Frequently Asked Questions

HOW OFTEN SHOULD MY PET BE GROOMED?

Much depends on the pet’s lifestyle and breed, as a general guide. Dogs that have their hair cut in distinct clips such as poodles, cockers, lhasa apsos, shih tzus, bichons etc. should be groomed every 4-6 weeks. Other dogs such as labradors, shepherds, collies and some cats should be groomed every 6-8 weeks.

CAN I LEAVE MY PET AT FOUR PAWS ALL DAY?

In some cases, yes. We want your pet to enjoy their stay with us so please let us know if you need to drop off early or a pick-up late. This way, we can make sure we have room for your pet to stay all day comfortably. If a dog is staying all day, there is generally an additional $10 charge. We are not able to keep cats all day.

CAN FOUR PAWS GROOM MY DOG TO BREED STANDARD?

Yes, our groomers are familiar with most of the breed standards and are very experienced with the more popular breeds. Many clients do not groom to the breed standard because of the level of maintenance required. If you want to groom your dog 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; a consultation can help you know your options and decide accordingly.

MY DOG’S HAIR IS KNOTTED. DOES FOUR PAWS NEED TO CUT THE HAIR SHORT?

If your pet is matted, we will advise what can be done. Hair that is allowed to knot or develop “matts”, is unhealthy for the dog’s skin. Matting 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 “de-matt” the coat. Unfortunately, this can be painful for the dog. In some cases, de-matting may cause or reveal skin irritation. If the hair can be de-matted without causing pain to the dog, it may be possible to save the coat. If the hair can be de-matted, there may be an additional cost. Otherwise, we may recommend cutting the hair short. 

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 specific requests, we find that requesting the same groomer works best because it fosters a relationship between the client, groomer and dog.

HOW IS MY DOG DRIED?

Usually with a combination of methods (the coat determines the drying techniques). While in the tub we may towel dry the dog and/or use a high-velocity dryer that blows off most of the water. Most coats require a hand drying technique with a handheld force dryer. The groomer may finish up with a stand dryer while your dog is on the grooming table. We have open cage dryers that the dog can sit or lay in which circulates cool air all around the dog. During these drying phases your dog is being supervised. These drying methods are considered safe and have been in use for many years by grooming salons, veterinarians and kennels.

WHAT ABOUT CATS?

We love to groom cats! Your cat must come to their appointment in a carrier.  We have several options to choose from, which can include a dry bath or a wet bath. We can do a lion shave, or full brush-out and nail trim. Our experienced cat groomers work with your cat throughout the grooming process, in a relaxed atmosphere designed to minimize stress. We do not sedate cats; very few cats truly do need any sort of sedative to be groomed. If we think your cat would best be served by receiving sedation, we will refer you to your veterinarian.

HOW LONG DOES THE GROOMING TAKE?

When you make an appointment with us, you are provided with a dedicated pet groomer who will discuss your pet’s grooming needs. We generally ask for 2 – 4 hours to complete the grooming process. Please let us know when making your appointment if your pet has any special needs. This will allow us to accommodate your pet accordingly.

DOES FOUR PAWS BATHE THE DOG FIRST?

To get an even haircut, it is best for the dog’s hair to be clean. We always recommend a bath as part of the of the grooming. Most dogs are bathed using oatmeal shampoo. We have alternatives such as hypoallergenic shampoos, depending on your pet’s needs. You may bring your own shampoo for your pet if you prefer, or if a medicated bath is required. 

CAN FOUR PAWS DO A PUPPY CUT?

“Puppy Cut” is a loosely descriptive term. With most breeds, we 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, and there is usually a choice of length. Your groomer can work with you to choose a style, which works best for your dog.

DOES FOUR PAWS USE TRANQUILIZERS?

No. We do not recommend that you tranquilize your pet for grooming as the pet may fight it and this can make things worse. The more information you give us the better for your pet and the groomer. If we know of a pet’s dislikes and stressors in advance, we can try to accommodate by adjusting the method. If we can’t handle your pet, we usually know early into the process and will call to let you know.

CAN I STAY WITH MY DOG AND WATCH?

Our grooming room is visible, and we encourage customers to take a peek. However, if your dog can see or hear you, this usually leads to the dog trying to be with you and generally causes them to be anxious and restless. The groomer is working with sharp tools and wants to avoid additional stress and excitement. If you want to watch, peek from a distance; but if you want to watch the entire time, please talk to the groomer when setting the appointment. 

WHAT ARE ANAL GLANDS?

Anal glands are the scent sacs inside the dog’s anus. Some dogs empty them naturally, some do not. Your groomer will externally express the glands as part of the grooming process. If you do not want this done, you must let us know at the time of check in.

WHAT IF I DO NOT LIKE THE GROOM WHEN IT IS 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 need you to leave the dog with us for a bit longer that day so we can satisfy your request.

WHY DOESN’T FOUR PAWS SHOW GROOMING PRICES ON THE WEBSITE?

There are a number of factors that need to be considered, such as your pet’s weight, breed, temperament & coat condition. If you contact us, we can provide you with a price range and our trained groomers can assess the pet and provide you with a specific price at the time of check in.