Barks 5th Avenue in Houston Review

Barks 5th Avenue is supposed to be one of the best doggy centers in Houston; it has doggy daycare, grooming, boarding, training, and they even sell healthy dog food, but I was sorely disappointed with their grooming. I waited longer than I should have to take Euri, my English Cocker Spaniel, in for his grooming so by the time his appointment rolled around, he was a mess. Actually just the area around his head (where he gets shaved) was too long but he looked horrible – sorry Euri.

The first problem was that the directions on MapQuest were incorrect, and apparently I’m not the first customer to complain about this. Barks 5th Avenue has since updated their web site with an exact address and correct map, but unfortunately it’s a bit too late for me. I wound up getting lost and driving 90 minutes which was stressful for both Euri and me. Fortunately when I called, one of the groomers knew the area well and was able to guide me to Barks 5th Avenue – despite my not being near them. Thank goodness for cell phones, but I don’t condone using them while driving.

When I had made Euri’s appointment I told the receptionist I wanted an express groom (for $10 extra), which meant Euri would not wait in a crate all day and he would have a specific timeslot when the groomer would work on just him. However, when I got there they had no record of Euri being marked down as an express groom; luckily they had the time to groom Euri right then and there. I asked to speak to the groomer so I could explain what I wanted done. She came out, said she understood everything, and that was that.

I was told it would take two hours and they’d call me if he was finished earlier. I arrived two hours later and Euri was not done. I waited and waited, and was told it would be another five to ten minutes, but more time went by. Finally, another hour went by and I was getting impatient. I mean how long does it take to bathe a dog, trim his nails, and shave his head and part of his ears?

Finally the owner (who was engaged in a conversation with a potential customer) told the woman behind the desk that I had been waiting long enough and to get my dog. Thank you! Unfortunately when Euri came out, he looked like he had been butchered – poor Euri – and it turned out the person I gave the instructions to didn’t even groom him.

Euri’s head and neck were shaved so closely that I could actually see the blade marks. Then I noticed his whiskers were shaved off – what kind of person does that to a dog? To a spaniel no less whose life is sniffing. Then I saw they shaved the fur off of his butt. I specifically said I wanted the long fur trimmed just a bit, not shaved. The groomer said she was just going by the notes since I didn’t speak to her directly. Ugh!

The owner said she would take a whopping $5 off of the price but I told her I had already paid, so she said she’d take $5 off of my next grooming appointment. Is she for real? As if I’d ever return there. When I got in the car, I was in near tears thinking about how painful the experience must have been for Euri. The only good thing was the fact that they only charged $53, and that included the $10 surcharge for the express grooming. For those of you with dogs who are regularly groomed this might seem like a high price, but remember Euri was not kept in a crate all day and this is the city. Everything is more expensive in the city.

I will say that Barks 5th Avenue was very clean, and the large dogs in daycare seemed happy. The large dogs have a nice area in which to play and they have access to the outside; the small dogs however, are stuck in a small room. Both daycare areas have glass windows so you can view the dogs’ activity. At least I was entertained while I waited.

In addition to grooming and daycare, Barks 5th Avenue also provides training and boarding. They are located at 10620 FM 1960 West, Houston, TX 77060. The phone number for Barks 5th Avenue is 281-970-2284, and their web site is:

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