Does my pet need grooming?
All pets will benefit from grooming, in a salon or the backyard. A good bath and thorough brushing can do wonders for a dull coat, and most dogs love the atten-tion. As far as going to a professional, that is a personal choice. Most people think of poodles and shihtzus as being synonymous with a pet groomer, but there are just as many labs, goldens, and even pugs that go to the salon. Many clients enjoy the convenience of having someone else deal with a wet hairy mess, while getting to enjoy a clean pet that sheds less when it comes home. A grooming for a short haired pet still involves a bath, blow-dry, brushing, nail trim, ear cleaning, and perhaps even a tooth brushing. Not all professional pet grooming requires a haircut, but the results are fabulous!
When should I first have my puppy groomed?
We wouldn’t accept a puppy for grooming prior to completion of initial vaccinations (usually about 8-10 weeks old). Initially we we’d suggest the grooming be brief, trimming the hair around the eyes, paws and anus only. The objective is to have the experience be a positive one at the outset so your pet looks forward to each future grooming experience for a lifetime. Be unemotional when you drop him off and give him a lot of praise when you pick him so you don’t telegraph anxiety at the outset and show pleasure at the end of the experience.
How frequently should I have my dog groomed?
It depends on the breed of your dog, his lifestyle and on how you want him to look and smell. While it’s true that a clean animal is a healthier one, excessive bathing can dry out the skin and strip it of its natural oils. Generally speaking, short-coated dogs with no skin conditions can go six to eight weeks between baths unless they have gotten into something dirty or smelly. Longer-coated dogs should be groomed every four to six weeks to ensure their hair doesn’t get matted and isn’t harboring insects or hidden skin conditions. Of course, certain haircut dogs should be groomed more often than others to maintain their appearance.
How long will it take?
Most pets can be groomed in roughly 4-6 hours. Depending on drying time, coat condition, and behavior of the pet. A later pick up time can be arranged, or your stylist will call you when your pet is ready. It is important not to show up at the salon before your pick up time, as your pet may be on the table and can become difficult to finish if he sees you.
Why is he shaking like that?
Pets get excited when going to the groomer or vet. Some pets exhibit anxiety because they simply don’t care to be groomed, some pets love it so much they are ready to jump out of their skin with excitement. Whatever the reason, it is very important NOT to add to the excited state of your pet with baby talk and long sad goodbyes. Showing affection to fear creates more fear and stress, and it will take more time after you leave to calm your pet so he can relax for the grooming process. The best thing you can do for your pet is to ignore any anxious behavior, hand over the leash, and leave. Animals will pick up on human emotion, and if you are stressed, chances are your pet will be too. Most pets will happily trot into a salon as soon as “mom” is out the door. Out of sight, out of mind!
I brush my pet, why is he matted?
Matting is caused by a number of things.
1. Improper brushing: There is a right way and a wrong way to brush certain types of coats, as well as the correct tools to use. Try the internet or breed specific book for starters, or your stylist will be happy to show you how to brush and the proper tools to use on your pet.
2. Bathing: If you bathe your pet at home, no matter what product you use, if the hair is not COMPLETELY COMBED OUT before and after bathing, any mats or tangles can be worsened by the wet/dry process.
3. Shedding: “Non-shedding” breeds such as poodles and shih-tzus really do shed, however, the dead hair gets tangled up with live coat, and if not brushed out regularly, it will eventually form mats.
I don’t want my pet shaved, can’t the mats be brushed out?
Depending on severity of matting, in some cases the only humane thing to do is to clip the coat close. Your groomer will try to leave the coat as long as possible, but if the mats are very tight, shaving may be the only option. Remember, it grows back, and your pet will feel better!
Why does my dog sometimes “scoot” his rear on the floor?
Most likely, he’s attempting to express his anal glands. It’s time to see your groomer or your veterinarian to have the waste fluid squeezed out. This could also be the manifestation of worms and should be checked by your veterinarian.
What are anal glands and why do you “express” them?
Anal glands are sacks located just below a dog’s tail that collect a fluid from the animal’s body. Historically, the excretion of bulky feces pressed against the anal sack during defecation and resulted in a natural squeezing out of the waste liquid during elimination. natural squeezing out of the waste liquid during elimination. However with more complete absorption of modern pet foods and correspondingly smaller stools, the anal sack is often not pressed during bowel movements and so periodically needs assistance from humans to “express” or squeeze the over-full sack to remove this fluid. This is an especially putrid liquid so we recommend leaving this task to the groomer, or in severe cases, to your veterinarian.
