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I have a puppy. Should I have him groomed?


Have your puppy groomed soon after their second shot series (around 12 weeks old), because two weeks after those shots is when their immunity kicks in. Do not have your dog groomed if he has not had his shots. Start young so your puppy can get used to the grooming process, starting with nails and a bath, with minimal clipping depending on the breed.


My dog seems to be scratching himself a lot. Can a grooming help this?


If your dog has fleas, and you bring him into the shop, he will be given a Capstar, an oral anti-flea medication and safe for all dogs before he is bathed. The Capstar will kill fleas in 24 hours. Two days after the bath you need to use a preventative. My recommendation is Comfortis, also an oral medication. This is preferred because it cannot be washed off.

Or your dog may have a skin condition. Several things can cause skin problems. You could try changing to grain-free diet. He may have allergies or a sensitivity to cleaning agents, freshening powders, etc. Medical issues could be related to thyroid, Addison’s disease, anxiety. Try to eliminate any irritants before taking to the vet.

How do I choose a groomer?

One of best ways is word-of-mouth referral. Ask friends who have dogs who they go to. Ask how long they’ve been grooming. Ask if you can bring your dog by for a consultation. If you have a groomer and your dog is hesitant to go in there, ask the groomer if they are flexible with their time - some dogs take longer to adapt, so I like to take extra time with new dogs.

How often should I groom my dog?

Ideally, your dog should be groomed every 4-6 weeks. This schedule is of course for breeds like Poodles, Bichon Frisés, Schnauzers, etc. Short-haired breeds like Beagles, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and the like, not as often, perhaps 6-8 weeks. Any breed smaller than a Cocker Spaniel needs to have their anal glands expressed regularly.

Can a dog be "over groomed?"

If you maintain your dog at home with daily brushing, that would be considered grooming. There are specific breeds that should not be bathed unless absolutely necessary. These include the sled dog breeds such as Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Spitz and Samoyed. They do however require regular professional maintenance to keep the undercoat from matting.

Can I stay and watch you groom my dog or do I have to leave him?

Generally speaking, this is not recommended. Dogs tend to be difficult to handle if the owner is present. They will be constantly try to go to you, which makes it almost impossible to safely do the job. Groomers use sharp shears and clippers when grooming your dog, and if he can see you it's just flirting with danger for both dog and groomer.

Do you groom all breeds of dog?

I used to. But after 36 years of grooming I am no longer able to groom larger dogs; for example, Russian Terriers, Saint Bernards, and Bernese Mountain dogs. 

What if my dog has to relieve himself?

My shop has a completely fenced-in backyard area where dogs can be safely walked if the need arises. 

Do you groom multiple dogs at the same time?

My practice is to stagger appointments to allow me to keep dogs for 4 hours or less. I will not schedule more than 6 dogs on any given day. This prevents your dog from being unnecessarily rushed through any part of the grooming process, and allows me to maintain the level of quality work I demand of myself. 

Do you groom older dogs?

Yes, however, older dogs are groomed with comfort being the primary concern rather than fancy cuts. I've found that many times geriatric dogs have health conditions which make it difficult for them to stand for long periods of time. So I will usually give them just a basic all over clipping, rather than a lot of scissor work. For senior dogs, simple and easy is best. They may not look as dapper as they did in younger days, but who does? The primary goal is their comfort. 

Laurie, Boris and Natasha
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