We are NOT an express service grooming shop and we are NOT a big chain with a lot of employees. We are a small, local, family business that works with the greatest of love and care for each of our customers. If you are expecting to come in and get your dog back a couple of hours later, we are not the grooming shop for you.
Our full groom process usually takes about 5 hours on slow days and it could take as long as 7 hours on busy days, such as Fridays and Saturdays. THESE ARE JUST APPROXIMATE TIMES! It is impossible for us to predict exactly how much time is going to take us! It depends on the day, the customers coming in that day, and the services they’re receiving.
The more you call us asking for your pet, the more we have to stop what we are doing to answer your call, and the more time we'll take!
So, you would like to know how we do things for you to be able to make the decision of visiting us or not, or maybe you have already been to the Pink Poodle and you are already part of the family… either way, you must know something: WE ARE SLOW. We are not a big corporation that takes in your dog and gives it back to you 2 hours later. We are not a pet grooming fast service. We are a small, local, family business that puts your pet’s health first. We are thorough, we are perfectionists, and we may not be fast, but we are GOOD and we only deliver high quality cuts and baths.
The only way we can achieve the high quality we want is by following a particular process of steps and each one of them tackle a different objective (like an assembly line), which also helps your pet feel comfortable the entire time it spends in the shop. We call it: THE SALON PROCESS. When you go to get your hair done, for a haircut, or highlights, when you come in they don’t just sit you down, scissor you and/or put dye on your hair then tell you goodbye, do they? Otherwise, it would be a 30 minute trip! No, they sit you down, ask you what you’re looking for, check your hair and scalp, go through what they’re going to do with you, then they start applying the dye or you go straight to get your hair washed, etc. It’s a step by step that they NEED to do for them to be able to cut the hair properly and for it to look the way they intend it to look in the end. It’s the same with us: A STEP BY STEP SALON PROCESS THAT GUARANTEES THE BEST FINAL PRODUCT.
STEP #0: APPOINTMENTS & Forms
We work by appointment only, we especially book our weekends fast, so try to call at least the day before you would like to come. We only take walk-ins on slow days, which are usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Just to make sure, call us the same day to ask us if you can just walk-in. Once you lock in a day, your pet won’t have a particular appointment time. We will give you a particular time range that you can bring it in on the day of your appointment (morning or afternoon hours, depending on what is better for you) and it will all depend on how many people have already dropped off before you. For example, if you arrive and your pet is the tenth dog to be dropped off, then it will go through the rough-out step after the other 9 have already been roughed-out. After the first 9 get their baths, your pet will get a bath, and so on. Basically, your pet will be number 10 through-out the day, ensuring that it won’t spend a lot of time in the crate without being touched or worked on. This is also the reason why we can only estimate when your pet will be ready, and can’t give you an exact time.
We are now including a form that customers will have to sign if they come with a matted and/or tangled dog, even if they are not new customers. This new form is just something we are required to do to ensure you receive the service you want, the price you are comfortable with, and the groom that is best for your dog’s appearance and health. This way, we can avoid communication mistakes and the customer and pet will be protected and assured that they will receive exactly what they need for the price they want. ❤ You can either bring your own form already signed to your appointment or you will just receive one to sign at your check-in. To see, read, print, and/or sign the form, click here!
STEP #1: CHECK-IN
Dogs and cats can’t talk. So we cannot ask them what they want and/or how they want it. We have to be as thorough as possible when you bring your pet in, just to make sure that we will do exactly what you want us to do and for your pet to look exactly like you want it to look when it jumps back in your arms. We are sorry to bother you with so many questions, but we want it to be perfect. No matter if you’ve been coming for years, we will still ask you if you want it exactly the same way we did it before, just to make sure. We will also bother you with 1 or 2 phone numbers to reach you that same day.
STEP #2: ROUGH-OUT
This is the only time when your pet could spend more time in the crate if they are far down the list, because the ones that came before it are being worked on first.
The rough-out process consists of preparing your pet for a bath and setting the “sketch” for their haircut, if they are getting one. If they have mats, tangles, or if they are getting a short haircut, we have to tackle all of that before the bath. If you bathe a dog with mats and tangles, they only get worse. They set tighter on the skin, pulling and hurting, or they become something like dreadlocks. Also, all unwanted hair (growing under the pads, inside the ears, around the genital areas), nail cuts and files are taken care off in this step. We also use all the deshedding tools to get as much dead hair off as possible if you asked for the deshedding service. In a few words: the rougher brushes, detangles, demats, desheds, cuts the nails, plucks unwanted hair, and cuts the hair to sketch the haircut that the groomer will continue and finish.
STEP #3: BATH
In this step, your pet will most likely spend no time, or somewhere between 7 and 15 minutes in its crate, no matter how far in the list they are. By the time it is done being roughed-out, the other ones are most likely already bathed or close to being bathed.
The bath process consists of getting the dog perfectly clean by not just washing the whole body, but also expressing the anal glands, cleaning the tear area, under the tail, underbelly, and pads. We wash the head and face twice with a baby shampoo that ensures cleanliness without irritating the pet’s eyes. We also wash the body twice, once with a strong degreaser and once with a conditioning and soothing shampoo, guaranteeing it being as clean as it can be. You can also choose a particular shampoo, such as oatmeal for sensitive skin or cortisone for allergies. Check our Services page to learn more.
STEP #4: DRYING
In this step, your pet will most likely spend no time, or somewhere between 2 and 5 minutes in a crate with towels before it is taken to be hand-dried. The room where the pets are bathed and dried is heated and is always kept at a comfortable warm temperature.
It is necessary for pets to be dried by hand for the groomer to be able to do a high quality groom. No matter what kind of hair your pet has, it must be hand dried for the hair to properly sit and absorb the conditioner and perfume, making it possible for it to stay clean and smelling good longer. Drying them in a crate or with a machine doesn’t guarantee the hair being completely dry and it doesn’t “fluff” it in the proper way. Also, if the hair is not properly dry, the hair doesn’t behave the same while being worked on by the groomer. So we need perfectly dry and fluffy hair for us to be able to work! In a few words, the person in charge of drying has to make sure every inch of your pet is dry, and if it has long or curly hair, he or she has to brush it, comb it, fluff it and make it ready for the groomer. All dogs that aren’t properly clean and/or dried (or fluffed, if your pet has curly hair), the groomer sends it back to have another bath and/or to be double dried.
STEP #5: GROOMING
In this step, your pet could spend somewhere between no time and 15 minutes in its crate, waiting for the groomer to finish the pets that came before it.
This is the step that customers usually think about! By the time it reaches this step though, your pet is already completely clean and dry, and the hair has been cut to the point she only has to fix it, shape it, and finish it. It has no mats, tangles and there is no unwanted hair and nails that she has to worry about. She is in charge of delivering the haircut that you envision and she is the last step of quality check. She goes over the work that everyone else did on your dog, making sure it delivers. She also adds a hair leave-in conditioner and perfume, which makes your dog feel soft and smelling good for at least a week! Each cut can take from 30 to 60 minutes on the groomer’s table, depending on what kind of style it is and how much scissor work it requires.
STEP #6: YOUR PET IS READY!
We call the number or numbers you provided us in step #1 and we let you know that your pet is ready! We can also text you if you let us know that that’s what you prefer. We will also let you know your total and we will remind you that (for now) we take cash or check only.
We hope that this explanation helps you understand why it takes us so long to deliver your pet, especially if it is a busy day and/or if you have a big dog! This Salon Process helps us guarantee that each pet gets personalized attention every step of the way and that you receive the highest quality groom possible. ❤