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Frequently Asked Questions..

About your visit

How long does it take?


It varies on the breed and size of the dog. However the average time needed is around two hours. If a dog is nervous, aggressive or matted additional time will be needed. If your dog is completed early, we can always give you a ring for you to collect them before the allocated pick up time.




What if my dog is very nervous?


Keeping a dog calm and relaxed is one of the key requirements to be a groomer. We understand that some dogs may have had a bad experience during grooming and now not enjoy the process. This is one of the areas we specialise in, through patience, the right equipment, time and most of all love we are confident we can make grooming enjoyable for any dog. We are always happy to work with unsure dogs and try our best to make it as least stressful as possible. We will always try our best to complete the groom but if the dog is too stressed we will not force them into anything and only positively reassure them, even if this means your dog is not finished. This may mean your dog doesn’t have perfectly trimmed paws or completely dry ears as we won’t push them past their comfort zone but hopefully in time a bond will be built and more can be completed as they learn what to expect from the grooming process.




What if my dog is very old?


We always work extra carefully with older dogs and we will ensure two members of staff are available to support the dog if needs be. With older dogs we tend to ‘do what we can’ and prioritise making them comfortable over their aesthetics. We are experienced with deaf, blind and arthritic dogs. If in any doubts please consult your vet who will help you decide whether there would be any adverse effects in grooming your older dog.




Will my dog be put in a crate or cage?


At Collar & Comb Grooming we like to have a difference to our grooming process. Many dogs do not like being in crates or cages and can become anxious if they are placed in one. Here, we let the dogs have the free run of the salon and have several large spacious 'lounges' for those who prefer to be away from other dogs or may be dog re-active for example.

We have internal CCTV to monitor the dogs throughout the shop to ensure their safety.




Can I stay and watch my dog being groomed?


We prefer that owners don’t stay as most dogs are like children and settle down once their owner has left. If you arrive early to collect your dog and see it on the table, please do not enter the shop as your pooch loves you very much they will wiggle and move around trying to get to you which is not safe and will make it difficult to complete the rest of the groom. Please feel free to call us any time during your dog’s treatment to check how they’re getting on.




What should i do if my dog is unwell or in heat?


The welfare of your dog and that of our other visitors is very important to us. If your dog is unwell or in heat we suggest you contact the salon before visiting so that we can discuss the best options for you and your dog.




What should I bring?


Please bring your dog with their collar and lead.

We have lots of toys and different beds in the salon to occupy your dog but if they are anxious and have a special toy, please do feel free to bring this with you.




What if my dog has long-tterm health issues?


We will only groom dogs if it is in their best interest and will not cause them any harm or discomfort.

For this reason, please ensure that you inform us of any special needs, ailments or ongoing veterinary treatments, so that we can ensure the comfort of your dog at all times – enabling us to avoid any sensitive areas, supporting any injured or tired limbs etc. If in any doubt, please check with your vet before booking an appointment.




Should i toilet my dog before visiting the salon?


For your dog’s comfort and to further reduce the risks of infection we ask that you attempt to toilet your dog before their visit to the salon.

However, this is not essential, and Sam has plenty of poo sacks!




What if I am unhappy with the service?


The wellbeing and comfort of your pet is extremely important to us but of course you also want your pet to look it’s best.

We will always discuss the groom with you before we commence but there are times that the cut may be different to how you imagined it.

If you are unhappy with Sam’s work please do raise your concerns at the time or come back to the salon to discuss any remedy and to ensure we share the same expectations next time your pet visits us.




What should I do if I am running late or need to cancel??


We understand that everyday life can sometimes mean we have to alter arrangements. If you are running late, please call the salon and let us know and we will do everything we can to accommodate you on the same day.

If you need to cancel, we do ask that you try and contact us at least 24-hours in advance so that we can allocate the slot to other customers. At the time of cancellation, we will try and arrange an alternative appointment with you.





