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10 Frequently Asked Questions

Gary's Professional Dog Grooming - illustration of dog being pampered in a bathtub

We have answered the most frequently asked questions.

1. Should I bathe my dog in between trips to the groomer?

It depends. You can bathe your dog in between trips to the groomer as long as you fully brush and comb out your dog's hair during the drying process. If your dog has long hair or hair that is prone to matting such as maltese, bichons, poodle hybrids, etc then it is better to wait for the trip to the groomer than to bathe them without completely combing and brushing their hair.

2. Will you need a copy of my dog's vaccination records?

Yes, to protect your dog and other dogs please bring a copy of proof of up-to-date vaccination records to your first grooming appointment with us. 

3. How often should I bring my dog in for grooming?

Dogs that have hair like labrador retrievers, German shepherds, beagles, and pugs every 2 to 3 months depending on the rate of shedding. For dog owners of the prveiously listed dogs, like to have their dogs groomed every month to keep them virtually shed free. We offer a SHED-LESS program that significantly reduces shedding.

Dogs that have hair like poodles, maltese, border collies, cocker spaniels, schnauzers, etc. should be groomed every 4 to 8 weeks. This should be maintained to prevent mats from developing in the dog's coat. Once mats have developed, if they aren't attended to they will usually require shaving for removal. Sometimes this leads to having to shave down the dogs hair eveywhere. More trips to the groomer prevents us having to shave down a dog, allows us to help the dog become and remain accustomed to the grooming process, and reduces the stress on the dog during the grooming process. See our page on puppy's first grooming.

4. What is ear hair and should I be concerned about it?

Dogs that have ear hair such as poodles, shih tzus, bichons, etc. need to have their ear hair plucked clear from the ear canal. You should be concerned because if it isn't removed then the ear wax builds up excessively and moisture can also build up all leading to ear infections or worse. The ear hair should be removed at every grooming appointment.

We use an ear powder that helps with ear hair removal and also helps to reduce the discomfort associated with the process. We have noticed that once this is done on a regular basis it doesn't seem to bother most dogs. After the ear hair is removed we clean the ears with a enzymatic ear cleaner as a preventative from ear infections.

5. Do you express anal glands?

Yes, but only upon request or if we notice them swollen. Most dogs naturally express their anal glands when they defecate. If the anal glands are expressed too often when they are already properly functioning, may cause your dog to require this to be done whereas before they did not require expression. Merck anal gland disease

Signs that your dog may need it's anal glands expressed are constant licking or biting it's rear area, scooting, a fishy or noticably different odor all of a sudden, and /or the anal region of your dog having a swollen appearance. Let us know if you suspect that your dog needs it's anal glands expressed.

6. How long will it take for my dog to get groomed?

Anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. Easier dogs to groom such as pugs, small beagles, and short haired chihuahuas can usually get groomed quite quickly. But larger dogs that require heavy lifting and have more surface area with a lot of hair, require more time. Any dogs that require scissoring usually take 3 to 4 hours. Dogs that require a lot of scissoring such as standard poodles can take up to 4 to 6 hours to groom.

Also remember that grooming dogs is similar to working with children because they usually won't sit still, they sometimes will bite, sometimes have accidents (urinate or defecate in the cage), and/or they would rather be playing than having to get a bath and on and on. All of these factors which are hard to control immediately increase the time that it takes to groom the dogs.

Grooming scissors are extremely sharp and groomers have to use extreme care when scissoring on a dog's body especially considering around a dog's eyes and feet. Otherwise one mistake could mean a trip to the vet. Due to this fact, scissoring on a dog should NEVER be rushed and therefore adds to the time it takes to safely groom your dog.

We may take longer to groom your dog than you may have experienced at other places. We practice safety first rather than rushing and risk injury to your dog. Our focus is to provide a gentle grooming experience for your dog that will lead to your dog leaving our facility looking gorgeous!

7. How much will the grooming cost?

The price for dog grooming is calculated based on the following factors.

  • the size of the dog
  • the condition of the dog's coat
  • the dog's temperment

This all equals to the price being based on how difficult and time consuming it is to groom your dog. If the dog is large, aggressive, or requires some level of an intricate, special, or complicated grooming, the higher the price. If the dog is smaller, calm, or has a simpler style for grooming the lower the price. We can give an estimate over the phone based on a description but we will not know the exact price until we groom the dog.

8. How do you keep soap out of my dog's eye

We only use tearless shampoo on the dog's head and face to protect the eyes from any irritation. We also use a product called Safety Eye which protects the eyes from any possible irritation during the bath.

9. How much is a flea bath?

There is no extra charge for a flea bath. It is free with the purchase of a full grooming service. Let us know if you suspect that your dog has fleas upon arrival of your dog's grooming appointment.

10. How far in advance should I schedule a grooming appointment?

You should schedule a grooming appointment about 2 to 3 weeks in advance. Especially around holidays when we are usually booked up 3 to 4 weeks out. Still call for possible cancellation appointments where we may be able to quickly fill an appointment time.