For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here.

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Policies & Payments

Q:  What information is needed for our first appointment?

A:  Please bring a copy of your pet’s vaccination records or a recent vet record.  The township of Lyndhurst requires that we keep our clients’ vaccination records in-shop.

Q: Do you accept walk-ins?

A:  If we have the availability and you can show proof of vaccinations, we are happy to accommodate walk-ins.

Q:  Should I tip my groomer?

A:  Grooming is considered a service business.  As such, groomers and bathers will graciously accept tips.  We kindly ask that all tips be cash. Thank you!

Q:  Will I get a discount if I have two or more pets?

A:  We do not offer multiple pet discounts.  However, we do run specials on a frequent basis so you will have regular discount options to consider for your pets’ grooming.

Q:  Why was I charged a late fee?

A:  A late fee is incurred if a pet parent arrives after our 4:00 pm closing time to retrieve their pet.  Just 4 Paws Pet Spa doesn’t have the accommodations of a Pet Daycare facility so we aren’t staffed to walk dogs that are left here all day and/or stay after closing. Late charges are $10 for every 15 minutes, which is in line with Pet Daycare fees. This is to cover the cost of a staff member staying late to sit with your pet.

Pet and Groomer Safety

Q:  Can I stay with my pet?

A:  We prefer that our pet parents not stay, only because it is difficult to groom an excited, wiggling, tail-wagging pet; it can also be dangerous for the pet.  That said there are instances where a pet’s owner may be able to calm their overly anxious or aggressive pet.  In cases such as these, we may actually ask that you stay.

Q: Do you separate the animals from one another or do they share cages?

A: Your pet will always be kept separate from the other animals in order to ensure their safety.  They’ll have a place all to themselves to relax in while they wait for their spa day to begin.  Keep in mind we always call the owners before the grooming session is complete so your pet is not sitting in a cage all day and you can time your pick-up accordingly.

Q:  Do you groom sedated pets?

A:  From time to time, we do groom pets that require mild sedatives.  The prescription must be written by the pet’s veterinarian and administered at home 1-2 hours prior to the scheduled appointment.

Q:  My pet can be aggressive.  Will you still groom him/her?

A:  We welcome all personalities at Just 4 Paws.  There are a number of precautions we take when trying to groom an aggressive pet, such as using a muzzle and safe distraction techniques.  In some cases, we ask the pet parent to assist.  If these efforts are unsuccessful, we may suggest getting a prescription for a mild sedative from your vet, which needs to be administered at home 1-2 hours prior to the scheduled appointment.  As a last resort we would recommend going to a Veterinarian grooming, for which your pet can be completely sedated. Please note that your pet’s temperament may be reflected in their groom rate. 

Q:  Will my pet be muzzled for the grooming?

A:  Very seldom will we muzzle our pet clients.  We always try working with them first.  However, if a pet is displaying extremely aggressive behavior they may be muzzled for their safety and ours.  If a pet is severely aggressive throughout the entire groom, additional fees may be reflected in the groom rate.

Q:  Is it O.K. to feed my pet before bringing him/her in for a groom?

A:  It’s best not to feed an anxious pet the morning of their grooming appointment.  No matter how comfortable your pet is with us, grooming can still be stressful for an animal.  A nervous dog with a full stomach can make for a very messy and uncomfortable day for everyone.

Q:  I have heard about deaths associated with hot box dryers or cage dryers.  Do you use these methods?

A:  No, absolutely not, we NEVER jeopardize the safety of our pet clients!  Sadly, it is true that at some other grooming shops there have been horrible incidents along these lines due to overheating or burn accidents.  This is usually the result of poorly maintained or unattended box or cage dryers.  At Just 4 Paws Pet Spa, we hand-blow dry ALL of our pets!  We DO NOT own any cage or box dryers.   Hand-blown dried pets are safe at Just 4 Paws, as well as thoroughly, beautifully and meticulously blown out. 

