On average, you can expect your dog to be here for 3 to 4 hours. The breed of the dog and the job that is required will determine the amount of time that he/she will be here.
Why does it take so long to groom my dog?
All mats are split up, brushed and combed out. Then they are styled. There is an entire body, 4 legs, a head, a chest and a tail to groom, as well as nails to cut, ears to clean, and groins to shave. Each dog is bathed and then fluff dried. It takes time, skill and patience to do this. Remember when you go to the hairdresser: you have only one head and therefore you sit still! Dogs do not always sit still. You do not try to bite your hairdresser, or sniff them the entire time you are having your hair styled. You don’t have accidents on the floor. It is similar to us going to the salon and having a manicure, pedicure, facial and massage. It takes time.
How often should I have my dog groomed?
Most veterinarians recommend all dogs be groomed every 4 to 6 weeks. After 8 weeks, bacteria can start to build up in the hair around the eyes, the bum, the groin and feet. All breeds of dogs require grooming. By having your dog professionally groomed this often, you are taking excellent care of the skin, the coat, the nails, the ears and many other grooming requirements.
What kind of a brush or comb should I use?
A Slicker Brush works well for most breeds of dogs. Brush against the grain or backwards. It is vital to brush from the skin out, to loosen hair on the shorter breeds and to ensure that you are getting any mats that may exist in the longer hair breeds. Then use a metal comb. If the comb snags on an area, go back over it with the Slicker and try again. For breeds with short hair, use a currycomb to brush your dog. These are usually made out of rubber and they help remove loose hair. Currycombs also massage the dog’s skin.
Why do groomers always shave my dog?
When dogs are matted, groomers will generally shave the dog. This is done for the sake of the dog. It is painful and stressful to ask a dog to sit still for a lengthy period of time and have a metal brush repeatedly taken over his skin. It causes brush burn in many cases. In order to save the dog from a very stressful situation, groomers will generally shave the dog. Most importantly, we try to make the customer fully aware prior to their leaving that the dog will be shaved. There are no shocks or upsets upon returning when owners have been told that the dog will be shaved. Owners can expect to pay an additional fee for severely matted dogs. It is a painstaking procedure to do safely and properly. A dog’s skin is thin like tissue paper. When the coat is matted, the skin becomes loose and hangs due to the weight of the matting. When passing clippers over the body, the skin will often slip between the blades of the clippers resulting in a terrible cut.
What are mats? My dog is not matted?!
As professionals, we have our hands in every different type of dog hair that there is. For this reason, we can see matting from 50 miles away. For some unknown reason, many dog owners have absolutely no idea that their dog has any mats whatsoever, or the extent of the mats. This is very common. When we separate the top layer of hair that is often brushed and combed out nicely, we then expose the matting underneath. Owners are often completely shocked at what they see before their eyes.
How can this be avoided?
Bring the dog in for professional grooming every 4-6 weeks. By doing this we are able to get out any trouble areas and maintain a clean and healthy coat. You will ensure that you will be able to maintain the look and the style that you want by doing this. Also any areas of concern will be brought to the owner’s attention. For example, if the ears are looking red and angry, brown and smelly. Brush and comb your dog on a regular basis.
The nails look too long, were they cut?
If a dog’s nails have not been maintained with regular cuts, the ‘quick’ will grow long with the nail. There is a vein just beyond the quick. If the vein is cut then the dog naturally will bleed. Therefore, we can only cut to where that vein is. Again regular visits will ensure that the nails are kept short and manageable.
The nails are sharp! Were they cut?
After cutting a dog’s nails there is a fresh edge on them and is extremely sharp, so sharp it can cut your skin. It will take a day or two to wear down this edge.
It’s too cold out, can we have our dog bathed or groomed in winter?!
Weather conditions and temperature have absolutely nothing to do with grooming. Keeping a thick, dirty, matted coat on a dog is not healthy. There are many different styles from which to choose if you are concerned about the dog being too cold. As long as it is properly maintained, there is no reason why owners cannot have a beautiful longer style. For your information, the University Of Guelph did a study to determine if a shaved dog was colder than a matted dog. The matted dog was far colder because the cold air was trapped between the blanket of mats and the skin, therefore keeping him cold 24 hours a day.
Why is his hair so thick with undercoat?
Double coated breeds need regular grooming also. Every six months or longer is just not good enough. Do not wait until it is hanging in clumps off of his body. By keeping it clean and combed regularly the undercoat will not build up. The skin will be able to breathe properly. Keeping it clean and combed through will also reduce the chance of hot spots and skin problems.
Please shave my Golden Retriever, Husky or Collie!
I never recommend shaving any of the double-coated breeds. Their undercoat provides warmth in the winter and keeps them cool in summer. Provided that the coat is kept clean and combed completely through, there should be no difficulty in keeping your dog comfortable. Often when these breeds are shaved the coat will not grow back normally. The coat becomes dry, patchy and sparse and the skin often turns black. A ‘burned’ look develops especially if the process is repeated more than once. Even though I will do this for dog owners, I take the time to explain the unsatisfactory results that generally happen. It can take years to get the coat back to a normal natural state if ever. This is a very risky procedure to have done to your dog.
What if my dog has fleas?
Strangely, the type of flea that gives dogs the most trouble is Ctenocephalides felis — the cat flea. It not only nibbles on your dog’s skin, but could have a more severe effect known as FAD, or flea-allergy dermatitis. This can lead to hair loss and bacterial infection, so you’ll want to do everything you can to get rid of every last flea as soon as possible.
Your dog: All dogs should use a monthly treatment for fleas. There are many available on the market. You can chose from a topical treatment that is placed on the back of the neck or a pill that can be taken orally.
Your home: Flea bombs will often do the trick. Flea bombs are available in most pet stores. In addition, a flea spray might be used for those cracks and crevices that the bomb might not reach. The home should be vacuumed frequently, paying attention to hiding places like under couches, coffee tables, beds, etc.
Your yard: Be prepared to spray the entire yard with an outdoor flea control product that will take care of adult fleas, immature fleas and the larvae.
Your car: If you have transported the dog in your vehicle you need to spray the vehicle with a flea spray or use a flea bomb.