Procedures for New or Returning Customers – from June 2020 

We are pleased to welcome new or returning owners (we haven’t seen you in 12 months or more) and dogs to our client list, but our policies and procedures have changed to reflect the new social distancing requirements, and additional challenges to our small business presented by Covid-19:

  • We will conduct a telephone consultation with you to collect your contact information, and details concerning your dog and the grooming requirements, and to find out about any health issues (please update us at every groom), likes or dislikes by the dog, details from you about the current coat condition. 
  • If you are not sure how to describe your requirements, then we would welcome a clear photograph sent to us by email to show us exactly how you would like your dog styled
  • We will agree on an appointment date/time for your dog to be delivered to us for grooming and you will receive a text message confirming and reminding you of the appointment
  • Please confirm that you want your appointment by payment of a grooming deposit within 2 days – we will send you a payment link or invoice so that this can be done electronically.  The deposit will be £20.00. 
  • The deposit is non-refundable in the event that you don’t attend as scheduled, or you forget to give us at least 48 hours’ notice of cancellation or a date/time change
  • In the event that a deposit has been retained by us as per point 5 above, then a new deposit is payable if you wish to book further appointments
  • When you drop your dog off, we will send you a further payment link for the groom fee  – please ensure that this is paid before pick-up at the agreed time.  If you like the groom that has been produced, then please rebook at the time of collection, or shortly afterwards.  At this point we will still hold your £20 deposit on the assumption that you wish to remain on our client list.  However, if you do not wish to rebook you dog for its next groom, then please send your request in writing that we refund your deposit. 

Please also refer to our general terms and conditions of service which are below:

Prices – all prices discussed either by telephone or in our reception area are estimates, and assume that you will bring your dog to us in reasonable condition, and that the dog is within the standard size for the breed, and also that the dog is happy to be groomed -

  • additional charges will apply for the extra time, products and equipment involved in grooming a neglected coat, or a very overgrown one
  • we do not de-matt neglected coats because of the discomfort involved for the animal - these coats will be clipped off very short.  We will not accept responsibility for small nicks or injuries caused during this process as it is almost impossible for us to see where the skin has been pulled together by the matting - a very short blade reduces the risk of injury.  This is very different to removing small knots and isolated matted hair from the coat which can be achieved quickly without causing stress or pain
  • the health and condition of a dog’s coat and skin are the responsibility of the owner, together with its physical and psychological health

Final Price – this will be determined by taking the following factors into consideration -

  • When the coat is maintained and in reasonable condition between grooming appointments and the dog exhibits normal behaviour the price is usually as the estimate.  The price must reflect the amount of time taken, as well as any additional product used to achieve the required trim
  • If we cannot safely complete your dog within the guidelines of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, Section 9, due to behaviour, aggression, or otherwise, we will call and let you know so that you can collect the dog.  There will be a charge for the appointment based upon the amount of time spent

Price Increases - our business expenses increase all the time, along with statutory labour rates:  we will therefore keep our prices under constant review.  We usually implement a price increase each January

Appointments - Drop off and Collection Times - please ensure that you drop off and pick up at the appointed time - don't come early as we might not have a space to care for your dog whilst it waits to be groomed, and if you are early you will interrupt our work on other dogs. We are not a licensed boarding establishment, and therefore it is not acceptable for you to leave your dog with us after the pick-up time for any reason, and if you are late collecting, then we will charge a late collection fee of £10.00 per dog.

Missed Appointments - We send out appointment reminders by text message, to all clients 3 days before the upcoming appointment, so please ensure that we have your up-to-date phone contact information – these are the terms and conditions for current customers (pre-23rd March 2020), but note that we are introducing changes to reduce lost income through late cancellations and missed appointments

  • Please give us a minimum of 48 hours’ notice of cancellation of an appointment so that we can rebook the appointment to someone else; if you are unable to give us notice or fail to attend, then we will send you an invoice you for £20 per dog booked to cover part of the lost income; if you wish to rebook, then we will also take a non-refundable £20 deposit per dog for the next appointment. We reserve the right to request pre-payment at the time of booking.
  • If you have booked a full groom for your dog, and then change it on the date of the appointment to a bath and a brush, or a tidy up, then we will charge you the normal price of a full groom, as we will have missed the opportunity to book in an additional dog and will as a result have lost income
  • If you are late for an appointment, more than 30 minutes, then we will have to cancel your appointment as it affects the rest of the day’s schedule: we will send you an invoice or payment link for £20 per dog to cover part of the lost income.  All future groom appointments will need to be confirmed by payment of a deposit

Payment - we no longer accept cheques in payment (very expensive to process) and whilst under Corona Control Measures, we prefer to accept payment electronically through payment or invoice links which we will issue via iZettle.  If you can only pay by cash, then please place the exact money in a plastic bag so that we can see the contents - no change is available.

