Why does my dog have to be at the shop between 7:30 & 9:30 a.m.?
Unlike hair salons where appointments are scheduled throughout the day, dogs being groomed do better on a more relaxed schedule. Trying to rush a dog through the entire grooming process in a hour or so would be detrimental to the dog’s state of mind & more physically challenging.
A calm atmosphere & plenty of time for each dog is essential. Since dogs are very sensitive to energy levels, an in & out policy wouldn’t be practical or conducive to a stress-free grooming experience.
Does my dog have to be in a crate?
While most dogs like being around other dogs, there can be some that exhibit dominant personalities & think that it’s their job to control the “pack”.
In a group of dogs unfamiliar with each other, more than one of these guys can cause a little havoc! So yes, it’s always in their best interest to be separated. Believe it or not, in most cases a crate provides an area in which a dog feels safe & relaxed. The majority of dogs nap in their crate between steps in their grooming process.
Even if a dog isn’t “crate trained”, they adapt very quickly to having their own space in a busy atmosphere. For dogs that get excited by being around other dogs, our crates have door covers that can be rolled down to create a private den-like feel & keep those dogs in a calmer state of mind.
When will my dog be ready?
We will always do our best to honor an owners request for a specific time, however it’s always best to provide a phone number that we can call to let you know when your dog is, or will be, ready.
During the grooming process, dogs tend to need some “down time” between each step. To avoid having dogs become stressed, we space out the phases & make sure each dog has plenty of personal attention. Also, some groomings can be more time consuming & require the flexibility of some extra time to complete. We always want each dog to look & feel their best!
What is the actual grooming process?
After a dog is checked in & has had some time to adjust to his surroundings, he will usually be checked over or “prepped” by his groomer.
This includes brushing, de-matting & removing excess hair if necessary, clipping nails, cleaning ears, etc.. The next step, after resting for a bit, is bathing, using the shampoo or treatment that has been requested.
Also, during bathing is when teeth are brushed and/or anal glands expressed if requested. After bathing, dogs are towel dried & then blown dry with a high velocity air dryer to remove excess water & fluff (or smooth) the coat. All of our dryers are either air only or have a thermostat to regulate temperature, so there is no concern about heat.
The next & final step is “finishing”. This is when the haircut or brushing/trimming/”Furminating” is done & usually takes the most time. When the groomer is pleased with & proud of the result, the grooming is complete. It’s not a fast process, but it’s structured to make sure each dog has calm, rewarding experience & leaves looking good & feeling refreshed.
Will my dog be walked and/or given water?
Most healthy adult dogs have no problem being confined for a few hours without having a “potty break”. Puppies & seniors may have to “go” during their stay, so we like to get them ready to go home fairly early.
We are always willing to walk a dog out to our “rest area”, however we need your written permission to take your dog out of the building. All crates are equipped with water bowls & although we don’t keep them filled at all times because of the “spillage factor”, we always offer the dogs water when they are in a crate.
What will happen if my dog is matted?
If there is a way that a dog can be de-matted & brushed out without pain or injury to the skin, we will always do that. If the matting is severe or in sensitive spots, it’s always best to clip the coat short & “start over”.
A painful experience can make a dog reluctant to be groomed, even under normal grooming conditions. A dog’s coat will always grow back; he will only have a “crew cut” for a few weeks.
Dogs get matted in a variety of ways. The most common manner in which indoor dogs develop mats is by constantly rubbing or rolling on carpet, playing/wrestling with a companion dog, wearing collars, harnesses or sweaters consistently or by scratching, biting or licking themselves.
Outdoor dogs can also develop matted coats by repeatedly getting wet & then drying without brushing. The best way to keep your dog mat free is regular brushing at home with the proper tools for his coat type or having him bathed/brushed, or just brushed, by grooming professionals.
Also, a word about cats....there is a common misconception that cats groom themselves. That is only true in cats with very smooth coats. Any cat with a medium to long length coat needs to be brushed or combed on a regular basis to keep them mat free & reduce the amount of hair ingested (leading to less substantial hairballs!). Any pet though, will always benefit from time spent with their owner & a brush!
Is it a good idea to “shave” my dog in the summer?
For dogs that get a haircut regularly it’s ok to go shorter in hot weather, primarily for ease of maintenance. A dog’s “cooling system” is totally different from ours.
Just because we think that we would be hot in a fur coat in the summer, doesn’t mean a dog is. A dog’s coat insulates him from the heat as well as from the cold. Especially in dogs that spend time outdoors, removing his protection can leave him susceptible to sunburn, insect bites, & botanical & airborne irritants.
For double-coated breeds - those with a top coat & a shorter, furry undercoat - a better alternative to shaving is to have the dead & shedding undercoat removed, while leaving the healthy, protective undercoat & top coat. For years at Dogma, we have used the “Furminator” de-shedding system, which is an excellent way to keep a dog’s coat & skin in prime condition, not only in the summer months, but year round.
The process starts with a good brushing to remove the loosest layer of coat, then bathing in specially formulated Furminator shampoo & the application of Furminator solution to further loosen the trapped undercoat.
High velocity air drying helps blow away more dead coat & finally more brushing & use of the Furminator tool to strip away the last of the excess hair & leave a shiny, healthy non-shedding coat! Regular treatments can reduce shedding up to 90%!
There are some instances in which a smooth haircut is recommended, such as a skin condition that requires a topical treatment/medication, or a long, curly or thick coated breed that swims all summer. In any case, we will always do what you think is best for your dog & your particular situation