The Dog Grooming Experience
The Very Best Style Groomers
"A good groomer is an integral part of your dog's life."
Dogoverboard takes pride in providing the highest-quality style grooming from experienced professional pet stylists who are continually trained to make grooming a pleasurable experience for your dog. We do not use casual groomers, amateurs or unskilled students.
Dogoverboard is a progressive salon offering a range of comprehensive grooming services by appointment, ensuring personal attention and a low stress environment for all breeds of dog.
Our groomers regularly compete in, and win at international dog grooming competitions. They also attend international biannual grooming conferences to ensure the correct and latest grooming techniques such as Asian Fusion, are available for your dog.
We pay particular attention to the dog's skin condition, coat type, ears, eye areas, nails and pads. These details are commonly missed by other groomers. Our Newcastle based dog groomers pride themselves on being canine care professionals, able to recognise and identify what is best for your dog and offer unbiased advice.
Our team of professionally trained groomers can help you maintain your dog's coat and healthy appearance all year round. Whether it is a maintenance trim, a feet, face and bottom trim, a full makeover, nail art or body colour dying or chalking, we can help your dog look, feel and smell beautiful.
"A Well Groomed Dog is a Happy Dog"
For the owner who really cares about the look and comfort of their pet, our groomers specialise in clipping, scissoring and hand stripping to the owners preferred length and style. We are particularly fond of Maltese, Shihtzu, Cocker Spaniels, Schnauzers, Bichons, Cavaliers and all other common groom breeds. Most dog breeds that require grooming, should be regularly groomed at least every 4 to 6 weeks. Many caring owners prefer to have their loved dog groomed or bathed weekly or fortnightly.
Multiple Dogs Very Welcome
Dogoverboard have a large team of experienced professional groomers, so grooming multiple dogs is not a problem. Dog owners with more than one groom dog can have their dogs groomed at the same appointment time. You do not need to book different appointment times or wait longer for your dogs to be groomed. Also if you have groom dogs and groom breeds that do not require clipping, we can bath and dry the non groom dogs whilst the groom dogs are being groomed. We regularly cater for clients with multiple dogs. Four or five dogs from the same owner are no problem.
Special Needs Dogs
All dogs are special however many dogs have "special needs" from medical conditions, old age, fidgety puppies or dogs who have previously experienced bad grooming or handling. It takes experience, patience and acquired skills to work on special needs dogs. At Dogoverboard we provide the best care, patience and attention. Our Newcastle based dog groomers are expert in handling special needs dogs which sometimes require express grooming. Due to the amount of additional time required to care for special need dogs, the service is an extra cost.
Selecting the Right Grooming Salon
Selecting a grooming service can be a risky unknown especially if you have to leave your loved companion behind closed doors for services that you are not allowed to see. Chances are your dog could be subjected to sedation, harnesses, harsh restraints, force or cage drying and inexperienced rough handling without your knowledge, any of which can cause your loved companion serious behavioural problems or worse. Read more about how to select a good groomer.
We will not tolerate any form of inhumane treatment of dogs. Dogoverboard does not use sedation, force, restraints or cage drying. These inhumane practices are commonly used other grooming establishments. All dogs are bathed and groomed in open view. You can observe your dog and other dogs being clipped, scissored, bathed and dried by our trained staff.
Appointments are Necessary
Dogoverboard's grooming service is available 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Unlike behind closed door grooming shops, our pet stylists limit the number of dogs to allow special attention to detail and loving individual care.
Our grooming services are highly specialised and very popular with our dog lovers. As our groomers are all highly skilled pet stylists, we do not pick-up dogs. Our clients love to discuss their doggy needs face-to-face with a professional groomer. We devote caring and fun time with your pet as if it was our own. All dogs are groomed with lots of love, kisses and cuddles. To avoid disappointment, appointments are necessary. Our trained Newcastle dog care professionals can, however, clip nails, clean or pluck ears, clean nasal folds and carry out anal expression without appointment.
