Grooming Salon FAQs

frequently asked questions

What vaccinations do you require?

To maintain a safe, comfortable environment, we require all pets to be current on their rabies vaccinations and to wait at least 48 hours after any vaccinations before checking in. Proof of rabies vaccination in the form of paperwork is required. The waiting period helps to ensure your pet isn't sore at the injection site, which can cause irritability or lethargy. This waiting period also is to prevent stressing a pet who may be experiencing an unexpected allergic reaction from a vaccine/vaccination. Puppies and kittens between 8 weeks and 4 months of age (3 months in Indiana) may receive services in the salon without vaccinations. In New York City, 6-month Bordetella and DHPP with Adenovirus are also required. In Iowa, DPP with Adenovirus is required. In Connecticut, proof of town license is required. Please note: All pets must be in good health prior to receiving any grooming services.

How do I book a grooming appointment online?

At the top of the screen you will see “Click Appointment or Check Prices.” Select the dog or cat icon based on your pet. Select breed and age. Then click “Check Prices.” The Grooming Salon Menu on the right side of the screen will populate with estimated pricing for all services available for your pet. Once a service is selected, you will go to the Service log-in page to continue your booking. You’ll be prompted to sign in to your PetSmart account or sign up and provide your name, your pet’s information, and your email address to get started. You can book your favorite Pet Stylist, check availability, make appointments and sign up for text alerts.

Do I need to book an appointment in advance?

Booking an appointment for a grooming service ahead of time ensures that you and your pet are not kept waiting any longer than necessary. Weekends tend to be especially busy, so appointments are highly recommended on Saturdays and Sundays. We're happy to take walk-ins when we have availability. Please note: All cat services require specially trained associates to complete, are not available on weekends and are only available at select salons. Call your salon ahead of time to ensure a certified cat groomer is available.

How do I get the cost of my pet's grooming appointment?

Prices for base packages are based on breed, condition of coat and length of service. In order to get a price estimate before your appointment, we recommend booking your appointment online or calling your salon.

What is the Look Great Guarantee?

This is our promise to you that you'll love how your pet looks after a visit to our salon, or we'll do whatever it takes to make it right.

How long will the grooming service take?

The amount of time it takes for pet grooming varies by breed and service, but you can usually plan on it taking 3-4 hours. Express services can be arranged upon request, shortening service time. Minor services, such as nail trims, take approximately 15 minutes and no appointment is necessary (subject to salon availability). Wait time may apply. Express services are available for senior dogs and dogs who get anxious during grooming services and are required for the following breeds: French Bulldog, English Bulldog, Pugs, Boxers & Boston Terriers. Ask a grooming associate for details.

Do you kennel dry dogs?

We select the appropriate drying method for each pet based on a variety of factors including: hair type, breed, age and behavior. While we do not kennel dry any Brachiocephalic dogs or cats. For those pets we do kennel dry, we have safety procedures specific to kennel dryers that are designed to keep pets safe. We do not use kennel dryers with heating elements. All of our dryers are placed on automatic shut off timers and we often combine multiple drying techniques to minimize the drying time. If you have any questions about our policy or would like to discuss the best drying process for your dog, please be sure to speak with a pet stylist when booking your dog grooming appointment.

Will my pets be kenneled before/after the groom?

Yes, pets are cared for in our state-of-the-art kennels and water is provided at all times. We keep kennel time as minimal as possible, and there is someone on hand to check on your pet frequently. Express services are available for senior dogs and dogs who get anxious during grooming services. Breeds that require an express service (French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers & Boston Terriers) spend little to no time in a kennel. Ask a grooming associate for details.

Can I stay and watch my pet being groomed?

Yes, our Grooming Salons have a viewing area for you to comfortably watch your dog or cat getting groomed. For the safety of pets, however, we don't allow pet parents to assist with the grooming process or to stay in the grooming kennel or bathing areas.

Will my pet be sedated?

