Frequently Asked Questions (and answers)


  • Do you have to plug into my home to power your vehicle? No!  My 2015 Ford Transit van is equipped with both a generator and an inverter to run all of my equipment, as well as my heater and air conditioner. I'm 100% self-contained and self-sufficient!

  • Will you need to hook up to my house for water or dump the used water in my driveway or street? No worries! I have a 50 gallon fresh water tank and a 50 gallon gray water tank that I fill up at home and empty at the end of the day. Since it is gray water and my products are all natural, I get to water my flower garden with the water from your dog's bath!

  • Do I need to be home when my dog is being groomed? That's the beauty of mobile grooming - no! Well, once we've met and we're on the same page as to what you would like for a haircut, THEN you don't have to be there if your schedule requires otherwise.

  • Will I have an exact grooming time? For our first consultation you will, then you will have an "ish" time! I will usually give you a 30 minute estimate of my arrival (i.e., "12ish") as I can never fully account for the traffic, weather conditions or how long the dog at my previous stop will take to be pampered. However, I WILL contact you en route to give you an updated ETA. 

  • What if I have more than one dog? The more the merrier! I will be happy to groom all of your pups, as long as I'm scheduled to do so. We can discuss what is best for the dogs - taking them separately from your house or having them hang out together in my van during the groomings.

  • How do I schedule? Just drop me a line! Before the first groom we’ll  have an in-depth phone conversation so you can tell me  about your dog and what you're looking for in grooming services in order to figure out if KAY-9 Luvs & Suds will meet your needs. I service certain towns on certain days (depending on the week) so we will need to schedule for a day when I am in your area.

  • How long does it take? Depending on your dog's coat (and condition of the coat) you can usually expect it to take 1&1/2 to 2&1/2 hours. When your dog is on a regular grooming schedule, or just getting a bath, it will be quicker. However, I do acknowledge that I take longer than most groomers! I give EVERY dog very individualized attention, and no one gives a more gentle, loving tubby than I do! I always adapt the dryer to the level that your dog can tolerate without becoming too stressed; so drying times can differ dramatically depending on the day (as well as the condition of your dog's coat). 

  • What will you need from me? Just a good sense of who your dog is, and what you're looking for in a haircut or the groom. I also will need your dog's rabies information. Oh, and given that I travel and work with running water, I MAY need to use your bathroom when I arrive or before I depart - so feel free to offer!

  • What vaccinations do you require? Glad you asked. All dogs MUST be current on their rabies vaccination. I will either need to talk to the vet directly or view the rabies paperwork.

  • Will you groom my skunked dog? Only if you are one of my regular clients with a set grooming schedule. Unfortunately KAY-9 Luvs & Suds cannot accommodate every dog. For my regulars, I understand the mayhem involved in the after hours skunking that could not only traumatize your dog, but permeate your home as well. Give me call and I will bring my self-contained van to save the day as soon as possible. There WILL be an additional charge for this emergency service, but the emergency will be taken care of!

  • What types of shampoos do you use? I primarily use Bobbi Panter Pet Products. I love that there is no salt (i.e. sodium chloride which is used for thickening) in her products which can cause drying of the skin. The products are all custom-blended with very high percentages of essential oils and made with love in the USA. I choose which shampoo to use on each dog based on the needs of their skin and coat. Additionally, I love the line of Dead Sea Spa Products from SOOS and I also use the natural fragrance-free oatmeal shampoo and conditioner from EarthBath in order to round out my products selection in order to give your dog the most personalized spa treatment available!

  • Will you use my pet's regular shampoo? Absolutely. Although I use the best products available (at no extra cost to you), I realize that you may be confident in a product that you've been using, or have a prescription shampoo from your vet.Therefore, I am more than willing to use that product, as long as it's in its original container and has not expired.

  • Do you use a cage dryer in your van? Nope - I don't own one! I use a hand-held high velocity dryer and/or a fluff dryer. I will most likely use both on your dog at some point. The high velocity dryer can be very helpful in exposing the condition of your dog's skin. It's usually while drying a dog that I uncover an embedded tick or see a rash or sensitive spot in the skin. However, some dogs are beyond frightened by the noise of the dryer, so I will use a fluff dryer (which is lower volume and velocity) on them instead.

  • What is the cost of your service? **That's hard to quote in a couple of lines on a webpage...Fees are based on the breed/size of your dog and the condition of its coat. In general the cost is categorized as follows:

    • small dog $80

    • medium dog  $100

    • large breeds $135

    • XL breeds $150

    • There are no additional charges for toothbrushing, conditioner, nail grinding etc... However, if your dog requires extensive brushing/deshedding/dematting there will be an additional charge of $15 for each 15 minute increment.  Finally, there could be an additional charge if your dog is overly nippy during the groom or requires an incredibly slow pace to get through the process.

       **Check out the "Grooming" tab for a more detailed explanation of pricing and services.

  • What goes into figuring the cost of any additional charges?  A lot! Pricing is based not only on the general amount of time it takes to complete the groom, but the utilization of skills and the physical demands placed on my body (as well as my van)! 

  • What's the difference between knots and mats? Long haired dogs tend to get knotting or matting issues. Mats will be more obvious to the eyes and usually will need to be shaved off so skin issues don't develop. Sometimes shaving off these mats can be dangerous if they are tight to the skin. I will let you know if I feel I can safely remove the mats during the groom. It should be noted that removing mats can sometimes expose skin issues that have developed as a result of the mat and the lack of circulation to the skin. Knotting can be less obvious as the knots can be very tiny. A comb needs to be able to get through the dog's hair/fur easily no matter what type of coat the dog has (just like on people). Sometimes in the grooming process this is difficult to achieve in the time allotted, depending on how the dog is kept between grooms. If your dog has knotting or matting tendencies, we will work together to develop the best strategies as to what tools to use and to develop a helpful grooming schedule.

  • What if I have a short haired dog that only requires a bath? Bath dogs are more than welcome! Bath rates are $50/hr, (an hour minimum charge) with additional half hour increments.

  • How do I pay? I accept cash, checks and credit cards, whichever is easiest for you. Afterall, this IS about convenience!

  • Do you have any discounts for "frequent flyers" etc...? Unfortunately no. However, if you refer someone to KAY-9 Luvs & Suds and they follow through with the referral, you will get a $5 THANK YOU deducted from your next groom!

  • Are you insured? Absolutely! My van, myself and my business are all fully insured. (My insurance carrier wouldn't have it any other way!)

  • What areas do you service?  I service portions of MetroWest - primarily Framingham, Natick, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley and Weston, but that can change over time depending on my customer base. I also have lots of customers in adjacent towns that still meet my 10 mile radius!

  • What if I have other questions? I'm sure you do! Feel free to email me at or give me a buzz at 774-279-2207. Please know that I do NOT answer the phone when I am grooming a dog (because that wouldn't be individualized attention)! However, I will return your call usually at the end of the day, and no later than within 48 hours.

KAY-9 Luvs & Suds LLC

Kay Helberg, Owner & Founder





I can't wait to travel to you! I work within a 10 mile radius of FRAMINGHAM, MA including: Sudbury, Weston, Wayland, Natick, Wellesley AND MORE...