What makes a groomer different from one another?
Yes, years experience in the field or with a particular breed matter. Yes, certifications, professional memberships matter. But if you are trying to decide between two that are a lot alike in these areas then what do you look at?
Some just go with who is closest to them, some go with who is cheaper. But going with someone just because they are 5 miles less of a drive or $10 less on pricing is often not the best fit for your pet. Why? Because more is involved in grooming a dog then just a clip and a bath. Your dog's experience is much more important than either drive time or pricing. Groomers with many employees, tons of clients (also called high volume) or in a busy corporate setting; may not give your pet the personalized time that they need. In addition going through three or four brand new different people (receptionist, a bather, a dryer and then a groomer) in that salon's process that day often makes the dog more nervous and doesn't give them a chance to really bond with their actual groomer which is very important.
Great groomers take more time with their clients and limit how many people handle them as this is easier on the dog and makes them have a more pleasant experience overall. In addition it starts the foundation of a positive relationship with that groomer which makes the dog happy and actually looking forward to future groomings. Unlike an assembly line like the types mentioned above where its all about volume and getting them done as quickly as possible. Isn't it worth driving a bit longer and paying $10 more or even having to wait a tad longer for pick up; for a groomer that makes your pet feel special and gives them the time they need to adjust to the surroundings? That will love them, praise them and treat them as you do? Which is Special?
So this in my opinion is how a great groomer is different from a good groomer and why much more matters than just a clip as after all shouldn't the dog always be priority number One?
To us spring means warmer weather, longer days, trees and flowers blooming and the end to winter. But what does spring mean for your dog? If you have ever had a double coated breed or even a short coated breed then you know from experience that spring means the shedding of the dog's winter coat. Which means hair tumble-weeds all over your house, hair all over your clothes, bed, furniture, car and so forth. But did you know that it doesn't have to be like this? There is a solution to the clouds of hair messing up your spring. Which is a de-shedding service (Shed/Less) performed by a professional groomer. Once the groomer has removed all of the winter undercoat that is shedding out life is so much better for you and the dog. By the way it may be a good time to mention that when this is done on a regular basis (4wks works best) it can reduce addition shedding on these type of coats as much as 90%! Now isn't that impressive?
One of the biggest issues many pet parents have is how long their dog's nails are. The clicking across the floor consistently drives them up the wall. The dog may have problems walking or is getting their nails stuck in their own fur. Not to mention the scratches on the arms of the owners caused by the overgrown nails. In many cases the dog's nails become so overgrown that they actually curve around and grow into the dog's pad or leg. When this happens not only does it cause a lot of pain but it abscesses and hurts a ton to cut out of the leg or pad and leaves a hole.
So what can you as a pet parent do to prevent all of these problems and get your dog's nails back to where they should be?
Well for one have them clipped more often. You should not wait until they are a problem as once they are we can only go back so far. I highly suggest bringing your dog in, in-between your grooming appointments to have the nails clipped. My personal dog's nails are clipped and filed every week to two weeks and due to this I have absolutely none of the problems listed above. Doing them this often also keeps them at the proper length as well. They don't even touch the floor!
Nails become a big issue because they are not done often enough to stay the correct length. Almost Heaven Grooming Salon automatically trims all dog's nails that are serviced by us but as we can only go back to the quick (blood vessel) not into it without making the dog bleed and hurts the dog. Which is why we are limited in how far we can trim them back. Keep in mind that the longer it has been since the dog's nails have been trimmed the less we are usually able to take off as unlike our nails their quicks (blood vessel) grows out with their nails. If you would like to work towards getting them to the right length they need to come in more often, for best results nails need trimmed every 2 weeks; 4 weeks max. You can either come in just for a nail trim or you could bring the dog in for a bath and tidy in between haircuts as nails are automatically included in a bath and tidy. Our walk-in nail trimmings are only $15 before tax for small and medium sized dogs. You can add a nail filing to make the nails not as sharp for $5 more. Best of all it all takes such a short amount of time to do that we do it while you wait. We do ask that you please call first to make sure we have time that day.
Above is a before and after on the same dog.
Really grown out nails Before
Same dog as in the photo above after a nail clipping
Did you know that all groomers at Almost Heaven are certified in Canine Massage? Well, we are and have been for a number of years. Massage appointments can be booked with us as a stand alone or added to a bath and tidy or full grooming service. But why is this worth the extra money?
Many consider massage an indulgent spa service but regular massages done by a trained professional really can help your pet. Your pet actually can benefit from them both mentally and physically. Here are some of the many ways that booking a massage appointment with us can and will help your pet.
