FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Please browse the FAQs before sending appointment request. Then click on "Appointment Request" button on the bottom of this section.

 

Q - How soon can I get an appointment?

A - It depends, maybe as soon as tomorrow, but realistically,  most likely not that quick. We have had a successful grooming business for over 10 years and most of our clients love Jeff as their groomer once he has groomed their dog, so they get on a regular interval schedule with him for the year which keeps the schedule book pretty full. But things really do change daily so you never know.  Give us a try. We may have that perfect time slot available for you sooner than later. As full as the schedule can be, we do get cancellations all the time and always try to accommodate everyone if we can.

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Q - How long can I have my dog's hair be?

A -This question is the one that worries groomers the most. We love long hair on dogs. But the answer is, unless your dog is a Puli or Komondor (dreadlocked or corded  breeds) it depends totally on the ability and willingness of you as the owner to go over the dog's millions of hairs with a good brush at least every 1 to 3 days and then with a hair dryer in one hand and a fine tooth comb in the other, to scan the entire body for knots  at least every 3 to 4  days between groomings. That includes the armpits, the neck around the collar, under the ear flaps, the outside of the ear flaps, the belly, the inner thighs, the ankles, above the toes, the tail, the back of the legs, etc.  Otherwise the answer is KEEP IT SHORT TO MEDIUM SHORT, (usually less than an inch and a half).  We come across this dilemma all the time, and it can be a constant battle, especially with doodles (which we specialize in, as Jeff, our groomer, loves doodles). We all love the look of a long haired dog. They are so cute with long hair. We see those beautiful Shih-Tzu's, Maltese and Afghans on the Dog Shows on TV and want our long haired breed pup to look like that, but if you watch  those dog shows closely, you will see those dogs are brushed every few minutes 24/7. That is what it takes to keep a dog's hair long. Unfortunately that is just not reality for most pets and their owners.  Pet dogs don't live at all like show dogs, they go outside and play in dirt and grass, they roll around in their doggy beds (that will knot up anyone's hair) and they go out in the rain and snow. Any of these activities will knot up a dog's hair as much as it would  human hair.  Generally people's lives are just too busy to do the kind of work required to maintain a dog with long hair. We have tried soooo many times to keep a dog's hair long but it almost never works out in the long run. The dog usually at first just gets knotted a little bit, but eventually they always, always, always get matted. The dog's back  is never matted, as that is easy to brush out by the owner. It is all the other areas, again; the belly, ankles, armpits, inner thighs, under the collar area etc. that are hard to get at and always the problem.  Eventually the groomer will have two choices, #1-the most humane thing for the dog's sake, would be for the groomer to shave the dog totally short,under the mats, which can be a very long and tedious session. Mats tug on the skin, trap sticks, twigs and bugs and can hold moisture which can cause skin infections.  Shaving the mats that are close to the skin also adds risk of the skin getting nicked. So if you want long hair on the dog, but don't constantly work on the hair between groomings, you may end up with the opposite, a dog that had to be shaved down (of course hair grows back). Or #2- the groomer can torture the poor dog by physically tugging at the mats to get them out, in what will be a long, expensive, exhausting and hard on the dog (and groomer's arm) grooming session or multiple sessions over many hours (we have tried). Some dogs may put up with that at first but usually they will not put up with it for long and may become impossible to finish dematting or to groom going forward as dogs have great memories and will associate grooming with pain. No one likes their hair tugged or the person inflicting the pain. Teaching clients about this dilemma is the #1 topic discussed at grooming conferences. "Keep it short for the family pet dog" is what grooming teachers tell their grooming students. 


Q - Can I get an evening or weekend appointment?

A - Unfortunately not,  We are out grooming all week during normal business hours and every night we need to get the van ready for the next day. We have to wash the towels, replace the clean water, empty the dirty water tank, deep-clean and deep-sanitize the walls, floor, table, tools  & tub (even though we do that between every dog), do the day's paper work, return phone calls and emails, and hopefully eat dinner by 10:00pm. On the weekends we usually end up working on the rescheduling requests and  appointment confirmations, sitting by the computer waiting for email responses and making all the changes that come about and still try to have a little bit of a normal life to take care of whatever personal things or repairs that are needed. (who said grooming was easy).


Q -  My Dog is nervous going to the grooming Salon and I hate to leave her there all day. Is Mobile Grooming the better choice for her?

