What to expect at your pet's grooming appointment

We are often asked, “what exactly does grooming entail? How much does it cost?” An appointment with our groomer Lucy is much more than a bath! Here’s what to expect when you have your pet groomed at River Road Animal Hospital.

Booking an appointment:

Booking an appointment for grooming is easy! Call us at 518-346-2030! Our reception team can book your pet’s appointment, determine if your pet needs any vaccines, and answer any questions you may have. We typically book 4 to 7 days out. During the holiday season, expect to book an appointment a few weeks out, we do keep a waiting list for cancelations during busy times.  We do our very best to accommodate our client’s appointment needs. 

Requirements for grooming:

We require that all pets be up-to-date with our hospital’s vaccine requirements for grooming. This is to ensure that all pets at our hospital are kept as safe as possible, including your furry friend! 

Dogs:  Current Rabies, Distemper and Bordetella (Kennel cough). We require the Bordetella vaccine every six months.

Cats: Current Rabies and Distemper vaccinations.


Need vaccines?   

We are more than happy to update your cat or dog’s vaccines while they are with us. Please let us know when you make your appointment or when you're checking in that your pet will need vaccines. It is our hospital policy that some services require an exam. An estimate is available upon request at every check-in. Full payment is required at the time of pick up.

Grooming Drop Off:

Drop off hours are 7:30am – 9:00am, Monday - Friday. If you wish to speak with our groomer Lucy at drop off, please make sure you let us know when booking your appointment. We do not have a “start-to-finish” salon, meaning all of our grooms are dropped off in the morning, individually washed and dried, and groomed throughout the day.  It is very important to us that you be on time for your appointment. This allows Lucy the time to admit each patient in the morning and to discuss your pet’s needs that day. Lucy likes to take the time to get to know all of her clients and their pets. It is important to her to build a relationship with each and every pet she works with. She keeps a record for every visit for each pet with notes about the haircut, coat condition, and demeanor. Lucy will schedule a time for you to pick your pet up when they are finished, or ask you if it’s OK to call you when they are finished. If you are unable to make the pickup time given, your pet is welcome to stay with us for the day free of charge.



Our prices for grooming are based on breed, size, haircut, and condition of coat. We have a general price list based on breed, however, your grooming price could vary. Prices are before tax. We are happy to offer you a quote for grooming any time.

What’s Included:

All grooms include a bath, blow dry with warm air, ear plucking and cleaning, breed specific haircut or cut of your choice, and nail trim which includes hand filing with an emery board. Anal glands can be expressed for an additional fee. You must specify at drop off with a receptionist that you’d like that service done while your pet is here for grooming.  


Have you ever had a pony tail too tight, or your hair was bunched up and stuck together? A mat can feel the same way to your dog or cat. The constant pulling on the skin can cause sores. Dematting can be extremely painful for a pet, Darlene does her best to remove matting without pain, however, shaving matts off may be best for your pet. When it comes to matting prevention is key. We highly recommend a regular schedule to keep your pet’s skin clean and free of matting.

Pets with behavioral or medical needs:  

We are willing to work with dogs and cats that have a difficult time at the groomers.  Please share with us any concerns that you have about your pet’s health or behavior so we know ahead of time. Please let us know if your pet has issues with biting or anxiety. If your pet requires sedation or you think they may need sedation, please make Lucy and our receptionists aware. Sedation for grooming requires signed authorization with an exam and blood work. An estimate is provided for every pet requiring sedation. Full payment is required at the time of pick up. 


We accept American Express, Discover, Master Card, Visa, Care Credit, and cash. Full payment is expected at the time of service. Tips are greatly appreciated but never expected. 

River Road Animal Hospital is a full service veterinary hospital located in Niskayuna, NY. Our mission is to care for your pet with compassion and excellence. We treat dogs, cats, and small pocket pets. In addition to general medicine and surgery, our facility also offers a boarding kennel, doggie daycare, and grooming services.