▶ How does an appointment work? Can I be late?
I only offer private grooming sessions, cage free. After making an appointment, on time for arrival and pick up is important just like at the barber or hairstylist. If you are late dropping off, please call to prevent an unnecessary trip here. There is a high possibility that we will have to reschedule the appointment to prevent running into the next client’s appointments throughout the day. This will include a $40 missed appointment fee per dog on your next visit if you decide to reschedule. It’s a chain reaction for everyone which is a downside of private appointments. Repeat tardies will be addressed.
▶ Are there other dogs around in the salon
Yes, I rent a space in a salon with two other groomers. They both have a steady clientele and conduct business as I do. We share the same space, while they are working on a pet on their grooming table, I am doing the same. We never let the dogs meet or get at arms reach of each other for their safety.
Piedmont Ave is a shopping district with parking meters and neighborhood parking. It's strictly enforced in the area and can be a challenge to find. You will need 15-20 mins to find parking then again to return if you decide to leave the area.
▶ What is cage free grooming?
Cage free grooming is a service that provides grooming for a pet without the use of cages like traditional groom shops where your pet is stored in a crate/cage for several hours waiting for their chance to get groomed or to be sent home. The downfall to cage free is on time delivery/pick up is needed for this unique type of grooming.
▶ What’s the appointment cancellation/rescheduling policy?
2 hour minimum is need to cancel the appointment to give time replace it with someone in waiting to avoid loss of income. If less than 2 hours are given, $40 will be added to the next visit if you decide to reschedule. Emergencies and hardships happen which explains why I avoided the usual 24 hrs notice recommended in the grooming industry.
▶ What’s the cost and how long does it take?
Cost is $85 an hour. Keep in mind that running late for drop off or pick up may effect your cost which is a downside to cage free grooming. Small non matted dogs usually take 1-1 1/2 hrs. Thick or medium/large dogs take up to 1 1/2-2 hrs. All determined in person during the appointment. I block off time for your pet only. I bathe, blow dry and do trims. No assembly line grooming where multiple people handle your pet and or double booking. I handle it all which is how I prefer so nothing is lost in translation.
▶ How far in advance are you booked?
Typically 1-3 weeks prior. I have no interest in being booked months or years in advance which limits my joy of traveling.
▶ I’m a bit weary about my dog being groomed, can I stay and watch?
Due to insurance purposes, only staff members are allowed in designated work areas behind the desk. Most major grooming chains offer grooming where you can watch outside the glass window. To insure your pet has a safe groom at that type of establishment, watch WITHOUT being seen or HEARD by your pet. This will ensure that your pet gets a safe groom and isn’t getting excited thinking its going home wiggling while the groomer is trying to put sharp scissors near sensitive areas or eyes.
▶ Do you work weekends?
No. The venue I contract out of is closed on weekends. There are a variety of dog salons that are available weekends, always call them in advance.
▶ I have multiple pets, is this a problem?
Not a problem at all. I will take appropriate time for multiple pets so that they can come in together and leave together.
▶ I work, can I leave my dog with you while I’m at work?
All pets must be picked up immediately after grooming and/or agreed pick up time (usually 1 or 2 hrs). There are many bay area groomers to chose from who will hold your pet for you for a number of hours free of charge which is a plus having cages. Cage free grooming is a minority and not for everyone.
▶ Are you certified in Canine CPR & First Aid?
Definitely. My canine first aid certification was conducted by CPR Heaven Can Wait, which is recognized by the American Red Cross. With advancements in canine care and understanding anatomy, certifications are important with any canine profession.
▶ My dog is matted and I don’t want him shaved?
You have options. You can get multiple opinions from different groomers. It can be painful and some groomers will not put your pet through pain regardless of cost while others will charge regardless of how much your dog screams but will never tell to keep your business. Go with your gut about the situation and remember its hair.
▶ My dog is not used to being groomed, is this a problem?
Not at all as long as your dog doesn’t show aggression, grooming can become a part of their life. Groomers only see dogs every few weeks or months which isn’t enough to make an impact until several months or years later. The most important conditioning is done at home two times a week with combing legs, ears, near eyes, feet handling, etc. It’s never too late to start. Make it rewarding and pleasant so when you see the groomer its enjoyable for everyone and not an experience that is filled with fear and stress. A dog who gets conditioned weekly is an expert by the time it sees the groomer including puppies. It’s night and day when a dog gets weekly home grooming versus one that doesn’t.
▶ What age requirement is needed to get my dog groomed?
Talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate schedule for your pet, some vets ask to wait until all shots are completed others say after the second set. Your vet knows what is good for your pet whether holistic or traditional. Think in these terms: First vaccination at 6 to 10 weeks of age —25% protection Second vaccination at 10 to 12 weeks of age–50% protection Third vaccination at 14 to 16 weeks of age–75% protection Re-vaccination:–100% protection Whatever they recommend, definitely start home grooming conditioning two times a week at home regardless of age. This means more than visiting a groomer once before its 6 months old.
▶ My dog doesn’t like certain things touched, how do you handle that?
I will safely try to get the groom accomplished without hurting the pet or myself. I do not attempt unsafe tactics or unsafe handling with any pet. Its against my beliefs. I’ll recommend other options or other groomers if I can’t accomplish a service safely.
▶ What type of shampoo and products do you use? Are they natural?
I only use products that I would use for my own dog. I choose product lines that consists of completely biodegradable, nontoxic, alternative to pesticide, cruelty-free products with natural standards.
▶ Will you let me know if my dog doesn’t do well for grooming?
Definitely. As a dog owner myself, I expect to have an honest relationship with anyone who handles my own dog. I will definitely keep you aware about any issues or problems your dog may have with the process. I have witness groomers previously in my career who will withhold information to keep you coming back. For me, its about your pet’s well being first and foremost before money.
▶ My dog is nervous and trembles, why?
Every pet has their back story of what makes them scared or nervous. I see this situation 7 times a day if not more. The goal is to try to make grooming easy and quick for them. A helpful tip is to remain calm and confident yet gentle and keep the drop off quick. The longer you stay in the lobby the more intense the trembling and anxiety can escalate requiring longer for your pup to settle its nerves after you leave. 97% of the time, once the owner leaves the pet is no longer trembling and is restoring its sense of calm. Of course, if your pet is making you feel that the groomer or the situation is not ok, listen to your pet and continue your search for another groomer. The goal is to make it pleasant for you both and if the owner is not ok then your pup won't be ok either. They feed off our nerves, stress, emotions, or energy which has many shapes in our daily lives.