Dog Grooming Services Terms and Conditions
Booking an Appointment
The easiest way to make a booking is by phone on 01241 857893, as we often find that when you message us, we can go back and forward with diff times and slots and both parties can miss each other’s message notifications. If you do choose to message or we are away from our phone when you call, then do leave a message with your name, your furiends name and breed plus any specific requirements that you have re availability (i.e. days/times).
If booking by social media/message, then please be aware that we only hold offered slots for 48hrs, then we will release the slot to allow it to be booked.
If you are a new customer, all bookings will be required to pay a £10 deposit (per furiend).
As per our cancellation policy below, this is only refundable if more than 48hrs notice is given for any change or cancellation. Otherwise, the £10 deposit will go towards our cancellation fees outlined below.
Pricing and Payments
Payment must be made at collection and in full for all services.
While estimates are provided, the actual cost on the day may vary depending on any additional services that you choose to add on plus:
- the overall condition and any overgrowth and matting of your furiend’s coat which will require extra time.
- Any behavioural and support that your furiend needs, which may require more than one groomer or extended time on a groom.
Please do ensure are you are familiar with our matting policy.
Late Cancellations/No Shows
We get that life does sometimes throw up the unexpected and sometimes emergencies crop up. However, we do also need to protect both our teams income and also the overall business itself.
As such any cancellations under 48hrs will be charged at 50% of their appointment while under 24hrs or no shows will incur 100% of the appointment fee.
You may also be asked to pay a 50% deposit up front for any future bookings.
To aid with this, we have invested heavily in a new booking system which will issue confirmation and reminders to both SMS and Email addresses if held on file. However, we cannot be held responsible for reminding you to attend or if you do not receive these.
Arriving for Your Appointment
If it’s your first time with us, then please do arrive around 5 mins early so that we can check over all information and chat styles! But most importantly it also allow your furiend to have a good sniff and chill out time before coming into the salon. We know that you may be nervous leaving them somewhere new but, in our experience, if you stay calm and happy then that energy can help with keeping them calm and happy in a new environment too.
Feel free to use our sofa to hang out and we’re more than happy for them to sit on it too.
It may feel like the Spanish inquisition, but we ask you lots of questions around your furiend and their behaviour plus style preferences so that we can be best informed before starting their groom.
Please do be honest with us – it’s not our job to judge but the more information we have the better to enable use to complete their groom in a stress free and safe way for both them and us.
Been with us before? Then great!
We just ask that you let us know if there have been any changes since your last groom, any concerns re their health or coat condition, style requirements plus we like to reconfirm phone numbers for that all important collection time.
To ensure that every furiend gets the time and care that you’d expect, we plan our diaries carefully in advance. This is not just for our convenience but the safety of both the team and your furiend too. So, if you are running late that please do call us on route but I’m afraid that we will not be able to accept any furiends that are over 15 minutes late for an appointment.
In this case the full no-show fee would apply and we would need to re-arrange your appointment within you normal wait times (circa 4-6 weeks).
When checking in your furiend for their appointment, you will be given a rough estimate of their grooming time. However, there are a number of factors that can impact time taken and we ask that you ensure you are both available by phone and can collect your furiend at any point during their appointment.
In normal circumstances, we will text you via our online system around 10-15 minutes pre collection time.
Please try not to arrive too early and enter the salon. More often than not we’ll be working on their faces and tails at this stage and if you arrive early, it may mean we cannot complete the groom due to their excitement when they spot you.
We also ask that all furiends are collected promptly and at the most within 15 minutes of advised collection time. We cannot ‘hold’ furiends in our care for any period of time and your help in ensuring our hard work to ensure each furiend in our care has the appropriate attention while in our care is greatly appreciated. This can also have a big impact to our own team who have missed lunches and finish times due to late collections – the health and wellbeing of our team is just as important to us as your furiends, so your help is much appreciated in ensuring we balance both.
Note that any late collections will incur an additional charge.
We more than understand that we are all human and our furiends like to act like furiends. So we’d of course expect there to be ‘some’ matting.
