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Slapton, South Hams, Devon

01548 580 496 0780 858 3031

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Terrier in long grass


Help your dog maintain a healthy coat with regular grooming. SootyPaws offers hand stripping, seasonal de-shedding, breed specific trims and coat rescue services. The salon only uses natural PH balanced shampoos, conditioners and cleaners with no nasty additives and is fully air-conditioned to ensure a comfortable temperature for your pet whilst being groomed.

Grooming services

Every SootyPaws dog grooming includes:

An initial visual health check covering nail length, skin and coat condition, sensitive areas, injuries or scar tissue, unusual lumps, bumps or sore areas, mouth check, temperament in the salon, mobility issues, all of which need to be taken into account during the grooming process.

A hygiene clip, foot pad hair tidy, breed specific styling incorporating any client requests to help the owner manage the pets lifestyle and health, hydro bath and shampoo, hand drying and styling finish.

Comfort breaks and water for your pet are offered at regular intervals before, during and after the groom along with some treats with the owners prior permission.

Hand stripping

The salon specialises in hand stripping which is the process of carefully removing loose dead hair from wirey and silky coats by hand using fingers or a stripping knife or stone. Hand stripping is not suitable for all dogs despite their coat being the correct type and this will be discussed in full with you at your consultation. It takes 7 times longer to handstrip a dog than clipping which is why the price is more but it protects the colour and texture of your dogs outer and undercoat which if clipped will in time go soft an loose colour and texture.

Pet trims

Pet trims are adapted breed trims which ensure the comfort and maintenance of your pets coat in a home, not show, environment. All groom prices are for pet trims unless otherwise stated and owners specific requests are also taken into consideration.

Show preparation grooming

These are breed specific grooms for clients who wish to show their dogs and are prepared to invest in maintaining their dogs coat at home as necessary for the coat/breed type. Please ensure you state if you intend to show your pet to ensure the coats colour/texture is protected to meet show requirements. You may be referred to a specific local breed expert for specific show breed styling. The groom may also include a premium for the additional work and time involved in preparing and wash/drying the coat.


Excess dog hair can be a constant problem around the home, in the car and on clothes. Regular de-shedding and hydrobath bathing, especially in Spring and Autumn when the change in temperature triggers hair loss will; remove dead hair and undercoat, stimulate new hair growth, support good skin health through air circulation and dirt removal, keep your dog cool and comfortable and reduce the level of dog hairs in your home and other environments.


Like us, your pet is on its feet all day. Not only are their paws continually exposed to the elements and different surface but they are also needed for effective heat control. All grooms include fur removal from in between the paw pads to help your dogs grip when walking on smooth surfaced, to assist in temperature control and to minimise the collection of dirt, bacteria and foreign objects such as grass seeds. Nail and dew claw trims are undertaken if the nails are overgrown for your pets comfort and foot health. Please note if your dog has naturally long nail quicks, the nail can only be trimmed to as safe distance before this to avoid cutting the quick which may still leave longer nails.

Hygiene clip

To minimise the risk of the collection of germs, parasites, sore spots and tangles on bums and tums and to help your pet control its temperature more easily, your pet will receive a hygiene clip as part of the groom. (Except double coated and some hand stripped breeds). This is the careful removal of hair from around the anus and genital area to the tummy button, inside the top thigh and armpits. A very short blade is used which is designed not to catch the skin and the process is painless for your pet. In fact, they will probably feel a lot more comfortable afterwards as well as being able to keep cooler more easily.

Matt prevention and removal

‘Doodle’ coats are one of the hardest to maintenance due to the mix of poodle wool and soft coats of Spaniels, Wheatens, Golden’s etc and are very prone to matting, especially when ‘moulting’ twice year when the seasons change. It is therefore essential that from the moment you bring your cute Doodle pup home, you get them used to being brushed and combed properly (ideally daily and at least every 2 days) to prevent matts developing. Reward based grooming with treats can be helpful to get them started and you may wish to consider buying a small portable grooming table with a neck noose and placing this in the corner of a room so only 2 sides are open to help keep them safe and from falling from the table whilst you brush and comb them. Investing in the right brush and comb will pay dividends by way of time saving and avoiding de-matting grooming bills and if you brush the coat correctly with a ‘slicker’ brush from underneath the coat at skin level and then comb through with a metal comb over the entire body to keep all the hairs loose and flowing, you will have a beautiful fluffy coat and happy matt free pet.

