How long will my dog be at the spaw?

On average, you can expect your dog to be here for 1 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?

Each dog is bathed prior to grooming. Then the dog is fluff dried. 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. 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?

In my opinion, all dogs should 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.

How often can I bathe my dog?

You can bathe your dog once a week if you want to, although it's not highly recommended or necessary. Be sure to use a very good quality shampoo and conditioner if you are bathing often. I recommend selecting a good quality shampoo from your veterinarian's office because many of them are safe to use once a week.

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, called a Greyhound 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, I 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. A Bichon with average hair length should be brushed at least 20 minutes 3 to 4 times each week between regular grooming visits.

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.

Can you do my dog's anal glands?

At Precious Paws, the anal gland expression is not a part of the grooming package. It is my opinion that this is something that must be discussed with your veterinarian first if you wish to have it done. I believe that it is best to leave Mother Nature to do what her job as was intended. Expression of the glands on a regular basis could make the sensitive muscles become weak and dependant on being expressed. Inexperienced hands should never do this procedure. The area can rupture causing extreme pain and surgery is often required. If this is something that you are concerned about, please be sure to have your veterinarian examine your dog first.

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.

Will you 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 and a form must be signed saying you acknowledge the negatives. 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.

When can I bring my puppy in for his first grooming?

As soon as your puppy has had his 3rd set of vaccines and rabies shot at the veterinarian, they are clear to be around other dogs. Remember this when visiting parks and pet stores. Your puppy can become very sick if not fully protected. Viruses in the air can kill a little puppy in a very short period of time.

What about Kennel Cough, should I vaccinate for it?

This is a decision that is strictly up to the owner's discretion. Discuss it with your veterinarian. It is an airborne disease and will spread quickly. It is not, however, a mandatory vaccination.

Will you groom my cat?

Sorry, but the answer is no. I specialize only on dogs.