Your First Visit to Furr
Visiting the groomer with your pet can be a little intimidating the first time. We’ve outlined the process from calling to make an appointment to your first visit and everything in between!
Schedule an Appointment
What kind of dog/cat do you have? Please be ready to describe your pet’s breed or similar breed, size, and coat type (ie: similar to a Lab, roughly 60 lb, but has longer hair kind of like a Border Collie.) You might not know a specific breed if your dog is mixed, but giving us similar-looking breeds, size, and coat type will give us a good idea.
Have vaccines ready! We require Rabies, DHPP, and Bordetella for all appointments. Bordetella is commonly missed because it is often not included in the basic yearly vaccines that all veterinarians give, and you may have to ask for it at your vet visit. Your veterinarian can provide you with vaccine records, bring a copy to your appointment or ask your vet to fax or e-mail a copy to us. We also have doctors on hand that can update your pet’s vaccinations while visiting Furr.
Have a few days picked out that will work with your schedule. Often we don’t have the one day available in the near future that you had in mind. Have a couple back up dates ready so you don’t have to check your calendar or significant other then call us back. Appointments fill up quickly and we are generally booked 2 to 4 weeks in advance for full grooms, depending on your dog’s size. Plan ahead and schedule your appointment a few weeks in advance, and when you’re here, we encourage you to book your next appointment at pickup!
Let us know if your pet has any behavioral or health issues. Information such as: Whether they nip at you during baths; if you have been told by groomers or vets that they need to be muzzled for particular things; if they don’t like having their feet touched; or anything else that may seem relevant. It is extremely important that you relate behavioral issues to us. We won’t turn you away because your pet has some personality quirks, but knowing about them in advance can prevent accidents and injuries to both the pet and groomer. The same recommendation applies to any health issues of which you are aware. All pets receive a wellness exam while in our care, but please let us know of any pre-existing conditions, so we are aware of any extra considerations we need to make for your pet.
Be prepared to leave your pet. We have drop off windows instead of specific appointment slots to allow us as much time as needed for each individual pet. Monday through Friday we have morning drop offs between 7:30-8:30 am and afternoon drop offs from 11 am-noon. On Saturday, we have drop offs from 9-9:30 am. Pick up times are hard to estimate because we’re working at your pet’s pace and comfort level. Usually our morning appointments are ready between 1-3 pm and afternoons are ready between 4:30-5:30 pm. Your pet may have a longer day with us if they are especially nervous, have a lot of coat, have trouble standing, etc. Keep in mind your groomer may need a lunch break during the day as well!
Do not be concerned if your dog is a little nervous at drop off – That’s totally normal! A small amount of pets are actually excited to be here, but, more often than not, they are nervous at drop off. A good way to help is to hand them off confidently and leave knowing they’re in good hands. Your pet will feed off of your energy! If you are panicking and worrying about them being nervous, they are going to panic and be nervous. If a dog is really fighting going to the back with us, it actually helps to watch you leave. Your pet trusts you, so you leaving them versus us taking them from you actually helps a lot.
Have an idea of what kind of haircut you want, especially for the first appointment. At drop off we will go over the grooming instructions with you. As far as lengths and styles go, the world is your oyster! If you would like your Yorkie in a Schnauzer cut, your Pom in a lion cut, your Doodle the same length from tip to tail, we can do that, we will just want to go over a few things with you to be sure you’re fully aware of all aspects of fur, hair, shedding, and coat damage pertaining to your pet. Pictures can be helpful for styling purposes, but we can only do so much depending on their hair type and condition. The groomers and front desk team will discuss if they think the style you’d like will work for your pet, and give recommendations accordingly.
- There are a few generic terms like “poodle cut” and “puppy cut” that don’t give a lot of detail on what you actually want. Traditionally poodles have shaved faces (called clean faces) that is the defining feature most groomers picture when you say poodle cut. A lot of owners are picturing the big round poms and fluffy top knots, which can result in a lot of mutual confusion. Puppy cut basically means one length all over, but doesn’t have a specified length. In either case, we will try to get you to go into greater detail to clarify. Please be understanding that we’re just trying to get better instructions to give you the haircut you want.
- Tangles happens, and that’s ok, a lot of the time we can brush out mild tangles fairly easily. Typically, the most amount of de-matting a dog can mentally handle is about 30 minutes, for others it’s less. Armpits, behind the ears, and the belly area can be extremely sensitive to brushing and we will often shave those areas out to save them the emotional and physical distress of brushing. Continued de-matting can result in an extremely damaged coat that will become matted faster than before, it can injure the skin and cause lasting mental unease about grooming. At home maintenance of longer coats is imperative to keeping them healthy. This may involve daily brushing on coats left 2 inches and longer. In many cases of matting, we will advise that the coat is taken shorter than usual to start it over again. In severe cases of matting, we will have to shave your pet down. Matting hides the skin and can also be hiding things like fleas, ticks, bruising (often caused by tight matting), skin infections, wounds, sores, etc. Tight matting on ears can cause blood to come rushing to the ends and seep through the pores to the surface once the mats are removed. The best way to avoid these issues is to practice a weekly brushing routine at home and monthly professional grooming.
- We also offer several spa treatments to suit your pet’s individual needs. We’ll recommend a mud scrub to soothe dry itchy skin, hot oil treatment to restore a broken or damaged coat, or a shedding treatment to remove dead undercoat and decrease excess shedding. We have just for fun spa treatments as well! A quiet day in the Zen Den, a blueberry facial or a relaxing massage adds a special touch to your pet’s grooming experience. We also offer non-toxic, pet safe dyes made specifically for dogs for an extra pop of color!
We allow the pet to set the pace for the groom. Every pet is different and being in a salon, can be an
anxious experience. After drop offs have ended (either morning or afternoon), we begin the bathing process. This is often the first time the groomer will interact with your pet and is a pretty good indicator of how the rest of the day will go. For dogs that seem particularly anxious in the tub, we avoid using the noisy velocity dryers on them. This decreases a large source of stress for the pet, but often prolongs their time at the salon. Keeping an anxious pet longer sounds counterproductive, however, for a lot of pets, grooming is a necessary part of their lives forever. Four or five visits that take a while, but result in a trusting, well adjusted pet, who understands the grooming routine is worth it.
We’re here to help animals first and foremost. Our groomers have a combined grooming experience of 50+ years, we always put pets’ needs first and would rather tell you that we couldn’t get something done, than force a pet through something that will traumatize or hurt them. Sometimes we cannot complete certain services, this doesn’t mean we will never be able to, just that at this visit it’s better to stop than continue. We are in it for the long haul and are willing to put in the effort to work with your pet through any phobias it may have.
We will contact you as soon as your dog is ready for pickup! Pickup times are hard to estimate at drop off. Please remember your groomer is human too, and may need a break in their long day of grooming. We don’t mind if you call to check in on how your pet is doing, but please try to resist calling to ask if your pet is ready yet. Rushing your groomer will compromise safety, quality, and your pet’s experience with us! If you have a specific time that you need to have them back by, please let us know when you book your appointment and we will do the best we can to accommodate your schedule.