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Brushing &
Frequently Asked Questions!
How much will it cost to groom my dog?
Grooming rates vary depending on the breed of your pet, the type of services you choose and, very importantly, the condition of their coat and the dog's temperament. Please call and we will be happy to provide you with an estimate.

What are the main factors that affect the cost of grooming?
  • The condition of the dog’s coat
    What an owner may genuinely think of as being "a few knots" might in fact be a solid matte which may not be possible to brush out (not to mention being very painful and distressing for the dog). Solid mattes will be cut out. If the coat is found to be widely matted, I will contact you and advise that the coat will be cut down short (see also our Mattes page - link at top)
  • The dog’s general health
    A dog who is older or inactive can often require several rest breaks during grooming, extending the grooming time required
  • What type of temperament the dog has
    Dogs who are nervous or very protective can often require special handling, again extending the required grooming time
  • The style and extent of grooming chosen
    Noting the comments about matting above, the style of the clip needs to be matched to not only the dog’s breed, but also to the owner’s lifestyle and the dog’s condition. A heavily matted dog, for example, may need to be clipped right back and the fur then allowed to re-grow before it can be groomed to a specific style.
  • Specialised styles
    Dogs which require a very specific style (involving, for example, a longer, hand-scissored style) will occupy more of the groomer’s time

Should my dog eat before being groomed?
Dogs should NOT be fed before going to a grooming salon.
Some pets are initially stressed about being away from home and their parents, but they do settle down. Whenever possible please do NOT feed your dog for at least 4 hours before they are due to be groomed.

When transporting your dog, make sure you have a dog crate or a blanket to cover your car seat, paper towels and waste bag, in case of accidents.

Take your dog for a walk prior to leaving home to allow him or her to relieve themself.

Will my dog be stressed when being groomed?
Most dogs will experience some degree of disquiet about being groomed - up to 75% of dogs experience some degree of stress associated with being groomed. Not many dogs like baths, or dryers that sound like a vacuum cleaner. It is very normal for your dog to shake a little when coming into a grooming salon.

Dogs are very smart and know that they are about to get wet, blow-dried and will be away from you for a while. Some will put on a “show" for their parents much the same as some children.  You would be very surprised at how quickly they settle down once you leave and are really quite content with their groomer.

The best way to deal with stress is to simply “hand over” your dog to the groomer as soon as discussions on how the pet is to be groomed are finished. The longer you wait around, the more your pet will pick up on your anxiety and will worry about you.

Can I stay and watch my dog being groomed?
It really doesn’t work – especially for your dog! Concerns or questions should be discussed with the groomer while dropping off or picking up the dog. We will give you an approximate finishing time then, but we will always phone you to advise precisely when your dog will be ready to be collected.

Please do NOT arrive while your dog is being groomed. As soon as your dog sees you he will get excited – and then he’ll get stressed because he cannot go to you. This makes it very unsafe for both the groomer and the dog - trying to finish grooming a "dancing dog", with sharp scissors and blades about, puts your dog at risk of being cut. Please call to collect your dog as arranged with the groomer.

Clipping your dog’s nails – how and how often?
One of the main factors in this is how often the dog is walked (or is active on) a hard surface such as concrete. Frequent walks on hard surfaces keep the nails down – the concrete acts like a file. However if your dog does not spend a lot of time on these surfaces then you might expect to need to trim their nails every 4-6 weeks or so.

If a dog’s nails have not been maintained with regular cuts or walks, the “quick” will grow along with the nail. The “quick” is the part of the nail that is fed by the blood vessel. The vein sits just behind the end of the quick which means that only a small amount can be cut off the nail if the quick is to be avoided. 


If a dog’s nails are cut too short (just past the quick) the nail will bleed. Sometimes the nail is cut so that it only just covers the quick – as soon as the dog is put onto the ground and begins moving about, the quick ruptures and the nail begins to bleed. Although the bleeding looks quite dramatic, it usually stops quite quickly – just like a small cut on your own finger.

If your dog really dislikes having their nails cut, talk to your groomer about having their nails filed instead. Magic Mutts has available the Dremel Pet File, an electronic nail file which does away with the cutting sensation associated with traditional nail clipping methods.

Regular walking on concrete or visits to your groomer will ensure that the nails are kept short and manageable.

TIP- Lots of dogs dislike having their feet handled and/or nails clipped. Handling your dog’s feet on a daily basis, including running your fingers over their paws and between nails, desensitises the dog to having their feet handled by their groomer and/or vet.

Why does my dog itch after grooming?
Some dogs itch much the same as a person might after shaving their face - or in the case of ladies, legs - if it has been a while between shaves.
Young puppies are particularly prone to being a bit itchy after their first groom or first ear hair removal, because, like a human baby, their skin is very soft and sensitive.

The removal of matted coats/pelts with a short blade may also result in itching. Interestingly, white or light coloured dogs are more prone to scratching and ear shaking after grooming than are dogs with darker coats.

TIP- Apply cornflour or baby nappy rash cream for itching. If your dog shakes it’s head a lot after its ears have been trimmed, cut the top off a woman’s nylon sock – so as to make it like a sleeve - and slip it over the dogs head, with the ears placed up on top of the forehead. This will stop the dog either scratching the ear tips or the tips slapping together when the dog shakes it’s head, which can lead to haematomas (burst blood vessels).

Will a muzzle be used on my dog?
We do use a soft muzzle on some dogs in order to keep both the dog and groomer safe. 

Do you tranquilize pets before you bathe or groom them?
Magic Mutts does not tranquilize or otherwise sedate a dog in order to groom it. We are trained to handle nervous pets and we treat every pet with tender loving care. If a pet is too agitated to be safely bathed or groomed our services will not be forced upon the pet.

Does Magic Mutts employ heated drying cages in its grooming facilities?
No. Each dog at Magic Mutts is hand-dried after they have been bathed. The process involves brushing out the coat to remove shedding hair, while blowing it dry with equipment similar to, although much larger than, the hair dryer you might use at home. The force dryer uses warm (not hot) air so your dog will not overheat during this process.

When should my puppy have its first professional grooming session?
Grooming should start at approx 12 weeks of age (after the second vaccination), depending of course on the dog’s coat. This allows the pup to become acquainted with the sounds of the grooming salon environment such as noises from dryers, clippers etc.

When grooming your pup we will always ensure that they are in a quiet salon, alone with the groomer, in order to minimise stress. If you wish I  will teach you the proper way to brush and handle your puppy when grooming. These techniques, started early, will leave a positive impression on your pup and their grooming experience will become enjoyable, rather than something negative.

After the first grooming session, we suggest further sessions every month for the first 4 months, with both you and your groomer working hand in hand, doing the same things at home as the groomer would in the studio. This will help the pup to take everything around them in  their stride and to make grooming a pleasant experience.

Once your dog is conditioned for grooming, regular grooming is recommended every 2-3 months to maintain a beautiful healthy coat for life.

Remember, the first 6 months of life for a dog is like the first 5 years for a child -  it is very important to start them the right way while young.

Is it too cold to have my dog groomed?
Many pet owners neglect to have their pets groomed in winter because they may think it is too cold.
Nail trimming and ear cleaning is a must all year round. The dog’s coat may be left longer during winter but should be washed, brushed and trimmed regularly to maintain a beautiful healthy and styled coat all year round.
Unfortunately for a lot of dogs, going through the colder months of the year without being groomed results in their coat becoming very matted. This sadly is very uncomfortable for the dog and ultimately must be removed with a very short clip (see link to Mattes page at top).