Absolutely Woof Dog Groomers - Grooming in Cardiff


 At what age can I bring my puppy in for their first groom?


Officially we can see your puppy anytime after their first vaccinations are completed (normally around 3 months), however, we would suggest for most breeds that 6 months is about right.  The evolution from a puppy to an adult coat is wholly dependant on breed and a grooming regime will be suggested to suit. 

Whether your dog is to be a loving pet, a sporting or working animal, or intended for showing will all be factors, as well as your practical and financial needs as the owner.


This is certainly the best time for us to work together to decide how to go forward in such a way as to fully maximise your dog’s aesthetic potential, to best prepare for their medical needs (from a grooming perspective) and to ensure that we agree upon a grooming regime which works best for you as their owner.


How can I best prepare my dog for their first grooming session?


Whether for a puppy or an adult dog, the best way to introduce your pet to grooming is with an orientation visit.  The dog will be introduced in a relaxed and fun way to the sights, sounds and smells of the grooming salon ensuring that when they come in for their first trim that we can minimise stress to the animal.  These visits take around 30 minutes and are offered free of charge.  We welcome the owner’s participation in this exercise.


Is there anything I need to do before coming in for a grooming appointment?

There are a number of things to take in to account before coming in: 

·        All dogs should arrive with a collar and lead.

·        Please ensure that you inform us of any special needs, ailments, problems, ongoing veterinary treatments, so that we can ensure the comfort of your dog at all times – enabling us to avoid any sensitive areas, supporting any injured or tired limbs etc.  If in any doubt, please check with your vet before booking an appointment.

·        Please ensure that your dog is toileted before coming in.


My dog can sometimes be aggressive; can we still have him groomed?

One of the oddities of professional grooming is that often the most dominant of dogs can become very submissive or passive when placed in a grooming environment and conversely, some normally placid pets can be become nervous and can display more dominant behaviour within the salon. 

This is where you need to rely upon our expertise!  Keeping an animal calm is part and parcel of a groomer’s experience, knowing how to handle and talk to your pet will solve 99% of problems. 

Muzzles will be used only as a last resort and normally if required, will only be applied for a very short part of the process. It is very rare to find an ‘un-groomable dog’ but if we come across any serious problems during a visit we will of course discuss them with you so we can agree on a solution together.  On the rare occassion that we deem a dog 'ungroomable' we will inform the customer immediately and we will ask you to collect your dog.  If we have managed to complete the groom but with difficulty we will inform you when you collect your dog if we do not wish to groom them again in the future.


My dog is old; should I still be considering grooming?

Many geriatric dogs can benefit from professional grooming as, like humans, being clean and tidy can boost spirit and well-being.  Much as we suffer as we grow older with achy joints, skin irritations, fatigue, ear and eye problems, our beloved pets can suffer in the same fashion.  So long as we are fully aware in advance of their frailties, we can ensure that they are made comfortable during their visit and that the time spent with us is minimised.  If in any doubt, please consult your vet who will help you to decide whether there would be any adverse risk in grooming your geriatric dog.

How often will my dog need grooming?

Frequency of grooming visits will depend on the breed of dog and your choice of styling for your pet but the following will give you a rough guide: 

·        Curly coated breeds such as Poodles and Bichons will benefit from regular visits every 6 to 8 weeks. 

·        Harsh or wiry coated breeds such as West Highland, Scottish, Wire Fox, Airedale and Welsh Terriers, Schnauzers and Deerhounds, every 10 to 12 weeks.

·         Long silky breeds such as Yorkshire and Maltese Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, Afghan Hounds, Spaniels and Setters can vary between 8 and 12 weeks dependant largely on what degree of care is given by their owners between grooming visits.  We will be happy to share with you our knowledge and tips for caring for your dog between visits.

·        Short coated breeds such as Dachshunds, Corgis, Pointers and Labradors will normally benefit from a twice yearly visit for removal of dead coat and a tidying up and treatment of face, ears, nails, ‘bits’ and paws.

·        Double coated breeds such as the New Foundland, Great Pyrenees, Husky, St.Bernard, Collies and Sheepdogs, between 2 and 3 visits per year dependant on individual coats and between-visit coat care.  Any dogs regularly working outdoors or those who enjoy a particularly active and muddy lifestyle may of course require more regular washing and attention to ears, feet and paws.


 What will the grooming involve?  


A full grooming session will include all/ some of the following;  ear hair removal, ear and eye cleansing, nail clipping, pre-cut with scissors and/ or clippers, de-matting*, de-knotting, dead hair removal, clipping of unwanted hair from paws and genitals, washing, conditioning, rinsing, high velocity drying, blow/ brush drying, finishing with scissors/ thinners/ clippers, application of finishing products as required.

*Please note that as professional groomers, we are legally obliged to ensure that de-matting causes no unnecessary pain or suffering to your dog.  If it is clear that to remove the matts will take too long, we will remove the affected part of the coat with clippers.  Whilst this may not result in the finish desired, the removal of the damaged coat is the only pain-free solution to the most severe matting problems.  Hair will grow back, whereas leaving matts untreated can lead to more serious issues.

How long will it take?

 As a guide we say that a visit will take between 1.5 and 3 hours but this is obviously subject to the breed and condition of the dog – we had a New Foundland visit us just recently that took two of us 5 hours so there are always exceptions to the rule!!

When dropping off your dog to the salon we will ask you for a contact number so we can let you know when your dog is ready for pick-up.  


Should I stay with my dog during its grooming appointment?

Although from time to time we may specifically request your presence (see puppy’s first grooming and geriatric dogs), as a rule we request that you do not remain with your dog during the grooming session.  Why? Well put simply, it’s less stressful for them!  Whilst being groomed it is important that a professional groomer is ‘the boss’, in order to keep the dog calm, happy and stress free.  The presence of their ‘mum or dad’ will invariably distract them and keep them in an exited state throughout which can prove to be unsafe and non-conducive to best-grooming practise.  Better that we wait until they’re finished when they will be over the moon to see you and you can make a real fuss of them and their new hair-do!

How much will it cost me?

Prices at Absolutely Woof start from £15 (please refer to the pricng page) and are dependant on the size of your dog, the condition of its coat and the complexity of the desired finish.  We will be happy to discuss your dog with you (over the phone or in person) in more detail at which point we can give you a tailored quote.  This will remain subject to change however until condition and temperament of your dog can be assessed during grooming.

Is grooming cost-effective?


A regularly groomed dog will invariably cost less to maintain in the long run both in terms of grooming and visits to the vets.  As well as caring for the aesthetics of your dog a professional groomer is also concerned with the medical well-being of your dog.  Whilst a professional groomer should never be viewed in the same context as professional veterinary care, regular grooming can often pick up on potential problems at an early stage.  This can enable the owner to treat minor ailments themselves or indeed to seek professional veterinary assistance before the problem worsens and the subsequent treatments become more complex and more expensive.  Your vet will always be supportive of a good preventative home-care and professional grooming regime.  Developing a long term relationship with your groomer will allow them to really get to know your dog over time and together with a caring owner, prevent many problems before they arise.


I have a question which is not covered by the FAQ’s!

No problem!  Either give us a ring on 02920 627382 or send us an email with your question absolutelywoof@virginmedia.com

From Karen and Alan at Absolutely Woof – a big thank you – we look forward to seeing you soon!