Classy Canines FAQ

Why don’t you service my area?
To spend more time grooming and less time driving, I have limited my service area to primarily Springfield, Burke and Kingstowne. This also allows me to provide the best service to my clients.

Do you have a weight limit?
Yes, I groom dogs up to 50 lbs.

Do you groom cats?
I get asked this one a lot. No I don’t. I find my talents and disposition better suited to concentrating on dogs.

Is the water warm that you bathe the dogs in?
Yes. A propane furnace built into the van keeps the water at a nice comfortable temperature.

Do you have to plug in at my house or use my water?
No! The Classy Canines Mobile Grooming van is completely self-contained. I use a generator for power, but if the generator ever fails I do have the capability to plug in to finish the groom. The van has a 50-gallon fresh water supply, enough capacity for my grooming.

About the water: Do you reuse the water from other dogs when bathing my dog?
No. Every dog gets bathed in clean, fresh water, and I properly dispose of the grey water at the end of the day.

Does it get hot/cold in the van?
The salon area of the van is climate-controlled: heat in the winter, A/C in the summer. Both your pet and I are comfortable at all times.

Will you be grooming my dog in my house?
No need. The entire groom will take place inside the Classy Canines Mobile Grooming Van.

Why do you give an hour window for your arrival time?
I believe a one-hour window is much more manageable than the half-day window the cable company or the electrician asks you to schedule. Working with traffic and animals, timing can be a little unpredictable.  Because I mostly groom the same dogs all the time, I typically know how long each will take and can time it so I generally arrive in the middle of that hour window. Sometimes my day goes exceptionally smooth and I run a little early, other times I hit a snag and find myself running late. I can call or text a heads-up and an ETA when I am actually on my way.

Do I have to be home when you groom my pet?
Just for the very first groom, so you and your pet are comfortable. After that, no – I will come groom your dog while you are out and about and leave you a card with your next appointment!

How do you get in?
Many of my clientele give me garage access codes, or housekeys which I label with your dog’s name and keep locked in the van. It’s important that you know your address is never written on the key – only your pet’s name – so your home security is maintained at all times.

If your dog has the run of the house while you are out, you should close the bedroom and basement doors, limiting the area where your dog can hide. While most dogs happily greet me at the door, sometimes they like to hide, often deep under large beds or behind things in the basement.  Time spent searching the house for them is time I can’t devote to their groom, and if I can’t find them to groom them, I’m obligated to charge a Missed Groom fee.

Why do you charge a fee if I am not home when you get to my house, or if I call or leave a text for you late the day before?
Like many services, I typically have a waiting list of people who would like an appointment. When I book your appointment, I have reserved that time for you. If you leave me a cancellation message overnight or are not home when I arrive at your house, I cannot work during that time. Nor can I work a waiting client into that day. I require at least a 24-hour notice for cancellations and prefer more time if you know you cannot keep your appointment. The sooner you tell me, the more options you have in rescheduling.  That said, I know life happens. If you have been a reliable client and a family emergency comes up, I will likely waive the fee. But multiple last-minute cancellations may indicate that mobile grooming may not be a good fit for your pet.

What payment methods do you accept?
Cash is always good. I also accept personal checks and have begun accepting credit cards with a 3 percent surcharge.

Why do you charge a fee to use a credit card?
To avoid charging everyone a higher fee for their grooms, I charge those who want to use a credit card the fee.

Why is mobile grooming more expensive than Pet Co or PetSmart?
That’s the Big Question I get all the time. Mobile grooming is a very personalized service. I bring a full-service grooming salon right to your driveway. While I don’t lease retail space, the van itself is equipped with state-of-the-art grooming equipment. There is also gas, insurance, maintenance, and other above-line costs. As one person, I cannot do the high-volume grooms that a salon can handle. Second, a salon typically employs lesser-skilled bathers as well as groomers. The dogs get bathed and dried in assembly-line fashion, often with a cage dryer which can be risky if not monitored, and then wait until the groomer can finish their clip.  I take care of your dog myself from beginning to end. Your pet gets to know me, and many dogs enjoy seeing me come and look forward to being pampered in the Classy Canines van. Most importantly, they are out of their homes only for about an hour, they never spend time in a cage and can see their house from the van’s window so they stay relaxed. Finally, for you, this is the ultimate convenience: Why make two round trips to a shop to drop off and pick up your dog? Classy Canines saves you time and gas. And as I mentioned, you do not even have to be home after the first groom.

Why can’t I get an appointment the same day I call?
I plan my route each day to maximize groom time and minimize drive time. I also have a roster of regular clients with which I fill most days.  I have few openings for new clients and most people tend to spend some time on a waiting list for a spot to open up. While I have many clients that have been with me since the beginning of Classy Canines back in 2004, spots do open up as people relocate, old dogs pass on or someone’s plans change and they need to reschedule an appointment. I require at least 24 hours notice, but most people let me know as soon as they know if they won’t be able to keep their appointment. Then I can call people from my waiting list and offer the slot to them.

Is the waiting list first-come first-serve?
Afraid not. I check the wait list for the person closest to the appointment cancelled or on the way to or from the area.

I don’t keep my dog on a regular grooming schedule, can you accommodate my needs?
Another frequent question! I believe dogs need to be kept on regular schedules — typically four, six, or eight weeks.  Regular grooming is essential for your dog’s health and their appearance. Many long-haired dogs can get matted and dirty, which is bad for their skin and makes them prone to ear infections and other nastiness. Nails which get too long can curl under, making walking and running difficult and painful. I can help you get started and show you what to do, but only once. Doing it again in six or 12 months is hard on your dog, on me, and my tools. That includes yearly shave-downs, which I do not do anymore.

Service Area

My service area is based in West Springfield, encompassing approximately a seven mile radius of the Rolling Rd and Old Keene Mill Rd intersection. I service the towns of Springfield, Burke, and into Kingstowne. Limited parts of Fairfax (Kings Park West) and Fairfax Station (abutting Fairfax County Parkway).

Service Map

Call to schedule your curbside grooming appointment!
703-927-4175