A Well Groomed Dog is a Happy Dog who Receives Extra Cuddles
The ultimate makeover is a groom and clip in our air-conditioned salon by our experienced professional pet stylists. Dogs love being groomed at Dogoverboard and go home feeling special and happy. For the owner who really cares about the look and comfort of their pet, our groomers specialise in clipping and scissoring to the owners preferred length and style. This is dependent on the state of the dog's coat.
Our Newcastle pet stylists are experienced and trained in the correct grooming of all dog breeds to any preferred length or style. We are experts at grooming standard poodles, poodle crosses, oodles and designer breeds. Our groomers are highly skilled and regularly groom and style rare and uncommon dog breeds such as Coton De Tulear, Black Russian Terrier, Cane Corso, Brussel Griffon, Irish Water Terrier and Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen. You can rely on our groomers to style your dog correctly.
The Deluxe Makeover Groom
Every deluxe grooming makeover includes the shampoo bath, hand towel dry, blow out dry and fluff blow dry, coat massage, style groom clipping and/or scissoring, pad trim, nail trim, ears cleaned or plucked and dress up bow. Our groomers can also hand strip, scissor style or prepare show dogs.
All services are carried out in full view of the owners. We do not use sedation, harnesses, restraints or cage drying. This ensures that dogs are stress free and are treated humanely at all times. We want all dogs to enjoy the grooming experience. Our pricing is effort based over dog breed, coat condition and dog behaviour. We also offer an express makeover service where your dog is given express priority and is groomed in less than 2 hours. There is an additional cost for this special service. Partial body grooming such as feet and face with or without a spa bath is also available.
Appointments are necessary
Dogoverboard's grooming service is available 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Our grooming services are highly specialised and very popular with our dog lovers. To avoid disappointment, appointments are necessary and should be booked in advance. Saturday is particularly busy and should be booked well in advance. Our trained staff can however clip nails, clean ears or anal express without appointment 7 days a week.
"Your Dog Should Look and Feel Beautiful All Year Round"
Just as you have a haircut during the winter months, your loved companion should also have a regular trim and beauty treatment. When groomed professionally, dogs will not feel colder after a maintenance style groom at Dogoverboard. They will look, smell and feel beautiful and be a pleasure to pat and cuddle. A maintenance groom tidies the coat and ensures the dog looks great between full grooms.
Our Pet Stylists prefer to maintain the dog's coat without having to shave the dog. After all dogs should look and feel great all of the time. This depends on the state of the coat and having regular grooming appointments. Severe matting of course can not be removed by brushing, it must be clipped out below the matt. We can customise our grooming to suit the individual requirements of you and your dog. Our canine groomers are fully trained and experienced style groomers and are able to offer many styling options for the length of coat for your dog's haircut.
Winter Months & Between Grooms
Dogs require more not less attention in the winter months as their coats are longer, and matt easier, causing the dog discomfort and pain. Dogoverboard specialises in styled hygiene clips, feet, face and bottom trims or maintenance trims between full clips or comfort trims in the colder months.
Just because the temperature drops, it does not mean that your dog's personal hygiene should wait. They will smell and their skin will not be as healthy without a maintenance groom. To prevent the coat from matting, regular bathing, blow drying and brushing will help the coat stay healthy, smell great and look good. In between full grooms, we can carry out feet, face and bottom trims or brush outs with a bath and dry. Maintenance clips are particularly suitable for younger puppies. Brush outs or de-matting is also available after a bath and dry.
Discuss with our Senior Groomers the clipping options available for your dog's coat to fit in with your lifestyle. We can make management and care easy for you and have your dog always looking and smelling great.
Appointments are Necessary
Dogoverboard's grooming service is available 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. All dogs are groomed with lots of love, kisses and cuddles. To avoid disappointment, appointments are necessary.
