A Fortunate Dog
A Fortunate Dog

Welcome to A Fortunate Dog Online Shopping

About Us

Welcome to A Fortunate Dog

Where Professional Groomers and Pet Owners alike can Learn ~ Shop ~ Save!

You will find the same products, tools and equipment that Karla uses in her own salon and spa with great success, products that are professionally formulated, tools that are effective and efficient, and equipment that will give you years of good service.

If you have been shopping with the big guys, why not take a look around our website and compare our prices and shipping costs. Unlike PetEdge, we have no minimum order processing fee.
So let's say your Andis #1 Clip Comb broke and you need to replace it. That is all you need. At PetEdge the comb is $1.49 + $6.99 Minimum Order processing Fee + $9.90 Shipping
...WHAT? You will pay a whopping $18.69 for an item that costs $1.79.

That very same item if purchased from A Fortunate Dog will cost you $2.59 + $3.07 Shipping for a total of $6.03.

Simple math...nothing hidden.

You can shop with Confidence at A Fortunate Dog!

Karla and Indi

My name is Karla Addington-Smith. I am an award-winning and National Certified Master Groomer. Grooming is my passion and I am thrilled to be able to share my grooming wisdom and how-to tips with you at A Fortunate Dog. The same products, tools and equipment that I use in my salon and spa are now available to you for use in your salon or at home to care for your own pets. You can check out Karla's Salon and Spa at www.afortunatedspa.com

Craig and Karla

Craig, Indi, Karla and Delilah
We want to help you care for your best friend with products that will enhance his or her health, comfort and well-being. After 30+ years as a professional groomer and pet retail specialist, I am proud to make these same professional products available to you...products you won't find in every big box store. Products that I have used in my own salons with success and that we can sell with confidence that they will perform as promised or we will make it right! 100% customer satisfaction is our goal.


Annie; a well loved and well groomed Standard Poodle
I am blessed to have spent the last thirty years in an industry that I love and that has allowed me great opportunities for success. In 1976 I opened the first of what would become a chain of three dog grooming salons. It was thrilling, exhausting and frightening. I was just 18 years old. But over that next 13 years the dog grooming industry challenged me to be the very best I could be. In the early 80's I completed a testing program to achieve a Certified Master Groomer status. Back then there were only 130-some breeds recognized by the AKC compared to the 160+ registered breeds of today. I began competing in professional grooming competitions, winning or placing in many, ultimately taking First Place in the 1987 Creative Styling Competition at Intergroom with my beloved white Standard Poodle; Annie. Then in 1988 I was awarded the highly coveted title of Best American Groomer at Intergroom with a Bedlington Terrier, named Derrick I have had the honor of being a member of Groom Team USA, representing the United States in world class competition in London, England in 88 and 89'. My grooming career has taken me from coast to coast and to five different countries. I love the grooming industry!
My original salons were sold in 1989 when Craig and I started a family. Over the years I have stayed very active in the Professional Grooming Industry, writing, teaching, judging and speaking. Now all these years later I still love what I am doing...still caring for and about dogs. In January of 2010 I opened the salon of my dreams, A Fortunate Dog Spa, where my wonderful staff and I create our furry masterpieces! Craig handles the day-to-day operations of the website, while I stay very busy in my salon grooming our most precious furs! I am never too busy to answer a grooming or product question, so just send an email and I'll be glad to help.

We hope you will enjoy learning ~ shopping ~ saving at A Fortunate Dog!


In Memory 2002 -2005
Clementine, my beloved Japanese Silkie
She loved her bath and blow dry!

You will find grooming tips and techniques here, but if you have specific questions regarding your furry best friend, please send me an email at afd_email@fuse.net

Don't let this happen to your dog... this poor, poodle mix was covered with thick, felted mats that had to be shaved from his skin. Once removed they created a pile of matted hair as large as the dog itself! At two years old this was his first visit to a professional grooming salon. By this time the dog's comfort and skin health had suffered greatly, not to mention his self-esteem and social acceptance. The owner repeatedly bathed him at home with harsh grocery store brand shampoos that stripped his coat of moisture and natural oils. His owner was using the incorrect brush for his coat type that did not remove undercoat and separate topcoat, but only skimmed over the increasingly matting hair. This is the all too frequent results of harsh products and the incorrect tools. It is important to know your dog's coat typeto help you choose the best products and tools for your furry friends.