Grooming Tips

Q:  How long does a Just 4 Paws Pet Spa grooming session take?

A:  A typical Spa Session takes 2-3 hours.  However times can vary according to the pet’s size, age, type of groom, temperament, coat condition, etc.  When we see your pet we will be able to give a more accurate estimate on how long your pet’s spa experience will be.  And we always call the pet parent before the grooming session is complete so you can time your pick-up.

Q:  Can my pet only get a haircut and no bath?

A:  We want all pets looking their best when leaving our salon.  When a pet is not cleaned immediately prior to their styling, their coat may carry dirt, debris and natural oils, making a proper hair styling difficult to achieve.  Therefore we require that all of our pet clients be bathed in our pet spa during their session with us.  Besides, how else would they receive and enjoy their “warm-water massage?!”

Q:  How often should I groom my dog? 

A: Regular grooming is recommended to keep your dog’s coat and skin in the best condition possible, plus it socializes your pet and gets them used to being brushed, bathed and handled. Regular grooming is typically scheduled every 4, 6 or 8 weeks. Dogs with undetermined hair growth (meaning their hair keeps growing like humans) need grooming every 4-6 weeks to maintain an optimal look and avoid matting.

To keep shedding under control on double coated dogs (Shepherds, American Eskimos), cats, and high-shedding dogs (such as Beagles, Pugs & Labs) regular grooming is also recommended.  Professional grooming removes a lot of the undercoat, easily reducing shedding.  A 4-6 week cycle is recommended for maintenance de-shedding.

Q:  When should I start bringing my puppy in for professional grooming?

A:  It is a good idea to bring your puppy for his first grooming between 3-4 months old (once they have had 2 sets of vaccines).  It will help introduce them to the grooming process, and socialize them with people and other dogs.  We also suggest that you start brushing your puppy every day and getting them used to having their paws and face handled.

Q:  What can I do between groomings to best maintain my pet’s style?

A:  Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have about how to maintain your pet’s coat.  If you are interested in a more in-depth learning experience, we can offer a private tutorial session for you and your pet.  Our stylists will go over what tools work best on your pet and why, how to use them safely and efficiently, tips and techniques on how to get your pet’s cooperation, and finally how to make this a fun bonding experience for you both.

Q:  What does it mean when dog is “matted”?

A:  Matting is a very serious problem for dogs.  Mats left in a dog’s coat only grow tighter, and can damage the skin, or even tear it open.  Mats are often deceptive, hiding in areas that don’t get much visual attention from owners, such as under the belly, under the tail, and in the “armpit” area.  If you are not on a regular brushing regimen with your dog, you may be unaware of these “secret” mats.  These mats can trap moisture, urine and fecal matter tightly against the pet’s skin, allowing mold, fungus or bacteria to grow, causing skin irritations that can be very uncomfortable for your dog.

Q: What can I do to prevent matting?

A: Prevention is by far the best defense against matting. Some ways of preventing matting include, regularly scheduled grooming appointments and brushing your dog at home between grooms.  

Q: I brush my pet, why is he matted?

A:  Matting is caused by a number of things.

  1. Improper brushing:  Try an internet tutorial to learn proper brushing techniques, or stop into Just 4 Paws and ask us! Any of our pet stylists will be happy to show you how to brush your pet, as well as the proper tools to use.

  2. Bathing: If you bathe your pet at home, no matter what products you use, if the hair is not completely combed out before and after bathing, any mats or tangles will be worsened by the bathing process.

  3. Shedding: Shedding and “non-shedding” breeds (such as Poodles and Shitzus) require the removal of the undercoat or “dead” coat hairs.  The undercoat hair tangles with the healthy coat hairs, and if not brushed out regularly, it will eventually form mats.

Q:  Why does my dog’s hair gets matted so quickly?

A:  If you keep your pet’s coat long, regular brushing is required (at least once every day or every other day).  It’s possible you will need to brush them even more frequently.

