Common Questions and Their Answers... 

Q.  Is it necessary to book an appointment?
A.  Appointments are scheduled in advance to accommodate all of our customers. It is recommended to pre-book your next appointment to ensure a date and time that fits your schedule best.

Q.  Whoa! Your van is not only luxurious but huge! What are your parking requirements?
A.  Parking...if you could please make sure I have a space to park my van (8ft wide x 26ft long x llft tall) as I need an area with enough clearance to pull in and back out safely, clear of anything that may hinder me if I need to turn around, as well as I need enough space to do so safely. Please be aware of tree/branch overhangs, bushes and power lines. Also, for parking, the flattest area possible is best. If you have any questions or concerns about parking, please contact me in advance to let me know if there are any challenges and/or issues.

Q.  What type of pets do you groom?
A.  We groom all breeds of dogs up to 60 lbs. Dogs over 60 lbs. are considered on a case by case basis.

Q.  My dog is just a little aggressive, will you groom that type of pet?
A.  No.  Groomer by the Sea will not accept any aggressive dogs, those that have bitten in the past or have aggressive tendencies.

Q.  How long does it take to groom my pet?
A.  Most pets are groomed within 1.5 to 2 hours. A general expectation should be 1.5 hrs, but smaller short-haired breeds may be less, while larger long-haired dogs may be more. We do not rush our services so the time frame is very individualized for each client.  New clients are blocked out for a 3 hour time frame.

Q.  Would you groom my dog while I am at work or out for the day?
A.  Yes, this is one of the many benefits to mobile grooming. After your pets first appointment, you may supply us with a key or security code to use for future appointments.

Q.  Do you keep grooming history records?
A.  Yes. We maintain a detailed customer record for each pet groomed, to include pet owner information as well as services rendered to the pet during each visit.

Q.  Do you allow pet owners to come into the vehicle and watch as you groom?
A.  No.  To avoid a stressful situation for the pet, we do not recommend the owner be in the vehicle during the groom. It is more difficult for the groomer to control the pet when the pet can see or hear their owner. The owners are offered a full tour of the salon before the groom.

Q.  How often should my pet be groomed?
A.  This varies based on breed, lifestyle, environment and your preferences. As a general rule, every 4-6 weeks would constitute a regular schedule. We encourage scheduling a recurring appointment to ensure we can accommodate you on the interval you desire.

Q.  My dog has mats. Can you help us?
A.  Yes!  

Matted Pets Part 1...  

  • De-matting will be assessed on a case by case basis and will incur additional charges. 
  • I practice “Humanity Before Vanity” meaning I will not harm a dog with strenuous de-matting.  
  • If there is a small amount of mats that are not tight I will try to brush them out or spot shave them.  However, if the matting is severe I will be forced to shave them down for their comfort. 
  • My philosophy is to offer a stress free grooming environment for your dog and I will not perform any grooming procedure that causes pain or a level of stress on the dog that I find excessive. (i.e. nail trimming, de-matting, etc)
  • Groomer by the Sea is not responsible for injuries caused during the removal of mats such as cutting a mole/wart, hot spots, itching, aural hematoma, dandruff, nicks or scratches from clipper blades set on a low length to accommodate tight or cast matted dogs.  Regular brushing and combing will negate the need for this type of service.  
  • Our service and policy agreement includes a matted pet release section that will be obtained before this type of service begins.

Matted Pets Part 2...

Q.  My dog is matted but I don’t want him shaved down. Why won’t you brush him?
A.  Because it hurts A LOT. I will try my best to save as much of the coat as possible. If your dog’s fur is matted, then the coat is already damaged and won’t have the same healthy look or feel as it did before. If your dog has a mat or two, that’s a different story. I will do my best to remove the mat and continue on with the haircut.

Q.  Do you pluck the hair out of my dog's ears?
A.  Ear Plucking: No, in most cases I do not. In pets that have profuse ear hair, I trim with blunt-tipped scissors and might pull a little if the pet doesn’t complain or show signs of distress. Pulling ear hair changes the environment of the ear, and that can leave the pet susceptible to unwanted bacteria or organisms gaining access.  I also only clean what is visible in the ear; any deep ear canal involvement is deemed in the realm of your veterinarian.

Q.  OMG! What is that smell coming out of my dogs rump? Anal something???
A.  Anal Gland Expression: Yes, I have been trained to externally check and express the glands but was offering this service only for dogs 20 lbs and under.  In keeping with my promise to offer the most ultimate care to my pup clients, my continued education has concluded that I will no longer offer this controversial procedure.

After consulting with my own pet's personal veterinarians, their colleagues, mentor groomers and teachers in the dog world, the overwhelming message was that it is a procedure, no matter the weight of the dog that should be done by a Certified Registered Veterinarian Technician or Veterinarian. The reason: the only way to properly and completely express glands is have them done internally.  Expressing them externally can cause bruising and scarring, and can cause permanent damage to a gland that might be infected or impacted.  

