Professional Dog Grooming With Care
Fur's A Flyin' takes great care in offering services for your precious fur kids. Our staff members are owned by pets of many varieties! Because we are pet people, we would like you to know that grooming is not necessarily stress free. Dogs get stressed for a variety of reasons, but the most common ones are as follows: separation anxiety, being asked to hold still for long periods of time, having to be de-matted, tools of the trade can be noisy or vibrate, and/or certain dogs have increased sensitivities that we have no real way of predetermining. You can help minimize these stressors by ensuring your dog's coat is combed and brushed regularly to remain free of mats and by teaching your dog to be alone to prevent separation anxiety. Because we all care and want to provide your dog with the best experience possible, we would like to further explain the effect grooming can have on dogs at different life stages.
As a general rule, we do not accept puppies for grooming who are younger than 14-weeks of age. While they might need a haircut prior to this age, it is for your puppy's safety and health that we require completion of puppy vaccinations, including rabies, 1-week prior to your visit. It is critical for your puppy to build-up the necessary antibodies to protect it's immature immune system so you should complete all vaccinations according to your veterinarians recommendations. Vaccinations/boosters are usually completed by 13 to 14-weeks of age, but can vary based on your veterinarian's policies or your diligence in completing the process. We used to accept puppies at a younger age, unfortunately, we must require rabies vaccines before working with your puppy in the event a bite to a staff member does occur. We do not think your puppy is rabid! However, our industry is considered high risk by insurance companies, therefore to ensure we remain covered, we must insist that rabies vaccinations have not expired when working with your pets. We hope you understand.
Adult dogs 2 to 6 years old:
Ideally, these dogs have become acclimated to grooming and are pros. However, some dogs are intolerant of grooming for reasons we could only understand if Fido could just speak English and tell us! For these dogs, we may adjust our processes the best we can to accommodate it's sensitivities.
Senior dogs 7-years & Older:
Once dogs reach 7-years old they are considered seniors by the veterinary community. These dogs start showing signs of slowing down a little bit such as fur/hair coat thinning, poor skin, arthritis, dental issues and other symptoms. Dogs that have been otherwise well-behaved could start exhibiting the behaviors we experience with puppies. These behaviors could include inability/unwillingness to stand or the propensity to bite over the handling of limbs and/or head and face. Usually, these dogs do not need retraining, but are beginning to feel some level of discomfort due to underlying health issues. If this occurs, where possible, we will modify our processes to keep your dog as comfortable as we can.
In addition to safety and health, we must consider the well-being of your puppy! Puppies go through two fear stages early in life. The first fear stage occurs at 8 to 10-weeks of age and the second occurs at 6 to 14-months of age. The way training, socialization, and new experiences are handled during fear stages can mean the difference between a fearful dog and a well-behaved confident dog. It is vital when working with puppies that we provide them with a positive first experience through patience and minimizing fear. Your puppy's first few visits are as much about training as it is about actually providing a haircut. We recommend starting with a couple of basic grooming visits before delving into that first full grooming. We call these basic grooms a "puppy intro". This process involves trimming nails, cleaning ears and plucking ear hair, bath, blow dry, brushing/combing the coat, and trimming hair from the private areas, eyes, and feet. The "puppy intro" allows your puppy to become acclimated to the tools of the trade without having to "push" them through processes that might be overly scary the first time. It is important to us that you understand our ability to complete a full groom for your puppy on its first visit is very dependent on its personality and/or disposition. If your puppy's rapid fur/hair growth requires us to push through the first grooming, we promise to do the best we can to minimize traumatizing your puppy. While your puppy might react fearfully to our tools because they vibrate or make noise, we promise there is nothing painful or harmful about the grooming process. We fully expect your puppy to misbehave and try to bite during the first few visits. However, we should see improvement in these behaviors with each visit as "practice truly does make perfect" for most dogs providing too much time doesn't pass between visits!
Behaviors in general:
Regardless of your dog's age, we promise to handle your dog with the utmost care and concern while keeping staff safety in mind. For dogs who bite during the grooming process, we will utilize a muzzle or an extra staff member to complete the task at hand safely. As a general rule, we do not allow owners to stay because dogs never really settle down in the presence of their owners. However, for dogs who are no longer able to stand or are anxious without an owner present there are always exceptions to this rule. Regarding dogs that are overly aggressive, we may go so far as to recommend a sedative. If we discuss this option with you, please understand we have tried everything we can to handle your dog safely without this step. If necessary, we are more than happy to speak directly with your veterinarian about our concerns. Just to clarify, we do not provide sedatives. You will need to administer any veterinary prescribed sedatives at home, prior to your grooming appointment.
The Grooming Process:
Our dog services begin with a general check of your pet's fur/hair coat condition. We perform some basic pre-bath tasks such as nail trimming, ear plucking and cleaning, and sanitary trim. While performing these tasks we determine if your pet would benefit from any special shampoos or conditioners. If you are scent sensitive or your pet is sensitive to products, please request our scent free or hypo-allergenic shampoo in advance! If your pet sheds excessively we can help with that too.
Now it is time for the bath! We always start by putting a drop of surgical eye lubricant on the surface of your pet's eyes. This lubricant is non-medicated and vet recommended as it helps prevent shampoo irritation to your pet's eyes. Then we express the anal glands if needed, and a high-quality ear cleaner is used to remove dirt and grime. When all preparations are complete, we bathe your dog with shampoo and conditioner that we feel best fits your pet's needs unless you request a specific product in advance. We keep deep cleaning, hypo-allergenic, de-shedding and other products on hand or we are willing to use your veterinary prescribed products. De-shedding products and tooth brushing is available upon request for an additional charge. According to our veterinary sources, a more relaxed approach to anal gland expression and ear hair plucking is better to avoid dependence on these services or unnecessary irritation.
After the bath, we fluff dry your pet by hand. We use variable speed "forced air" dryers without heat elements so as to not over dry the skin or over heat your pet. These dryers are adjustable to each pet's level of sensitivity and allow us to remove dead hair and dander from the coat. This leaves the coat nice and fluffy with a shiny lustre ready for trimming.