Fear Free, Force Free

Grooming

Patrick’s Pet Care is the only fear free certified grooming salon in Washington, DC

What is fear free grooming?
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The Fear Free Experience

  • Relaxed and spa-like
  • Fun and comfortable
  • Certified fear free groomers
  • Staff trained to recognize and avoid stress
  • Rest, potty time, and treats included
  • Watch it all on HD webcam or Facetime
  • No forced restraints
  • No harsh chemicals
  • No hot or burning equipment
  • Guest love and trust their groomer
Program Details
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Services

  • Hypo-allergenic bubble baths
  • Nail trimming
  • Brushing, dematting, and deshedding
  • Teeth brushing and ear cleaning
  • Haircuts and styling to breed standard
  • External gland expression
  • Transportation available
  • Disabled dog grooming
  • Hand stripping
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What makes us special

Patrick’s Pet Care is the only fear free certified grooming salon in Washington, DC

The Fear Free Groomer Certification Program enables us to use Fear Free concepts to ensure that the grooming experience is as enjoyable as possible for every pet, every time. We take our time to meet the individual in front of us where she is to teach our guests to love the grooming table, clippers, the bathtub, the blow dryer, grooming shears, the groomer’s loop, and more.

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Live HD Webcams

Watch the whole process

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Rest, Treats, and Potty Time Included

We go at their pace to avoid stress

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Transportation &
Curbside P/U

We can save you time
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Certified Fear Free Groomers

Our guests trust us, and we respect them

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Digital Report Card & Health Report

We'll check them over and flag anything we find

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Disabled Dog Accommodation

We’re the only salon in DC that can accommodate most disabled dogs. Book directly with Patrick

What’s the difference?

Traditional Dog Grooming

vs.

Fear Free Grooming

1 Person : 1 Dog Staff Attention Usually 2 People : 1 Dog
Not Fear Free Certified Staff Certification Fear Free Certified
May use extreme heat and/or unattended cage dryers Equipment Used No cage dryers
Standard Restraints Not needed
? Treats Fresh grilled chicken
Rushed Timing At the Dog's pace
? Rest, Water, Bathroom Breaks Of Course
"Your dog did great!" Customer Communication Detailed Reports & Videos, Facetime too, if you'd like
Must be dragged inside The Dog's Behavior Pulls to come inside, tail wagging
? Results Exceeds Expectations
Expensive Price Worth every penny
Worth a "Perfect" haircut? A Positive Experience

What’s the difference?

Traditional Dog Grooming vs. Fear Free Grooming

Staff Attention:

1 Person : 1 Dog vs. Usually 2 People : 1 Dog

Staff Certification:

Not Fear Free Certified vs. Fear Free Certified

Equipment Used:

May use extreme heat and/or unattended cage dryers vs. No cage dryers

Restraints:

Standard vs. Not needed

Treats:

? vs. Fresh grilled chicken

Timing:

Rushed vs. At the Dog's pace

Rest, Water, Bathroom Breaks:

? vs. Of course

Customer Communication:

“Your dog did great!” vs. Detailed Reports & Videos, Facetime too, if you’d like

Dog Behavior:

Must be dragged inside vs. Pulls to come inside, tail wagging

Results:

? vs. Exceeds Expectations

Price:

Expensive vs. Worth every penny

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Ready to Start?

New Customers

Basic Requirements for Dog Grooming
  • Completed New Customer Intake Form
  • Grooming Assessment at our Facility
  • Vaccinations (Puppies <20 weeks): 1st round of Distemper, Parvovirus, Bordatella
  • Vaccinations (Dogs >20 weeks): Rabies, DHPP / DAPP, Bordatella
  • Age: 12 weeks – 12 years
  • Weight: 5-90 lbs
Pricing
Sign Up
FAQ's
Virtual Q&A
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Monthly Grooming Packages

If you sign up to visit every month you’ll receive the following discounts:

  • 10% off baths and nail trims
  • 15% off partial grooms and touch ups
  • 20% off full grooms

You also receive priority scheduling of your appointments to maximize convenience and access to our pick up and drop off service, which is reserved exclusively for monthly customers. 

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Meet the Founder

About Patrick

Patrick founded Patrick's Pet Care in March 2012 as a dog walking company in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. His values for operating a pet care business are based on a genuine love of animals, a commitment to do the right thing, and a personal approach to meeting the needs of all the animals and people who depend on Patrick's Pet Care.

Patrick’s journey to start a fear free, force free grooming practice began in 2017 when he recognized the demand for grooming services and sought more education about how it all works. “How hard could it be?,” he thought. He soon found out, it’s much harder than it seems. While enrolled in his first grooming school he recognized that the completely unregulated grooming industry was dominated by force and efficiency-based practices that he would never willingly subject his own dog to. In particular, he was horrified to learn that many groomers employ a practice called “learned helplessness” to force animals to comply with painful and frightening techniques in order to get a “perfect” haircut, fast. Basically, by teaching the dog that it has no hope of escaping, it reluctantly submits to frightening processes that often cause pain in the name of speed. No wonder so many dogs are afraid of the grooming process, he realized. He also recognized that most groomers are not deliberately bad, neglectful, or abusive people, they just don’t know how to communicate with the dogs and have found through trial and error that their fear and control based methods work under pressure, which they do. 

Rather than perpetuating these aversive methods, Patrick sought another way. A way that allowed him to get the same (or better) results, without fear and force. Before going any further in grooming education, he enrolled in two world-renowned force free, fear free dog training academies to learn how to communicate with dogs and teach them that the grooming process does not have to be scary or painful and can actually be fun. In one of the academy lessons on husbandry training (which is what zoos employ to enable exotic animals like elephants and whales to consent to medical treatment) he watched a hyena willingly open its mouth and offer its leg for a blood draw without force at the Denver Zoo. You can watch that video here. It was in that moment he realized that the same techniques could be applied to dog grooming. 

After becoming a certified force free dog trainer, Patrick completed another, less aversive, dog grooming program and then created his own, unique least invasive, minimally aversive (LIMA) dog grooming program that he has since begun teaching to others. It takes more time up front, but that time is a priceless investment in creating a safe, compassionate, positive, and ultimately efficient grooming experience for everyone involved. 

Fundamentally, Patrick aims to create thriving relationships between people and their canine companions, using science and consent based methods without fear, pain or force. Patrick is a member of the Pet Professional Guild, a certified force free dog trainer, certified fear free dog groomer, and a Certified Professional Animal Care Operator (CPACO).

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