Why is mobile pricing more expensive?
Well in some case it is and some others it's not! When I established my prices, I relied on many statistics, studies, and what other grooming businesses are charging (mobile and storefront). I know that I’m not the cheapest, but I’m surely not charging the most either. Mobile grooming is very different than a storefront, and here is why prices are a little bit higher, because in reality, they should be double.
I drive to your place, which takes on average 15 minutes, not only is it time, but there is also the fuel cost.
Often when I arrive somewhere, people are not prepared or take their time, and it takes on average 5 to 10 minutes to get the pet in the van.
Then there is the grooming session itself, which can be anything from 20 minutes to 2+ hours. Again, this is time and money as a generator uses an average of 1 gallon of fuel an hour.
In a salon, a groomer can have 3 or 4 other pets being prepared in the back (washed and dried), but in a mobile setting, I have to dedicate all my time and attention on a single pet.
I only use high-end products, which are expensive.
Once I give the pet back, I have another 10 to 20 minutes of cleaning/disinfecting in the van before I can drive to my next customer.
So if you add all the time and cost of fuel and products, mobile grooming is very cheap compared to what you get at a salon!
How often should my pet be groomed?
It depends on several factors like your lifestyle, budget, his/her health, etc. The average period between grooming is 4 weeks to 6 weeks, although several customers like to have their pet freshened up in between.
The old adage that “it is not good for a pet to be bathed more than once every season” is completely false. Frequent brushing and bathing actually improves the condition of your pet’s skin and coat, cats included, because it stimulates the blood circulation at the skin level, allowing for richer/healthier coat and less shedding.
When should I start having my pet groomed?
Grooming should start at the puppy/kitten stage, so it becomes part of their routine, making them less stressed and less prone to develop behavioral issues around grooming. In addition, cutting the nails regularly will help keeping the quick short, therefore the pet will have shorter nails throughout his/her life and that will not only help protect your floors, but it will make it much more comfortable for the pet to walk.
I cannot insist on important it is for your baby to have a great first experience with grooming as some pets never recover from a bad grooming session, it follows them all their life.
How can my pet be washed in warm water, and not be cold or too hot during the grooming?
The grooming van is equipped with a generator, which provides power allowing the operation of a water heather, air conditioning and room heater.
My pet has fleas and/or ticks - can you help?
Yes, although please inform me of this problem immediately as the first thing I will do is put him/her in the bathtub and give a flea/ticks shampoo, so my van doesn't get infested. Please note that this shampoo will only kills the fleas/ticks on the animal, and if your environment is contaminated, then they will jump back on your pet.
Please consult your vet in order to figure out which product is best for your pet and it's health. Take also note that it never gets cold enough in SoCal for fleas and/or ticks to hibernate, therefore the necessity of treating your pet all year long.
Do you do carding & hand stripping?
No, I don't. I haven't been properly trained and will not offer that service until I can find the time to get formal training.
Do you offer teeth cleaning?
No I don't. I can brush your dog's teeth if you request it, but if you don't do it daily yourself, it won't solve any problems he or she might have, and will surely not remove any plaque build up. If you dog has really bad breath, it could be because of gingivitis or his stomach, and in both cases, I can't do anything about it.
There are 2 options for your dogs to have a thorough cleaning:
At the vet under anesthesia, it usually runs around $400. They will clean your dog's teeth, and pull out the ones that are rotten and/or loose.
By a canine dental technician without anesthesia, but they won't be able to clean severe tartar build ups. There are clinics and there are mobile services that will come to your home. This service usually runs around $150. They will only clean your dog's teeth, they are not authorized to pull teeth out or do anything beyond the cleaning.
Please use Yelp, Google or any other browser to research the services in your area.
What’s up with those anal glands?
I can verify them, express them, or just leave them alone … you decide! Anal sacs are small glands located near the anus and contain strong odorific liquid which is basically the ID card of your pet. The anal glands "usually" naturally get emptied when the dog defecates. When the dog's stools are soft they may not exert enough pressure on the glands, which then may fail to empty. This may cause discomfort as the full anal gland pushes on the anus, and he/she may want to empty them him/herself in unwanted areas/surfaces (rugs, beds, etc), leaving a very strong odor that is hard to eliminate.
I have been trained by veterinarians to empty anal glands. This is a very quick procedure that can save you a lot of trouble, time and money. Some dogs' anal glands fill up as quickly as every 2 weeks.
You can read more about the subject in Wikipedia.
Don't cats groom themselves?
No!!! Cats lick themselves, so they are covered in saliva. They are usually oily and dandruffy, especially on their lower back and at the base of their tail. Regular baths drastically improve the blood circulation at their skin level, therefore giving them a richer/healthier coat, as well as decrease shedding. The recommended grooming frequency is 4 to 6 weeks and it will not dry off their skin (show cats get bathe 3 times a week!).
If your cat is badly matted, he/she requires a lion cut (see picture). I performed hundreds of lion cuts when I had my salon back in Canada and had an employee with me at all time to help stretching the kitties. Now being alone in my van with limited space, I do not offer that service anymore as I find it too challenging and dangerous. You can visit the National Cat Groomers Institute of America to find a certified groomer in your region, and to read more about cat grooming.
Cats’ skin is not attached to their muscles like dogs is, therefore if an inappropriate blade/method is used, serious injuries could be inflicted as thin slices of skin can easily run in between the teeth of the blades. Even the best groomers may give you back your cat with little skin scratches as you can imagine, cats are usually not a big fans of this procedure and their behavior can make it very difficult for the groomer, as experienced and careful as the groomer can be.
For some cats, it is a needed procedure as mattes in the coat develop and create skin problems, especially cats that are allowed to go outside (gathering sticky debris in their hair), and cats with long hair. Some other customers just love the fact that their house is almost hair free.
Are you certified by the NDGAA?
I am not certified, but I am a registered member. There is not a year that goes by where I don't think about getting certified. I even ordered the study material, only to find out that it's all about pure breed haircuts, and I was not expecting that. I thought it would have been more about health and all related issues. For my business, at the moment, I don't see the justification in spending the money and time to get certified. The certification is all about doing a perfect breed cut and my clientele is 90% rescue dogs, and out of the 175 dogs that I groom on a regular basis, I only have one that is in full breed cut, a Bedlington Terrier, and I was able to find all the information and instructions I needed through the many books that I own.
Certification? I'm not saying never, just not right now.
Why should I trust you?
This is the best way to lear more about me! Just click on the link or the picture to access an article about Me So Groomie featured in VoyageLA.com magazine.