You’ll find answers to many common questions in this section. If you require additional information, don’t hesitate to call me, or send me an e-mail.

Are you open weekends?

I currently open every 2nd Sat from 10.30am to 4.30pm, however can consider additional appointments if necessary, please call me and I will try and accommodate.

What breeds of dog do you groom?

I groom most breeds, however if you have a larger breed, please call to discuss as if bigger fella does not want to get in the bath there is little I can do to persuade him!

How much will it cost?

My starting pricing is in the service tab of this site. Please note these prices are for dogs on a 6-8 weekly or less schedule and in good condition. They may be considerably more if you only have your dog done a few times a year as there is so much more hair and will take longer to work through. For larger breeds I employ an hourly rate as the workload is often huge, again this is dependant on coat condition. You could expect to pay double for a Newfoundland that hasn’t been done since last year than a long haired German Shepherd kept in good condition. Tip: proper and regular brushing will keep your costs down!

What services do you offer?

Dogs are bathed, blow dried by hand, brushed out, styled, nails clipped, ears cleaned/hair removed if necessary. I also offer a hand-stripping service for wire coated breeds.

How Long will the groom take?

At Ali’s Doghouse, I allow 3-4 hours per dog, so that the dog is not rushed or the groom compromised by lack of time. It takes longer than owners think to bath and dry a dog properly, attend to its ears, nails and styling. Please remember that animals are not always on their best behaviour, so grooming times may vary.

What do I do if my dog has fleas?

Get a treatment from your vet and also worm your animal for tapeworm, as the flea is the intermediate host for this parasite. Also get a household spray for fleas from your vet to use in all the areas your dog is going into, e.g., sofas, carpets, bedding, as these are where the flea breeds. They only go onto the dog to feed. So, for every flea you find on your dog there are many more in its surroundings. If during the grooming procedure I find that your dog has fleas, it will be bathed with flea treatment shampoo (as will all other dogs that day, and all areas of the salon will be extensively treated to prevent contamination – so please don’t bring them along if you are aware of a problem, consider the other dogs in the salon.)

How do I keep my dogs coat from matting?

Choosing the right breed of dog for your lifestyle is very important as, if you chose a coated breed e.g., a Cocker Spaniel, Bichon Frise or poodle, you may have to spend a certain amount of time each day brushing and combing the coat. If it gets wet it must be thoroughly dried and combed, as it will felt if left. A short lesson from your groomer is always an advantage.

What dose the health check include?

This includes checking skin and coat for anything untoward such as parasites, skin conditions, lumps or bumps etc. I check nails for overgrowth, paw pads for matting or stones between paw pads and toes. I check, ears, eyes and teeth and note anything that I think is untoward and let you know on your return.

Do I empty anal glands?

No. Anal glands can be a problem to some animals, because they do not empty properly. Therefore the secretions build up and cause the animal discomfort. Groomers are not in a position to determine whether glands may be affected by infection, impactation, growths etc. only a vet can diagnose a medical condition. If you suspect your dogs anal glands are impacted (possibly scooting across floor trying to relieve pressure) please seek veterinary advise.

Tooth de-scaling?

Tooth de-scaling – also a vet procedure. You don’t know what you might uncover once you start scraping away, and anything you pull off your dogs teeth can be harmful, potentially fatal if swallowed. Keep on top of your dogs teeth by feeding Dentastix , brushing using doggy toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste as this is harmful to your dog!). The trick is to not let tartar build up on your dogs teeth, take action early!

Can I leave my dog for the day?

No. For a lot of dogs, being left in a strange place is quite stressful, so I like them to be picked up as soon as they are ready to go home. This ensures your dog is with me for the minimum amount of time and the salon is quiet for every dog that comes in. Some dogs when left can bark and cause distress to other dogs being groomed, so it helps to have your previous charge away. Please try where possible to arrange your appointments on days where you do not need to rush around for other appointments, as I can’t hold dogs indefinitely.

Do you groom aggressive or nervous dogs?

Aggressive dogs are very often just scared. Sometimes I can work with them, you MUST disclose to me when making your appointment if your dog has these issues! It has been the case in the past where dogs have come in snapping etc. and a few weeks on they’re absolute sweethearts. A lot of the time, dogs have been nervous / aggressive in the past due to a busy salon with lots of dogs barking or just taken a dislike to the previous groomer (it does happen!) I do try to educate myself on canine behaviour and apply it during grooming to make your dog feel as comfortable as possible, but sometimes I do need to admit defeat and send a dog home. I don’t like doing this, but your dog comes first – period! I am working with sharp scissors and blades, and the last thing I want is your dog biting either of those and seriously injuring himself, not to mention a bite from a dog could land me off work for weeks or even months! Also I always have to consider your dog’s stress levels and I refuse to push a dog past its threshold just for the sakes of a haircut. If your dog has deep rooted behaviour issues, I may recommend working with a behaviourist – I would rather get to the bottom of the issue than just pass you on to the next groomer and not solve anything!

Do you use restraints on my dog?

I have a restraint system which is for your dog’s safety and it also enables me to get the job done much more quickly and easily. My harnesses consist of a neck collar and a belly strap, both of which are adjustable and do not hurt your dog. These can look a bit daunting to owners at first, but they are purely for safety, so there is no need to worry!

My dog has a health condition, can he be groomed?

As long as you clear it with your vet first. I do have a special hammock style harness to help old timers or weak dogs stand up. In special cases I may ask that you stay with your dog.I  like to have a contact telephone number in case of any emergencies. Please ensure this is a number I can reach you on!

Do you provide food/water?

I provide water if your dog needs a drink, and in some cases I may use treats to work with dogs with issues. Please advise if your dog has any specific allergies.

Can I stay with my dog?

Only if it is absolutely necessary (ie medical reasons). In general I find grooming your dog is easier if you are not present, as they tend to cuddle into their owners which makes my job a lot more difficult! Dogs are also more likely to listen to me if you aren’t there: their full attention is needed to do a good job and as safely as possible.

What if I can’t make my appointment/miss it?

I appreciate it’s sometimes difficult to fit everything in, and if you find you can’t make your grooming appointment, please try to give 24 hours notice for cancellations. 

I have a complaint/suggestion

I do my very best to satisfy all of my clients needs, and if you have a complaint I will do my best to correspond with you and address the issue.If you are unhappy with any aspect of our service please let me know within 24 hours of your dog being groomed. Suggestions for either this site or indeed services you would like me to consider in the salon are more than welcome. Please email me or make a suggestion on your next visit and we will discuss it further.

I need advice on looking after my dog’s coat?

No problem! I will be more than happy to discuss this with you on your next appointment. I have an extensive knowledge of most breed styles, so please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any queries about bathing, brushing, products or any other care issues.

Not found what you were looking for?

Please don’t hesitate to either phone or ask me on your next visit. I am more than happy to answer questions and give advice.