Pampering Facial Spa
Something Special - Aromatherapy Facial Spa
Love your dog? Of course you do! Want to let your dog experience something different and special: our aromatherapy facial spa is that something extra special. Indulge your dog with our signature luxury dog berry facial: feel and smell the difference.
Cleansing & Exfoliation Of Your Dog's Face
The carefully trained hands of our professional canine careers will pamper your dogs face with a deep cleansing exfoliation treatment lifting the dirt and debris out of your dogs hair and deeply cleansing the face, hair and skin.
The pampering indulgence program continues as a gentle scalp massage which helps to release muscle tension, is deeply relaxing and blissful for the dog. The deluxe facials natural products will cleanse the skin and hair, the smooth circular and flowing strokes and touch will give your dog a relaxing and tranquil head and face massage.
Complete Sensory Experience
The gentle aromatherapy facial is a complete sensory experience. Your dog will love it. You will love the beautiful smell and clean face. The ultimate facial pamper for your dog, feel and smell the difference, all natural, all safe.
The First Groom is Really Important
Puppies need to be exposed to the experiences, sounds and feelings of being handled and groomed. The experience must be positive so the puppy enjoys, remembers and loves grooming and bathing. Puppies should be introduced to bathing, nail clipping and grooming at a very early age. In particular dog breeds that require regular grooming should visit the groomer from 8 weeks old.
Dogoverboard's Newcastle Pet Stylists specialise in handling and grooming young puppies. Puppies that get used to handling, brushing, coat clipping and nail clipping will enjoy being groomed and will not be timid or scared getting handled. This will also allow the dog's owner to easily brush the puppy.
The first groom of a young puppy usually involves a feet, face and bottom trim with nail clipping. It is important to keep the puppy coat away from the eyes, pads and the hygiene areas. For puppies under 12 weeks old, Dogoverboard carries out this first puppy trim free of charge. This encourages the owner to get their puppy used to grooming. We recommend a bath and dry with this service which is a small charge.
As the puppy gets older, their coat will require a light trim to keep the puppy looking and feeling great. Our groomers can advise on a grooming schedule that is suitable for your puppy.
Appointments are Necessary
Dogoverboard's puppy grooming service is available 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Puppies are especially groomed with lots of love, kisses and cuddles. To avoid disappointment, appointments are necessary. For very young puppies our groomers can carry out a feet, face and bottom trim while you wait.
Fun and Special Grooming Services
Dogs are considered family members and lots of attention is needed for their welfare, appearance and happiness. Looking for something different, fun, funky or stylish?
Our Pet Stylists are experts in coat colouring, sculptured designs and canine nail art. Feather extensions are also very popular, adding a touch of exotic flare to your dog's looks. Mohawks add character and make a statement. We can colour your dog, either full or partial body. How about hand painted designer nails? Or, for the ultimate style, treat your dog to a sculptured cameo body design of your choice. You can even support your favourite sporting team by colouring your dog. Use your imagination anything is possible; just ask our professional Pet Stylists, they love the fun.
Colour and Fashion
Dogoverboard's Pet Stylists offer the ultimate professional hair colour, using dog friendly products to produce that something special, with incredible colour shades and many fascinating options.We can colour dye your dog, either full or partial body. We can even colour streak your dog. Ear tip colouring is particularly popular, as is rainbow tails. All dyes are specially made for dogs and are completely safe. If you are unsure about semi-permanent colour dye, our pet stylists can colour chalk your dog, which washes out after a few washes. Our professional groomers love to add colour to enhance the groom and achieve that desired special look. Priced on amount of product required, time to do and degree of difficulty.
Body Cameo Sculpturing
Our style groomers are skilled in coloured body cameo sculptured designs. A cameo is a small sculptured design motif or shape that is shaved or scissored into the dog's coat to add a special touch. Hearts are popular and always look lovely. We can sculpture designs for any special occasion. It can be coloured with dye or chalk.