Why does my dog shake his head after grooming?
As part of the grooming process we clean the ears and pluck hair from the ear opening (unless the owner asks us not to do so) to allow air to flow more freely into the ear to keep it dry. After cleaning and removal of the ear hair, the dog sometimes has a tickling sensation and shaking his head is the dog’s way of responding to the tickle.
Is it true that dogs can get ear infections from water entering their ear canals during bathing?
Water in a dog’s ear canal can predispose it to infection. This is why we place cotton balls in the ear openings prior to bathing to block water from entering the ear, and then remove the cotton and clean the ears following the bath. However, most ear infections in dogs are caused from issues having nothing to do with water exposure during grooming. Floppy-eared dogs tend to have more ear problems than upright-eared dogs because air exchange is restricted by their ear flaps and an unhealthy amount of humidity will result which can create an environment for infection.
Can you do anything about what appears to be dandruff on my pet?
We treat dandruff on pets with a shampoo developed for that purpose so we can reduce the symptoms. However, there’s an underlying cause for dandruff such as diet or a skin disorder for which you should see your veterinarian for a course of treatment.
How do you get rid of fleas or ticks from my pet?
We remove individual ticks with tweezers. If fleas are suspected, we examine the body for “flea dirt” (dry blood that looks like sand grains) with a flea comb. If either is found, we then apply an organic flea/tick shampoo derived from chrysanthemum flower heads that paralyzes the insects, then shampoo thoroughly to remove any remaining, stunned/deceased fleas or ticks. You’ll then have to “fog” and vacuum your home, car, weekend place, bedding, carpets etc. to eradicate and remove any insects or their eggs lying in wait for your pet to come home to start the cycle all over again. In addition, we recommend using Frontline flea and tick products which we can be purchased from Polaris Pet Salon.
Can I stay?
This policy will vary by individual pet, however there are pro’s and con’s to an owner staying for a groom, and every pet is different. Most pets tend to stay in an excited state when “mom” or “dad” stays. As soon as you walk out the door, your pet will most likely relax and focus on the groomer. This is why it is important to not walk into the salon if you see your pet on the table, as it can become extremely difficult to finish the grooming on a pet that sees “mom” and gets overly excited. There are situations when an owner may need to stay, as in the case of a pet that is prone to seizures or unpredictable aggression, please inform the groomer of any special needs when booking your first appointment, so special arrangements can be made. NOTE: It is very important that you remain quiet and calm while your pet is being groomed.
What if I’m unhappy with the groom?
If you are dissatisfied for any reason, by all means tell your stylist, or owner of the salon. Many people are embarrassed to express concern or complaint, but if you pay for a service, you should be getting 100 percent of the service you expected. There may be a reason your pet’s haircut is choppy, or a toenail is bleeding. Perhaps your pet was wiggly, or the groomer was having an “off” day (groomers are human too!). Any professional stylist should be willing to work with you to ensure satisfaction, and they can’t fix what they don’t know about.
Pet grooming is not an exact science. All dogs are not created equal, and most pets come with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. If you have questions about your pet’s grooming session, ask, ask, ask.
If I bring you a perfectly healthy pet will you guarantee he will not be injured or become ill during or after grooming?
We wish we could give such a guarantee but we cannot. Pets are living creatures that may have unknown or undetectable, underlying conditions that can manifest themselves during the course of, or following grooming. Also, pets may move unexpectedly, and of course, grooming tools are of necessity, sharp instruments that can inadvertently cause an injury.
Do cats go to the groomer?
Yes. Grooming can be done on both short and long haired cats. A good comb out and bath can help with shedding, or a “lion cut” can be done. A lion cut is when the body of the cat is clipped very short, leaving the legs and head long, and sometimes a “mane” around the neck. Some cats need to be shaved down to remove severe matting. Older or obese cats that are unable to groom themselves may benefit from a short trim to reduce matting and hair balls. Cats have different needs for grooming than dogs, so each cat will be evaluated on an individual basis. Cats that become too stressed or aggressive will be sent home as is. Grooming can not be safely continued
Should I Tip The Groomer?
Like any other service profession, tips are always welcome. If you are happy with your groomer, tip him or her like you would your own hair stylist or barber. Of course, tipping is not mandatory or expected, but it is always appreciated.
The Polaris Pet Salon
8814 S. Old State Road
Lewis Center, Ohio 43035