How long does a typical groom take?
Typically, it takes 3 hours for a small dog and 4 hours for a large dog. However, how long your dog is with us depends heavily on condition, temperament, and behavior. For example, some dogs do not like to be hand-dried, and therefore take much longer to dry. Older dogs who may be arthritic or who have a hard time standing tend to take longer due to the fact that we give those dogs breaks as to not stress them out. Dogs that are matted will take us longer to ensure the dogs safety and comfort as explained below.
How often should I get my dog groomed?
We recommend every 6-8 weeks, this way all of the allergins, dirt, and dander that your dog's coat accumulates won't build up. Regular, scheduled grooming also helps prevent matting and keeps your canine friend looking fresh.
What is "matting"?
"Mats" are compact, condensed knots of fur or hair in an animal's coat. If your dog is not brushed regularly, both live and dead hair form close-knit clumps that are very difficult to brush out. Matting that is tight to the skin can be severely painful during the grooming process, and more often than not, shaving out mats that lie close to the skin is the best option for both the groomer and dog. Tight matting doesn't allow the skin to breathe, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacterial skin infections. In addtion, matting cuts off blood supply to the skin underneathe the mats and if left untreated can cause necrotic (dead) tissue formation, open sores, and abcesses. The best way to prevent this from happening is to both brush your dog at home and schedule regular grooming appointments.
WARNING: Severe matting may require veterinary attention. Please do not try and cut out mats that are close to the skin on your own, seeing as this should be done by a trained professional.
How do you dry the dogs?
Here at The Puppy Parlor, we find the best way to dry the dog is to hand dry them ourselves. We use high velocity dryers that blow excess water and moisture away from the dogs skin to promote faster drying. There are some cases where dogs absolutely will not tolerate hand drying, or may become reactive or anxious about air being blown towards a certain part of their body. Under those circumstances, our next option is to crate the dog and place dryers so that air is blowing towards them. Since dogs maintain a higher average body temperature than humans, we only use dryers that blow room-temperature air, which eliminates the possibility of overheating.
How do you handle dogs that may be difficult?
The grooming process can be very stressful for some dogs. We find that working quickly, calmly, and methodically is the best approach to dogs that can have aggressive tendencies. More often than not, if a dog that has a past of aggression while getting groomed, we will "tag team" the dog. Having two sets of hands on the dog often discourages the dog from acting out, or provides the soothing comfort to decrease their anxiety. Working holistically, we will also use shampoos that contain lavender or vanilla as they tend to have a calming affect on mildly nervous dogs as well. We try to limit the use of muzzles at our salon, however in some cases it is safer for both the groomer and the dog.