroom. You learn about their behaviors and general behavior and how all animals are different, and that’s just something you have to learn on the job and not on paper,” she said.
First-year student Aiden Walker stressed the importance of grooming animals properly.
“If you don’t groom a dog properly, it can lead to a violation of the animal’s safety, or it can be seriously injured, or fatal diseases spread from one animal to another (due to tools uncleaned)…After we use our table and finish cutting and grooming, nail clipping, we always do a sanitizer, and wipe it down thoroughly and make sure all our kennels, tubs, tables are pretty much cleaned by different people every week,” he said.
The class helps students interested in the field find out if it’s something they really want to do.
“I came out of the veterinary profession, and when I became a teacher, I felt like it really helped our kids get the hands-on experience they needed,” Podlewski said.
The grooming will reopen to the public at the start of the school year.
“We usually book about two days a week, but we’re flexible if people need it,” Podlewski said. “We usually do two days of grooming and then three days of classes, class work, that sort of thing. Next semester we also have a lot of stock shows and stuff, so our grooming schedule will fill up very quickly. They drop off here at the high school, so if they make an appointment, they can either meet us at the high school office or come back.
To schedule a dog, contact Podlewski via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (903) 678-4738.