Grooming FAQs

Have Questions About Grooming Your Pet?

Check our list for your question.  If you don’t find it, give us a call at 724-327-PAWS!

Hand Drying involves the grooming using a cool-air force dryer to remove the water from the fur, while brushing the coat. It is a hands-on process.

Cage Drying is when a pet is placed in a cage with a blower facing it (sometimes these blowers are heated, sometimes they are not). Cage Drying is ok if the air is not heated, and if it is just for a short amount of time (10 minutes or so) to finish drying a face (many dogs do not like the force dryer on their face.)

No and Yes  

No - We require appointments for grooming.  We do not take Walk-ins for bathing/grooming because our groomers focus on a pet at a time. Walk-ins can cause “traffic jams” resulting in pets remaining in a salon for a long period of time. Our groomers try to make the grooming process as stress-free as possible.

Yes - We do accept Walk-ins for Nail Trims although we suggest you call first to make sure a groomer will be in (you still need to show proof of vaccinations).

Also Yes - Our Self-Service Dog Wash in North Versailles is on a first come, first serve basis.

Requiring vaccination records helps to ensure the health and safety of our staff and our furry guests.  While there are not a lot of pets in the grooming area at any given time, it is a small area and we do have boarding guests using the grooming services. For dogs, current rabies, distemper and yearly bordetella vaccines are required for grooming. The bordetella requirement is not as stringent as it is for boarding since there are fewer pets in the area and they aren't in as close contact. For cats, current rabies and distemper are required.

A De-Shed is a special process that opens the pores of the skin so that any fur that may be getting ready to be shed will come out. It does NOT stop a dog from shedding (and in fact your pet may shed a LOT for 24 hours after the process) but it DOES cut down on the amount of fur shed.

Yes, some cats do need to be groomed, like long haired cats and older cat that can't groom themselves.

Many groomers do not groom cats.

Yes, a groomer at our Murrysville location can groom cats.

We do NOT administer anesthesia to groom pets. If your pet requires sedation, please talk to your vet about a medical groom.

Some pets require special treatment that only our groomers can provide.

Dogs that require special handling (i.e. geriatrics that need support, or aggressive dogs that need restraint, etc.) must have appointments scheduled with our groomer.

Dogs that have very long fur or thick double coats to be thoroughly hand dried.  Also, if there are mats in the coat, getting the mats wet will make them tighter, which is very painful for the dog.  All of these cases should be scheduled with our groomer.

Please make us aware in advance if you think there may be any issues with your pet's groom.

Shaving your pet will not cut down on shedding. In fact, for some breeds, shaving a coat is not recommended. Our groomers can help you with finding the right tools to get loose coat off of your pet.

Full grooms include shampoo, coat treatment, hand-drying, specific hair cut, nail trim and ear cleaning. A grooming bath includes the shampoo, hand-drying, nail trim and ear cleaning as well.

Our groomers can brush your pet's teeth and externally express their anal glands for an extra charge. 

Our groomers will only express your pet's anal glands upon request, since if it is done too frequently, the muscles can atrophy. 

We always recommend a bath after anal glands are expressed.

An untrained eye may not even realize that a pet is matted. The surface fur may seem like it just needs a little trimming, but the worst matting often occurs closest to the skin.

Matted fur can be very painful for a pet and can lead to serious skin issues.  Think about what it would feel like if someone grabbed a lock of your hair and twisted it against your scalp – and for pets, the painful twisted hair can be over their entire body.

If your pet's fur is matted, it needs to be taken care of quickly.

You may think that your pet's fur isn't matted since you can brush the coat. However, mats occur close to the skin, and while you may be brushing the top part of the fur, you aren't actually getting down to the skin.  See the photo on this page.

Fur can get matted for a variety of reasons. Some coats are susceptible to matting if they get wet (i.e. Snow, Rain, Swimming, etc.) and aren't thoroughly dried. Leaving sweaters or shirts on 24/7 will rub the fur and cause matting. The best prevention is talking to the groomer and getting your pet on a regular schedule for grooms and brushouts.

If there are one or two mats that aren't too tight, they can probably be combed out, but the process can be painful. When there are a lot of mats, sometimes it is just better to shave them the pet and start from scratch.

Remember, it is fur – it will grow back!

Never use scissors on a cat!! Their skin is extremely fragile! If your cat is matted, please bring it in to the groomers.  Also, you should never cut a cat's whiskers.

Actually, longer coats need MORE FREQUENT brushouts and grooms.  Show dogs often get groomed DAILY!

If you want a particular length of coat on your pet, even a long coat, it is still VERY important to have a regular grooming schedule. Regularly scheduled grooms will maintain a coat, keep the mats away, and result in a happy pet!

The best prevention for mats is a regular grooming schedule and using the proper tools at home when brushing out between grooms.  Some pets receive weekly brushouts with our groomers between full grooms in order to keep their coat in good shape.

If your pet is matted, a “blow-out” is not possible as it will not remove the mats, and will make things worse.

Dematting is not a simple process and taking more time and skill.  The groomer must carefully cut away the matted fur while not cutting the skin or causing the pet too much discomfort. 

After the matts are removed the groomer must attempt to style the remaining fur creatively.

Matted fur also dulls grooming equipment increasing maintenance costs.

Almost.  We have highly skilled groomers at both of our locations, but there are some differences.

Cats can only be groomed at our Murrysville location.

The Self-Service Dog Wash is only available at our North Versailles location.

Matted Fur