Q:  My pet has a lot of mats, is it necessary to shave them out?

A: At Just 4 Paws Pet Spa we will always try to cut your pet’s coat length to your desired length. The only thing that can supersede your request is the pet’s comfort, in which case we will ALWAYS discuss our recommendations with you first.  If your pet has severe, tight matting that cannot be resolved through other techniques, shaving might unfortunately be the only option.  But rest assured, the coat grows back fast and your pet will feel so much better!

And remember, severe mats can cause skin irritations and hide other conditions such as hot spots, dermatitis, seborrhea, cuts, scabs, sores and redness.  It is not unusual to encounter these problems when the coat is shaved off of a badly matted pet.  

Q:  My dog’s mats require a shave down, what can I expect?

A:  Pets with matted coats need extra time and attention during grooming.  We use extreme care when removing a badly matted coat, but there are risks involved.  Some of those risks include nicks, cuts or abrasions due to warts, moles and skin trapped in mats.  After-effects of mat removal can include itchiness, skin redness, self-inflicted irritation (dogs obsessively licking a newly shaved area, thereby creating a “hot-spot”) and failure of the hair to regrow.  Shaved pets are at risk of sunburn and should be protected from the sun until the hair has grown back sufficiently to protect the skin.  In some cases, brief behavioral changes may be seen. All this said, the vast majority of matted dogs show immense relief and happiness after removal of a matted coat…dancing and smiling are the most common side effects!

Q:  My dog receives monthly topical flea treatments.  When should I apply it with regards to his grooming appointment? 

A:  You should apply the flea treatment 3 days or more before or after your dog’s grooming session. This will allow the natural oils in your dog’s skin to help prevent skin irritation from the treatment.  

Q:  How often should I groom my cat?

A:  How frequently you groom your cat depends on a number of factors including the cat’s hair length, its ability to groom itself, its shedding levels, and the cat’s overall enjoyment being groomed. In general, cats with long hair need much more frequent grooming, including a daily home routine.  Cats with short hair can be brushed, combed or curried several times a week. Cats that are overweight or ill often have less ability or desire to groom themselves.  Older cats that may have arthritis may also tend to groom less.  These cats should be groomed on a more frequent basis. The more your cat is shedding, the more often you need to groom her/him.  This will also greatly decrease her risk of developing hairballs.

Q:  Should I have my pet groomed in the winter?

A:  Absolutely.  Grooming is a year-round process.  Some people prefer their pet’s fur longer during the winter months.  However, longer hair has a greater chance of developing mats and tangles.  Mats do not allow proper airflow through the coat and this can lead to health problems.  Short haired breeds also need attention in the colder months.  Pet skin can become dry and flaky due to a lack of humidity during the winter, and dryness caused by heating.  Regular shampooing, conditioning and brushing can help stimulate the natural oils to ease the dryness.

Q:  How often should I cut my dog’s nails?

A:  Nails seem to grow at different rates in different dogs.  Some dogs need to have their nails trimmed weekly.  Others do fine with 4-6 week trims.  In any case, one rule holds true:  the nails MUST be kept short for the feet to remain healthy.

Q:  What is hand-stripping and do you offer it?

A:  No, we do not offer hand-stripping, as it is a process almost never requested by clients and is usually reserved for show dogs. This process is used on coarse coated dogs, usually Terriers.  Dead guard hairs are plucked by hand, making it possible for new hair to grow in.  For more information on hand-stripping visit Handstripping.com.

Pet Hygiene

Q:  Why do dogs drag their bottoms?

A:  This is a very common question from dog owners.  When dogs drag their bottoms on the carpet or outside on the grass, it means that their anal glands are bothering them.  The anal sacs are located just inside the dog’s rectum.  Their purpose is to “mark” their territory with the dog’s own special scent.  However, when the anal glands are too full, dogs will try to empty them by dragging his/her bottom.  Unless the dog drains its anal sacs, it causes them pressure and potential pain. A worst case scenario can be infected and/or abscessed anal glands.  A good way of preventing problems such as these is to regularly have your dog’s anal glands expressed at your pet salon or the veterinarian’s office.

