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Q. At what age should I start having my puppy professionally groomed?

A. As with all other aspects of your puppy's life, you want him to acclimate to regular grooming early in life. It is suitable to begin grooming after twelve weeks when the "fear period" is over. A positive grooming experience for a puppy is very important, especially for breeds that require a lot of care. Regular grooming at an early age and throughout your pet's life will keep his coat healthy.

Q. My dog's skin is very dry and itchy. What can I do?

A. Some breeds are prone to dry skin, allergies, hot spots, and other skin conditions. Though severe cases should be seen by a veterinarian, most can be remedied by making a few changes. Soothing oatmeal, aloe, medicated or tea tree baths or sprays can be used to moisturize and calm irritated skin. Your pet may need a diet change to a nutritionally balanced food. If you do change foods, do so gradually to avoid possible stomach upset. Allow six weeks to see improvement in your pet's skin and coat. Finally, skin supplements added to the diet are a wonderful way to add extra oil to the skin, and address any nutritional deficiencies. Feel free to ask anyone at Especially for Pets for advice.

Q. Under what circumstances does my dog need to be shaved?

A. Dematting can be a painful and traumatic experience. If dematting your pet's coat is impossible, it is necessary to shave the hair. The skin underneath a
'matted to the skin' coat is damaged and in need of oxygen; the coat must be removed for healing to begin. New brushing techniques must be implemented; we will be happy to teach you.

Q. What do I do to prepare my dog for the groomery?

A. Prior to arriving for a day of beauty, take your dog for a walk and be sure your dog has gone to the bathroom to ensure your pet's comfort. When you make a grooming appointment, ask what time is appropriate to drop off your pet (special arrangements can be made in advance if necessary). When you arrive, you will meet with the groomer to discuss the details of your pet's grooming, and arrange a pick up time. If you are going to be late, please call so we can ensure your pet is walked. Please let us know if your pet has any food allergies or diet restrictions as we offer treats to your pet while at our