Most all coated breeds will require a slicker brush for effective and efficient coat care. Be sure to use the "line-brushing technique" by parting the hair and brushing from the skin-out in layers. Brush small areas of coat and test with a comb for tangles and undercoat, then repeat the process as you cover all areas of your dog body. It is best to have your dog off your lap and on a raised skid-free surface. This allows you easier access to all parts of the dog's body. Pay special attention to friction points...behind ears, under collar, under the front legs, flanks and hocks.

A comb is used to "test" what you have brushed or for fluffing in preparation of scissoring the coat. You should not use a comb until the dog has been brushed. The comb used will depend on coat type and length. For the big, long double-coated breeds you'll need a larger, coarser comb. For other breeds and coat types a combination-style comb will work well. Always use the comb inserted parallel to the skin as shown here. Do not rake the tine-ends against the skin. This can be uncomfortable for your dog. If you discover a tangle with the comb you can loosen it by pulling it apart with your fingers, then repeat the brushing - combing steps until the tangles are all removed. Use the coarse end of the comb for easier coat penetration...the finer end will push the coat instead of inserting into the coat. For tighter tangles or light matting, you may need a dematting agent and matt splitting tool to facilitate their removal.

Smooth Coat Care
Smooth coated breeds require this simple little rubber brush. It is awesome and you won't believe how many of those pointy little hairs you will remove from your dog.

Bathing and Conditioning

The first should not be done without the second. Bathing opens the cuticle of the individual hairshaft. Conditioning closes, smoothes and seals the cuticle. Your dog's coat will be healthier and less likely to become matted if you follow up the bathing task with a conditioning product. Both product choices will depend on your dog's coat type; coat and skin health; coat color and evidence of external parasites. You can checkout our Shampoo Chart and Conditioner Chart to find the most suitable formulas for your furry best friends! Be sure to read the article below for more information on proper bathing techniques and choosing the correct product formulas to enhance coat and skin health and condition.

Bathing tips Always put cotton in the ears to prevent water from entering. You may have to tear the cotton ball in to smaller pieces to fit into the ear canal. Clean ears after bathing so you remember to take the cotton out of the ears. Hold the bath hose nozzle against the skin to avoid frightening the dog with spraying water and to facilitate wetting the coat all the way down to the skin. You are bathing the coat and the skin.

Drying Be sure to towel dry as much water as possible from your dog before using any dryer. You'll know if he or she is ready for the dryer when there is no water dripping from your dog's paws when gently squeezed. Let the dog shake to pull the water from the skin before toweling. Use a squeezing motion to towel dry longhaired dogs to prevent tangling the hair. This is the time to use a leave-in spray coat conditioner / sealant.

Using the High Velocity or Forced Air Dryer:
Starting at the rear of the dog, hold the nozzle at a distance and at an angle from the dog's skin so that the force of the air creates a starburst pattern as shown. If the coat starts to swirl, re-position the nozzle. The general rule-of-thumb is that the shorter the coat, the closer the nozzle can be held to the dog's skin. The starburst pattern dries the coat from the skin out while straightening the hair for a long-lasting well-groomed, professional finish. This technique lessens the risk of your dog developing hot spots due to moisture left on the skin. Move the nozzle slowly, drying an area completely before moving to another part of the dog's body. Be sure to keep one hand on the dog at all times.

To dry the head or face, take the nozzle off the hose end, or turn the dryer on the low air speed setting. You will find Professional Grooming Dryers from Double K, Metro and Kim Laube Co. in our store.

The Science and Art of Bathing Dogs

By Karla Addington-Smith

Put the dog in the tub and give it a bath. Right? Simple enough task... but the reality is that bathing any dog well is a balance of science and art. Bathing the dog and conditioning its coat and skin is an important part of the maintenance grooming process. To serve the dog and owner well, the bather must understand how product formulations impact the dog´s coat and skin on a long term basis.