Designer Canine Nail Art
Your dog's nails can be buffed, shaped and coloured. How about hand painted designer nails according to your specific pattern or design. One of our Senior Groomers came 1st in the world, in an industry accredited International Canine Nail Art Design competition. Our Pet Stylists are able to hand paint any design onto your dog's nails from simple polkadots, flowers, company logos, sporting team colours and even jewelled or bling, Just ask, they love the fun and challenge. Pamper your loved companion choosing from a sensational colour range and design options.
Appointments are Necessary
Dogoverboard's creative grooming services are available 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Pricing depends on the complexity of the design and amount of detail. Your dog will love the attention after a fun creative groom at Dogoverboard. Appointments are necessary.
Nail Clipping or Grinding
It is important to ensure that your dog's nails are maintained regularly by an experienced groomer, usually every 3 to 4 weeks. Indoor dogs require more regular nail clipping. Long nails can lead to injury from ripped nails, nails growing into the dog's pad or sliding on slippery smooth flooring. With long nails it can cause dogs to be wary of stairs and shiny floors and cause poor footing and incorrect posture.
Dogoverboard's staff can clip or grind your dog's nails, without appointment, 7 days a week. Nail clipping should not be carried out by untrained dog owners as it is very easy to cause pain and bleeding from cutting into the nail quick. If a dog is hurt by nail clipping, it will remember and in future will be difficult to groom and handle. The dew claws above the inside of the dog's front feet are included in a professional nail clip. Dew claws are never exposed to friction from touching ground surfaces and are often longer and overgrown. If left uncut, these claws can grow into the dog's leg or can easily catch and rip causing pain and injury.
Ear Cleaning and Ear Plucking
Many popular breeds suffer from ear problems including cocker spaniels, Shih Tzus, labradoodles, poodles and poodle crosses. It is important to ensure that dirty and smelly ears are regularly cleaned and/or plucked by professionally trained dog groomers.
Dogoverboard's canine carers are trained in correctly cleaning and plucking dogs ears without causing discomfort. Ear plucking helps to maximise air circulation to the ear canal. Regular cleaning of the ears will ensure the dog's ears stay healthy and do not smell. Paying attention to your dogs ears will help minimise any potential painful ear problems. Our groomers can show you how to correctly clean your dogs ears between grooming appointments.
Anal Gland Expression
Anal gland issues in dogs are very common, particularly in small breeds (although any breed can be affected). The anal glands become full and compacted which causes distress, discomfort and pain in the dog. You should have your dog's anal glands checked and then expressed if required. This will help relieve the pain, make your dog more comfortable and help prevent impaction which can lead to infection and possible anal abscess.
Some signs that your dog's anal glands are causing pain include a foul odour, swelling, licking the anal area or close by, chewing at its flanks and the dog may try to alleviate the pain by dragging or "scooting" its bottom on the ground or rug. Some dogs also run around in circles, chase their tail or chew their feet.
We will carefully empty the anal glands properly by gently squeezing externally to discharge the contents and alleviate the pain or discomfort. The secretion is an oily smelly liquid which when excreted has a vile odour. It is not something that you would like to do at home. Anal expression is carried out in the dog bath (with or without a bath).
We will only express anal glands upon request and agreement of the dog's owner. The groomers may identify anal gland problems when bathing or grooming the dog. The client will be asked whether they require the glands to be expressed. This can be done as you wait even after your dog's grooming or bathing.
Appointments are not Necessary
Checking the nails, ears and anal glands regularly by a professional groomer will minimise problems and potential pain, and can save a costly trip to the vet as well as discomfort to your dog. Our canine carers can also clean your dog's teeth as an added on service. Dogoverboard's nails, ears and anal gland services are available 7 days a week without appointment.
