One of the issues many dog owners face is how to choose a dog groomer. When it comes to choosing a dog groomer, you want someone who will treat your pet with respect, gentleness, kindness, and patience. You want someone who understands your dog’s personality, and with whom your dog feels comfortable.
Here are six tips to help you choose a dog groomer and ensure a successful grooming experience.
#1: Do You Need a Professional?
If your dog is a short hair breed, you may be able to handle her grooming.
Dogs with shorter coats tend to be easier to groom, since their hair does not lend itself to mats.
Many people have taught themselves how to groom their dogs by following the step-by-step instructions in a book like DIY Dog Grooming by Jorge Bendersky.
Becoming your pet’s personal groomer gives you a chance to bond with them by being a “hands on” owner. Brushing, combing, bathing, and cleaning their bodies, ears, eyes and teeth will give you a good idea as to their overall health.
This is also a good way to detect any skin irritations, infections, lumps, or bumps that appear which your vet can then examine further.
Of course, you will need some tools such as a comb, brush, clippers, and scissors. A professional grooming kit may pay for itself is a very short time.
#2: Ask a Friend
In many cases, referrals are the way to go. If you have friends who are pet owners, ask who they recommend.
The Humane Society of the United States suggests checking with friends, your vet, the pet supply store you frequent, or a local animal shelter for dog groomer recommendations.
You can also check out the National Dog Groomers Association of America website to find a registered or certified groomer near you.
Keep in mind that no government agency regulates or licenses groomers. You may want to check with the Better Business Bureau to see whether a facility you are considering has had any serious complaints lodged against them.
#3: Your Place or Their Place
One big consideration in choosing a dog groomer is where will the grooming take place?
One factor is cost. A mobile groomer who comes to you will probably cost more than a groomer using her own studio or the vet’s office.
Ah, but that can also be a big problem. How will your dog react to being in the vet’s office? First there is the possible stress of riding in the car. Not all dog’s enjoy the driving experience.
And then there is the stress of going into the vet’s office with all of it’s strange scents and being around other dogs.
#4: Practice at Home
Prepare your pup for a professional grooming by practicing at home.
Get your dog comfortable with being massaged, brushed, and combed so that when the day comes, both the dog groomer and your pet know what to expect.
If your pup needs medication to handle the grooming process, consider using a vet that offers grooming services.
Spayed and neutered pets tend to be calmer and handle the grooming process with greater ease.
So far you were able to choose a dog groomer that seems right for your pet.
Now it is important to communicate any special needs or concerns to your dog groomer prior to your first visit.
Inform the groomer if this is your pet’s first grooming experience.
Many dogs need to have their coats trimmed several times a year and before the weather gets too hot.
Make sure you discuss with the groomer exactly how you want your dog’s coat trimmed.
If you have an older pet or one with special needs, be sure the groomer makes a note of the details to help ensure your dog has the best possible grooming experience.
#6: Don’t Linger
If you are stressed about leaving your dog with a groomer, your pet will pick up on your emotions.
Be calm when dropping your fur baby off and don’t linger.
Some facilities have observation areas for pet owners to watch the grooming process.
If you want to stay, it may be best if your pet does not know you are nearby.