A - Most definitely yes. With Mobile Grooming the dog is always at it's home and gets one on one personal attention. The grooming session should only take about 1 hour and then the dog can go right back to it's normal day. The dog is usually much more comfortable with a steady groomer that it can get to know and never is left in a cage. With a treat on the way back to the house from the van, mobile grooming can be an exciting great time for a dog and we have video's to prove it. Jeff has turned the most groomer hating dogs into his best friends.


Q - We are about to get a new puppy , can we schedule to get it groomed/bathed when we bring it home for the first time ?

A - We would love to be able to schedule your new puppy right away if we have an opening but it also could depend on if the dog has had all it's vaccination rounds first, for the safety and health your dog.


Q - My dog has skin issues, can you use an oatmeal shampoo?

A - Yes, we carry many shampoos on the van for different dogs needs including oatmeal shampoo, hypo allergenic shampoo, anti-itch Neem shampoo and others. Oatmeal can be helpful for dry skin as the oatmeal holds water like oatmeal in a bowl of cereal, but it also is an exfoliant which may be worse for certain skin issues. Marketing has given oatmeal shampoo an over exaggerated beneficial reputation that may not be the correct product for the skin issue. We have our groomers certified in skin and coat care with training in the differences in shampoos.  We can and are willing to use whatever the client asks for but will also try to educate the client as to what we may feel may be the best choice for the dog after assessing the skin and coat.  We are always looking out for the dog's best well being. 


Q - My large older dog is having trouble standing and getting into the car , will mobile grooming at my home  be better than the bringing him to a Salon?

A - Unfortunately that is not really the case, at least with the style of mobile grooming van that we use.   As much as we love to help all dogs, it can be difficult for a large infermed dog to get into the van. There are 3 narrow steps to climb into the van @ the heights of 13", 9", & 6" . We have tried using a ramp, but unless the dog is use to it, it never works out.  To get onto the table is another 18" climb. Also, the van is small inside so the groomer can only work from one side of the table and tub, so the dog has to turn around many, many times on the table and in the tub. So when a dog has difficulty with climbing and standing, we usually find recommending a salon may be the better choice,  they should have more than one person available to be able to lift a big dog onto the table and into the tub as well as have enough space to be able to work from both sides of the table so that the dog doesn't ever have to turn around. Also in a salon, the dog can get a break during the grooming if needed but with mobile we don't have the ability to be able to take the time to give the dog a break, we have to keep moving to get through the day's appointments.  Our business is really more about convenience for the owner (once we are on a regular rotation, many of our clients don't have to be there) and of course the dogs are much happier staying at home in a comfortable environment for a short period of time and then they can go back to their busy day of sleeping.


Q - Do you clean the dog's teeth ?

A - We will brush teeth, it is an optional part of the service we offer,  But brushing teeth is different then cleaning teeth. People brush their own teeth but go to a dentist for a cleaning. Cleaning is a procedure only a vet can do as the dog needs to be under anesthesia. The teeth are scaled, cleaned and finished with a polishing so that plaque and tartar don't just stick back on to the teeth. Anyone that claims to clean a dog's teeth in the home without anesthesia in our opinion is scamming the client. We will do a thorough brushing if the dog allows the groomer to do so, using a brand new tooth brush each time with an enzyme dog toothpaste (usually peanut butter or mint flavored), and will we leave the tooth brush with the owner. 


Q - My dog was just skunked, can you come do an emergency de-skunking ?

A -  Unfortunately not, We do not work on skunked dogs anymore. Two main reasons. #1- is that the van is small and the skunk smell remains in the van for weeks (we tried years ago) and that is not a pleasant working environment. #2- The dogs that follow will pick up that skunk scent and then the next client is not to happy getting a skunky smelling dog back when it is supposed be be a wonderful smelling pup. We offer below what we found to be the best de-skunking recipe, (and no it is not tomato juice, that is a myth).  See our de-skunking recipe and method in the de-skunking part of our website below.


Q -  Why does grooming my dog cost more than getting my own haircut

A - These reasons are not original from us, they come from a tongue in cheek poster hanging in most grooming shops but boy are they accurate. We added our own spin on it.    

  • Your hairdresser doesn’t wash and clean your rear end.
  • You don’t go weeks without washing or brushing your hair.
  • Your hairdresser doesn’t give your privates a sanitary trim.
  • Your hairdresser doesn't pick the dingle berries from your butt.
  • Your hairdresser doesn’t clean your ears.
  • Your hairdresser doesn’t remove the boogies from your eyes.
  • You sit still for your hairdresser.
  • Your haircut doesn’t include a manicure and a pedicure.
  • Your hairdresser only washes and cuts the hair on your head.
  •  You don’t bite or scratch your hairdresser.
  • The likelihood of you pooping on the hairdresser is pretty slim.


