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Frequently Asked Dog Questions

What is Hand Stripping?
Help - my doggy has fleas!
How often should I take my dog to the groomer?
My dog is very matted, does it have to be shaved down?
How often should I brush my dog?
How often should I bathe my dog?
Why is it important to take my dog to be groomed?
Why should my dog's ears get cleaned?
Why do I need to have my dog's nails cut?
You cut my dogs nails but they are still long - why?
Is there something that can make my dog's nails less sharp and jagged?
Why should my dog's anal glands get adjusted?
What is a sanitary trim?
Why should the hair under the pads be trimmed?
Will you brush my dog's teeth?
What are the benefits of giving my dog a de-shedding treatment?
Do you check my dog for ticks and fleas?
I found a tick on my dog, how can I remove it properly?
I want my dog to get dipped, it has fleas
I had a bad experience with a previous groomer, now I am scared to leave my dog at the groomers. How can I feel more comfortable with a new groomer?

What is Hand Stripping?

Handstripping is a grooming technique that is used on wirecoated breeds like schnauzers, terriers, and the wirehaired dachshund.
Hardcoated- (or wirecoated- ) breeds have coarse hair that grows in lifecycles. Once each hairstrand has reached its max length, it dies and eventually falls out. The dead hairs are gently pulled out by hand, so that a pretty new coat can come fourth.

Why hand strip a coat?
Handstripping is very labour-intensive, time consuming and hard on the groomers arms and hands. But the payoffs are significant:
• a stripped coat maintains it's original vibrant color (a clippered coat will usually fade over time and look dull)
• a stripped coat protects the dog from rain and wind (while a clippered coat offers no insulation and absorbs moisture instead of protecting against it)
• a stripped coat does not shed (unless it's long enough to start stripping)

My dog has been clippered, can I get it hand stripped or is it too late?
It depends on your dog. Some dogs will maintain their wiery coat for years, despite being clippered. Other dogs will fade and lose all structure after one or two clipperings. Set up an appointment to talk to our professional groomer about your dog, once we see the dog we will recommend further action to make your pet look it's best!

Help - my doggy has fleas!

The adult fleas you see on your pet represent approximately 5% of the total flea population, and are only the tip of the infestation iceberg.

Fleas are not just a nuisance, they can actually affect your pets overall health. Fleas live on your pet and survive off of their blood. Besides your dog being absolutely miserable because of fleas, they can also cause parasites such as tapeworms.

The stages that take place leading to adult biting fleas begins with the eggs = 10 days -----> larvae = 12 days ----> pupae = 4-5 months ----> adult flea.

Did you know that the lifespan of a flea is 50 days? The fleas don’t always just stay on your dog, they also will live in your carpet, get on any other pets in the house, and in your car and lay eggs and multiply. You are lucky if they don’t feed off of you too. One flea is able to multiply to tens of thousands. Once your home is infested, it takes time and effort to get rid of all of them.

Although fleas are more common of a problem during the summer, they will also live in your home in the colder seasons because of their continual cycle of life.

We highly recommend treating the problem before it starts. Frontline Plusis an excellent treatment for fleas ( and ticks ). Once you put it on your dog, it will within 12 hours kill 100% of the fleas living on your pet, break the cycle of the eggs leading to fleas, and give them continuous protection for a month.

It is recommended to put on your calender a reminder to apply it every month. You can purchase Frontline from your vet, most pet supply stores and on line.

More about fleas If your home is already infested with fleas, it is recommended that along with treating your dog with Frontline that you also vacuum all around your home frequently, clean your dog’s bedding in hot water, and keep the area outside your home where your dog spends time clear of leaves and tall grass.

There are a few different things you can do to check your dog for fleas. The obvious You will simply witness them scratching and chewing themselves. You can then further look for them by using a flea comb. You will either find fleas or flea dirt. Flea dirt is red or rust colored.

How often should I take my dog to the groomer?

Some breeds of dogs need to be groomed more often than others. Longer and/or thicker coated breeds like Poodles, Maltese, Shih-tzu’s and Schnauzers require more upkeep. These breeds should be groomed every 4-6 weeks, otherwise these coats can get out of control.

Breeds like Huskies and Golden Retrievers with thick undercoats should get groomed every 8-10 weeks.

My dog is very matted, does it have to be shaved down?

Upon arrival we will evaluate the severeness of the matting and discuss with the owner how to proceed. If the matting is salvageable and the owner is willing to pay for the extra time spent to avoid a shave down, we will do everything within reason to make a matted dog look fabulous.

However there are some issues that go along with de-matting a dog:

- De-matting can ruin their coat;
- De-matting is very time consuming;
- and most importantly: de-matting is unpleasant for the dog therefore creates a not-so-fun day at the spa. We want your dog to have a good experience with us!

Proper and regular brushing combined with a good grooming schedule eliminates this problem.

How often should I brush my dog?

Brushing your dog on a regular basis is important for your dogs health and well-beeing. Some coats need to be brushed daily, others will do with once a week. Even a short haired breed will benefit from a good de-shedding treatment to loosen old and dead hair and stimulate blood circulation.

Keeping a full coat on a Shih-tzu, Lhasa Apso, or Poodle is quite an ambitious task. If you know you cannot keep up with a daily brushing routine, you should consider having their coat kept short in combination with a monthly visit to the groomer. Long, fine, or curly hair get matted very easily, and the areas that mats up first are behind the ears, the insides of their legs, the collar area (if the dog wears a collar on a regular basis), and tails. When brushing your dog those are the areas you need to work out first - just brushing down their back does not count!

