Q: Do you do the bathing or do I?
A: We do the bathing. And the drying and the brushing. Actually, we do it all.
Q: Do I need an appointment?
A: No appointment is needed! Nails and bathing is walk-in. Some people like to call ahead to check if we’re busy before they come … but still it is first come first served! That said, most grooming is by appointment but we can sometimes fit in a walk-in. Grooming appointments can often be fitted in within a day or two or the following weekend almost always. If you have a special occasion or urgent need, we may be able to take your pet a little before or after store hours.
Q: Do I stay or do I go?
A: We expect that you stay so you can see what we do, but most of all so your dog doesn’t feel like you’ve left him. But sometimes … kinda like kids at daycare, your pet will be calmer if you go. Also, if you do go or need to run out for an errand by all means go but please leave us your cell phone so we can call you when we’re all done. We do not have crates nor are we a doggie day care with play areas so if you choose to go, make sure you come back when we call.
Q: You bathe the dogs using a machine?
A: Not quite. Our system works a little like a carpet cleaner. A warm water/soap mix is sprayed down to the dog's skin and immediately vacuumed out. Better cleaning, less fuss for the dog, and faster for everyone. We can fully bath a dog in 15 minutes or less depending on size.
Q: Do the dogs like it?
A: Most (all?) do. It feels like a back scratch and a massage combined. Since they aren't soaked (like from a hose or in a tub) the urge to shake (being uncomfortably wet) is greatly reduced.
Q: My dog has sensitive skin. What sort of shampoo do you use?
A: The shampoo is called Pure Oxygen because it converts to oxygen and water vapour as it dries and destroys any form of bacteria or fungal infection the dog might have. It can be used as often as needed without any harm to the dog's skin. We have several vets in the area who recommend us (and our bathing system) rather than placing a dog on medications for skin problems.
Q: My dog doesn’t like loud noise. Aren’t your machines loud?
A: Yes there is noise but we are able to temper the dog’s sensitivity to the noise of both the Anivac and the dryer. We put a wrap around their ears or use a Happy Hoodie. Once the dog realizes the Anivac or the dryer actually feels good, we dispense with the aid.
Q: How long will it take?
A: Generally speaking (although this depends on the condition of your dog's coat when you arrive), our services take about this long:
nails only - 5 minutes
full bath (wash, dry, brush, eyes, ears, nails, tail) - about 30 minutes to an hour
full groom (full bath plus clip and trim) - about two hours give or take, again depending on size and coat condition
Q: What is your environmental footprint?
A: Our bathing system uses about 90% less water that a typical pet bath at home. For example can bath a German Shepherd with as little as 2 litres of water. Your hose at home pumps out about 22 liters of water a minute. Also, our Pure Oxygen Shampoo doesn't contain any perfumes or potential skin irritants: when it dries it simply converts to water vapour and oxygen - leaving no itchy soap in the coat and less need for rinsing. Heating and cooling is automatically adjusted based on outside temperature and occupancy of the store. Lighting is full spectrum. Air filtering includes washable and refillable carbon inserts. We recycle what we can.
Q: I have two dogs. Can I bring them both at once?
A: Absolutely! Depending on how busy we are at the time; we can do both at once, staggered as we free up or if we’re really busy one after the other.
Q: I've taken my pet other places and they're kept in kennels before and after. My dog doesn't like kennels.
A: For a dog that hasn't been kennel or crate trained, being put in one is confusing. We don't use kennels: in fact, we don’t have any on the premises. For a dog who is done, if its mom or dad has slipped out on an errand we do have an office and also a back area with a couple of dog beds that we can cordon off with a baby gate that will allow us to “keep” the dog that is waiting till mom or dad returns but we are NOT a doggie day care!
Q: Do you muzzle dogs?
A: Rarely, but sometimes yes only out of necessity – for safety. No one needs a dog (or cat) bite. Most often it's because a dog is barking - we do need to respect our store neighbours!
Q: Are there things you do to help dogs be calm?
A: Several things actually: especially for a small dog, during drying, we will often put a wrap around their ears. They seem to like this. And of course, we have lots of dog treats and a few chew toys. In the Kitchener store, we are trying something new: a pheromone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheromone) we are introducing to the air to help provide reassurance and comfort to puppies and dogs. Apparently, nursing mother dogs produce this which provides reassurance to puppies, helping them to feel safe and secure when encountering unknown environments. Who knew?
Q: I have an older dog. How do you handle senior dogs?
A: For older or dogs with hip issues we use a harness to take the weight off their hind quarters while we bath, dry, brush out and de-shed them. Sometimes to make it go faster, we’ll have two people work on the dog. When we’re giving seniors a full groom, besides being able to sit while we work on them sometimes we take them off the table for a break and then continue after they have had a chance to stretch their legs for a bit.
Q: Do you only just do dogs? What about …. Cats? Rabbits? Guinea Pigs?
A: This service is entirely unique to each store. Our Kitchener and Waterloo stores groom cats. They have also groomed rabbits and we’ve clipped guinea pigs’ nails! We recommend you call the store you’re thinking of visiting to find out.