Frequently asked questions


How old should a puppy be for their first grooming?

Since grooming at Spaw Melanie is done in a private home, one pet at a time, your puppy will not come into contact with any other animals while here. All equipment is cleaned between appointments as well. For these reasons, all puppies, whether or not they have received all of their vaccines, is welcome at Spaw Melanie. We do, however, recommend that they be atleast 8 weeks of age, and that you consult with your veterinarian before having an unvaccinated puppy groomed. We recommend you have your puppy groomed for the first time as young as possible to help them acclimate to the grooming experience. If possible, before they are 16 weeks old.

What will my puppy's first grooming be like?

A puppy's first grooming experiences are so important! A groomer's initial approach can have a lifelong effect on a pup, and at Spaw Melanie, we are determined to make it a positive one! It may take two to three sessions for a puppy to become totally acclimated to and comfortable with the grooming process. During the first ​grooming session, the main idea is to familiarize puppies with the process. The first sessions will be short and sweet. Emphasis is placed on positive interactions and desensitation to equipment and noises. After 1 - 3 appointments, you puppy should be much more comfortable being groomed, and their hair styles can be expected to be much more neat and tidy.

What are anal glands, and does my dog need theirs emptied?

Anal glands are little sacs located on either side of the anus. They are scent glands that have two functions: • To produce a strong scent for marking territory • To help the body eliminate toxins and substances that are not needed. Your dog's body should naturally empty it's anal glands on it's own. However, occasionally, and for various reasons, it does not. If the anal gland's do not empty, they can become impacted and get infected. Many groomers will empty a dog's anal glands with every visit. The issue with this, is that if a dog has no issues with their glands, manually emptying them may cause irritation or cause the body to stop naturally emptying them on it's own. At Spaw Melanie, we will check to see if your dog's glands are too full, and only if that is the case, empty them manually. There is no extra charge for this during a regular grooming session. If your dog is happy, not licking and has no other symptoms there is no need to rush to the vet or a groomer to have the anal glands expressed. If however, your pet has been licking at the area, their is a strong fishy scent, their is redness/inflammation in the area or you pet is dragging their behind on the ground, there may be need to empty their anal glands. Mention this to us when you bring your dog in for their appointment, and we will take a look! To learn more about your dog's anal glands, click here.

Should I shave my double coated dog?

NO. Double coated dogs are the animals that, like Huskies & German Shepherds, have two layers of fur. The undercoat is the fine, fluffy hairs that are short and are closest to the skin. It's the fur that sheds. This layer is excellent at trapping air and insulating the dog. Essentially it keeps them warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. The topcoat is made up of the guard hairs, and protects from the sun’s harmful rays and bug bites. It insulates them from the heat. It’s a mistake to think you’re helping your animal stay cool, particularly in summer, by shaving them. Evolution has provided them exactly what they need to survive. By stripping them of their natural ability to heat and cool themselves, you could be doing more harm than good. Shaving a double coated breed can also cause the fur to get matted, grow back unevenly or not grow back at all. Shaving a double coated dog should only be done for medical reasons, when advised to by a veterinarian. At Spaw Melanie, we will not shave any double coated breeds, unless their is a medical reason to do so. Ask us about our De-Shedding treatments, or for a fur trim to shorten the fur instead! To learn more about the dangers of shaving a double coated breed, click here.