However, regular grooming at home and by us, will minimise this and as such all grooms are priced based on minimal knots and matting. Therefore, any additional matting will incur additional charges.
Under the ‘Animal Welfare Act 2006’ we cannot cause pain, suffering, injury or disease. We therefore operate a “humanity before vanity” policy and if we do feel that your furiend(s) have excessive matting, we will remove these in the safest way which is to ‘shave off’. We ask all customers to sign our matting policy to ensure that you understand the risks involved when a furiends coat is severely matted.
This includes but is not limited to:
- discovery of skin bruising causes by the coat being tight to the skin for some time
- hematoma of the ear, tail or skin. A hematoma is caused by an area of skin which has had the blood flow restricted for some time, being allowed to have blood flow back into the area. Once this occurs it is possible for the skin to weep or bleed
- discovery of injuries which occurred prior to grooming
- grazing or cutting off the skin during the matt removal process
Any health issues found or injuries which occur must be cared for by a vet. We will not be held accountable for injuries incurred from the removal of matted hair.I promise that we hate doing this as much as you hate how they look after but strongly advise that if you require support and advice re maintaining your furiend(s) coat, then please do speak to us, check you have the right tools and you may wish to consider booking onto one of our group grooming workshops. Just ask or check them out via our website HERE.
Ok, so this is a very difficult area to both talk about and explain but I’ll be straight and to the point.
We reserve the right to refuse to groom a furiend that could be at risk to itself or one of our team.
I know this seems extreme, and as dog owners ourselves, there is part of us that feels we are failing to help them but we work with sharp objects and lots of equipment. Just one attempt to bite, could cause significant harm to both your furiend(s) and us as a team.
We can and do already work with owners who may find themselves in a situation that their furiend ‘hates’ the grooming process HOWEVER, I only accept furiends who have temperament/aggression issues for grooming where their owners have an agreed plan in place with us to improve or work towards a groom. This includes:
- Owners accepting that the vast majority of work will need to be undertaken by themselves plus it’s likely to require consultation with a qualified behaviourist (which we may insist upon as part of our agreement to groom or work with you towards a groom);
- A Vet check to rule out any physical or other issues that may be causing pain or fear during grooming process
- Routine appointments are put in place plus it’s likely that your furiend(s) will require additional visits over and above the normal breed suggested frequency
- Additional charges will apply in alignment with additional time needs.
Note that we only accept a very limited amount of furiends that fall into this category and this is only available with particular members of the team.
Furiends who fall into this category, require a higher level of care and normally in a 1:1 environment and it can be emotionally draining for a team member (along with being rewarding too).
This does mean that we also reserve the right to stop a groom, with full amount payable, at any point pre or during these agreements/plans being in place. If we feel that all parts of the agreement are not being upheld with work at home or with a behaviourist, we also reserve the right to cancel all future grooms.
Overcoming fear, aggression, and behavioural issues, is not something that is done overnight. It will require a substantial amount of work, time and cost from you as an owner. However, it is rewarding and we love to see the results from all of our hard work with you! Feel your furiend is more suited to grooming at home by you but would like some tailored advice and check that you are undertaking all aspects safely? Then why not consider our 1:1 Dog Groom Training Day which you can find info on via our website HERE.
Your Dog’s Health
Your furiend should be fit and healthy with any health issues or concerns declared in advance of the grooming appointment.
If your furiend is injured, unwell, vomiting, has diarrhoea or exhibiting kennel cough symptoms, we will not be able to carry out any grooming service.
If you or we as groomers, feel that the process is too stressful for your furiend, we will work with you to explore options (for e.g. splitting appointments for elderly furiends known as welfare grooms).
Our grooming team will not be liable for a mishap caused by non-disclosure of a medical condition or behaviour. We will contact your vet if they require urgent attention (whilst also calling yourself) and any costs will be at the owners expense.
There are lots of considerations to make when it comes to grooming elderly furiends:
- Appearance of warts/growth
- Amount of time that your furiend(s) is comfortable with standing on a table or being bathed
- If your furiend(s) is stressed by the grooming process, putting strain on their heart
As such you’ll hear lots of groomers talk about “welfare grooms”.