Q - Why does Mobile Grooming cost more than a salon  

A - THE VAN... The convenience of a Mobile Grooming  van that comes to your house has expenses that a storefront salon does not have : Van Repairs! Van Repairs! Van  Repairs! Our custom van carries 50 Gallons of water , a very heavy generator, and a very heavy grooming table. All that weight puts a huge strain on the transmission, tires, engine and everything else that makes a van go, and boy it takes its toll, which is why we have a second van as a backup so we never miss an appointment when the main vehicle goes into the repair shop for the van or generator or air conditioner or furnace or propane tank or bathing pumps or, or , or etc. etc. etc.  That means our expenditures are double for everything from insurance and property tax to propane and tires. We try to keep the cost of grooming very competitive and reasonable for all that we offer.

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Did your dog get Skunked ?

  If so, most likely it was sprayed right in the face, right? That is the bulls eye target area for a scared skunk, and they can be pretty accurate from 10' to 15' away.   Boy does it stink and imagine what your poor dog  is going thru. Dogs possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us. And the part of a dog's brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours. 


The spray is a stinky oily mixture of chemicals  from 2 anal glands. It is composed mainly of three low-molecular-weight thiol compounds, (E)-2-butene-1-thiol, 3-methyl-1-butanethiol, and 2-quinoline methanethiol, as well as acetate thioesters of these. These compounds are detectable by the human nose at concentrations of only 10 parts per billion, imagine what the poor dog smells.  (Disclaimer, I am not a scientist, I just try to stay educated)


 DON'T WASH WITH WATER, it will just spread the oily goo (or whatever the non technical name for the spray stuff is).  Tomato juice doesn't work either, that is just an old myth, unless you like your dog to smell like skunky tomato juice. Be careful of using some of the many commercial de-skunking products as many just don't work. "I even tried one of the professional de-skunking products we bought at a groomers trade show, it was guaranteed, I was not looking forward to needing to use it but when that time came, it was not a good outcome, both the client and I agreed the skunk smell was better than the smell of the product. 


 So what do you do?   Call on the Barkmobile ? 


 Well unfortunately de-skunking is no longer part of our service.  We learned the hard way in our first few years of mobile grooming , that mobile grooming and de-skunking do not go together, at least not for us.  The van's grooming area is so small,  and that is where our groomer has to live all day. That smell of a fresh skunk odor stays in the van for days and days. The groomer ends up smelling like skunk. the next several dogs getting groomed after that end up smelling like skunk. That isn't good for anyone. So the solution is one you will unfortunately need to do yourself at home if you want the best results. A simple recipe that we and many many others found to be the best way to get rid of at least 80% of the smell.  Any odor that may remain isn't so bad, though it could takes months for that last bit to go away completely. We know this from experience, even after using this great de-skunking recipe, as soon as water gets on the dog (rain or a bath) that smell will come back, even months later. To cut down on any residual odor you should use this recipe correctly and immediately. You will need fresh ingredients and a place to be able to wash off the dog.  Your best other option can be to cover yourself and the inside of your vehicle in plastic and rush your dog over to a large Pet store type of place, give them this recipe and see if they will do it for you or whatever they offer.  In the large space they have, it isn't so bad for them, not like the small mobile grooming van.


HERE IS THE RECIPE, (do this immediately) :

 Ingredients :

  • 1 Quart - Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup "Fresh" baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon "Dawn" dishwashing liquid (I've seen the measurement vary)
  •  a little bit of mint toothpaste (optional, again, I've seen that sometimes in recipes online )


(Use Rubber gloves and avoid clothing contact with the dog)

  1. Mix ingredients together in a bucket.
  2. Rub the mixture through your dog's hair with a soaked cloth, make sure to get it everywhere the spray went {that is where your nose comes in}   but do not leave the mixture on too long so as not to turn your dog into a bleached blonde :)
  3. Shampoo off the mixture, but only if you are sure you naturalized it all, otherwise you may need to repeat the above step so you won't spread any stink with the water (again use your nose). 
  4. Rinse thoroughly.
  5. The Most Important thing - let your groomer (me) know this all occurred so the groomer is prepared and will take measures to try to help whatever smell lingers. 


 {This section was provided by Jeff our groomer}

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