1. How long have you been in business?
Candace has been in business for at least 4 years. She hired me in August 2010.
3. Do you have special qualifications, education or awards? We are licensed under the Department of Agriculture. Candace and I are both certified and completed pet grooming school. Candace is a certified level 2 Reiki Therapist. I completed a one on one apprenticeship with a Master Groomer in the Athens area as well that lasted about 9 months.
4) How many groomers do you have on staff? Candace is the Owner (and Groomer) of Petshack Grooming, and I am her only groomer. We make a great team and enjoy working together. I am sure she would like to hire more staff, but it is difficult finding good groomers and bathers to do the kind of work that is expected.
5. What should someone know before bringing their pet in for services for the first time? The Department of Agriculture requires pets to be up to date on their rabies vaccine. Up to date rabies vaccinations are the law. You must show proof of a current rabies vaccine and/ or bring the name and number of the Veterinarian so we can verify this information. If you bring in a picture of the kind of groom you want for your pet, we can groom to a picture. Bring in several pictures if you are unsure about the type of hair or length of hair your dog has in order to match a picture. Our goal is your pet’s safety first, smelling clean, looking and feeling great, and you leaving happy with our services. If there is something you wished we would have done differently, please let us know, so we can change it before you leave, or we can write it in your file so the change can be made during the next visit. Under no circumstance do we groom dogs that bite. This becomes a safety issue for them and for us. If a dog is biting or aggresive, we will stop the groom and call you so that you can pick him up. It is normal for dogs to give warning signals, some are fear biters, and some will struggle when we clean their ears or trim their nails. We stop the grooms on the dogs that are aggresively wanting to bite us.
6) Are you involved with any charitable organizations? YES! Candace was involved with the Atlanta Food Drive last year. There are things that she does for other pet organizations that you may want to ask her about. Every once in a while, a local Veterinarian Office will ask us to groom a dog that they are fostering. I held a fundraiser on February 20th for a local family. We raised $265 in one day to help offset the cost of adopting a child. I am holding another fundraiser on May 28th for the same cause. You can track their journey here:
7) How do you handle the difficult dogs? Dogs give off signals when they are nervous or trying to calm themselves: yawning, licking, head turning, looking away, turning their back to you, sniffing the ground sometimes, even laying down, or walking towards you in a curved line (not straight at you). This is how they communicate….calmly. We can do these signals back to send a calming message. It is rare for us to get a difficult dog. When we do, we have to decide if we can complete the groom safely. If we believe an accident could occur from the result of difficult behavior, we will stop the groom. I believe that there are just some dogs that are more comfortable with a certain groomer, but that is just my opinion. I will hang in there with a difficult dog that I believe is just scared and doesn’t trust me yet. These dogs are groomed regularly and have learned to trust me within about 6 to 8 grooms, we usually have a stronger bond. The key to handle the difficult dogs that we believe can be groomed by us is to remain calm, pet their chest or under their chin slowly, and sometimes talking gently (sometimes no words at all is more effective).
8) Are there any maintenance products that you would recommend to dog owners? YES! A comb and a slicker brush (you must use both) if you want your dog with a medium to long length. And, a pin brush for the long coated dogs, like the Maltese so it doesn’t damage their hair. A tooth brush and toothpaste for dogs to be used at least 3 times a wee. Human toothpaste can poison your dog. Ear cleaning solution for dogs and cotton balls, healthy ears can be cleaned once a week. A good quality shampoo from a big box pet store is good in general if you bathe at home. We are always thrilled when asked how do I brush my dog, how do I clean his teeth, how do I clean his ears. We are always here to help you, if we don’t know the answer right away, we can find out.
9) What would you say is the most serious and consistent condition that you have been treating here recently? It varies with the season. The season coming us is…..FLEAS! It was a warm winter, so that means fleas will be a problem this season. Some of the flea preventions have lost their kick because dogs’ systems become immune to it, so by 3 weeks into a flea preventative, the fleas start getting on the dog. (This is just my opinion based on my experience and materials that I have read). With fleas, can bring flea allergies. So, not only is the dog biting, chewing, licking, and scratching from the fleas, but he is also having an allergic reaction to the flea bites. As a groomer, we can only give temporary relief by using flea or medicated shampoos. My Shih Tzu has flea allergies, so if she gets ONE flea bite, then she is scratching for a week. My Vet recommened a product called, Trifexis. It kills and prevents fleas, prevents heartworm, and treats/ controls 3 different kinds of worms. It is a chewable tablet so their is no more irritation to her skin using the flea preventative that requires the product to be placed on the back. Previous seasons have been ALLERGIES in general. Dogs don’t cough or have drainage like we do, instead they…..Scratch, bite, lick and chew themselves raw. Allergies in general are difficult to treat. Again, groomers can only provide temporary relief with the medicated/ natural shampoos. I have just started my Shih Tzu on Chlor Tabs, 4 mg per day for allergies, always discuss this with your Veterinarian before trying anything new. And, I feed her Blue Buffalo Basics (Salmon and Potato). I have heard from reputable resources that these two changes will clear her allergies up within a week. I am not a Veterinarian, but I am trying to help give you some information that you can discuss with your Vet. The serious and consistent problems with dogs are usually from within, and we can only provide temporary relief when treating these conditions.
10) Are there any Do’s and Don’t s that you would suggest to dog owners that they could e doing between visits? Do brush and comb your poochie on a regular basis BEFORE the bath. If a dog has a mat and you do not get it out before the bath, the mat will become tighter and closer to their skin. That means the chances of us being able to demat him, will not be as good. Your dog may try and take advantage of you so you won’t brush him. If he resists being brushed, DO NOT STOP! Keep brushing, you are not hurting him unless you are putting all your weight on the brush and digging, then you are hurting him. If his skin starts to turn pink, then stop and wait until the next day. We have a great brushing video on our website, please take 15 min out of your time to watch it. Your dog will be a happier pooch during his grooming visit with the less mats we have to get out. We will not do heavy dematting because it is cruel. We are happy to teach you how to brush your dog if you need further assistance.