Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions we often hear at Gordon’s Grooming, if yours isn’t here, please feel free to call or email.
1. What does it mean to be a Nationally Certified Master Groomer and what does it mean to the customer?
Lara is one of six Nationally Certified Master Groomers (NCMG) in the State of Indiana. Currently, a license is not required to become a pet groomer; anyone can call himself or herself a groomer. While they may be able to groom an animal, their techniques and health practices could put your pet at risk. If your pet stylist has a license, you know your pet is in capable hands.
The NDGAA offers a voluntary Master’s certification for pet groomers who want to qualify themselves for the highest standard of grooming. They require the groomer to pass four written exams with more than 600 questions and groom four dogs (one sporting, one non-sporting, and two terriers) in front of a panel of judges. All of these tests must be passed with a score of at least 85% to qualify as an NCMG. From a customer’s viewpoint, this is important because you can rest assured your groomer has the best skill set to care for your pet. All NDGAA groomers must also agree to abide by the Code of Ethics put forth by the NDGAA.
2. How often should I have my pet groomed?
Most pets benefit from being groomed every four to six weeks. Some of this depends on the owner’s ability to maintain the pet’s coat between grooming appointments. This advice is not just for dogs requiring a haircut, but short hair dogs and all cats as well. The undercoat is removed, nails are trimmed, ears cleaned and more – all of these things are best done on a regular basis.
3. Won’t frequent bathing ruin my pet’s hair?
Not if done properly. We use only the highest quality shampoos and conditioners that are made specifically for your pet. Pets have a lower ph than humans, therefore making it VERY important to use specialized products.
4. Can you clip my double-coated breed?
These breeds shed heavily a few times a year. They will often start losing the winter undercoat they’ve built up and a lighter, more appropriate undercoat for the summer months will start growing in its place. They normally will go through another serious shedding cycle in the fall when the lighter summer undercoat falls out to allow for the heavier winter undercoat to grow in. This twice a year shedding cycle is a little different than the normal, ongoing hair shed and growth process, so while these double coated breeds do shed all year around, it is worse during the spring and fall. It is not healthy or necessary to clip dogs short in the summertime and clipping dogs short can actually make them hotter.
Double coated breeds include Labs, Golden Retrievers, Husky’s, Beagles, Pugs – dogs that have fur rather than dogs with hair that would just continue growing longer and longer like human hair, such as poodles. The best thing you can do for your double coated breed to keep it comfortable is to have it bathed, brushed, and groomed regularly. Surprisingly – the worst thing you can do is have it shaved or clipped short! A dog’s cooling systems works very differently from the way human bodies work. A dog’s “coat” is nothing like us wearing a coat and taking it off when we are warm. Removing a dog’s “coat” can actually make them hotter, shed worse, have skin problems, expose them to too much sun, and more. The cycle of hair growing and shedding is set up to work perfectly for dogs and we do a disservice to dogs when we shave them and interrupt that cycle (unless, of course, there is a medical reason to do so.) Dogs cool off a few different ways, of course, there is panting. A simplified explanation of panting is that heat within the dog enters the blood supply, that circulates and fluid evaporates off the dog’s tongue while panting allowing the dog to get rid of heat. Dogs also have sweat glands in their feet and ears that play a small role in keeping them cool. A major way dogs cool down is that their blood flow is increased (dogs have proportionality larger spleens than humans, the spleen helps store blood and control heat.) Blood carries excess heat to the skin where it circulates. There are muscles in the dog’s skin that help raise guard hairs (the harsher outer coat of a double coated breed,) and allow for the heat to dissipate off the dog’s skin. When that hair is removed it changes the way air flows over the dog’s skin. This is how shaving a double coated dog can actually make a dog hotter. What can contribute to a dog becoming too hot is not brushing out dead and or shedding coat and allowing it to become stuck in the other hair. This blocks air flow to the dog’s skin. Cutting a double coated breed’s hair really short can actually increase shedding later as well because the way their coat and skin function is so disrupted when the coat is clipped very short. When you notice your dog starting the excessive spring shedding it’s time to get it to the groomer for a good bath, de-shed, high-velocity drying and brush out. As temperatures increase it’s also important to make sure your dog has plenty of water as it plays an important role in the process of keeping them comfortable.
5. What types of payment do you accept?
We take cash, checks, and all credit cards.