The Science Nature provides a healthy dog´s coat and skin with a balance of natural elements including micro-flora, bacteria and sebum. But all dogs do not have normal skin. So consideration must be given to product formulation based on the individual dog´s bathing and conditioning requirements.

Consider pH Most all shampoo products are pH balanced for a healthy dog´s coat and skin falling into a range of 5.5 to 7.2. However, by design total alkalinity of most shampoo formulas is high, at around 150 to 200 ppm. The high alkalinity opens the hair shaft allowing beneficial shampoo ingredients to do their job. Repeated bathing without sealing the coat afterwards leaves the hair molecules puffed-up. The hair shaft is left open allowing minerals and residue to enter. Natural oils and moisture escapes. After long-term use coats can become dull and brittle. The alkaline deposits lead to an imbalance of natural skin elements that can contribute to the proverbial itch-scratch cycle.

On the other end of the shampoo spectrum is the repeated use of highly acidic shampoos. These typically citrus derived ingredients eat away at the hair´s protective qualities, while stripping sebum from the coat and skin. This process creates dry, irritated skin and a limp, faded coat. As the dog scratches to relieve the itch, further skin irritation occurs. Aggressive scratching breaks the already damaged coat.

To reduce the negative effects of highly acidic or high alkaline products to the dog´s comfort and skin health, a conditioner or coat sealer must be used to close and smooth the hair cuticle to restore moisture and elasticity to the coat and skin.

Water pH of the water used for bathing dogs is also an important consideration. Not only will it alter the stated dilution ratio of concentrated shampoo formulas, it will affect the way a shampoo formula cleans. Using a pH balanced shampoo in acidic or alkaline water counters the pH balance of the shampoo. Shampoo lathers best in water with a neutral pH.

Heavy Fragrance Be aware that heavily perfumed shampoo formulas are very drying to the pet´s coat, skin and the bather´s hands. Heavily scented shampoos leave the fragrance behind by way of polymers and copolymers, large molecules that build-up on the hair-shaft. After repeated use the residue leaches moisture from the coat and skin that eventually creates dull, limp, brittle fur and dry itchy skin.

It is far better for the health of the coat and skin to use a naturally or lightly fragranced shampoo formula. A stronger or more pleasing fragrance can be achieved without coat damage by using a spray of a cologne product on a small area of the dog´s coat.

How Do Shampoos Work? Shampoo makes water "wetter" with the use of wetting agents, surfactants, emulsifiers, soap, detergents, or saponins.

Wetting agents reduce tension between the product, the coat and skin. The surfactant (an abbreviation of surface-active-agent) decreases the surface tension of grease, oil and water, breaking them down into smaller particles to aid cleansing.

Emulsifiers aid in mixing two otherwise unmixable ingredients, such as water and oil. Soap is a cleansing agent that bonds with dirt for easier removal. Is derived from salt and can burn eyes. High salt content in shampoos can make them harsh and very drying to skin and coat.

Detergents are synthetic cleansers which allow water and oil to combine and are derived from non-renewable petrochemicals. Depending on the formula, they can be mild or very harsh to coat and skin.

Tearless formula shampoos will contain saponins instead of soap or detergents. Saponins are a naturally derived form of soap made from plants such as coconut oil, palm oil or soapwort. These are considered the most gentle, least irritating and drying to coat and skin. These "soap free" formulas are also safe to use with spot-on products as they will not strip oils from the coat.

Meeting Your Client´s Bathing Needs Many pets have special bathing needs based on skin health and condition, presence of ectoparasites, coat condition, coat type and color which means you will need to have a variety of shampoo and conditioning formulas on hand to meet your clients´ needs.

In addition to your "house" shampoo, that is pleasant, mild and (hopefully) cost effective, you may want to offer these alternative formulas containing some of the listed ingredients.

For dogs with dry, flaky skin and lackluster, brittle coat you will need a moisturizing shampoo that is formulated to soothe and relieve dry skin. Soap and detergent free is best, and may contain some of these moisturizing ingredients: Allantoin, Aloe Vera, Amino Acids, Avocado, Biotin, Coconut Oil, Colloidal Oatmeal, Cucumber, Folic Acid, Jojoba Oil, Kelp, Lanolin Oil, Panthenol, Sorbitol, Spirulina, or Wheat Protein to name a few.