Tired of constantly brushing your dog and still finding loose and scattered piles of hair all over the house? Of course, you love your dog but hate the leftover hair. And who would think that short haired dogs shed so much hair? Dogoverboard provides proven solutions to eliminate most of the shedding hair. You'll be amazed by the results after our trained canine carers carry out the shed-less treatments on your dog using the special FURminator® tool as well as other special grooming tools and procedures.
Unique Patented Tool
Furmination is a de-shedding process not just the use of a tool sold in shops. To receive good results the dog needs regular sessions. These treatments involve careful use of the FURminator® tool after a special shampoo bath, blow out dry and brush out.
The special FURminator® tool is a cutting tool and should only be used by trained senior groomers on short haired dogs. This tool has a special cutting blade. In trained hands it can quickly and easily remove loose undercoat hair leaving your dog with a healthier shiny top coat. If used correctly in trained hands it does not cut, but will grab and remove undercoat hair quickly and easily. Un-trained users tend to remove the top coat instead of the shedding undercoat, irritate the skin and cut the dog. We do not recommend the use of this tool in untrained hands as it is very easy to cut the dog and create skin and coat problems. We recommend that owners use a special rubber mitt to aid hair removal at home. Our staff can show you how.
Designed for use on Short Haired Dogs
Dogoverboard's Shed-less treatment will make short-haired dogs look and feel great. Within 2 treatments, the shed-less treatment has proven to reduce shedding by up to 60 to 80 percent. Ideally the treatment is even more effective with treatments performed every 2 weeks.
Great for Allergy Sufferers
Allergy sufferers can breathe easier after your dog has had the shed-less treatment. Reducing the amount of hair in your environment also reduces the amount of dander and airborne elements that can cause allergic reactions.
Endorsed by Veterinarians
The FURminator® shed-less treatment is endorsed by veterinarians who understand the importance of maintaining a happy and healthy dog. The overall health of your dog is based, in part, on keeping your dog both clean and comfortable. The quality of your dog's coat typically is a good indicator of your dog's overall health.
What is the Shed-Less Treatment?
- It starts with a massaging fresh water bath. We use a special shampoo that separates your dog's coat, stimulates your dog's hair follicles and invigorates circulation.
- A high velocity dryer separates and eliminates the excess coat and loose hair on your dog. This targeted blow-drying process is followed by thorough brushing and combing.
- The special patented FURminator® deshedding tool is then used in a managed process to extract loose hair and undercoat from your dog leaving the shiny and healthy top coat.
- The coat is again blown-out with the high-velocity dryer to remove excess loose hair.
- The FURminator® tool is again used along with various other carding tools to leave only the shiny and healthy top coat. A rubber mitt is used to finish which smooths and reduces the coat further.
Appointments a Must
The shed-less treatment requires time and expertise. Thus, pricing is based on effort and how much coat is shedding. This process must be carried out be trained staff over more than one session; appointments are necessary. Once you have a treatment done, you will be back as you realise the benefits and reap the rewards of less hair at home.
Brush Outs & De-Matting (Carding)
Hair Loss is Bad for the Dog and the Owner
Tired of constantly brushing your long-haired or double-coated dog and the hair is still matting, clumping or dropping out all over the place? Many owners of long-haired dogs are not advised correctly on brushing, and most importantly, the correct grooming tools and procedures appropriate for their dog's breed.
Many pet shops will sell dog owners grooming tools that are totally unsuitable for the particular dog breed. Or they will sell additional tools that you do not require; just for a sale. It is impossible to brush out a long-haired dog using incorrect grooming tools. If long haired-dogs are not brushed regularly using the correct grooming tools, the dead shedding coat will make the dog smell and cause matting of the coat. These dogs are then unpleasant to have around the home.
Depending on your dog's breed, we use a variety of special grooming tools to remove the dead undercoat (from long-haired shedding dogs).
