What Do We Offer?
We offer a wide range of different services to suit your needs. Everyone is welcome from the newest pup to the senior dog, big and small and everything in between. We understand that it can be difficult to navigate through the crazy pet industry. We have heard it all! Our groomers will give you practical real-world tips and practices that you can feel comfortable implementing at home. We develop a close relationship with our clients and good communication is key. We take the time to get to know each one of our clients to fully understand their needs. We look at ALL aspects of the dog (and client) at check-in, it is not one size fits all!
Each Groom Is Unique
Each groom is unique. The amount of time it takes to complete the process and what type of haircut we can do depends on many factors. When we recommend our plan of action for your particular groom at check-in, it is based on many components. How long has it been since the last groom? Do you prefer a shave down or to leave the coat long? How does your dog tolerate the process? Does she happily cooperate or try to bite the groomer the whole time? Is he an older gentleman who just needs extra time to sit and relax? Maybe a puppy, brand new to the experience. We will try to do our very best to meet your expectations while putting the health and safety of your dogs and our groomers first and foremost!
We will try to do our very best to meet your expectations while putting the health and safety of your dogs and our groomers first and foremost! On rare occasions, we will be required to send your dog home before completing the groom. If we feel that it is unsafe to continue a groom for either your pet or the groomer, we will ask you to pick up your dog. At this point, we will talk to you about the specific situation and go from there.
Every situation is carefully considered at each appointment. When we recommend a plan of action for your particular groom at check in, it is based on many components. If we feel at any time that what you would like will aggravate old or current injuries, put elderly dogs at risk, cause harm by attempting a risky groom, or anything else we deem inappropriate, we will communicate our concerns and help you make a better decision.
We See Things That Even Your Vet Won't Catch!
We see things that even your vet doesn't catch. Throughout the process of grooming, we see every inch of your dog right down to the skin. Our hands are constantly touching your pet. We look into their eyes, mouths, ears, paws, and skin, taking notice of everything. We often find ticks attached to your dog’s forehead that you had no idea about or a hotspot under his tail that he won’t stop licking “back there”. Why is he so itchy? Maybe a family of fleas moved in. We also catch many mysterious lumps, most of which are nothing to worry about but a few, unfortunately, have turned out to be cancerous. Regular grooming appointments will give your dog the once over, to catch things early and to give your vet crucial information on when something occurred.
So What Happens When I Drop My Dog Off At The Groomer??
It all starts with the nails. Not only do we trim/grind the nails, but we also look at the nail beds, pads, and the whole paw in general. Is there any irritation or inflammation occurring? How do the nails themselves look? Are they soft and crumbly? Do they shatter and crack when they are clipped? Are any of the nails growing into the pad causing pain when walking? Are the quicks particularly long? Is the dog sensitive about touching their paws? Does your dog constantly lick their paws? We can identify many problematic issues on the paw alone. Our goal is to catch these problems or prevent them before they get worse and require more invasive treatment.
Ear cleaning is next. We use cotton balls and an ear cleaner solution. Unlike in humans, the ear canal is L-shaped, so there is little chance of damaging the eardrum. It is very important to keep your dog's ears clean. Some dogs are more prone to ear infections than others. Golden Retrievers and Labs who love to swim often have chronic ear problems. Dogs with floppy ears or narrow openings have trouble getting airflow creating the perfect environment for yeast and bacteria to grow. Some of the things we look out for while cleaning are a strong "yeasty" odor, dark-colored or heavy build-up of wax, redness, or sores. If your dog is excessively pawing, scratching, or rubbing his ears, it might be time to go see a vet who can prescribe ear drops or medication. We see good results from people using their prescribed medication and being very diligent about thoroughly cleaning the ear.
Bathing is important not only to keep your dog free from dirt and parasites but, let's face it, they can stink! After taking into consideration your dog's coat type (short-haired, drop coat, silky coat, etc…), coat condition (oily, matted, dry, excessive shedding, etc…), and any skin concerns from the pet parent, we pick out the perfect shampoos and conditioners that will aide in the grooming process. The bath is where we discover skin issues, many not yet known to the owner. Our hose nozzles are designed to push back the hair, separating it so that you can see directly onto the skin. We uncover everything from dry skin to sores, hotspots, fleas, ticks, wounds, lumps, and parasites. Bathtime is where we can help remedy some of these issues with our specialty shampoos and conditioners.
Time To Dry
Last but not least...we get them as dry as possible! Every dog is different and the method we use to dry them depends on what they will tolerate. Drying with a high-velocity hand dryer is ideal, but not every pet can handle it emotionally or physically. For short-haired dogs like Beagles, Labs, and Pointers, the more thoroughly we can dry them, the more hair we can pull out when it comes time to brush them with our specialty tools. If the coat is still wet, the fur tends to “stick” together and stays attached to the coat/body. For long-haired dogs, we need to get the coat completely dry to get an even, straight haircut. We do use kennel dryers (with no heating element) on occasion, but only in special circumstances, and only when it is safe to do.
What Do We Expect From Our Clients?
We work on set appointments. Being on time for both drop off and pick up is imperative. Tardiness for drop off or pick up even 10 - 15 minutes, causes the whole day to run behind and groomers and pets become stressed. Excessive tardiness is not tolerated and is unfair to our staff and clients who arrive on time. Please remember to be respectful of this, as we try our hardest to respect your time as well.
At Bark Avenue Dog, it is our goal to become lifelong partners with you!