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Q: Why does my dog need grooming?
A: All dogs need grooming at some point. It can be done at home or done professionally. Regular grooming helps keep your dog clean and enables you to become aware of any skin issues, bumps, possible ear infections and other potential problems. It is an opportunity to examine your dog, ensuring that he or she is healthy and does not require treatment.
Q: How much it will cost to groom my dog?
A: The cost of grooming a pet is based on the amount of time it takes. Our estimate assumes that your dog is standard for its breed (or mix of breeds), is not matted or in need of excessive brush-outs, and is well-behaved. Since these factors can vary from dog to dog, the price may vary. For example, a dog whose coat is matted and is not used to being groomed may move around quite a bit and try to bite, so a good grooming job will require additional time. For a list and an explanation of charges, see our Pricing page.
Q: When should a puppy start getting familiar with the grooming process?
A: A puppy’s first trip to a grooming salon would ideally be at 8-12 weeks of age for a bath and, in some cases, a little bit of neatening and nail trimming. You can ease into the process. For example, nails can be done at the grooming shop and then continued at home. When bathing puppies at home, be sure to use a shampoo that is safe for young dogs. If you haven’t been able to groom your puppy at an early age, don’t give up. Some dogs take longer than others to become comfortable with the grooming process.
Q: While at the salon for grooming, will my dog be taken out to urinate?
A: If time allows, we will take your dog out. It is your responsibility, however, to make sure that your pet has relieved itself prior to being dropped off.
Q: Will grooming hurt a dog with sensitive skin?
A: Grooming helps a dog’s skin and coat, especially when combined with the proper shampoo. At Bark Easy, we use the very best shampoos: gently-scented or no scent, conditioning shampoos, all-natural shampoos for sensitive skin and coat, and oatmeal products as well as hypo-allergenic products. If your vet prescribes a special shampoo for your pet, bring it in and we’ll use it.
Q: What happens to my dog at your grooming salon?
A: We require appointments for grooming and, for your convenience, you can leave your pet with us for extended periods of time. You can drop your pet off any time between 8 a.m. and the scheduled appointment.
Typically, some pre-work is necessary, such as de-matting, nails, ears etc. Then your pet will have a bath and is dried on a table with a hand dryer. For the animal’s comfort and health, we do not use heated dryers; our dryers always use room-temperature air. The pet is almost dry at this point and is placed into a comfortable crate to finish drying. Once completely dry, your dog comes out of the crate for a little bit of neatening or a full haircut.
When grooming your dog, we will work around your schedule as best we can. Let us know if you need a specific pick-up time.
Special accommodations are sometimes necessary for elderly or nervous pets. Based on your input, we will provide the best care possible, which includes getting your pet home as soon as we can.
Q: How do I know if a groomer is properly trained and will treat my pet well?
A: Although there are no licensing requirements for groomers, all Bark Easy groomers have gone through a comprehensive course of study that includes practical experience. Courses of study include college programs, certification programs and apprenticeships.
Each of our groomers are independent contractors and each has more than 15 years of experience with all types of pets and breed standard styling. They know how to customize styling for mixed breeds and adjust the grooming for each owner’s unique requirements.
It’s a good idea to interview the groomer or grooming salon, either by phone or in person, before making an appointment. If you call ahead, we’ll be happy to set up an interview with one of our groomers. It’s also helpful for the pet to meet the groomer in advance of the appointment (and vice versa) to ensure comfort and a good rapport.
Q: Do I have to choose a particular groomer?
A: No. You can choose the same groomer for each visit or use whoever is available. Let us know your preference when you book the appointment.
Q: What does it mean when my dog has a mat or is matted?
A: A mat is a tangle in the hair. This can happen whether your dog is double-coated and sheds, or needs a regular haircut.
If you didn’t brush your own hair, it would get very tangled. If you don’t brush out those tangles and wash your hair (or your hair gets wet), the tangles tighten. Sleeping on your hair without proper brushing adds to the tangles. A dog’s hair acts the same way. The longer the hair, the more brushing is necessary to keep it from getting tangled.
Tangles that are not removed will turn into mats. Mats that are not brushed out will get tighter and closer to the skin. We can de-mat dogs that have occasional mats and/or when the mats are not too close to the skin.
De-matting can hurt even if you are gentle, so it’s best to be proactive and groom your dog on a regular basis. Shaving a severely matted pet is sometimes necessary.
Q: Will cutting a dog’s hair reduce shedding?
A: No. If your pet sheds, cutting the coat will not stop shedding; the hair that sheds is just shorter since it has been cut.
Q: Will cutting my dog’s hair in the summer make him or her cooler?
A: No. Dogs do not sweat through their skin as people do; they cool themselves by panting and through the pads on their feet.
To make your dog cooler, we can thoroughly brush out his or her undercoat. This is very important. Typically, the undercoat is constantly shedding and filling in. You will see a bigger loss of coat with seasonal shedding in the spring and early summer. Making sure this entire coat is removed is the best way to keep your dog cool.
For dogs that go swimming and get wet in the summer, it is also important to keep the undercoat brushed out. If they are not brushed out regularly, they can develop “hot spots” or weepy, scabby spots on the skin because the coat retains too much moisture. This moisture remains close to the skin, irritating the skin and developing sores.
Q: Should I groom my double-coated dog in the winter? Doesn’t he need that undercoat to keep him warm?
A: Grooming and removing undercoat will never hurt your dog – and it will always keep him or her from getting matted. Grooming can also prevent hot spots that may be caused by the coat retaining moisture and not drying out. A dog’s coat, once the undercoat is removed, insulates him from the heat and cold, protecting his skin from the elements.
Mats can form if the undercoat is not removed. These are tight and can pull on the skin when the dog tries to move. If the pet is not groomed, the mats will get tighter and tighter. Once the mats get too close to the skin, the only way to remove them is to shave under them.
Mats do not keep your dog warm; they are airtight balls of fur. Keeping your dog’s coat fluffy and brushed out is the best way to ensure the he or she is warm and comfortable during the winter months.
We recommend grooming your double-coated dog at a minimum every three months. If your dog’s undercoat is only removed once a year, it can make the grooming process difficult and uncomfortable for your pet.
Q: My dog has hair that grows when not cut but there is no shedding. How often should I have him groomed?
A: If your dog has a long, full coat, you should be doing a daily brush-out at home. Make sure you are brushing your dog from underneath, working toward the top of the coat, one layer at a time and working from the skin out. Mats form quickly and if you are not brushing them out, they can work themselves closer and closer to the skin. When mats like this form, they will either pull all the hair out when brushed (and this hurts) or need to be shaved out. If bathing your dog at home, make sure he or she is completely brushed out before and after the bath. If you bathe him when wet, it can make the mats tighter each time he is bathed.
To keep your dog in full coat, we typically recommend coming in to Bark Easy every two weeks for a bath and brush-out.
Q: My dog’s hair grows out if not cut and I want to cut the hair so it is easier to maintain. How often should I bring my pet in for grooming?
A: Most dogs that need a regular haircut will come in every 4-6 weeks. The time between appointments varies depending upon how much maintenance you do at home between appointments and the desired length of the coat.