Specialise in Long-Haired and Double-Coated Dogs
As well as the shed-less treatments for short-haired dogs, Dogoverboard specialise in brush outs of long-haired and double-coated dogs. Our Canine Carers are experienced and trained in brush outs of very large coated breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Newfoundlands, Samoyeds, Old English Sheepdogs, German Shepherds and St Bernards etc, as well as Shetland Sheepdogs, Rough Collies, Border Collies and Golden Retrievers. Depending on the state of the coat, if you wish to keep the full length of your dog's coat we can professionally brush out your dog's coat. Brushing is not included in our normal bath and dry price and should be requested. Severe matting cannot be humanely removed by brushing and must be removed by clipping the matted hair and styling the areas around the matts by our pet stylists. If the dog is heavily matted the dog will be in pain and the dog's coat must be shaved to remove the matting.
Great for Allergy Sufferers
Allergy sufferers can breathe easier after your dog has been professionally brushed out by our Canine Carers. Reducing the amount of hair in your home and environment also reduces the amount of dander and airborne elements that can cause allergic reactions.
Appointments are Necessary
Dogoverboard's bathing and brush out service is available 7 days a week. To avoid disappointment, appointments are necessary.
Skilled Techniques Are A Must
Hand stripping of a dog's coat is a very skilled technique. It involves hand plucking the dog's dead outer coat of wire haired or rough coated breeds to help the coat achieve the correct harsh texture and colour required for certain terriers and other breeds. A dog that is hand stripped properly looks absolutely amazing and is a credit to the expertise of the groomer. It is extremely important that the correct hand plucking methods are used to get the desired outcome of a harsh, layed down coat on the terrier.
Hand Stripping Can Only Be Done By A Skilled Senior Groomer
There are only a handful of groomers in Australia that are capable of correct hand stripping. To achieve the correct outcome the coat needs to be prepared so that the coat is easier to pluck out. The plucked hair is the dead hair within the coat and can be removed without discomfort to the dog. Dogoverboard has experienced Senior Groomers skilled in carrying out hand stripping.
Hand Stripping Is Very Time Consuming
Hand stripping is very time consuming and requires skills, patience and core strength of the groomer as it is a very long process and is quite exhausting. As it is a long process it requires a well behaved dog that is patient and able to tolerate long grooming sessions.
Pricing is based on the amount of effort required and at least twice the cost of a conventional clipping groom. If not carried out properly by trained experienced Senior Groomers, the outcome can look terrible.
Appointments are Necessary
Dogoverboard's hand stripping groom service is available Monday to Saturday. Appointments are necessary.
Selecting A Groomer
Good experienced style groomers are a rare breed and quite difficult to find. There are many people calling and advertising themselves as groomers that unfortunately have not been trained correctly, lack experience and dog handling skills, have never been mentored by experienced groomers and are unable to clip dogs without causing stress or injury. You need to put as much effort and care into selecting your dog grooming and dog day centre establishment as you would your child care centre, your medical centre or your hairdressing salon.
Remember there are no regulations or qualifications required to be a dog groomer, dog day carer, dog sitter or a mobile operator. Anybody can set themselves up without professional grooming experience or training or limited canine knowledge and your dog could be one of many subjected to inexperience, clipper burn, cutting and bruising, inhumane treatment, sedation and cruel handling, not to mention a bad haircut.
If your selection criteria is ringing around for the lowest price, expect to get a cheap service with less care, aggressive handling, low quality and less time given to your dog. In the end, it is your dog that suffers; you get what you pay for! However don't despair there are dedicated experienced groomers just waiting to love and care for your dog. The following points may assist you to select a professional groomer ready to give your dog loving skilled care.
What To Look For
- The grooming provider should be a grooming member of the PIAA (Pet Industry Association of Australia). Membership of PIAA requires the salon or mobile groomer to adhere to the strict pet industry code of practice and the grooming salon code of ethics. Both of these codes of practice must be on display.
