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Believe it or not, the physical state of a dog influences the way he feels and the way we look at our dogs as well. At around the month of March all of the dog grooming salons are full of dogs with dirty, rough or greasy hair. A lot of them come in limping because their nails are too long and they have teary eyes and dirty ears. Obviously a dog that comes in this way has not been well taken of all winter. Incredibly enough after a nice grooming these dogs look like different dogs and they seem to have more life in them. Their owners definitely think so too.

There are extreme cases in which lack of proper care, cleaning and grooming can directly affect the behavior of a dog. An example of this is when a dog has long nails; if the dog normally enjoyed running around and getting a lot of exercise, he won’t be able to anymore and it will even affect the way he walks causing him pain and he may even become depressed. Another example of this is a dog whose hair has grown too long and is in front of his face blocking his eyes. This situation can actually affect some animals to the point where they become fearful and untrusting of people and other animals, and on some occasions even aggressive. A dog that cannot see well feels threatened and he will impulsively go on the defense. Put yourself in your dog’s shoes and imagine yourself in this situation.

Some frequently asked questions about grooming your dog at Puppy Paradise

How long does it usually take?
If the hair needs to be cut, we ask that you allow three to four hours so that we can wash, dry and cut the hair. If the hair is matted it may take more time. If there is no scissoring, it generally takes less time. If you need your dog groomed “in and out”, we may suggest you come at a specific time--usually the first thing in the morning. There may be an additional charge for this service. If you like we can call you as the groomer is finishing --that way you can come right away to pick up.

How much does it cost?
Pricing depends on the breed size, condition of the hair/fur, and temperament of your dog. Prices for matted and/or aggressive dogs will be higher and will be at management's discretion. Complete packages including haircuts, baths, and nail clippings begin at $55 plus tax and up. Packages limited to sanitary trims begin at $35 plus tax and up. Standalone nail clippings begin at $10 plus tax and up.

Do you bathe the dog first?
In order to get an even hair cut, the hair needs to be clean so we always bathe the dog as part of grooming. Depending on your dog’s breed and style, the groomer may do a “rough cut”. After the rough cut, the dog is washed, dried and then the haircut is completed. In other cases, we may wash and dry the dog completely before starting the haircut. Most dogs are washed using a hypo-allergenic shampoo but we can vary the shampoo depending on your needs. After the dog is washed and rinsed, we may use a conditioner as well.

Can you groom my dog to the breed standard?
Yes, our groomers are familiar with the most of the breed standards and are very experienced with the more popular breeds. Many clients in New York do not groom to the breed standard because the level of maintenance required. If you want to get your dog groomed to the breed standard, it is helpful to review with the groomer the breed page in the “All Breed Dog Grooming Guide” and/or bring pictures. Each dog is different and each person’s needs vary, so a consultation can help you know your options and decide accordingly.

Can you do a puppy cut?
Puppy cut is a loosely descriptive term. With most breeds, we can maintain the cute puppy look. Most of the time, this means the hair is cut to the same length all over. Many people choose a puppy cut because it is easy to maintain but there is usually a choice of length. Your groomer can work with you to choose a style which works for your dog.

My dog’s hair is knotted/matted. Do I need to cut the hair short?
If the hair is allowed to knot or develop “matts”, this is unhealthy for the dog’s skin. Knotting gets worse if the coat gets wet. Before washing the dog, it is necessary to brush out all the knots. If the hair is matted, it may be possible to “dematt” the coat. Unfortunately, this can be painful. In some cases, dematting may cause or reveal skin irritation. If your dog is matted, we will advise you what can be done. Typically, we may recommend cutting the hair short, which means applying the clipper behind the matts. If the hair is matted, we recommend meeting with one of our groomers beforehand so that we can discuss your options.

Do I get the same groomer each time?
Some clients prefer to keep the same groomer. If your dog is nervous and/or you have very specific requests, we find that coming back to the same groomer works best because it fosters a relationship between the client, groomer and dog.

Can I stay with my dog and watch?
Our grooming areas are visible behind glass. However, if your dog can see you, this usually leads to the dog trying to be with you and can result in a dangerous condition. The groomer is working with sharp tools and looks to avoid additional stress and excitement. If you want to watch, take a peek from a distance but if you need to watch the entire time, you can watch the grooming process on our monitor without disturbing your pet.

Can I bring in a picture?
Sure. The groomer will discuss your options and try to achieve the same result.

Do you cut the nails?
Yes. Long nails can lead to several issues including joint problems, broken or split nails. With nail cutting, there is always some risk of bleeding. Inside the nail is a blood vessel which grows with the nail. If the nail is allowed to grow long, then cutting the nail even slightly may result in bleeding. If the nails are black, the risk of bleeding increases. If the nail bleeds, we apply styptic powder to the nail. Regular nail trimming can prevent this.

What are anal glands?
The real answer is “something you don’t want to deal with at home!” They are the scent sacs right under a dog’s tail. Some dogs empty them naturally, some do not. Your groomer can check if they need to be emptied (expressed). Please let us know if your veterinarian does this or if you do not want us to express the glands.

How is my dog dried?
Usually with a combination of different methods. While in the tub we may towel dry the dog and use a high-velocity dryer that blows off the majority of water. Then we use a stand dryer while your dog is on the grooming table. Your Dog might stand, sit or lay down while he is getting dry. During all of these drying phases your dog is being supervised. All of these drying methods are considered safe and have been in use for many years by grooming salons, veterinarians and kennels. WE DO NOT USE CAGE DRYING METHOD. We never lock your dog in a cage to dry.

What if I don’t like the groom when it’s finished?
Please tell us. We aim to satisfy. On the occasion where a haircut is not to your liking and it is a matter of a little more trimming here or there, the groomer can do it right away. In some instances, we may ask you to come again on another day in which case we can start again. If there are two or more people responsible for the grooming result, it is important that they first agree on a style before giving the groomer instructions.

For more information please visit our Grooming page

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