This is where we put all of these priorities of health first and style is our last consideration.
When it come to welfare grooms there is no one size fits all and it’s all about working out whats best for your furiend based on their overall health. This could include:
- Splitting appointments over more than one day to limit standing time and stress
- Adjusting styles to short cuts (to last longer and limit grooming) or differing blades and styles to work around growths
- Working with more than one team member to reduce time on grooming tables.
If you are concerned about your furiends ongoing health and changes, please do talk to us. We’re here to help and it can also help us look out for signs during their grooms too.
When Your Furiend Goes Into Season
When your furiend goes into season, its highly likely that they’ll exhibit a change in behaviour and may even be more agitated than normal.
The last thing we want is to make one of our furiends even more stressed out by grooming and for them to remember that experience with us during their next groom.
In addition, while we don’t allow contact between furiends in our care, having a furiend in season, is likely to impact any male furiend in our grooming salon too.
Call us as soon as you know they have gone into season and we’ll do our best to rearrange your appointment to when they are expected to finish.
Due to the number of furiends that visit us, while we regularly clean and deep clean our grooming areas, the risk for any unvaccinated furiend will naturally be higher than an unvaccinated furiend.
Therefore, we recommend that all vaccinations should be up to date, though we appreciate you may prefer to follow the titer testing approach.
Note that while we do not insist on kennel cough vaccinations, kennel cough can spread quickly as a highly contagious respiratory disease. While its’ rarely fatal, the vaccination is a personal decision and should be based on your furiend’s risk, and risk is based on the likelihood of close contact with other furiends or contaminated material.
We get how annoying it is if your furiend has ended up with fleas. It feels like an impossible job to get rid of them – from their own coat, bedding and your home! Its due to this and how risky it would be to other dogs in our care, than if your furiend has any signs of parasites/fleas, we will need to stop the groom and request that you collect them to be cared for you at home.
We will not continue with any groom if we find evidence due to the risk and the cost of the groom plus our deep clean will be at your expense, particularly as we will have to cancel any dogs booked in immediately after and pay all staff costs.
If any other dogs are in our care, their treatment will also be at your own expense so please please do ensure that you take all reasonable steps to ensure that your dog does not have an infestation of if they have had one, they are fully clear.
As always we’d recommend a trip to your vet for advice and medication.
If your furiend has recently undergone surgery or had an accident or fits, please do discuss with your vet re when it’s suitable for them to have a groom.
For some, if they’ve had stitches then vets typically advise 2-3 weeks and only once a post-op check up is complete.
Even if no open wounds, if our furiend has experienced any injury, standing in baths, tables and having forceful dryers and equipment on them, may not aid their recovery. But also may result in additional pain during grooming, increasing or introducing fear to the process.
Please do contact us asap to discuss. As an owner of two accident prone spaniels, I will def relate and used to adjusting around recovery time.
Growths/Lumps and Bumps
Dog grooming involves using sharp clippers and scissors with a sometimes-unpredictable moving furiend, and therefore we cannot always guarantee that we won’t catch those lumps and bumps especially where new ones have formed.
However, we have a clear process in place to ensure we do absolutely everything we can to avoid this happening.
So, whether these lumps and bumps are due to age or underlying health conditions, we will work with you at their first appointment to identify where each tag/lump/bump or cyst is.
You’ll spot that we’ll add a bright pink note to a file clearly marking up each one which will also help us quickly identify in each visit but also monitor size/shape.
While this is no substitute for your own observations, as we don’t see your furiend as often as yourself, it’s sometimes easier for us to spot growth or changes. And we’ll ensure that we let you know if we feel something has changed so that you can seek appropriate veterinary advice.
Allergies – Grooming Products
Has you furiend been prescribed medicated shampoo or do they have allergies to particular products?While we can use your own shampoo, we insist that you check that it’s within it’s best before date (yep shampoos have dates) as past this date bacteria can form and it can cause further issues.
We choose to use a higher quality shampoo that 99% of the time, works better than an owners current own shampoo choice. We always tailor the choice to a furiends coat and skin needs but if in doubt can opt for the sensitive option that has no additional oils.
