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What does MADRA mean?  Madra is the Irish Gaelic word for DOG.

Does my pet need grooming? All pets will benefit from grooming, in a salon or the backyard. A good bath and thorough brushing can do wonders for a dull coat, and most dogs love the attention. As far as going to a professional, that is a personal choice. Most people think of poodles and shih-tzus as being synonymous with a pet groomer, but there are just as many labs, goldens, and even pugs that go to the salon. Many clients enjoy the convenience of having someone else deal with a wet hairy mess, while getting to enjoy a clean pet that sheds less when it comes home. A grooming for a short haired pet still involves a bath, blow-dry, brushing, nail trim, ear cleaning, and perhaps even a tooth brushing. Not all professional pet grooming requires a haircut, but the results are fabulous!

How long will it take? Most pets can be groomed in roughly 2-4 hours. Depending on drying time , coat condition, and behavior of the pet. A later pick up time can be arranged, or your stylist will call you when your pet is ready. It is important not to show up at the salon before your pick up time, as your pet may be on the table and can become difficult to finish if he sees you.

Why is he shaking like that? Pets get excited when going to the groomer or vet. Some pets exhibit anxiety because they simply don’t care to be groomed, some pets love it so much they are ready to jump out of their skin with excitement. Whatever the reason, it is very important NOT to add to the excited state of your pet with baby talk and long sad goodbyes. Showing affection to fear creates more fear and stress, and it will take more time after you leave to calm your pet so he can relax for the grooming process. The best thing you can do for your pet is to ignore any anxious behavior, hand over the leash, and leave. Animals will pick up on human emotion, and if you are stressed, chances are your pet will be too. Most pets will happily trot into a salon as soon as “mom” is out the door. Out of sight, out of mind!

I brush my pet, why is he matted?

Matting is caused by a number of things.

1. Improper brushing: There is a right way and a wrong way to brush certain types of coats, as well as the correct tools to use. Try the internet or breed specific book for starters, or your stylist will be happy to show you how to brush and the proper tools to use on your pet.

2. Bathing: If you bathe your pet at home, no matter what product you use, if the hair is not COMPLETELY COMBED OUT before and after bathing, any mats or tangles can be worsened by the wet/dry process.

3. Shedding: “Non-shedding” breeds such as poodles and shih-tzus really do shed, however, the dead hair gets tangled up with live coat, and if not brushed out regularly, it will eventually form mats.

I don’t want my pet shaved, can’t the mats be brushed out?

Depending on severity of matting, in some cases the only humane thing to do is to clip the coat close. Your groomer will try to leave the coat as long as possible, but if the mats are very tight, shaving may be the only option. Remember, it grows back, and your pet will feel better!

Can I stay?

This policy will vary by individual pet, however there are pros and cons to an owner staying for a groom, and every pet is different. Most pets tend to stay in an excited state when “mom” or “dad” stays. As soon as you walk out the door, your pet will most likely relax and focus on the groomer. This is why it is important to not walk into the salon if you see your pet on the table, as it can become extremely difficult to finish the grooming on a pet that sees “mom” and gets overly excited. There are situations when an owner may need to stay, as in the case of a pet that is prone to seizures or unpredictable aggression, please inform the groomer of any special needs when booking your first appointment, so special arrangements can be made. NOTE: It is very important that you remain quiet and calm while your pet is being groomed.

What if I’m unhappy with the groom?

If you are dissatisfied for any reason, by all means tell your stylist,  or owner of the salon. Many people are embarrassed to express concern or complaint, but if you pay for a service, you should be getting 100 percent of the service you expected. There may be a reason your pet’s haircut is choppy, or a toenail is bleeding. Perhaps your pet was wiggly, or the groomer was having an “off” day (groomers are human too!). Any professional stylist should be willing to work with you to ensure satisfaction, and they can’t fix what they don’t know about.

Pet grooming is not an exact science. All dogs are not created equal, and most pets come with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. If you have questions about your pet’s grooming session, ask, ask, ask.

Should I tip the groomer?

Like any other service profession, tips are always welcome. If you are happy with your groomer, tip him or her like you would your own hair stylist or barber. Of course, tipping is not mandatory or expected, but it is always appreciated.