We never sedate pets, nor do we accept pets who have been sedated. If your dog or cat has been known to have a strong behavioral reaction to grooming or bathing, please advise us when making the appointment and when dropping off. If a pet is truly uncooperative or made uncomfortable by the process, we might end the session – but we will never sedate your pet.

How much training do grooming salon associates receive?

We ensure that each professional pet stylist is qualified to care for your pet. Academy-trained stylists complete over 800 hours of hands-on instruction and safety certification, working with at least 200 dogs of all breeds and sizes. Because we pride ourselves on having the highest safety standards in the industry, PetSmart requires every salon associate to be safety certified annually. Similar to the PetSmart’s stylists, PetSmart’s Stylist Apprentices complete 33 hours of hands-on instruction and safety certification, working with at least 125 dogs during their training. The Stylist Apprentice is responsible for the grooming process of dogs that do not require clipper work such as Labradors and Boxers.

How can I be sure the best services are provided?

At check-in, a safety-certified salon associate will perform a thorough Hands-On Pet Assessment to address your pet’s unique needs. During this assessment, we will check your pet’s skin, coat, ears, nails and teeth.

Can groomers provide flea and tick treatment for my dog?

PetSmart Grooming Salons proudly carry FRONTLINE® Plus. The safety of your pet is very important to us. The solution can be purchased in our store and then brought into the Grooming Salon for application, or you can purchase a Flea & Tick Package and we will provide the FRONTLINE® Plus solution for your pet. If you are looking for a more natural option, we now offer Only Natural Pet flea & tick repellant in our Grooming Salons as well! Please note: FRONTLINE® Plus is not available in NJ, NY, IN or Canada. In these areas, consult your salon for other treatment options.

Do you offer an express service for specific breeds?

We offer an express service solely for the following breeds: English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers and Boston Terriers (and any dog mixed with one of these breeds). These specific breeds are more likely to experience respiratory challenges, particularly in stressful environments, and for some dogs, this includes places like a grooming salon.

Our standard for these breeds features an uninterrupted service provided by a dedicated grooming professional, limiting the amount of time your pet will spend in the salon. When the groom is complete, your pet will be returned to you right away, so we will ask you to stay in or near the store during your pet’s appointment.

What do you look for during my pet’s check in?

At check-in a safety-certified salon associate will perform a teeth-to-tail hands-on assessment of your pet. We will closely observe pets for any combination of the following:

  • lethargy
  • excessive panting
  • excessive drooling
  • trembling or shaking
  • redness in eyes
  • resistance to entering salon or going to kennel area

If your pet is showing any two of these behaviors, we will not be able to perform the service at that time. Pet parents are welcome to stay in the store with their pet to see if the behaviors pass after 15 minutes. If not, we will gladly reschedule the appointment at a less busy time or recommend a veterinarian who can perform the service.

What should I do to prepare for my pet’s groom?

  • Understand your pet’s triggers: The salon can be a loud, noisy place and may cause stress in some pets. For example, some pets get nervous or anxious when around other pets, or when they are exposed to loud noises, such as barking. Be sure to flag any stress triggers, as well as calming techniques, with your groomer.
  • Visit the salon: Stop by the Grooming Salon several days before the appointment and introduce your pet to the groomer. This will also help them get used to the activity, smells and sounds of the salon. You can help prepare them for grooming by touching their paws during play, getting them accustomed to the groomers who will handle their paws and using common household items to acclimate them to the humming noise of hair clippers and nail grinders.
  • Health & welfare: Grooming or bathing your pet once about every four-to-six weeks, either at home or with a professional groomer, will keep your pet happy and healthy and allow them to be regularly checked for any abnormalities, such as ticks, fleas and dry patches or problems with nails, teeth, ears and eyes.

Pets who have recently been vaccinated, have active infections or have underlying health issues are at higher risk of injury from stress. Older pets, those with special challenges, pets who have recently experienced stressful life changes or injuries are at higher risk of experiencing stress or aggravating a condition during grooming. Keep in mind, stress in pets can be cumulative, meaning a series of stressful situations can affect a pet’s health and well-being. Be sure to flag any special conditions with your groomer and note all pertinent information on the provided salon card.

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