Unfortunately though, just brushing the top coat is not enough and once the coat has started to matt, the problem can accelerate rapidly to the point where you will not be able to feel or see the matts and it is then very difficult/ impossible to brush or comb out. This is known as ‘felting’ and can be seen in the image below which is an extreme example. Here the coat looks normal from the surface but is in fact compacted and felted at skin level. At this stage there is no other option than to clip off the entire coat from underneath the matt at skin level, using a short safe blade. This is to ensure the dog is in no discomfort from pulling or tugging at the matts and is the kindest and only thing to do. With any form of matting, under the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (updated 2010) groomers must clip out matts and not try to brush out to ensure the welfare of the dog and so you may find a few missing areas of fur after your dog has been groomed which will be pointed out to you.

Some quick tips for maintaining a healthy doodle coat:
-Brush and comb properly every 1-2 days to remove debris, dirt, mud and keep the hairs separated.
-Find the right groom cycle and coat length for your dogs lifestyle.
-Try not to wash the coat in-between grooms. if this is unavoidable, brush and comb the coat first before bathing and ensure their are no matts. Use a good quality moisturising dog shampoo, rinse so the coat is squeaky clean and then ‘blot dry’ to remove the majority of water from the coat. Avoid rubbing the coat as this will create tangles Ideally allow the coat to dry naturally in a warm room and once dry, brush and comb through again to ensure all the hairs are loose.
-If you need to kennel your dog, ask if the care team can brush and comb your dogs coat every 1-2 days to help prevent matts and if in for a while it may be an idea to check if they provide an in-house grooming service to maintain the coat.

Felted 'doodle' coat example

Photo courtesy of a professional groomer sharing their work for Doodle owner support.


Your dog will be washed using the latest hydro bath technology which provides a rapid deep clean of your pets coat and skin at a pre-set, safe and constant temperature. This means there is no risk of your dog overheating or getting cold quickly, especially important with puppies and older dogs, or dogs with heart or other medical conditions. The water pressure also provides a gentle skin massage which most dogs find relaxing and the water pressure is variable so that minimal pressure can be used around the face and bottom area.


A dogs skin is very sensitive and holds a different PH balance to a humans (7-7.52 PH v’s 5.2-55 PH). All shampoos used at the salon are by leading brand, Earthbath or Esprit, PH neutral to a dogs skin and made from natural human grade products to minimise any risk of irritation from being bathed. Ears and eyes are wiped clean with natural Aloe vera based wipes.


Reiki is well known as a relaxing and natural healing treatment in humans. Dogs also benefit and respond well to Reiki, becoming deeply relaxed and often falling to sleep on the table. If your dog has been having a stressful time of late with a change in routine, illness, introduction of a new puppy or loss of other dog companion or owner in their home, Reiki will help them to relax and feel more centred. As a qualified Reiki practioner I can provide a 20-40 minute reiki session, or course of several treatments to help your dog feel more calm and relaxed.

How often should I groom my dog and why?

Dog hair growth occurs in a cyclical manner which is made up of an active growth phase ‘Anagen’, a transitional phase ‘Catogen’ and a resting involuntary stage ‘Telogen. The duration of each phase varies and in dogs there are peaks of growth in spring and autumn. However this pattern is further influenced by daylight, environmental temperature, nutrition, age, hormones, breed, stress, grooming and diet. It is therefore specific to your dog how often they need to be groomed and this can range from every 4 to 8 weeks.

To be more specific, a dog’s hair follicle which is sometimes known as the pilosebaceous unit is unusual in that it develops a number of hairs emerging from a common opening, together with the secretions from both the apocrine and sebaceous glands into the hair follicle lumen. This is known as a compound hair follicle with a single guard hair and finer secondary hair. The number of secondary hairs and guard hairs varies between breeds. Some follicles remain in ‘Anagen’ stage for long periods of time (the period when the hair forms and moves upwards (grows). This phase lasts approximately six to eight weeks but can be prolonged in longer coated breeds with dense coats.

Following ‘Anagen’ is the ‘Catagen’ phase which is when the hair growth ceases and the base of the hair follicle starts to degenerate and die. The third and final phase when there is no activity within the follicle and when old hair is shed is known as ‘Telogen’. This is where the hair follicle spends a variable length of time with a retained Telogen hair shaft. Hair in dogs is replaced in a mosaic pattern which means that over the same area of the skin there will be hair follicles at all different stages of the hair cycle at the same time.

Each hair follicle is different, individual hairs follicles can be in different stages of the hair growth cycle. Secondary hairs (the undercoat) tend to have a prolonged rest time whereas in contrast guard hairs tend to have a continuous cycle to maintain their density all year round thus having a short Telogen phase and when moulting may occur know as the ‘Exogen’ stage.