- Look for a groomer that does not sedate dogs under any circumstance. Always ask the groomer and owner (or vet nurse), whether sedation, harnesses or cage drying are used. Be very wary of replies such as "only used if dog is stressed" or "only used so that the dog is not stressed". Also if you are asked "to refrain from feeding your dog on the morning of the groom", it could be a signal that you dog will be sedated. Sedation procedures can be harmful and can lead to behavioural problems or worse in your dog. It is becoming more and more common for sedation to be used without seeking permission from the dog owner. Make it very clear that these procedures must not be used on your dog under any circumstances. Use of sedation compensates for the inexperience of the groomer, is used to shorten the groom time and thus increase profit. 99% of all groom dogs do NOT require sedation and can be humanely handled and groomed by experienced pet stylists. Dogs groomed by experienced professional pet stylists do not suffer from stress and enjoy grooming. Would you like to be sedated or restrained whilst having your hair done?
- There should be friendly open viewing of the grooming salon and the areas where the dogs are groomed. You should be able to view dogs being groomed and bathed to assess the quality of the handling and service.
- On every visit, you should be able to discuss your dog's requirements and any concerns directly with the groomer. Third-hand passing of concerns on how you would like your dog groomed is unacceptable and open to errors in translation to the groomer.
- Good groomers are full-time professional stylists who regard the job as a profession not just another task in a busy vet practice or a pet shop or backyard set up or a part-time job filler. Find out whether the groomer actually grooms dogs full-time as a profession. Many so called groomers have no professional grooming skills and are employed casually over the hot summer months or are vet nurses untrained in professional grooming.
- The groomer should be able to style clip all breeds and demonstrate how your dog can be styled. Remember style clipping a dog does not mean show finish; it means styles that can be achieved for your particular breed and not just shaved all over. The result is a good looking dog that is easy to care for at home.
- Check the experience of the groomer and how the groomer was (is) trained. Unfortunately it is common for so called groomers to attend a couple of days course or be given a video as training and then they practice on your dog for experience. Inexperienced groomers should always be mentored and trained on-site by experienced style groomers.
- Meticulous cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance of blades, clippers and grooming equipment is paramount. Even small things such as regular blade sharpening impacts on the quality of grooming. Professional groomers keep many different blades, clippers, brushes and combs to suit the many differing breeds of dogs. The groomers would have also received training on the use of these tools. Look for an extensive array of grooming equipment. However expect to see loose dog hair where the dogs are clipped or dried.
- Check your dog over to ensure that the dog has been groomed thoroughly and professionally. Inexperienced groomers or grooming establishments doing fast shaves do not put time into detailed grooming such as pad thinning and trimming, underwear, ears, face and cleanliness after the bath. Often other groomers use colognes to hide odors due to incorrect bathing methods.
- Seek references from other like dog owners or if you see a well groomed dog ask the owner who grooms the dog. Then check out the grooming establishment.
What To Avoid In A Grooming Practice
Inexperience, lack of training, inability to style clip (ie. all dogs are shaved), emphasis on speed, use of sedation, force, harnesses and cage drying can lead to very unpleasant experiences, cutting and stress for your loved dog. When looking for a professional groomer, take the following into account:
- Never use a grooming establishment, vet or pick-up service if you are unable to see where your dog is being groomed and bathed. Don't listen to excuses; closed door grooming is not set up for the benefit of your dog.
- Avoid quick jobs and cheap prices. A professional full groom including the bath takes at least 2 hours for a small dog. Shorter times usually mean short cuts, inhumane practices, sloppy work and essential detailed tasks such as pad trimming, attention to inside ears, nail clipping, underwear and bathing not being carried out correctly.
- Avoid grooming establishments and grooming schools that allow students to practice on your dog. If you must allow students to practice on your dog, the groom should be free.
- Be very wary about groomers that do not allow you to pick up your dog within 3 hours of drop off if requested. Extended stays could mean tranquillisation, sedation and then reversal to allow a recovery time. Sedation is a drug, as is the reversal procedure. These procedures can be harmful to your dog.