Dogs suffering from moist eczema, hot spots, flea bit dermatitis and body odor will benefit from a healing formula with antiseptic properties. Some ingredients are considered antibacterial or antifungal in nature: Alfalfa, Awaphui, Eucalyptus, Hydroxyethane, Lavender Oil, Neem Oil, Salicylic Acid, Sage, Tea Tree Oil, Undecylenic Acid, Zinc and more.

Hypersensitive dogs may suffer from inhalant, contact or food allergies. They may have dry, itchy skin and oxidized coat from licking. A hypoallergenic shampoo formula is a must have for use on these dogs. It will be soap, detergent, color and fragrance-free. This formula is appropriate when the dog´s owner is hypersensitive to fragrances as well.

Naturally derived flea fighting shampoo formulas have become a better alternative to pesticides. Choosing pest fighting natural oils and ingredients is safer and better for you, the dog and the environment. Look for these ingredients when choosing a shampoo formula to rid your clients´ dogs of fleas: Cedar Oil, Citrus Oil, Eucalyptus, Neem, Pennyroyal, Pine, Tea Tree Oil and others.

Color enhancing formulas will help to reduce yellowing and stains. They will enhance the coat color and in some formulas provide UV protection to prevent fading, especially in dark coats.

Conditioning the Coat The next step in the bathing process is the conditioning of the coat. Conditioning products typically have a very low alkalinity level. This aids the smoothing and sealing of the cuticle on the hair shaft. This step is critical to the long-term health of the coat and will benefit the skin as well.

Conditioners contain humectants and protein, which work together to draw moisture to, and bond with, the cuticle. Proper conditioning prevents static electricity and moisture loss which are major contributors to matting and hair breakage.

You will need to choose a conditioning product based on the dog´s coat type.

Long hair, drop or flat coats require a moisturizing cream rinse product that seals and smoothes the hair shaft lending elasticity that helps to prevent coat breakage, static electricity and matting.

Curly coats require a light, body-building formula that seals the coat without weighing it down. A leave-in mousse or spritz formula works well. Cream rinse should not be used on sculpted breeds as it will make scissoring more difficult.

Hard, double and smooth coats require a protein based texturizing spritz that will enhance the wiry or stiff coat texture.

Never use a product that contains heavy oils that will clog hair follicles or prohibit the coat and skin from "breathing."

Before applying any conditioning product, be sure the dog has been washed and rinsed well. Hold up a towel for protection and encourage the dog to shake. This pulls excess water from the skin allowing you to gently squeeze more water from the coat before applying the conditioning product. Too much water in the coat can dilute the efficacy of the product.

The Art of Bathing As with mastering any task, practice makes perfect, but a rote approach to bathing is doing a disservice to both your customer and the pet. The art of bathing is a two step process. First, you must correctly evaluate the dog´s shampoo and conditioning needs. Secondly, you must use all of your senses to perform the procedures to the best of your ability and to the extent that the dog requires.

The practice of lathering every dog twice does not necessarily meet the goal of getting the dog clean. Success is not in the number of times the dog is lathered, but is in the results of the bathing and conditioning process.

Holding the spray nozzle against the skin to allow the force of the water to hasten the wetting and rinsing of the dog; and applying shampoos directly to the skin, not onto the coat by way of sponge; are techniques that can facilitate the process... but, it comes down to using your senses. Does the dog feel clean? This can not be detected by gloved hands. Does the dog smell clean? Place your nose by the dog´s ears... this is where most owners cuddle with their furry friends. Many times the face and ears are the dirtiest parts of the dog after the bath! Does the dog look clean? Is the coat dull? Are there flakes in the coat? Is so... then the dog requires another lathering. After rinsing does the coat sound squeaky clean? Great, then you can move onto to conditioning the coat.

Each step in maintenance grooming is an important step... from brushing and combing to bathing, conditioning and drying, the products, tools and techniques must be chosen and used in a thoughtful manner. Your clients will know and appreciate the difference!