  • Free consultation
  • Six point health check
  • Relaxing Hydro bath using dog PH balanced natural ingredient shampoo
  • Safe hand drying only
  • Overgrown coat and undercoat removal
  • Ear clean (outer bulb area), excess hair removal / tidy
  • Eye clean and hair tidy
  • Hygiene trim
  • Pawdicure: Pad clip, feet trim, nails
  • Breed specific styling

Sounds good? Book now

See a full, up to date, price list for SootyPaws dog grooming services Price list

Lou is very professional, calming, quiet and totally reassuring. Isla is happy to go to Lou's salon and be left with her, she comes out clean and beautifully cut as to how we would like her and she enjoys the Reiki session at the end. I would and have recommended other dog owners to go to Sootypaws.

Liz (and Isla an English Springer Spaniel), Sherford read more

More SootyPaws testimonials

Safe, healthy, happy dogs

The right environment

Minimising stress and anxiety and keeping your pet safe is paramount during the grooming process.

To ensure this is achieved, before any grooming work is undertaken, a 30 minute consultation is held to ensure that the full details of your pets health, behaviour, past grooming history and any specific grooming requirements are clearly understood and your own and your vets contact details are noted. The consultation also allows the opportunity for your dog to visit the groom room in a relaxed way and have a couple of treats. Your dog must be fully vaccinated and in good health before they can be accepted for grooming, or have the permission of your vet that they are well enough to be groomed if they have recently had treatment and /or any guidance notes provided to ensure their correct care in the salon.

The right equipment

SootyPaws salon uses modern PAT tested grooming equipment for safe grooming, a hydrobath for deep cleansing and skin massage at a pre-set temperature, natural dog PH balanced shampoos to support sensitive skin, lavender aromatherapy to help your pet relax and low velocity dryers and ear hoodies to reduce the amount of noise your dog is exposed too when being dried.

The salon is built to meet hygiene and safety standards as set by the Pet Federation Industry and other Acts of parliament relating to operating a safe grooming salon.

The law and grooming

Covid-19: The Salon follows specific PIFA/Defra hygiene and safe pet handover protocols to ensure salon is a Covid-19 safe environment.

In addition, did you know that all grooming salons needs to comply with the following legislation: Animal Welfare Act 2006 (updated 2010), Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963, Dangerous dogs act, Protection of Animals Act, Animals Act 1971, Breeding And Sale Of Dogs Act 1999, Zoonosis Order 1989, Veterinary Medications Regulation 2009, Health and Safety and Work Act 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Personal Protection and Work Regulations (PPE), The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005 Act, COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regs (2002), Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), First Aid at Work Regulations (1991), RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences) regs 2013, Employment Legislation.

SootyPaws salon follows the strict guidelines set out in all of the above acts.

Benefits of Grooming

  • Ensures a healthy coat / coat growth
  • Brushing promotes good blood circulation and healthy skin
  • Helps control your dog’s temperature
  • Prevents painful mats and associated skin conditions
  • Reduces unpleasant odours and grease
  • Reduces shedding in the home
  • Aids with regular health checks to spot disease and other conditions early
  • Aids mobility and associated fitness
  • Helps you build a bond with your pet
  • Your pet will look and feel great

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Please get in touch

Coronavirus Disease update: Due to Lock Down and to ensure the safety of clients and a covid-19 safe environment, regrettably the salon is only open for urgent welfare grooms for existing clients. To apologise for any inconvenience caused. You are still very welcome to get in touch to register your interest for the future.

To ensure my clients dogs safety and well being, it is not possible to answer the phone when grooming. Please do leave a message, email or text as I do want to hear from you and I will get back as soon as safely possible, normally early evening time. Thank you for your understanding and patience and please stay safe and well.

Best wishes and I hope we can meet soon.

Lou x

This form collects your name, telephone number and basic details about your dog so that SootyPaws can better understand your grooming requirements before contacting you. Please check the Privacy Policy for details of how SootyPaws protects and manages your data.


Telephone: 01548 580 496
Mobile: 0780 858 3031



  1. Monday 9.30am - 1pm
  2. Tuesday 9.30am - 1pm
  3. Wednesday 9.30am - 1pm
  4. Thursday 9.30am - 1pm
  5. Friday 9.30am - 1pm
  6. Saturday Closed
  7. Sunday Closed


Prospect Hill, Slapton, TQ7 2PN

City & Guilds Qualified British Dog Groomer's Association PIF - Pef Industry Federation

Reiki 2nd degree
USUI system therapist