Procedures

What is hand stripping?


Hand stripping is a technique which should be used on wire coats and some silky coated breeds to help maintain the correct colour and texture of the coat. Examples of these breeds would be a border terrier or cocker spaniel. The outer guard coat is plucked from the dog’s skin. When the coat comes out easily it is called a ‘blowing coat’ or ‘blown coat’. Ideally hand stripping should correspond with the dog’s natural cycle, based on its environment and hormonal levels.




How often does my dog need a nail trimming?


Your pooch’s nails should be trimmed monthly. This is particularly important for suburban dogs who may not naturally wear down their nails by regular running on hard surfaces such as concrete.

Long nails can be unattractive, damage your floors and more importantly can be unhealthy for your dog. When the nails are constantly in contact with the ground they exert pressure back into the nail bed causing pain.

Well-kept nails, especially in older dogs can also help to improve posture

Please ask for advice about your own dog when you visit the salon.




What are Anal Glands and why should they be expressed?


All dogs have two anal glands which are designed to release a unique sent into their poo. The glans would normally empty every time your dog defecates. However, this does not always occur, and the glans can become ‘impacted’.

You will be able to notice if your dog needs to have their glans expressed manually if they are rubbing their bottom along the floor, excessive licking of their bottom, a pungent smell coming from their bottom or a brown staining left where they were sitting.

If you notice any of these signs, please mention this to Sam on your visit to the salon and she will provide you with advice.





Dog Welfare

Does my dog need to be groomed?


All dogs can benefit from grooming but not all require it as often as others! Smooth coated dogs won’t need as much grooming as longer haired breeds like cockerpoo’s. Short haired breeds can benefit from a de-shed and nail trim.




How often should my dog be groomed?


If you have a long-haired breed it is recommended that you visit every 6-8 weeks. For double coated breeds such as German Shepherds and Border Collies, grooming is beneficial every few months particularly in summer and winter to help remove dead coat. Smooth coated breeds benefit from a bath every few months or just as a freshen up when they have a bit too much fun at the park!




What if my dog has fleas?


If you are aware your dog has fleas, please tell us upon booking/arrival of your appointment. If your dog has fleas we will bathe them in flea shampoo however, this will incur an additional fee. We will ring you to notify you as well as advise you on what products are best to treat your house/other pets. If any ticks are found during any grooming process they will be removed, or we will let you know if we believe it needs looking at by a vet.

Fleas are not a sign of poor hygiene and can affect any dog.




Will my dog get cold in the winter?


If your dog is normally kept short and kept inside a home, then it won’t really make any difference over the winter although they may prefer wearing a coat if it is wet or snowing outside! Dogs that are usually left long and get clipped short may feel a change, especially if they were very knotty or matted. For this reason, we suggest to clients that they bring their dogs in for grooming before bad weather is due to hit us, this way it gives time for the dog to acclimatise and grow back some hair before the cold weather comes. We also ensure all dogs are completely dried before leaving the salon to ensure they don’t catch a chill on their way home.




What brush/comb is best for us?


Most long-haired dogs benefit from a simple good quality metal comb. Come in and ask us if you are not sure. The main thing is to get right down to the skin with any of the tools you use.





General

Do you groom all dogs?


Yes, we cater to dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds! We specialise in working with dogs who are anxious or old.




What age is best to introduce my dog to the grooming process?


We recommend getting your dog into the grooming salon as early as possible. We are happy for them to come to Collar & Comb once they have received all their injections. We suggest bringing your puppy for a ten-minute visit before their first groom, so they can wander around the shop and get a feel for the salon and noises. Puppies tend to have around 3 bath and tidy packages before they are ready for a full groom at around 6 months old. Long haired dogs will need grooming throughout their lives, so it is in everyone’s best interest to start them young and make it an enjoyable part of life for them!




Do you groom cats?


Yes. Sam is qualified to groom cats and will be very happy to discuss your specific needs.