Here are some tips and general information on how to prepare your dog for a lifetime of happy grooming sessions, at home and at the groomers!

Not all dogs enjoy the process of being groomed, either by their owner or the groomer. With some forward planning, an early introduction to grooming and positive handling methods most dogs can learn to accept it as part of their daily routine, and you never know even enjoy it! Yes, some dogs actually do!!


It’s not just long haired breeds that need to be regularly groomed. All breeds can benefit from regular grooming what ever the coat type.


Home Grooming

It is important to accustom your dog to being groomed and handled from a young age to ensure it doesn’t find the process frightening or difficult. Good relaxed tolerance of handling doesn’t come naturally for most dogs. One of the best favours you can do for your dog is to teach him, while he is a malleable little puppy, to happily accept all the handling that he will have to put up with during his lifetime.


A regular home grooming routine will…

…help keep your dog’s coat mat and tangle free. Matting in the coat will tighten and pull on your dog’s skin. This is very uncomfortable for your pet and may cause him to chew or scratch to relieve the discomfort which in turn will cause other problems.

…keep the coat healthy and shiny by stimulating the natural oils and also remove dirt, dander and dead hair.

…allow you to give your dog an all over health check. Look out for signs of ear, skin and teeth problems, parasites and lumps.

…enhance the bond between you and your dog.

When grooming your dog please do this with your dog standing, not sitting, lying down or chasing him around the living room. Your groomer needs your dog in a standing position to enable them to be groomed safely, and preferably, standing still.

If you bath your dog at home it is important you choose a good quality dog shampoo, and NOT human shampoo. Human shampoo is too acidic for your dog’s skin even baby shampoo is too strong.

If you need any advice on home grooming, correct tools and products, please ask, I’ll be happy to help.


At the Grooming Salon

The aim is for happy cooperative dogs that enjoy the grooming process. The better your dog is at being handled, the happier he will be about being groomed, bathed and trimmed.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not have a magic wand! I need to work with your dog to teach him how to stand and behave for all aspects of the grooming procedure. This takes time, patience and regular visits. A dog that only comes once or twice a year finds the process more difficult than one that comes regularly every 6-8 weeks and accepts grooming as part of its routine. Dogs that are nervous or frightened will be fidgety and may become aggressive due too fear and this will make the process not only difficult but also dangerous. Groomers work with extremely sharp equipment very close to your dog’s skin. If a dog is uncooperative or fidgety there will be a greater risk of us nicking the skin.


Bringing your Dog for Grooming

Ideally your dog will come for its first visit as soon as it’s vaccinated. I offer a short acclimatisation session for puppies less than 6 months of age which is a free session to familiarise them with the salon environment. This eases them in gradually so their first full grooming session is less daunting for them.

When you bring your dog to be groomed, what ever age he may be, if he shows signs of nervousness or anxiety NEVER fuss, hug or verbally reassure him. By doing so your dog will interpret this as praise and you will inadvertently be re-enforcing the nervous behaviour.

Ensure your dog has been toileted prior to grooming, he will feel much more comfortable and relaxed.

Bring treats, toys or a favourite blanket to help your dog feel more at home.

Please feel free to discuss any requirements you have regarding your dogs hairstyle so we can find a practical style and coat length to suit your dog’s lifestyle.


Keeping down the Cost of Grooming

The starting price for your breed is based on a dog that is groomed on a regular cycle, cooperative, non aggressive and in a non matted condition.

You can reasonably expect to pay more if….

You have allowed your dog’s coat to become matted, knotty or overgrown.

You bring your dog outside of the recommended grooming schedule (every 4-12 weeks depending on the breed)

Your dog is uncooperative or aggressive.

Your dog is oversized for the breed standard or overweight.


Included in the Groom

All dogs receive …

A soothing hydro massaging warm bath with a suitable shampoo and conditioner

Warm air blow dry

Trimming, styling, de-shedding, mat removal as required

Nails cut

Ears cleaned and ear hair plucking (certain breeds only)

A spritz of subtle doggie cologne

Where possible I use natural, chemical free shampoo and products.

If you have a veterinary prescribed shampoo this can be used instead.

If you have Maleseb from your vet then please note that after using this product your dog should be left to dry naturally and not blow dried. I do need to wash and dry coats prior to trimming.


Matted Coats

It is important to keep your dog’s coat free of mats and tangles by regular grooming. Not only is it uncomfortable for your dog to allow its coat to become matted it also makes the grooming process much more difficult for your dog and groomer. Any humane de-matting will be undertaken solely at my discretion, in compliance with *The Animal Welfare Act 2006 (clause 5 – Animals are to be protected from pain, injury and suffering. De-matting during a routine groom is limited to a maximum of 15 minutes and is only possible if the matting is minimal. For severely matted coats where de-matting isn’t possible, the only humane way to deal with this will be to completely shave off the coat.


Anal Glands

The emptying of anal glands by groomers has become somewhat of a grey area over recent years. To clarify this matter I contacted the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons who have informed me that:

“the external expression of anal glands is complicated, as deciding if there is any infection or impaction involves a diagnosis, which is an act of veterinary surgery. If the gland is not affected, it is questionable if it requires expression”

Therefore this is not a procedure that groomers are allowed to carry out on clients’ dogs. If you notice your dog scooting or chewing around the anal area it maybe a sign that there is a problem with his anal glands and you will need to contact your vet.

Teeth Cleaning. Daily brushing of your dogs teeth can help prevent the build up of tartar, brushing once every few months at the groomers is not going to be effective, as well as being very difficult if a dog is not used to the process. Therefore it is not a service I offer.


*Animal Welfare Act 2006 – It’s your duty to care

The Animal Welfare Act makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.

These include the need:

  • For a suitable environment (place to live)
  • For a suitable diet
  • To exhibit normal behavior patterns
  • To be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
  • To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease

Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from owning animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.