6. What about your cancellation policy?
We prefer our customers give us 48 hours notice for a cancellation or to reschedule. We understand that things come up, but time has been reserved specifically for your pet, so we would like to be notified as soon as possible if you are unable to make your appointment. Because this is a small hands-on pet spa, last minute cancellations really impact us, and the other customers who are in need of an appointment. We track all last minute cancellations (less than 24 hours) and no shows, so if a customer has excessive cancellations, they will be required to pre-pay for their appointments. They will also forfeit the payment if they cancel or reschedule less than 24 hours in advance.
If you provide us with a cell phone number or email you will get a reminder two days in advance of your appointment.
Customers who no-show or cancel less than 24 hours in advance (with some exceptions,) will be sent a bill for their missed appointment. If this bill is not paid within 30 days, it will be submitted to a collection agency. If Gordon’s Grooming must retain a collection agency or law firm to collect past due balances owed to Gordon’s Grooming, clients will also be responsible for additional collection agency fees, court costs, attorney fees or incidental costs associated with collecting.
7. Can I bathe my pet at home and just bring it in for a haircut?
If you are more comfortable bathing your pet at home, that’s fine. However, there is no price difference for a spa haircut with or without a bath. Bathing is included with your spa haircut and will turn out far better when the pet is professionally bathed and dried before being groomed at Gordon’s Grooming.
8. Do I have to leave my pet for a long time or all day?
No, we work quickly and efficiently. You can drop your pet off, run some errands, and come back to pick them up later. However, we do understand that some people will need to leave their pets longer than others, but we do not require much time. Expedited service is available at no extra charge.
9. Can I stay for the appointment?
It’s generally not a good idea. Most dogs and cats do much better without the owner present. Many dogs wiggle more trying to get mom or dad’s attention, making the grooming process dangerous and more time-consuming. This said – we do now have a customer waiting area available! Lara grooms right in the retail area, and the waiting area is just out of a pet’s line of site (but you can still hear your pet,) so you are welcome to wait quietly while we groom your pet.
Customers are also welcome to come watch Lara groom a dog other than their own, to see how she does things.
10. Why aren’t prices listed on your website?
Pricing varies from breed to breed, depending on size, hair type, the frequency of grooming and so on. There are some breeds that can vary a lot in size as well, for example, some bichons are 9 pounds, while others are 20. It’s preferable to be able to discuss each pet with the owner and provide a more accurate quote.
Pets that are not groomed on a regular schedule (every 4-12 weeks,) will be charged an additional fee.
11. Do you groom large dogs?
Yes, we love large dogs. The Gordon’s Grooming salon is equipped with special equipment to make grooming large dogs easier for both the dog and the groomer. The Ultra Lift Big Dog table is electric and lowers nearly all the way to the floor and can easily hold 500 pounds. The Ultra Lift 3 Side Splash Tub is also electric and lowers to the ground, allowing for large dogs to walk right in. For many large dogs, especially older large dogs, being picked up is uncomfortable. We also have the Ultra Lift Pet Sitter which gives large or senior dogs something to rest on when they would rather sit but need to be standing for their groom.
12. Do you groom cats?
Yes! Cats need grooming too. Most cats do fine for grooming, and I’ve had a lot of experience grooming cats. Since this is an independent salon, we do not EVER sedate animals. We also don’t groom animals sedated by owners. So if your cat is at serious risk of injuring itself or us, we will not be able to groom it. This is rarely the case, but we feel it is best to mention it up front.
13. Can you de-mat my dog or cat rather than shaving it?
Perhaps. We have a lot of patience and skill for de-matting. The use of proper equipment and product helps quite a bit. We’re willing to try as long as your pet will tolerate it. However, if your pet shows discomfort or stress, we will not. Most pets do fine given the de-matting techniques we use. This said regular grooming is so very important. We do not think it is a good idea to de-mat a dog two to three times a year rather than have it groomed regularly. Please note that de-matting requires additional fees as it takes a lot more time and product.
14. My dog is a MESS. How does this work?
We have quality products and tools to help make working with a messy dog easier. For severely matted double coated breeds or dogs where we’re trying to save coat, we charge an hourly rate, for hands-on working time (not when the dog is waiting or resting.) Feel free to bring your pet by for an estimate or email or text us a picture.