Dr. Karen Becker has an excellent article and video explaining anal glands, their challenges and solutions for the pet parent seeking help for their dog, which I highly recommend:  

With my services, I will continued to check, verify the state of your pup's glands to the best of my knowledge and alert you to anything unusual that I observe so you can make the best decision on your pet's health and well-being.   

Q.  I am embarrassed to tell you that our pup has fleas/ticks, will you still groom him?
A.  Yes! Letting me know right from the start is the way to go so I can not only help your dog effectively but also not contaminate my entire van for the next client.  I follow a very strict protocol when it comes to keeping our van sanitized and parasite free.

Q.  But what happens if you find a flea/tick on my dog and I didn't know?
A.  No problem! A flea/tick or two versus an infestation are two very different things.  We will treat your dog per our flea/tick/salon sanitation protocol and proceed with the groom. However, if your dog is experiencing an infestation, an additional $75 De-Bug cleaning fee for our van will be added to your groom fee.  This insures the safety and well-being for your pet as well as our other clients. We also suggest that you will need to treat all areas of your home where your pet has access to or the parasites will jump right back on your dog.

Q.  So, can you really make my dog "Shed-Less"?
A.   The Shed-Less Package needs to be done every 4-6 weeks to see optimal results and is for dog breeds with shorter hair.  Keep in mind this DOES NOT STOP OR PREVENT shedding, however it greatly reduces the amount of shedding.  An average of 30-45 minutes of brushing will be done throughout the duration of the groom, with a variety of brushes and tools for maximum hair removal.  Your pet will receive two full baths, first with a deep cleanser followed by a top-quality shampoo specifically designed to cut down on shedding. This shampoo opens the pores and helps release the undercoat on your pets’ skin. This process is extremely helpful when your pet is blowing their winter and summer coat. A re-moisturizing conditioner to soften and rejuvenate your pets’ skin and coat will follow the bath. To dry, we will use a special nozzle that will fluff your pet's coat while continuing the shed-less process and blowing out the dead coat as we dry. 

Q.  Can you shave my dog down to make him cooler because he is always so hot and panting a lot, especially in the summer?
A.  "Summer Shave Downs" are requested quite frequently here in Southern California, year around.  While this appears to be a quick fix with good intentions to make our furry friends more comfortable, please note the following facts:

  • Shaving a heavily coated/double coated dog during the summer is NOT recommended. 
  • Dogs such as but not limited to: Huskies/Malamute, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, and Pomeranians are all examples of dogs with double coats. 
  • Most people think that shaving the pet will help with the shedding or the heat, but in fact it can cause damage to the coat and could cause the dog to shed even more. 
  • Dogs do not sweat through their skin; they sweat from the pads of their feet. 
  • In both hot and cold weather, a dog’s coat helps regulate body temperature providing insulation and protection from the sun. 
  • When you shave a double-coated dog, the hair can grow back clumpy and strange looking.  This is because the guard hair and undercoat grow at different speeds, so the coat ends up looking patchy, and therefore, needing shaved on a regular basis. 
  • Your dog's coat may also become damaged and not grow back. This is called Canine Alopecia.
  • Shaving these breeds can also cause many unexpected skin infections and irritations. 

Due to the reasons above, we strongly recommend not shaving your double-coated dog unless the pet is severely matted or already has skin issues that need to be addressed.  As with all our services, no matter which one you choose, the groom will be done with the upmost care and safety for your pet and their individual needs.

Q.  How should I prepare my pet for grooming?
A.  Please let them relieve themselves before we arrive. Also, if possible, refrain from feeding within an hour prior to your appointment. 

Q.  Will I receive a reminder?
A.   Yes, we send an automated reminder several days before your appointment.  Additionally, on your specific day, I will keep you updated by text on my arrival time, if something out of the ordinary transpires.  We have a 90 minute window for appointment arrival however we average 30 minutes before or after your appointment time.

Q.  Why can't you give me a specific time that you will come by?
A.   While I would love to give you an exact time, I cannot predict how challenging a pup may be on any given day nor the traffic along our routes. I strive to give every client my undivided attention without feeling rushed or pressured to finish up quickly.  Therefore, I offer a 90 minute window, and if I will be ahead or behind this time frame, I will contact you.

Q.  What vaccinations do you require?
A.  All pets must be in good health prior to receiving any grooming services.  I am not the "vaccination police" but need to be aware of any possible communicable diseases/parasites that could potentially harm my other clients, my own dog or myself. Pets recently vaccinated should not be groomed the same day shots are given to ensure the pet doesn’t experience discomfort at the injection site, agitated by grooming services. California state laws require that all dogs must have a current rabies vaccination, please consult with your veterinarian on what is appropriate for your dog. We accept dogs that do not have the rabies vaccination BUT have a medical exemption or titer.

Q.  What is your service area?
A.  We are providing services to North County, San Diego. This includes Rancho Santa Fe, Olivenhain, Fairbanks Ranch, Del Mar, Del Sur, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Cardiff, Leucadia and of course, Encinitas!