Fine coated breeds often have thin skin, so brush gently to prevent irritation. Thicker coated breeds require stronger brush strokes and strong equipment to get through the undercoat. Axcium Dog Spa will be happy to help you get the proper grooming tools for your particular dog.

How often should I bathe my dog?

A clean dog is a healthier dog. Cleanliness is directly tied to your dog's health. If you use proper quality dog products you cannot bathe your dog too often. If your pooch smells or gets dirty, give a bath! They may not look exactly like they do coming home from the groomer, but at least they smell good. Bathing also helps an itchy or scratching dog.

Keep in mind when you bathe your own dog:

Why is it important to take my dog to be groomed?

Besides making your pooch smell fresh and look great, it's important for your dogs overall health to get groomed on a regular basis.

When you bring your dog in, we make sure to clean your dogs ears, trim the nails, and adjust glands if necessary. If your dog ha skin conditions we will do our best to address them, and while we do not replace a veterinary service, we will inform you of any other issues we discover.

Why should my dog's ears get cleaned?

We clean your dog's ears to avoid problems with ear mites or yeast. Some dogs with allergies produce a lot of earwax. Multiple breeds grow hair in their ears, so we pluck the hair to allow proper air circulation. We can flush the ears with ear cleaner if they have a lot of build-up. This will help clear up the ear canal.

Why do I need to have my dog's nails cut?

Trimming a dog's nails regularly is essential to avoid long term health problems and discomfort. A healthy, strong paw needs short, welltrimmed nails. Some big dog that walk a lot on hard surfaces actually do a pretty good job of trimming their own nails, but most dogs are not that lucky.

If you can hear clicking sounds when your dog walks across the floor, it’s most likely time to have them trimmed.

The nails can appear sharp after cutting, and if you think your dog is scratching you, request that the nails get filed or grinded.

You cut my dogs nails but they are still long - why?

Some dogs have longer quicks. Quicks are very sensitive nerves inside the dog's nails that when cut will cause pain and bleeding.

We try to cut as close to the quick as possible without cutting the quick. If your dog's nails have not been cut in a while and they are really long, we will most likely not be able to cut them all the way back in one grooming session. You will need to bring your dog back bi-weekly so that the quick has time to draw back into the nail and we gradually can work the nail back to desirable length.

Is there something that can make my dog's nails less sharp and jagged?

We will grind or file your dog's nails upon request. We have some older clients and clients with sensitive skin that appreciates their dog's nails getting rounded off by filing.

Why should my dog's anal glands get adjusted?

Anal glands are two sacs inside your dog’s anus that holds a smelly liquid brown substance. Most dogs are able to empty them voluntarily when going potty.  Backed up glands are quite common in smaller breeds, due to the inability of emptying them voluntarily.

Impacted anal glands cause discomfort and potential heath problems. When we adjust a dog's anal glands, we relieve them of possible pressure that can build up.

Signs your dog can display when experiencing pressure in that area are:

We recommend seeing a vet if it ever becomes more of a problem.

What is a sanitary trim?

A sanitary trim means to have the hair around your dog's genital and rectal areas trimmed short. Dogs with longer hair get easily messy and smelly in those areas. This helps your dog to stay clean.

Why should the hair under the pads be trimmed?

We trim the hair around and between your dog's paw pads for multiple reasons:

Will you brush my dog's teeth?

We will brush your dog's teeth upon request for a small additional fee.

What are the benefits of giving my dog a de-shedding treatment?

We remove as much of the loose hair as possible, using special deshedding tools and force-dryers.

Getting rid of all that dead hair helps bring out your dogs shiny healthy coat, and reduces the amount of hair your dog sheds at home. A de-shedding treatment can reduce the amount of fur your dog sheds by up to 90% for 4 weeks+. All the hair we collect, is hair you won’t have all over your home.

De-shedding treatments are available for all breeds, they are great for breeds like labs and retrievers and all breeds with dense undercoats like Huskies, German Shepherds and Collies.

Do you check my dog for ticks and fleas?

When we force blow dry your dog, the air pressure separates the hair so we can see right to the skin. This allows us to spot fleas and ticks that otherwise would be hard to find, especially on a very hairy dog.

We make sure that when removing the tick, we remove it properly. If we find fleas we administer flea baths, and inform the client on how to get on a good flea preventative.

I found a tick on my dog, how can I remove it properly?

Make sure you found a tick and not a mole. You will be able to differentiate by seeing if it has legs.
Do not try to remove it with your fingers! Ticks carry Lyme disease, which is a serious disease. There are tools that are specifically made for removing ticks, however you can use a fine tip tweezer.
Be very careful not to squash the tick or remove by twisting it. Grasp the tick by its head with the tweezers and pull slowly away from the skin firmly with an upward and outward movement.
Make sure not to leave any parts still embedded to their skin.
Dispose of the tick properly by putting it in some rubbing alcohol.

There are good flea and tick preventatives on the market, see our page on fleas for more details.

I want my dog to get dipped, it has fleas

If your dog has fleas, we will give them a flea bath (or dip). To effectively kill all the fleas living on your dog, we let the shampoo sit for 10 minutes, then rinse and repeat.

Giving your dog a flea bath is only a temporary fix. To learn more about fleas and how to get completely rid of them see our page on fleas.

I had a bad experience with a previous groomer, now I am scared to leave my dog at the groomers. How can I feel more comfortable with a new groomer?

We work with numerous dogs that were considered problematic by previous groomers.
You can stay and observe while your dog is being groomed, but we ask that you request this when booking your appointment.
Keep in mind that most dogs are better behaved when their owners are not present.