Just speak to us about their needs and requirements.
Allergies – Food/Treats
Firstly – there is no need to worry if your furiend has an allergy to particular food or treats. We’re not a salon who just hands out a random dentastix at the end of a appointment!
We have 100% meat based treats on hand (Pet Munchies are our fave) as we understand the importance of high quality treat as part of your furiends diet.
These are also small in size so we can reward frequently without treating them too much. But on occasion, a furiend does turn up their nose or they will have an allergy to the proteins we have on option (venison, liver and chicken or chicken), so we also have a wide range of our other treats that we can choose from too.
So if your furiend has specific allergies, we ask that you delcare this on our comprehensive check in form when you first register them with us and we can tailor our choice of furiends treats to their exact needs.
The huge benefit of having our retail stock is that we have a wide range of treats that can help with rewarding your furiend throughout the grooming process.
Still prefer to bring in your own? Of course you can! Please pop a small label on the container or bag so that we can easily identify and we’ll make sure these are the only treats used.
Expressing Anal Glands
The short answer to whether we express anal glands is no, we don’t.
Why? Well … it’s actually prohibited as per the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.
This explicitly states that In terms of internal expression of the para-anal sacs per rectum ‘lay people’ such as dog groomers cannot undertake this task.
This is because it amounts to the practise of veterinary surgery and therefore may only be undertaken by veterinary surgeons or registered veterinary nurses. Or student veterinary nurses working under the “direction” of their veterinary surgeon employer.
But my old groomer did this?
There is a slight grey area when it comes to the external expression of the para-anal sacs (versus internal).
Where the Act states that this may be undertaken by competent lay people such as dog groomers or owners. However, the procedure should have been demonstrated and explained to them by a veterinary surgeon (and the frequency of emptying).
BUT the reality is that dog groomers are not qualified or trained to spot para-anal sec problems and should only be seen by a veterinary surgeon for confirmation of diagnosis and advice regarding necessary treatment.
Routine prophylactic expression should only be undertaken on the advice of a veterinary surgeon and therefore we do not undertake this procedure.
Ear Plucking and Cleaning
As with anal glands, this is an area that is debated hotly due to the question over whether plucking ears is crossing over to a diagnosis and therefore should only be undertaken by a Vet. However, ears that clog with hair and wax, can lead to nasty infections so it’s not surprising that many groomers want to do their best for furiends in their care.
For us, we use the vet recommendation where we will puck any hair from the outer edge of the ear but will not use instrumenets or fingers (that enter a body cavity) to remove any hair from the canal. This could cause additional problems so if we spot any build up or signs of infection, we will inform you so that you can choose whether to seek veterinary attention.
Note that all furiends receive an ear clean as part of a bath and brush or full groom.
Ultrasound Teeth Cleaning
If you choose to opt for our ultrasound teeth cleaning, then you will be asked to separately sign our terms relating to this service.
Double Coats – No Shave Policy
Every so often we are asked to shave a double coated furiend. We totally understand why this might seem like a good option when a furiend is struggling with heat or you are struggling to maintain a big coat.
However, we are very clear that our policy is not to shave unless the owner has veterinary requirement to do so which we’d need sight of (must be in writing).
As a double coated furiend has two layers of fur, providing protective measures in both heat and cold, shaving their coat can cause harm:
- Destroying their protection, making them more exposed to heat or cold
- Increased risk of sunburn (and cancer)
- Changes the undergrowth which will be coarser post shaving, increasing heat (the opposite affect of what you’re tyring to achieve by shaving)
- Hair regrowth can be patchy and/or take a long time to regrow
This applies to all double coated breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Australian Shephers, Pomeranians plus many more!
In accordance with our matting policy, and conditions within these terms, our team members will not be held liable or responsible for irritation abrasion, patchiness or hair loss due to any pre-existing skin condition, or as a result of the process of grooming, de-matting, thinning, stripping, shaving, or any other mishap caused by non-disclosure of the dog’s medical condition or behaviour.
While we work in a way to minimise all risks – there is always the possibility that an accident could occur. Grooming equipment is sharp and not all dogs stand extremely still for circa 2hrs plus!