- Avoid haggling and selecting based on price as your first criteria. Professional groomers know their cost/price structure and cannot reduce prices and still provide quality service. Discount pricing relates to discounted quality, poor grooming or stressful practices on your dog - you pay for what you get.
- Free pick-up and delivery is misleading. Pick-up and delivery is not free and no cost. In many cases it is a means of stopping you from viewing the grooming establishment. Some pick-up services keep dogs in cramped conditions and cages for travel times that are longer than the groom time. Do you really think that in today's high petrol and labour costs that picking up a dog is really free? The pick-up and delivery costs are absorbed elsewhere, if not in price certainly in reduced time and quality of service.
- If you have to use a pick-up and delivery service for convenience, check out the establishment first. Go and visit it and look around. Do not assume that because your dog is dropped home looking happy that it has had a pleasant experience at grooming. The dog remembers the last occurrence, the return trip would be a pleasure both for the ride and to get away from poor grooming practices. Look for signs such as the dog not happy about being touched, being combed, rough cutting, red areas, rashes or cuts and an increase in misbehaviour.
- Avoid dog washes using hydrobaths that recycle used water from previous dogs. Most hydrobath and mobile operators use recycled water tanks both for washing and rinsing your dog. Between dog washes, sometimes the wash tank is drained but rarely is the rinse tank drained or the filter sock cleaned between dogs. Used water can lead to cross infection from previous dogs, skin conditions, transfer of flea infestation, and deposit of micro-organism from previous dogs. Failure to completely rinse out the shampoo from the dog's coat with fresh water can lead to serious skin complaints, chemical burns and hot spots. All of which in the long term means costly visits to the vet.
- If you are happy with your groomer, avoid using other groomers for convenience. Plan your appointments ahead of time, dogs do not suddenly become untidy or matted. Do not chop and change groomers, your dog could end up hating the grooming experience.
- If you need to board your dog do not allow the kennel to groom your dog. Do not sign any wavers allowing this to happen. Remember these wavers are not legally binding. It may be convenient but could result in long term behaviour problems in your dog. In many cases it leads to added expenses, extremely poor grooming by untrained groomers and a very stressed and maybe injured dog. It may attempt to hide the dirty conditions experienced in the kennel.
- If you have an old, overweight, arthritic or injured dog avoid establishments or mobiles where the dog must be lifted or has to traverse a steep ramp to get into the bath. The strain on the dog could lead to the dog collapsing in the bath and suffering extreme stress.
- If your dog is cut or you suspect poor grooming practices, discuss this with the groomer. Even the best and most experienced senior groomer may very rarely cut a dog. Unlike humans, dogs move a lot when being groomed. Good groomers will always explain the problem. If you are still unhappy don't hesitate to seek another groomer.
- Avoid groomers who are not industry approved, qualified, are inexperienced or have not received specific professional groom training by groomer mentors on the job. Inexperienced groomers should receive practical hands on training from qualified professional groomers. Vet nurse courses and grooming courses do not adequately cover grooming skills and can not be considered as certified training for professional grooming. Anybody can set up as a mobile operator or grooming salon without any practical training. These operators will still charge you full service fees for using your dog to train on. Many vet nurses, mobile operators, franchise operators, pet shops and home based "groomers" do not receive any specific practical grooming training or are never mentored by very experienced style groomers to improve their skills. Nor do they continually update their skills by attending on-going professional development seminars. A number of larger professional grooming salons, such as Dogoverboard, offer formal grooming traineeships where trainees are trained by very experienced groomers over a number of years. These establishments also give extensive in house ongoing practical training for their permanent grooming staff, to ensure their skills are kept up to date. Remember you are leaving your precious dog in their care; make sure the groomers are experienced, skilled, loving and capable.
Happy groomer hunting, if you use these selection hints you will find that there are great groomers waiting to love your dog and make it look, feel and smell beautiful. We look forward to seeing you and your loved dog at Dogoverboard.