While most pets get the occasional bath and squirt of flea powder, some are used to the world of salon treatment. In some of London's top poodle parlours, coats are shaved, brushed and fluffed into any style, shape or colour. Teeth can be made to sparkle, bad breath erased and nails given the ultimate pet pedicure - all the better for clawing. Prices can be very reasonable and most dog parlours will pick up and deliver your pet back to you pampered, powdered and perfumed, ready to roll in the dirt and take on the postman.

Pet Mania, 49 The Broadway, London NW7 3DA. Tel: 081 906 4884. Open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm

Pet Mania offers full grooming (teeth, ears, nails, anal glands and a general health check) as well as a doggie jacuzzi, or hydrobath to massage sore joints in athritic dogs. 'Creative grooming' is also available, where dogs can have their coats brushed and plaited into various shapes and patterns (one regular customer has a red heart shaved into her poodle's coat). Dogs can also be dyed and coloured for weddings and the shop sells a wide range of specialist diamond encrusted dog collars and leads. For owners scared of losing their pets, a number on the National Tattoo Register can be tattooed into the inside of an animal's ear. Cats are groomed on the premises, as well as rabbits, hampsters and guinea pigs. Poodle puppy cut is pounds 35, a lamb clip is pounds 30, fill treatment for medium-sized dog is from pounds 12 upwards. Delousing for small animals (hamsters) is pounds 5.00, filing your budgie's beak and nails costs pounds 2.50.

Vardalu Pet Hotel, Watford Rd, Elstree, Boreham Wood, London Wd6 3BG (entrance on Elstree Rd). Tel: 081 207 3333 Open mon-Sat 10am-5pm/Sun 10am-1pm

The Vardalu will board and feed any dog for a day, a night or several months at a time. Large and medium sized dogs have covered runs and are exercised regularly. Smaller toy dogs like Pekinese and Chihuhuas are apparently intimidated by large open runs, so are housed in smaller kennels. They are also walked daily. No catery exists, but they will look after virtually any other small pet. A full grooming service is offered for boarding and non-boarding animals. A night's board starts at pounds 5.75 for small dogs and pounds 7.25 for larger animals.

Sue Simon Mobile Dog Grooming, Tel: 071 733 2215. Open Mon-Sat 9am onwards.

In her air-conditioned petmobile, (which can hold up to eight animals), Sue Simon will pick up, groom and deliver your pooch or moggie back to you. Grooming is actually done in a vet clinic, so health checks are included. A standard grooming consists of nails, teeth, glands, bathing and clipping. Sue also hand strips coats (plucking hairs out by hand). Dog and cat boarding can also be arranged. Big dogs, such as Old English Sheep Dogs, New Foundlands and St Bernard's aren't a problem. Deliveries are usually after 6pm.

Handsome Hounds, 123 Valetta Rd, Acton, London W3. PH; 081 743 5619 Open Tues-Sat 8.30am-6pm/Sat 8.30-6pm

Dogs and cats are groomed on the premises and afterwards put into a special drying cabinet which 'imitates a light summer breeze' - with the aid of a small fan. The salon does the standard grooming of nails, teeth, glands, bathing and clipping, as well as fancier techniques. This includes 'creative styling' (fancy patterns, words, names, letters combed into fur) on long and short fur dogs, as well as dying, hand stripping, and dematting long fur dogs. The shop collects and deliver animals.

The Hurlingham Pet Grooming Saloon, 66 New King's Rd, London SW6. Tel: 071-736 5380. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm.

The Hurlingham is a small, friendly dog 'saloon' where all types of dogs can get a full standard grooming. Though most large and small dogs are welcome (they don't do cats), big dogs which tend to snap and need muzzling are discouraged. Grooming includes ears, nails, clipping and bathing. Prices range from pounds 15 for a Yorkie to pounds 40 for an Old English Sheep dog.