How long will my dog be there?
Please allow 3 hours for a full groom. I call upon completion or I can call while just finishing, and it may not take that long, but please allow that much time. Ideally I would have one dog (or dog family) here at a time and groom just them while allowing them to have any breaks they need and time to hang out with me and play and eat treats. Giving them a break from grooming seems to make dogs more comfortable with the environment and grooming process. Dogs can also stay longer if you need them to, they get water and potty breaks.
Can I stay while my dog is being groomed?
While it may seem like it'd be comforting for your dog, it actually makes dogs more nervous. They can see you but can't get to you so it creates anxiety. It is very distracting for them and the whole time they are concerned with looking and worrying about their owner than being able to calm down and focus. I know some owners get worried if their dog is getting antsy at drop off, but this is just separation anxiety and truly dogs relax quite quickly after their owner leaves. Feel free to bring your dog's favorite toy or blanket to help him feel more comfortable. You can stay for any of the Quick Services.
What vaccinations are required?
Dogs need to be up to date on their rabies vaccine. For the health of your dog I strongly recommend that they be up to date on DHPP and Bordetella immunizations. Flea and tick preventative is also a good idea.
What helps with shedding?
Brushing often! Brushing as often as possible gets rid of all that loose hair and distributes oils to make the coat healthier and stronger and shed less. Getting the De-Shed Package will get rid of all that built up dead undercoat and hair, then regular brushing (at least weekly) will maintain a beautiful low shedding coat. Bathing every 6-8 weeks will keep them in great shape. Nutrition is also important for hair health, so you should try to feed a high quality food and/or use a skin and coat supplement.
How often should my dog be groomed?
Most dogs benefit from being groomed every 6-8 weeks. Dogs should be brushed at least weekly, and even more often if they are prone to matting. Nails should be checked monthly. If you bring your dog in for a complete groom every 6 weeks or less you get $10 off!
Will frequent bathing dry my dog's skin?
Bathing with premium shampoo can be done weekly without drying out your pet's skin, but most dogs usually only need bathing every 5 to 8 weeks, and many thick coated dogs can even go 3 to 5 months. (That's bathing, not brushing!)
Does my matted dog HAVE to be shaved?
Matted hair is hair that has become tangled beyond what will come out with regular brushing. Mats can be hard and compacted or just feel like thicker areas of hair. Often they aren't even noticeable until you begin combing.
Areas that are most prone to matting are the ears and behind the ears, around the neck, armpits, rear legs, groin, tail, and the underbelly, however dogs can become matted on their entire body/face. The process of de-matting is nearly always uncomfortable.
If there are only a few areas on the dog where the mats are relatively loose they can usually be taken care of with different de-tangling products and the use of mat splitting tools, if the dog allows it. If most or all of the body is matted (even if it doesn't look that bad), or if certain mats do not come out easily or gently, then there is no other option but to shave them. In this case it is not possible to cut "through" the mats, but it's necessary to go underneath the matting. In other words, between the matting and the skin. There are several areas that are just too sensitive to try to de-mat and must be shaved if matted. This includes the belly, armpits, behind the ears, neck, and toes, or any other area where it would be dangerous or that the dog is showing that it is too uncomfortable during the de-mat.
Matting can sometimes cause skin irritations (hot spots) on the dog or conceal other skin problems. It is possible for a dog to have red, chapped, dry and flaky, itchy spots on the skin that will be noticeable and even aggravated after the shave down. Dealing with matted hair is not fun for the dog, and can be quite a timely, tedious chore for the groomer. The best remedy for mats is prevention. Bring your dog in regularly for a low maintenance haircut (about every 6-8 weeks). Brush and comb at least weekly to remove dead hair that can become trapped and start the formation of a mat. Remove any burrs, leaves, twigs, etc. quickly after they get in your dogs hair. Do not bathe your dog without brushing and combing before or afterwards. Regular brushing/combing and professional grooms will ensure your dog doesn't have to deal with this dreaded aspect of grooming.
Will my thick coated dog get too hot in the summer?
A dog's hair acts as insulation to both keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As long as air can get to your dog's skin he will keep cool. Things that may prevent this air flow is a build-up of undercoat or matting. Double coated breeds have two types of hair, a thick, downy undercoat and a longer, coarser top coat. In the spring/summer much of the undercoat that provided warmth in the winter is released and begins to fall out. This is a great time for regular, thorough, professional grooms.
Removing excess undercoat and dead hairs will ensure your dog can keep cool through the summer. Dogs don't sweat like humans, they regulate their temperature through panting and somewhat through their paw pads. Dogs should be kept inside the home on very hot days or at least in the shade with water available at all times.
Should I shave my thick coated dog because he's hot?
You can have your dog shaved, but just know that it isn't recommended to shave double coated breeds- or even take substantial length off. Shaving such a dog can cause the coat to grow back with a different texture, color, and sometimes not at all on some areas (especially the more it's shaved). Their coat insulates them, and keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer, and shaving disrupts this natural barrier. Shaving can also lead to sunburn. What will make your dog cooler and shed less is regular removal of dead hair and undercoat by bathing and brushing. Having said that, I have met a lot of owners who swear their dog is cooler and likes it better to be short, and therefore I defer to the owner and do what works best for them and their dog.