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Frequently Asked Questions

How often should my dog be groomed?

All breeds regardless of hair type, length or style require regular grooming. Bacteria will build quickly on an unkept coat. To maintain a clean, healthy, coat, and prevent skin concerns, all breeds should be groomed by a professional dog groomer on a regular schedule of every 4, 6, or 8 weeks, maximum. By keeping your dog clean and free of any matting you are sure to be meeting his grooming needs.

Is shaving my dog’s coat a bad idea?

If your dog is a double coated breed, yes most defiantly it is one of the worst grooming treatments an owner can request to have done to their dog. Smaller dogs with long hair or dogs that are not doubled coated, can be shaved with zero to minimal negative effects.

What WILL effect your dog negatively are the following:

  • a severely matted dog that must be shaved due to owner neglect;
  • not protecting your dog from sun exposure;
  • sensitive skin and dogs with known skin irritation concerns.

Why do groomers always shave my dog?

Usually, because you are not meeting the grooming requirements of your dog.
All breeds require regular maintenance, all year round.

  • Long styles = 4 week visits.
  • Medium styles = 6-8 week visits.
  • Short styles = 8-10 week visits.
  • Natural or double coated = minimum of 3-4 month visits.

Brushing and combing a matted dog is extremely uncomfortable and inhumane, thus groomers will simply not partake in such activities. If you are not keeping up with brushing and combing properly at home, and you are not following the above schedule, then you may not be meeting the grooming requirements of your dog.
It is safer and more comfortable for the dog to be shaved, start over, get on a proper schedule and stay on it. Humanity over vanity.

How often should I have the nails cut?

Neglecting a dog’s nails is a serious health issue. We would like to see all dogs have their nails cut every 4 weeks. Ignoring nails that are too long will cause strain on the muscles & bones in the feet. The toes will begin to splay out over time. The toes, feet and legs will become affected, as will the shoulders, back and neck. When the nails grow, the quick grows as well. The nails cannot be cut back past the quick or the dog will experience pain, discomfort & bleeding. Well maintained feet and nails is vital to your loved one’s health.

Did you cut the nails? They feel too sharp, I think they are still too long.

A fresh nail cut will always result a sharp edge or tip. We can grind the nails with our nail grinder to smooth them out for you; however, as it takes time, skill, and knowledge to perform this task effectively, there is an additional charge for this.
Owners should understand that a nail can only be cut as far back as the quick area. Cutting behind the quick will cause bleeding and pain, the result of which is a dog that is fearful of having the nails cut. To prevent this we recommend regular maintenance of cutting and dremel work . Failure to do so will result in nails that are too long, with long quicks. Once long quicks have been established, very little can be done by us to correct this condition.

Will you express my dog’s anal glands?

No we will not.
This is a matter to be dealt with at your veterinarian’s office. As per the OVMA (Ontario Veterinary Medical Association) it is ILLEGAL for anyone other than a veterinarian to express anal glands internally or externally.
This is a topic of great debate amongst dog owners, veterinarians as well as groomers. Our position has been and always will be...that dog owners need to investigate why this procedure should be required in the first place. We choose to refer you to your trusted veterinarian for answers as to why this procedure is a concern. Owners often complain to us that they do not wish to pay the fee at the vet office to have the anal glands expressed. This is a discussion between you and your veterinarian, we have no control over their fees.

Will you pull the hair from my dog’s ears?

We will not pull the hair from you dog’s ears unless we have been instructed to do so by the owner. Discuss this with your veterinarian and upon their approval, we will preform this service. There is an extra fee for this. It is time consuming, delicate & requires knowledge as well as skill to preform effectively.

Do you brush teeth?

No we do not.
Brushing the teeth is a daily routine through your dog’s entire life, from puppy stages to senior years, accomplished by good diet. A groomer brushing a dog’s teeth every 4-6 weeks is doing little, if anything, for your dog’s health. We are of the opinion that this is a tactic at improving profit margins in grooming salons. This, in our opinion, creates a sense of false care & maintenance for dog owners. We, therefore, do not partake in this service and encourage all dog owners to investigate dental procedures performed at your veterinarian’s office.

At what age can I get my puppy groomed?

We typically prefer to see a puppy shortly after his or her last vaccination. If you wait until your puppy is 10 months, you’ve waited too long, regardless of the breed. If he’s 10 weeks, it’s too soon. Your puppy’s first grooming is likely it’s most important grooming of it’s entire life because it sets the expectation for future groomings. All owners are wise to plan that first visit carefully. We prefer puppy’s first groom to be more of an introductory grooming rather than a full hair or scissor cut.

Do you have any openings today?

If you are a dog owner that cannot or is unwilling to make arrangements prior to the actual day you require grooming, then we are quite likely not the salon for you to choose. We are typically booked a week to 10 days in advance. Most of our clients pre book their next appointment prior to leaving the salon; this is how we maintain consistency with our dog clients & help manage a hectic human lifestyle. Our clients choose TLC as their grooming salon and remain a loyal client for the dog’s entire life.
Humans that “shop hop” are missing out on an extremely important aspect of what we are all about at TLC. They are preventing their dog from building a foundation of trust and respect with their dog groomer. Grooming a dog with kindness, patience and skill cannot be achieved by “squeezing you in.”
Yes we are in business to earn a living; however, without proper planning in place, a grooming salon can quickly turn into controlled chaos. This is an environment we choose to avoid as no animal willing accepts such conditions.

