"My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am." - Author Unknown
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does pet grooming take?
Our quality grooming service involves 3-4 hours of loving, one-on-one time with your pet. This allows us to give your furry friend the attention they deserve to keep them looking their best. If their hair needs to be cut, we ask that you allow four hours so that we can wash, dry and cut the hair. If the hair is matted it may take more time. If there is no scissoring, it generally takes less time. If you need your dog groomed "in and out", we suggest you schedule your appointment first thing in the morning or later in the day. We do offer an express service for a small additional fee.
Do you bathe the dog first?
In order to get an even hair cut, the hair needs to be clean, so we always bathe the dog as part of grooming. Depending on your dog's breed and style, the groomer may do a "rough cut" first. After the rough cut, the dog is washed, dried and then the haircut is completed. In other cases, we may wash and dry the dog and then the haircut is completed. Most dogs are washed using hypo-allergenic shampoo, but we have many alternative shampoos depending on your pet's needs. After the dog is washed and rinsed, we use a conditioner as well.
Can you groom my dog to the breed standards?
Yes, our groomers are familiar with most of the breed standards and are very experienced with the more popular breeds. Many clients do not groom to the breed standard because of the level of maintenance required. If you want to get your dog groomed to the breed standard, it is helpful to review with the groomer the breed page in the "All Breed Dog Grooming Guide" and/or bring pictures. Each dog is different and each person's needs vary; so a consultation can help you know your options and decide accordingly.
Can you do a puppy cut?
"Puppy Cut" is a loosely descriptive term. With most breeds, we maintain the cute puppy look. Most of the time, this means the hair is cut to the same length all over. Many people choose a puppy cut because it is easy to maintain but there is usually a choice of length. Your groomer can work with you to choose a style which works best for your dog.
My dog's hair is knotted. Do I need to cut the hair short?
Allowing a dog's hair to knot or develop "matts" is unhealthy for their skin. Matting gets worse if the coat gets wet. Before washing the dog, it is necessary to brush out all the knots. If the hair is matted, it may be possible to "de-matt" the coat. Unfortunately, this can be painful. In some cases, de-matting may cause or reveal existing skin irritation. If your dog is matted, we will advise you on what can be done. If the hair can be de-matted without causing pain to the dog, it may be possible to save the coat. If the hair can be de-matted, there may be an additional cost. Otherwise, we may recommend cutting the hair short. If the hair is matted, we recommend meeting with one of our groomers beforehand so we can discuss your options.
Do I get the same groomer each time?
Some clients prefer to keep the same groomer. If your dog is nervous and/or you have specific requests, we find that coming back to the same groomer works best because it fosters a relationship between the client, groomer and dog.
Can I stay with my dog and watch?
Our grooming is visible from the lobby. However, if your dog can see you, this usually leads to the dog trying to be with you and can result in a dangerous condition. The groomer is working with sharp tools and looks to avoid additional stress and excitement. If you want to watch, take a peek from a distance; but if you need to watch the entire time, you should consider home grooming.
Do you cut the nails?
Yes, we are able to cut the nails of most dogs. With some dogs, however, it needs to be done by a veterinarian. Long nails can lead to several issues including joint problems, broken or split nails. With nail cutting, there is always a risk of bleeding. Inside the nail is a blood vessel which grows with the nail. If the nail is allowed to grow long, then cutting the nail even slightly may result in bleeding. If the nails are black, the risk of bleeding increases. If the nail bleeds, we apply styptic powder to the nail. Regular trimming can prevent this.
What are anal glands?
The real answer is "something you don't want to deal with at home!" They are the scent sacs right under the dog's tail. Some dogs empty them naturally, some do not. Your groomer can check if they need to be emptied (expressed). Please let us know if your veterinarian does this or if you want us to express the glands.
How is my dog dried?
Usually with a combination of methods (the coat determines the drying techniques). While in the tub we may towel dry the dog and/or use a high-velocity dryer that blows off the majority of water. We have open cage dryers that the dog can sit or lay in and circulates cool air all around them (these are not the closed cage dryers that you have heard about in the news). Most coats require a hand drying technique with a hand held force dryer. The groomer may finish up with a standard dryer while your dog is on the grooming table. During all of these drying phases your dog is being supervised. All of these drying methods are considered safe and have been in use for many years by grooming salons, veterinarians and kennels.
What if I don't like the groom when it is finished?
Please tell us. We aim to satisfy. On the occasion where a haircut is not to your liking and it is a matter of a little more trimming here or there, the groomer can do it right away. In some instances, we may ask you to come again on another day in which case we can start again. If there are two or more people responsible for the grooming result, it is important that they first agree on a style before giving the groomer instructions.
What is a hair mat?
A mat is essentially a mass of tangled hair. However, mats maybe comprised of burrs, barbs from plants, or other debris (gum, tree sap, glue, paint, etc.). Unlike a human’s hair, a dog’s hair mats from the skin up, so it is important to comb from the skin out, not just brush the top layer.
What can happen to my dog(s) skin as a result of matting?
Matting can make it very difficult to see the skin beneath. As a result the mat may conceal fleas, or pests, skin irritations, lesions, scabs and other conditions.
Why can’t we just bathe them or just cut the mats out?
Bathing a matted pet cannot only prevent the dog from drying properly but cause the mats to become worse. Pets must be properly brushed before getting wet (e.g., playing in the water or out in the rain). Without proper brushing before and after the bath, mats will only get worse. Mats soak up water like a sponge, causing the mats to become tighter, bigger and closer to the skin.
Just cutting mats out is not recommended as the skin can become entangled in the mats resulting in an injured pet. The safest way to remove mats close to the skin is by shaving it out (usually with a #10 blade, which cuts the hair to 1/16th of an inch). This enables us to get under the mat completely.
Why can’t we de-mat?
Dematting can be done if the matting is not too extensive; however, it can be extremely painful and uncomfortable to your pet. With dematting, you always run the risk of cutting or injuring your pet. Not only do you run the risk of injuring your dog with dematting, but the grooming process necessary to remove mats from the coat may aggravate your pet’s skin.
I brush my dog almost every day and they are still matted, what am I doing wrong?
Make sure when you are brushing your dog out that you are using the proper tools to get all the way down to the skin. Brushes you would use for a human's hair, will not always work for your pups hair. Also make sure that if you are using a slicker brush, that it is long enough to reach down to the skin. Small slicker brushes will not make it all the way down to the skin, thus only brushing the top layer of hair. Combs are best, usually in combination with a slicker brush because it allows you to comb entirely through the coat, from base to tip. A detangling spray is always good to use in conjunction with brushing and combing.
Why do most groomers end up having to shave a matted dog?
In some instances, shaving maybe your only option. We have to be able to get under the mat in order to remove it properly. Sometimes, small areas can be spot shaved. Spot shaving is where we are able to save the body, but sensitive areas will have to be shaved (such as behind the ears, part of the tail, armpits, or under the belly). We will ALWAYS do what is best for your pet.