Frequently asked dog care questions 

Expert care for your dog

Long-haired dogs should be groomed regularly and professionally. This involves removing loose hair, clipping, washing and trimming. Dog hair has a natural tendency to matt, in which their hair becomes knotted and stuck together. It can be quite painful. The main benefit of grooming regularly is to avoid this condition. Note that, in extreme cases of matting, the dog must be taken along to a dog groomer or veterinarian to have the hair de-matted.

We say doggies should be groomed professionally because they can become anxious about grooming if it's not done confidently and with the right equipment. Also, you wouldn’t want a lopsided haircut would you? In order to keep them tidy, long-haired breeds such as poodles should be groomed every 6 to 8 weeks. The actual period will depend on the breed and season. For medical reasons, larger and older short-haired breeds should be groomed during summer, primarily to reduce all that insulation, to reduce heat stress.

Grooming questions

dog care
Can you groom my dog to the breed standard?

Yes, we are familiar with most of the breed standards and are very experienced with the more popular breeds. Many clients do not groom to the breed standard because of the level of maintenance required. If you would like to get your dog groomed to the breed standard, it is helpful to review with the groomer the home maintenance involved between salon visits.

Each dog is different and each person’s needs vary. So a consultation can help you know your options, to decide accordingly.

Can I bring in a picture?

Yes. We’ll talk it through with you to discuss the grooming options and, if possible, we’ll try to get to the same result for your dog.

What are anal glands?

The real answer is something you don’t want to deal with at home. They are the scent sacs right under a dog’s tail. Some dogs empty them naturally, some do not. Your groomer can check if they need to be emptied (expressed).

Please let us know if you prefer that your veterinarian does this or if you do not want us to express the glands.
dog grooming
My dog’s hair is knotted or matted. Do I need to cut the hair short?

If the hair is not maintained it may become knotted or matted. It then becomes unhealthy for the dog’s skin. For example, matting tightens when the coat gets wet. In some cases, de-matting may cause or reveal skin irritation. If the hair is matted, we recommend talking this through with the groomer beforehand so that we can discuss your options. Before we wash the dog, its necessary to brush out all the matting. Sometimes the matting is too close to the skin and this can’t be done.
In some cases it may be possible to de-mat the coat but, unfortunately, this is an arduous and uncomfortable process for both the dog and the groomer. This process requires frequent rest periods.

  • If your dog is matted, we will advise you on what can be done. If the hair can be de-matted without causing distress to the dog, it may be possible to save the coat.
  • Otherwise, we may recommend that you have the dog’s hair cut short. Which means applying a clipper behind the mat.

If the hair can be de-matted, there will be an additional charge owing to the additional time required to do it properly.
nail cut for dogs
Do you cut the nails?

Yes, we are able to cut the nails on most dogs. With some dogs, this may need to be done at the veterinarian. Long nails can lead to several issues including joint problems and broken or split nails. With nail cutting, there is always the risk of some bleeding. Inside the nail is a blood vessel which grows with the nail. If the nail is allowed to grow long, then cutting the nail even slightly may result in bleeding. If the nails are black, the risk of bleeding increases. If the nail bleeds, we apply styptic powder to the nail.

Regular nail trimming can minimise the chance of bleeding, but not eliminate the risk completely. It is also helpful to avoid walking on the pavements or road immediately after the nail trim. If we groom your dog and find that the nails are long, we may recommend you come back in between grooms for nail trimming.
dog bathing
How is my dog dried?

Usually dogs are dried with a combination of different methods.

  • While in the tub we may towel dry the dog and / or use a specialist high-velocity dryer that blows off the majority of water.
  • We then use a dryer that the dog can sit, lay and turn around in that circulates air all around them.
  • The groomer may finish up with a stand dryer while your dog is on the grooming table.

During all of these drying phases your dog is being supervised. All of these drying methods are considered safe and have been in use for many years by grooming salons, veterinarians and kennels.
What if I don‘t like the groom when its finished?

Please tell us. We aim to please.

Pet manual
We’ve set out some of our thoughts on how to get the best for your dog.

dental hygiene for dogs

Supporting dental hygiene

How can I keep my dog's breath smelling sweet? How can I keep my dog from losing teeth later on?

This is one of the most important subjects all dog owners need to need to know about. Like us, it is very important for dogs to keep their teeth clean. Unfortunately they won’t brush their own teeth, but there are ways we can help them to achieve dental hygiene. Their daily diet should include speciality dog biscuits as the main food and supplemented with mainly raw bones and raw chicken necks.

Contact us for the list of speciality biscuit products we know they will eat. You’ll find these foods are excellent for their teeth colour and it will keep their breath smelling sweet. If you like to give them treats do so sparingly and the importance of the above foods becomes even more important. Canned food should be given sparingly as it sticks to their teeth and the ingredients often contain sugar and artificial colouring. Remember, every time the vet has to brush or remove some of your dog’s teeth, it must be anaesthetised. Something that always carries a risk for the dog.
Pet grooming

Pet grooming

How can I keep my dog looking nice? How often should I wash it? What is dog grooming and why should I get it done? How can I avoid medical problems with its hair?

Doggies have hair, not fur. It needs continual maintenance, particularly for long-haired breeds. Similar to what we do for our own hair. Dogs should be bathed between visits to the groomers. How often you wash your dog depends on the condition you want their hair to be in. But one test is that if it smells like a dog, chances are it's due for a wash. Wash as regularly as required but only use gentle shampoos, meaning natural products.

A guide for how often you should have your dog groomed professionally for some breeds:

Poodles - every 6 – 8 weeks

Spaniels - every 8 – 12 weeks

Terriers - every 8 – 12 weeks
Love your work! Love that you have Kateisha dogs. I have a pet from the same lines as Tyra. Beautiful dogs, inside and out! Best of luck for your new journey in Ireland.
- ‎Sheryn Butcher‎ 
Our dog shows
Do you have any dog care questions? Call our team at Heathers Dog Grooming Ltd or visit our dog salon in Bangor, County Down. 
028 9107 6781

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