How long will my dog be at your salon?

Some days we feel like answering with “how long is a piece of string?” Typically, we endeavour to return your dog to you within 2-3 hours. Some days we are ahead of our goals other days we fall short. Regardless, all staff work diligently, quickly, safely and with kindness to ensure that no dog is with us for too long. An hour and a half is perfect but that is only achieved when we see your dog on a regular schedule of 6-8 weeks.

Several common factors delay us in achieving our goal:

  • the coat condition of your dog;
  • the behaviour of your dog;
  • did you allow your dog an opportunity to have a potty time before drop off?
  • how many times the phone rings while we are working, the details & concerns those calls bring us;
  • early/late drop offs. We are forced to stop grooming when this happens. It may only be a 3 minute delay, sometimes it’s a 10 minute delay. If 3 clients do this for the morning appointments by noon the day can run an hour or more behind. Thus why we schedule individual time slots for each client.

Clean up & disinfecting dog messes creates delays. Many folks would be shocked at the number of loved ones that are dropped off & have clearly not been allowed a proper potty break;
We take lunch minutes & potty seconds ourselves to keep the schedule intact as much as possible.

Can I drop off early?

This is generally accommodated. Please note however, that an early drop off will never mean your dog will be started sooner or that you will receive him back earlier in doing so. This is a common misunderstanding. Each day is scheduled according to breed, style of hair cut and of course temperament. You day and time is essentially hand picked specific to your needs. We ask that a courtesy call be made to ensure that we are able to easily manage a time change to your appointment.

Why does it cost so much for my large breed? Isn’t it just a bath?

Grooming large breeds properly and professionally is much more than just soap and water.
Large breeds often require two people to safely lift, carry and to calmly remain on a grooming table. The double coated breeds require extensive combing and often times dematting. Even a Lab or Golden can take considerable time to remove the excess hair and dander from their coats. Dog grooming is never an effortless procedure and the larger the breed, the more time and energy is put into the job. Larger breeds are simply priced according to the labour involved in completing the work required.

How do I become a dog groomer?

Dog grooming is a profession that requires patience, talent, hard work and unconditional love. A person wishing to enter into this career can search out one of the Registered Career Colleges with the Ministry of Community and Colleges.
It is no longer legal for a groomer or a salon to accept payment for grooming training unless they are a Registered Career College.

How could my dog possibly have fleas?

Any dog without proper flea prevention in place will pick up fleas. It is your choice to decide if you prefer to administer medication from the veterinarian or adapt holistic and more natural remedies. The on spot medications that are commonly purchased in pet stores typically are not a product that we recommend as a method of flea prevention.

Could my dog pick up fleas from your salon?

No, he will not pick up any fleas from our environment.
One should take some time to educate themselves on the life cycle of the flea. In doing so, you will quickly learn that eggs, larvae & pupae survive in the soil, in animal bedding, in carpeting as well as upholstery. After eggs have fallen off of the host’s body onto such surfaces, it then takes anywhere from 2 days to 10 days for those eggs to hatch. Our floors are tile, we have no animal bedding nor do we have any upholstry. This eliminates the environmental conditions required for flea eggs to survive. Our cleaning and disinfecting routine at the salon is strict and extremely regimented to prevent the spread of any bacteria, fungus, disease or any type of potential irritant to anyone’s loved one. The salon is cleaned before the day begins, during the work day as well a complete and thorough cleaning at the end of each day. We do our best to ensure that any potential hazards are removed from our environment to protect your pet as well as our staff.

What is the procedure if you do find fleas on someone’s dog?

The dog is immediately given a flea bath. This process completely eliminates all live fleas on the dog’s body. The bathing system is run through a cleaning and disinfecting process, which is a two stage process, further eliminating chance of fleas escaping.
The kennel that the dog was held in prior to the bath is removed and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
All towels that are used on the animal are immediately put in the washing machine and are washed and dried.
Our vacuum is emptied and the contents is stored in a bin outside.
When the owner arrives to pick up their dog we inform them that a flea or fleas were discovered. We then encourage the owner to implement a flea preventative program with their veterinarian as soon as possible. A note is made on the customer’s profile that fleas were discovered.
We charge an additional fee as this procedure is lengthy and does create acute time delays to our schedule.

Do you require my dog to have a kennel cough vaccine?

We believe that this is completely up to each individual owner to vaccinate or not. We are of the opinion that the kennel cough, being an air born virus, can be contracted easily in any environment. A dog with the virus can pass it along to any dog, whether they are in the neighbourhood, the park, the pet store or the vet office. Grooming salons and boarding kennels do not cause the virus, an animal with a compromised immune system is where the issue is.
Provided that the dog’s immune system is not compromised, we are of the opinion that there is no reason why their body should not be able to ward off the virus. Should a dog pick up the virus, we believe that owners should investigate why the immune system is perhaps not responding as it should naturally do.
We do not feel that this is an issue that can be effectively policed. We encourage all dog owners to be diligent with research and continuing education regarding their dog’s health.

It is good to keep your pet healthy with regular vaccination, Dr Dodds explains this well in her video and her vaccination schedule chart.