Pet Grooming Tips & Advice

We are happy to partner with you in taking care of your dog’s grooming needs. In this section we wanted to share some tips and advice on how you can help maintain your friend’s coat and offer ways we can work together to achieve the best outcome.
Our number one question is “How often should I get my dog groomed/bathed?” Our response is always “That depends on…”. Long haired dogs should be groomed at regular intervals that are needed to maintain their coats, generally between 5-9 weeks apart. Short haired dogs still need a bath on a regular basis to remove dirt, allergens and dead skin, we recommend no more than 12-weeks apart. Our most frequent puppy question is “At what age should grooming start?” Puppies, like new-born babies, have limited immune systems and need to limit their exposure to others. We recommend waiting until the puppy is at least 14-weeks old before starting professional grooming.
It is always a good idea to brush and comb your four-legged friend thoroughly and regularly (short-haired included). This will help to reduce matting as well as increase your pet’s comfort with the grooming experience. We can remove minor/moderate matting; however, when de-matting is necessary there is an extra charge as this task takes time, specialized tools, and training to perform safely.
The degree that a dog may get matted is heavily dependent on the breed and coat. For some, occasional brushing will be adequate, others mat so fast you can almost watch it happen. Generally, any poodle or poodle mix will get matted if not maintained. So, if your dog’s breed ends with either “oodle” or “poo” regular brushing and grooming are necessary. If you are unsure how to brush out to avoid mating, please stop by and ask; one of the groomers will be happy to explain and demonstrate.
Some pets may require extra care due to health issues or due to their comfort level with grooming; this includes pets with aggressive behaviors during grooming. Please let us know if your doggie friend has any special needs, we can accommodate most comfort needs. We currently have supportive procedures in place to accommodate some of our dog customers who are blind, deaf, paralyzed, arthritic, or cannot jump. We will also provide extra staff to serve as an emotional support human for anxiety. Sometimes all that is needed is a hug during stressful times (true for humans as well).
Canine anal glands are located just below and inside the rectum, all dogs have them. Some doggies can express them on their own when they poop, others do not. If you observe your performing the butt-scoot boogie on the floor or ground, their anal glands are likely full. You may also see them licking or biting in the same area. If they are not expressed periodically, they will become impacted and painful. We check during each bathing session. If they are empty, there is no charge, if they are full there is a $5.00 charge to perform an external expression.
Much like our own nails, dog nails grow continuously and need to be trimmed. Nails that are too long may get caught in cracks on sidewalks or between hardwood floors, causing pain. We will trim the nails during each grooming/bath visit; we also perform this service as a walk-in service from 10AM to 4PM daily.
Paw pads (doggie toes) are the only traction they get on smooth surfaces. Most dogs also grow fur between their pads. Periodically examine your dog’s feet to ensure the fur between the pads is not growing out to create “Grinch” paws, which will cause them to slip easily. We trim between the paw pads during grooming/bath service and can also perform this on a walk-in basis.
What to do in the unfortunate circumstance of your dog getting sprayed by a skunk – call us immediately. Skunk scent glands are filled with essentially oil-based body fluids, the longer it sits on the coat and skin, the harder it is to get off. We will get you in immediately and use a special shampoo and process that will remove most (about 90%) of the odor. If you cannot come in immediately give your dog a body bath (not on the head) with Dawn dish soap, that will help breakdown some of the odor causing oils in the short-term; however, it has its limitations, will dry out the skin and should not be used around the head/eyes/mouth area.
Shampoos
All pet shampoos are not created equal, some contain detergents that can irritate eyes and mucus membranes, those made for humans often have the incorrect PH level for animals – drying out the skin. We use a detergent-free, PH neutral shampoo as our house shampoo. To put the label to the test, we have literally squirted it into our own eyes and are happy to report that the experience, while weird, produced no discomfort.
If specialty shampoos are used, we protect the dog’s eyes by using a human-grade eye protectant lubrication to avoid any irritation. Below are the specialty shampoos we offer and their recommended uses:
Microtek – Made by our house shampoo manufacturer, Microtek has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. This works wonders on dogs with many skin issues, especially dogs with hot spots or whom like to swim.
Flea and Tick – Our flea and tick shampoo is free of chemical pesticides, instead using natural oils to kill and prevent fleas and ticks. Coming off a milder winter, we are seeing an increase in the number of dogs with fleas and embedded ticks. If we see live ticks, we will safely remove them at no charge. If a doggie comes in with fleas, we have a process to clean all surfaces in which they have been contact with an anti-flea spray (same formula as the shampoo), and we will need to use the flea and tick shampoo on the pet. While there is an additional charge to cover the cost of these items it will provide your pet with needed relief. The flea and tick shampoo and spray are very effective to rid your dog of fleas, but are not a substitute for routine preventative care.
Hypoallergenic – For pets who are sensitive to outside allergens, this shampoo will remove them from the coat and skin.
Fresh and Clean – Made by Kay Lambert, this is a deodorizing shampoo that will leave your dog smelling like a field of flowers. Some dogs have a stronger “dog” scent than others (looking at you hound dogs), but this works great on all of them. The same brand also has a crème rinse that adds oils back into the coat and makes the great smell last longer.
Snowy – Also made by Kay Lambert, snowy is specifically designed for white dogs to whiten the coat overall and remove stains.
Conditioner – We have a coat conditioner made by our house shampoo manufacturer; it is designed to provide a light-fluffy coat for fully coated dogs. We recommend it for Samoyed, Rough Collies, Shelties, Chow-Chow, and Newfoundland breeds.
Furminator – Most dogs shed some amounts year-round, leaving little tuffs or fur on the floor or bedding. Others shed so heavily that the tuffs become fur-tumbleweed blowing through the house. For the latter we have a product and process called Furminator that uses a specialized shampoo and conditioner to stimulate the loosening of dead hair. The accompanying process involves using blowers and combs to remove the loosened undercoat, eliminating up to 90% of the shedding between treatments. This popular treatment leaves the coat feeling lighter, helps your dog to regulate their temperature and leaves the fur at the shop instead of the house.
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