Answers to FAQs about dog grooming

dog groomingI spend every day working with dogs. When I tell people this, they usually say something about how great it must be to get to snuggle and play with dogs for a living. While it is a great job to have, it’s also a hard job. It’s dirty, loud, and physically demanding. It can be frustrating. Today, I’m here to give you answers to the most common questions I hear from clients about dog grooming.

Question: I know s/he is a little tangled, but why do you need to shave my dog? Can’t you just brush it out or cut out the matted parts?

Answer: There’s a difference between tangles and mats. Tangles are loosely formed and usually occur in the outer “guard” coat. They don’t involve large areas and aren’t tightly clumped. For dogs who aren’t too sensitive, these can be brushed or combed out.

Mats are what happens when tangles get out of control. The hair clumps together tightly. They can form against the skin, under the top layer of hair.  If you don’t brush your dog all the way down to the skin, mats can still form in the undercoat even if the outer layer of your dog’s coat looks good. Brushing out mats is time-consuming and very painful for your dog. It can even cause abrasions to your dog’s skin. Only shaving out matted areas is possible, but your dog’s groom will look horrible. To remove matted hair without hurting your dog, it’s necessary to shave the hair off close to the skin to get under the mats. This is the only way to remove mats without causing your pet pain.

Question: Why does dog grooming cost so much?

Answer: The quick answer is this—dogs aren’t easy to groom.  Dog grooming includes a bath, blow dry, and brush out (unless your dog is matted, of course). It also includes ear cleaning, ear hair removal, “potty trail” trimming, nail clipping, and anal gland expression. These are all things that most dogs don’t enjoy.  It’s my job to keep your dog safe and make his experience as stress-free as possible.

Question: Why doesn’t my dog look like the photo I showed you/that dog from tv/a stuffed animal?

Answer: Grooming is unpredictable. Your dog may not have been cooperative. Your dog’s hair may not have the same consistency as that other dog. Your dog may have insisted on tilting his head to the right the entire time I was trying to shape his face. It’s important to remember that I’m here not only to make your dog look awesome (which is always the goal), but to also make your dog’s grooming experience as positive and enjoyable as I can.

Question: Why can’t my dog be ready earlier?

Answer: It’s always my goal to have your dog ready as quickly as I can… but I won’t put your dog in a stressful or dangerous situation to do that. Sometimes, dogs need a break during their grooming session. I use sharp scissors to trim your dog’s hair, and rushing can be dangerous.

Also, I groom between eight to fourteen dogs per day.  I finish dogs in the order they arrive each morning unless an owner specifically asks for a late pick-up time. I’ll always try to accommodate your schedule.

With all that said—no matter the situation or question, my first priority is to treat your dog with respect and love. My goal is for your pet to look forward to grooming visits! If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, feel free to give us a call.

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