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
2. Increases circulation
3. Decreases Pain
4. Helps identify new growths and trouble areas at an early stage.
5. Helps with Arthritis
6. Helps with dogs suffering from a number of medical problems, for example back and disc problems, hip dysplasia, patella and knee issues and so on.
7. Can help prevent injury and post-workout soreness in active or working dogs when done before activity.
8. Can also help alleviate stiffness and pain due to age, overexertion, too much inactivity and previous injuries.
9. Especially helpful to elderly pets to keep them mobile and at their absolute best considering their age.
10. Also, improves range of motion in your pet which results in more comfortable and improved motion.
OUR MASSAGE RATES ARE $15.00 Per 15 Minutes and are available by Special appointment only.
Before we even start let me go over an old wives tail that I often hear as to a reason why a pet doesn't need a bath often: "The shampoos are too harsh and will dry out the skin and coat and are not to be used more than x amount of times in a month or week or what have you". This is very untrue
Now with this said I do want to point out that it did at one point in time hold water. Way back when before the thousands of companies that make/ sell and research shampoos for pets existed it was common practice to use what ever was on hand to bathe your pet (human shampoo, human soap or even dish soap) now yes these can be very drying and if used on a consistent basis are a bad idea. So this is where the saying started and why some still think it. But now a days it is very far from the truth.
We now have a much large pet service and retail basis and market, we have companies that hire scientist to actually do Research development and even trials before selling a new product. We also have so many different brands, types and special shampoo and conditioners on the market today for literally every coat type, reason and effect possible. These products are specifically designed for regular usage, and with many the more often used the better the results. They are made to be correct PH's for the pet (human shampoos are a much higher PH) so they don't dry out or cause damage or problems. So now that we know that often is ok and won't dry out the skin and coat of course given that quality products are used are question now becomes:
So why do pets need bathed and how often?
Pets need regular baths to maintain proper skin and coat health. They need baths so that they don't shed as much or mat as bad. The need baths so you don't have wads of floating hair all over your house or dirt and dander all over your and their living quarters. They need baths to regulate pesticides, repair skin issues, to deal with their allergies and scratching. They need baths to moisturize, regulate and protect the skin and coat. They need baths to regulate the natural oils that they product so they don't develop skin problems and to repair and prevent staining. And they need baths so they don't stink and we can get our cuddle time in. .
So now we know why but how often is ideal?
Now this is where breed, hair type, coat length and the individual pet become a factor as well what kind of clip you are wanting your pet to be in.
In general I recommend that breeds like maltese, shih tuz, & yorkies be done on a weekly or bi weekly basis. Yorkies in particular become very greasy and itchy if the go too long in-between being done. Ones left in full coat of any of these breeds need to be done weekly. The same holds true for other breeds with long flowing coats that will mat if not maintained properly like Cocker spaniels in cocker clips.
Pretty much any other breed of dog (yes even a beagle) needs and should be done at least once a month. Even if you have a shih tuz that you have us cut down short every 6-8 weeks I still highly suggest and recommend that you schedule a bath, brush and tidy up in between grooming appointments. Believe me you will notice a big difference in your dogs coat, skin and overall level of being happy. Of course he will be cleaner and prettier on a consistent basis when on this rotation. For breeds like beagles, corgis, labs, and other short but double coated breeds being done once a month for a shed-less bath and service means a much nicer shiner coat, less to no skin problems or issues, correct short nails and a ton less shedding and hair all over the place. In fact when done this often by a professional who has the skill, knowledge, correct products and experience; it can actually reduce shedding by as much as 90%! Now isn't that impressive?
In closing I do want to make a few important notes
1) A bath at home as opposed to a professional job is not the same and you won't see near as much benefit from it. Why?
Well you don't have the same products, tools, or skill level as a professional. For example the right kind of dryer to correctly dry the dog or a wide variety of shampoos and conditioners on hand to able to specifically pick the right one for your dog.
2) If you do bath at home ALWAYS completely dry the pet and completely brush the pet out (with a comb-not a brush). If you can't get all the way down to the skin then he is matted and by giving a bath at home you just cemented the mats even further to the skin. You need to call a pro at this point as if left in this manner major skin issues will result from the moisture trapped under the matting and its just going to get worse.
3) We do offer advanced booking so if you want to schedule your pets next haircut and/or a bath in-between you can do so when picked up.
4) A bath, brush and tidy up does not cost as much as a full groom would be on your dog typically its about $10 less give or take. Keep in mind that de-shedding services are considered a groom as it takes as long as a full haircut to do correctly. However, when done once a month you actually see even better results and it wouldn't be as much if compared to the dog being done lets say every 3 months as it takes less time and our prices reflect time, skill, product and size of the job.