Vaccination, worming, flea/tick treatment policy -

We endeavour to offer a healthy clean environment for all the dogs that visit us: please ensure that your dog is up to date with flea/tick and worming treatments, along with vaccinations;  Fleas on any dog in our salon cause a lot of additional cleaning, as well as the use of chemicals to kill them, and for this reason we will charge an additional £10 per dog.  The products we will use are flea shampoo on your dog (Ridasect), the use of flea spray (Indorex) in crates and on bedding and also fumigation products within our premises.  Some dogs are extremely allergic to fleas, and if they are bitten, then there is a potential serious health risk for them, along with a vet bill for their owner.  Be aware also that the lifecycle of fleas is intrinsically linked to the tapeworm lifecycle - you should treat all your animals for both parasites, along with your home, pet bedding, car. Ticks - if we find one on your dog, we will remove it and will show you the evidence of the dead tick - we will charge you £10 per dog for tick removal.  Be aware that the incubation period for tick-borne diseases (Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, etc) can be up to one month, so you should be especially vigilant during this time, and do not hesitate to seek veterinary care if your dog appears to be unwell: be sure to tell the vet that your dog had been bitten by a tick.  You should also check yourself as well as other family members for evidence of tick bites - they sometimes have a characteristic bullseye rash - if you suspect a tick bite you should seek immediate medical attention so that any infection can be treated with antibiotics.

Anal Glands, ear and teeth cleaning -

RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct states the following:

1.  The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides, subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery.  ’Veterinary Surgery’ is defined within the Act as encompassing the ‘art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine’ which includes the diagnosis of diseases and injuries in animals, tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes, advice based upon a diagnosis and surgical operations which may not necessarily form part of a treatment.  These restrictions are in the interests of ensuring that animals are treated only by people qualified to do so.”  Minor teeth cleaning which involves a toothbrush where the teeth are not diseased is unlikely to be considered an act of veterinary surgery and would be non-invasive.  External expression of anal glands is more complicated, as deciding if there is any infection or impaction involves a diagnosis, which is an act of veterinary surgery.  If the gland is not affected it is questionable if it requires expression.  Likewise for ears, where minor hair/debris removal is involved in a non-infected ear, this would not usually be considered an act of veterinary surgery, but where infection is present, or there is any possibility of a ruptured ear drum, this should be dealt with as a veterinary matter.  Where we suspect ear infections then we will not pluck or clean them, as we could make a problem worse, or we might remove evidence that would aid a veterinary diagnosis of a problem.  We will of course inform you of a problem.

Bitches in Season, or Pregnant:

Please do not bring your in-season bitch to us for a groom.  The season usually lasts around 3 weeks.  The reasons we do not wish to groom your in-season bitch are:

  • the dog will be bleeding to a greater or lesser extent, and it is not pleasant for us to have these secretions in our workplace or on our hands
  • the bitch's vulva will be swollen and very sensitive, and the area around it should normally be clipped to remove excess hair - even with a very short blade, there is the risk of nicking this very sensitive soft tissue;  your bitch will also not want to stand still whilst we are working around the hind quarters
  • dogs that come into the salon whether neutered or not, are extremely aware of bitches in season, and they will scent mark our building which means that we will have a lot more cleaning to do.  Other dogs that come into the building will also attempt to urinate on another male's scent mark, even if it has been cleaned up.  
  • Male dogs, even if neutered, can become aggressive and/or anxious where they know there is or has been an in-season bitch - for safety's sake, we need dogs to be as calm as possible whilst they are in the salon

Bitches expecting puppies should be protected from any stress or anxiety, or possible sources of infection during their pregnancy, so pre-plan your grooms to take into account a 63-day pregnancy, and then a minimum period of 8 weeks after delivery of the puppies before she can next be groomed.  

Elderly Dogs:

Grooming any dog takes a while to achieve, so for a big dog, it could be stood up on a grooming table for 3 hours.  As the dog ages, its ability to stand becomes less, so we need to find a way to accommodate your dog safely so that the essentials are achieved without harm to your dog.  We will discuss with you what the options are at the outset, taking into consideration our knowledge of your dog, any current health issues - we may decide to split up the work over a couple of days.  It might not be appropriate to carry out extensive handstrip procedures, or to trim the dog into an aesthetic style.  We may ask you to remain with us to comfort your dog if we feel that this is necessary.  We would ask you to ensure that you pick up your dog promptly from the appointment.  Your dog's health and welfare is our prime concern.

What does a full groom include – a consultation with you to determine your requirements and to find out about your pet to ensure the best possible care, then - 

- Bathing and conditioning with products appropriate to your pet’s skin, coat type and condition

- Fluff and blow dry

- Nail trim or grinding – the only exception to this would become overly aggressive or panicked to the point where it would be unsafe for us to provide this service, and we would then refer you to your vet

- Ear cleaning/plucking – we do not pluck or clean ears that show sign of inflammation, soreness or any condition that needs to be attended by a vet.  Cleaning ears can cause further irritation and can make it more difficult for your vet to diagnose the condition

- Styling / hair cut of your choice

- Groomer’s health check with a report back on any problems identified

- we are more than happy to advise on coat care and suitable equipment and products for your dog so that you can maintain the style between grooms.  We will also advise on grooming frequency based on our knowledge of the breed or type of dog

Feedback: All feedback should be directed to Judy Chappell, preferably in person, by email, by telephone, or via our website.  We value feedback, both positive or negative, and will be happy to discuss with you any points you feel we should be aware of.  We ask all our clients to check the trim when they collect their dogs, so that if any adjustments are required, these can be made before the dog leaves the premises: it is quicker for us to do this as the dog’s coat is both clean and knot free, and from a client’s perspective the requirements have been met without significant delay.  Please note: We aren’t able to correct a trim on dogs returned to us after more than a couple of days: the coat will no longer be in a pristine, workable condition; it will also have grown longer, and it is hard for us to see where there is an error in the trim.