Ask Michelle

Ottawa-based professional pet stylist Michelle Best answers your most frequently asked questions about in-home pet grooming:

Ottawa In-Home Groomer Question: How frequently should my dog and my cat be groomed?

Answer: On average, your dog should be groomed every eight weeks and your cat should be groomed every three months. This schedule will stay on top of your pet's basic needs. Regular grooming of the coat prevents excessive scratching and shedding. Nail maintenance safeguards your pet's health and protects your floors and furniture. Older dogs with long nails can slide and fall down stairs, and sometimes the nails can grow into the nail bed.

Question: I live in an apartment. What kind of facilities do you need for the grooming session?

Answer: We bring a grooming table for the in-home session and will need room to set it up. For small dogs, a laundry tub, bath tub or kitchen sink works well for bathing. The total session takes two hours for your dog and one hour for your cat.

Question: Who supplies the shampoos, towels and other materials?

Answer: Best Pet Grooming provides the hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners and specialized equipment. The client supplies towels for dog bathing.

Question: Can you groom my dog while I'm at work, or do you book evening and weekend appointments?

Answer: We book appointments during weekday business hours, which is the preference of most clients, whether they are home or not.

Question: I bathe my dog once a month. Isn't that enough?

Answer: Grooming is more than bathing. Professional groomers work to standards and have specialized tools - magnetic trimmers, brushes for removing excess hair and high-velocity dryers - that ensure the best result for your cat or dog. Routine professional grooming can also prevent certain ailments that afflict the coat, paws and pads of your pet, and it ensures that another pair of professional eyes are looking at the overall health of your pet.

Question: My dog whines and sometimes nips during a bath. Can you manage him?

Answer: Many clients choose in-home pet grooming because of difficulties - stress of new surroundings or presence of other animals - their pet had in the salon setting. Alpha dogs are common, and they need to be treated like rescue dogs with care, compassion and patience. A grooming relationship is a process based on trust. Sometimes it takes a while to build that trust so the dog or cat can benefit from all of the services. I muzzle dogs only in extreme cases.

Question: What area of Ottawa do you serve?

Answer: Best Pet Grooming serves clients from Ottawa to Bells Corners and everywhere in between, including Gloucester, Nepean, Orleans and Barrhaven.

Question: Do you accept credit cards?

Answer: No. I am happy to receive payment in cash, cheque or Internet transfer.

Question: Do you have a cancellation policy?

Answer: Since Best Pet Grooming travels to your location, we ask for 24-hour notice if you are unable to keep the appointment, or there will be a 50% late-cancellation fee.

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