At Just 4 Paws Pet Spa we have been professionally trained to express anal glands.  We charge $15 for a successful anal gland expression.  A vet’s fee typically is $30-$40, in addition to the office visit. If we are unable to express your pet’s glands we will inform you of this, as well as of anything unusual we may observe so that you may let your veterinarian know. We will not charge you in this event.

Q:  How often should anal glands be emptied?

A:  This varies from dog to dog.  The best recommendation is to watch your dog’s behavior.  If he starts scooting then it is time to have his anal glands checked at the pet salon or vet’s office.  If the scooting continues for more than a few days after his glands are emptied, they should be re-checked.  For some dogs, the sacs may be emptied several times in a row before they stay emptied.  This may also indicate a possible anal gland infection. Expression of the anal glands is a simple procedure that can be performed at home, by your groomer or veterinarian.  Most people prefer to have their groomer take care of this task because it can be quite stinky and messy! When performed at the salon, we will express your dog’s anal glands in the tub, during a nice, cleansing, relaxing bath… aaah!    

Q:  Why does my pet have bad breath? His teeth are pearly white!

A: The most common cause of bad breath is tartar buildup surrounding the teeth.  As with humans, small particles of food remain in the mouth after eating.  These particles decompose creating conditions where oral bacteria thrive.  These bacteria grow to form plaque, which is associated with oral infections giving the pet’s breath an objectionable odor.  Plaque also clings to the base of teeth causing the gums to become inflamed and recede. This plaque is visible as a hard yellowish coating on the outer base of the teeth.

In addition, if he is licking his rectum on a daily basis he may have full anal glands.  This anal gland secretion is a smelly, fishy, oily liquid that can absolutely cause your dog to have bad breath.  You may want to ask your groomer to check this for you.

Q:  How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?

A:  Dental hygiene is often ignored in our pets.  Consider how your teeth would look and feel after months, years or even a lifetime of neglect.  They would be diseased, and you would be miserable. Therefore daily brushing is suggested. At a minimum, one to two times per week.  

Q:  My pet has fleas.  Can I bring them to you for a “flea dip?”

A:  At Just 4 Paws Pet Spa we do not use chemical flea treatments, such as “dips”.  These chemical treatments are not good for our groomers, and especially not for the pets.  However, we do have a 100% natural and USDA certified organic shampoo called Pops Insect Away.  Its ingredients include coconut, olive and jojoba oils, lemongrass, neem and catnip, aloe vera and rosemary.

We will lather your pet in this shampoo for 10-15 minutes, ensuring the fleas and ticks are dead.  This is an effective treatment that will also help repel fleas, ticks and other insects for at least 2 weeks after the bath.  Pops Pet Organics Insect Away shampoo also has amazing protective, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and healing properties.  It is truly beneficial for your pet as well as being safe for him/her and the environment!  

Q:  What causes stained fur around my dog’s mouth and paws?

A:  Saliva contains certain enzymes that can stain the fur.  When a dog with a light-color coat licks one area excessively, a reddish brown stain develops.  Several things can cause this licking behavior.  Look for any obvious lesions, such as open sores, on the feet.  If you can’t find any, he may have allergies.

Dogs who are allergic to inhaled pollens, dust and molds often lick their feet and rub their face on the side of the couch and on the carpet.  These dogs often have staining on their feet.  Other less common conditions can also cause a dog to lick his feet.  The staining around your pooch’s mouth may be because he is salivating more than normal.  Excessive salivation can be a symptom of gum disease or some other problem inside the mouth. Ask your vet to examine your dog and discuss the different possible causes for your dog’s odd color change.