Sometimes we have customers ask why we have certain policies and can't they be bent just this one time for their pet. Unfortunately we have these policies for the comfort and safety of all the pets and staff of Little Shop. Perhaps you have not read our policies, or do not understand the sense behind some of them so we would like to explain them a little more in depth here. Our policies can be found on our Pawlicies page.

1) UTD on rabies vaccine. This is pretty self explanatory, the law demands all pets be current on rabies vaccines. If they are not and that pet were to bite a member of our staff the pet must be placed in quarantine and the staff member may have to receive the rabies series of shots which are not pleasant. I do not agree with the time frame the authorities have placed on the effectiveness of the vaccine, but unfortunately we must abide by the laws until they are changed. 

2) Pets must be leashed or in a carrier. Many times we have gotten the remarks of "Oh, but my pet is friendly!" It's not a question of whether your pet is friendly or not, a not so friendly dog may walk in while you are being checked in or out and if your friendly dog goes to say hello to the not so friendly dog we will have problems. Or if someone should open the door just as your unleashed pet is sniffing near the doorway and then he scoots out we have a loose pet on our hands and a fellow pet owner who feels horrible for letting loose your dog. While we do not have a very busy street right outside our doors, cars do still come through and a loose dog running out from a door may not give enough time for them to stop or get out of the way. 

3) Advance notice of cancellation. We are a small business and only make money when we have pets to groom so saving a spot for one customer who doesn't show causes us to lose income and with enough lost income we eventually become a failed business. We understand that emergencies and accidents do happen, so we have offered 2 last minute cancellations with no consequence, however after the 3rd one we must begin to reserve that sacred spot with a non refundable deposit.

4) Appointment times. Little Shop operates on a precise schedule. We ask that you arrive on time or a little early for your appointment so that we can get your pet in the works as planned. When pets arrive late we have to try to juggle around other pets who were not late an that can often lead to us being late for pick ups later in the day. Again we understand that life happens and sometimes being late is inevitable, but calling ahead to inform us can help us plan better and some days we may need to reschedule the appointment altogether as there is not an opening until the end of the day. If you choose to take that end of the day spot, there may be an extra charge because now we are having to staff the shop when previously we would have been done.

5) Daycare charge. By state law all pets left in our care for more than 4 hours must be walked and given an area to relieve themselves. This means we must stop working on another pet and attend to your pet's needs. In the same way that your child's dentist is not a daycare, we are not a daycare facility. We do offer this service but it is at an added charge to the grooming cost. While in our daycare, the pets receive a playpen style enclosure, bed and of course water so they are comfortable while awaiting your arrival. We welcome you to leave snacks and toys as well to make their stay even more pleasant.

6) Sedated pets. At Little Shop we specialize in difficult pets and are happy to work with you and your pet to help rehabilitate them and make grooming a more positive experience in their lives. Most pets just need someone who will understand their fears and concerns and approach them with patience and expertise. For the few pets who do need medication to make grooming possible we must refer them to a groomer who works inside a veterinarian. Sedated pets do not exhibit the same stress signals and we are not fluent in speaking sedated pet. For the pet's safety and our peace of mind, we feel it is best that they are closely monitored by a veterinarian at all times while under sedation. There are some natural remedies that we are not opposed to working in conjunction with if you as the pet owner administer the herbal treatments and feel comfortable with our continuing the grooming process.

7) Dematting. After years of working for other salons that insisted on dematting and seeing the stress it causes both pet and groomer we have decided that it is just not worth the pain and mental anguish for all involved. After all, it is only hair. We will do our best to remove the matted hair while saving as much coat as possible. We also try to make a habit of informing the owners before they leave at drop off about the condition of their coat. If we find anything during the grooming process that will drastically alter the finished style, then we will call to speak with the owner beforehand. Options can be discussed as to how to handle the matted coat, whether it be shaving it off and starting over, cutting out only the matted areas, or having the pet parent finish the dematting at home over a period of time so as to avoid the pet becoming overly distressed. Once the hair is dematted, it is damaged during the process leaving the hair shafts rough and broken which leads to it matting up more quickly the next time, another reason we don't encourage dematting. The best method is to prevent the matts from even forming, and if they should take over, the next best solution we recommend is to clip them off and start over. 

8) Open wounds or communicable diseases. Again, this is self explanatory. Open wounds are just asking for foreign bodies or bacteria to enter the pet's system and wreak havoc, not to mention grooming is stressful and a pet that already has a weakened immune system due to the disease or wound will not be able to heal as well as if they were home relaxing and recuperating. It also puts all the other pets we have in our care at risk to whatever may be lurking inside the wound or what communicable diseases may be spread while in the salon.

9) Pet's comfort comes first. We do this job because we love animals. The last thing we want to do is cause them any pain or discomfort. Sometimes age or ailments make certain aspects of the grooming very uncomfortable and totally unnecessary in our opinion. We will not cause a dog undue stress simply in the name of vanity. Most times we can see it coming ahead of time. One example is as poodles get older, trying to balance for an extended period of time on 3 legs while they get the clean shaved poodle feet becomes too much for them so we begin to phase it out.

10) Returned check fee. Pretty standard, we are charged a bank fee and so we must charge that additional cost of doing business.

11) Price estimates. We have a base price set for each breed but as we all know each dog can differ greatly from the breed standard, both in size, coat and temperament. Until we see the dog and actually groom them we cannot give an exact price. Usually our estimates are close, within $5-$10 of the finished price, but again, they can only be estimates until we see the dog and actually work on them.

12) Dissatisfied customers. While we strive to make every pet and owner happy with their experience here, we understand that some things may get lost in translation and sometimes those things aren't seen as soon as you pick up your pet. If there is something you are not satisfied about the grooming or you would like us to change, please contact us within 2 business days and we will fix it free of charge.

13) No talking to pets on the table. We love to have people watch their pet's spa day unfold. Everyone is welcome to stay and we have viewing areas to watch all parts of the process. We only ask that you do not speak to your pet, or any pets on the table as we need the pets to connect with the groomers and focus on what we are asking of them. Also pet owners often talk in high pitched excited tones which usually causes the pets to become wiggly with excitement and that raises the risk of injury when trying to work on a moving target. Feel free to chat with the groomers because your tone of voice is different when speaking to us versus speaking to the pets. Your pet will hear the calm way in which you are conversing and will then begin to trust the groomer and settle into the grooming process a little better.

Thank you for understanding why we have the policies we have and how they make us the salon that we are. We look forward to offering you a wonderful spa experience for your pet!