In the unlikely event of injury or illness , our team are prepared and we have canine first aid trained staff who can provide emergency first aid (for the purpose of saving life or relieving pain or suffering). In most cases, these are easily treatable with first aid on site. However, should the accident require veterinary attention we will seek this immediately and endeavour to contact yourself. In these instances we are fully insured and will always put your furiends health and wellbeing first.
Issues/Concerns post Grooming Appointment
Arrived home and not quite happy with a groom or service you’ve received.
While we accept that if you’re a new customer with us, it can take time to get to know your likes and also how your furiends coat moves/sits plus their own temperament. However, if you are genuinely not happy with your groom, then we ask that you contact us within 48hrs to find a way to resolve.
A groom may not always be 100% perfect for lots of different reasons including your own furiends temperament or matting BUT we’d rather we have the opportunity to discuss this with you and rectify if possible.
Respecting our Team
It can be all too easy to forget that we are also individuals with our own needs and lives that may or not have lots going on too.
Dog Grooming is a both an emotionally and physically demanding job and I’m confident that at all times, our team works to the best of our ability with your furiends needs first. Quite often this is to the detriment of our own needs (for lunch, breaks, time off) and our families too. It’s a natural reaction for us to put them first above ourselves so we do need to be clear about our own boundaries to protect ourselves from injury and sickness.
So in the same way that you ask us to treat both you and your furiend with care, respect and dignity. We also ask that you treat ourselves with that same care, respect and dignity.
Frustrated that you can’t’ get us by phone that very moment – well we are likely to be fully focussed on grooming a furiend. Would you like us to stop and cause them more stress by answering your call?
Messaging us out of hours and upset we don’t respond right away? If I’m grooming your furiend tomorrow – would you prefer me to be refreshed and energised or over tired and for them not to have my full focus?
Can’t get booked in for over a month? Well we could all work even more hours, but would you like your furiend to be groomed by an over tired groomer at the end of 10hr day with sharp scissors? And put us all at risk of higher levels of sickenss which may impact your own appointment in the future?
The full team love working with your furiends but will draw a line about providing a service to you no matter what the cost is, which sometimes feels like it’s what you are asking. Yes your furiend is more than important to us and you but a mutual respect that we are always doing the best job to the best of our ability is more than appreciated – even if the answer isn’t always one that you like.
For absolute clarity, in addition, any aggression, anger, verbal or physical abuse will not be tolerated and we reserve the right to refuse to accept appointments ongoing.
Use of Photography
We love to share photos and videos across our social media accounts. The more photos we have of our furiends the better, right?
However, in accordance with our Minimising Dog Theft Policy, we will ensure no dog tag details are visible on photos/videos plus we do not share videos or photos will your furiend remains in our care.
If you’d prefer for us not to share any photography/video – please ensure you contact us separately so that we can update your records.
At Millie’s we believe that CCTV plays a legitimate role in helping to maintain a safe and secure environment for all our staff, customers, and potential customers, employees of its partners and suppliers and contractors relating to their Personal Data, are recognised and respected.
Images recorded by CCTV are Personal Data and as such must be processed in accordance with data protection laws. We are committed to complying with our legal obligations to appropriately handle and protect Personal Data and ensure that the legal rights of staff, customers, and potential customers, employees of its partners and suppliers and contractors relating to their Personal Data, are recognised and respected.
As such we have a dedicated CCTV policy intended to enable staff, staff, customers, and potential customers, employees of its partners and suppliers and contractors to understand how Millie’s uses CCTV, those departments responsible for CCTV use, the rights individuals may have in relation to CCTV, who has access to CCTV images and how individuals can raise any queries or concerns they may have.
Hold Harmless Agreement
By using our services, you agree to hold Millie’s Pet Services, it’s owners and employees harmless from any damage, loss or claim airing from any condition of the undersigned pet, either known or unknown to us. It is further understood and agreed the terms of this agreement can change at any time, without notice, and will overwrite all prior signed contracts or releases. It is further understood this clause applies to all pets groomed.
I consent to all of the above and confirm that I am the legal/owner guardian of the furiend named.