It seems there are more options than ever when it comes to finding a dog groomer!
From your big box pet stores, to mom and pop shops, right along with mobile and home based salons.
The options seem endless!
Finding the right people to leave our four legged loved ones with can often be a less than enjoyable experience.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 questions to ask when making the choice!
Once you’ve found a dog groomer that not only gives your pet a style you love but also fully meets the list of criteria below you’d best be holding on to them!
Book your dog’s visits well in advance to make sure they are available as needed. These gems are highly sought after and harder to get in with. Some may even have waiting lists for new clients.
If this is the case- GET ON THE LIST!
We also advise on leaving them a tip of appreciation if you are happy with their services. They appreciate the recognition!
1. Is it a clean and safe environment?
Sanitation and safety are nonnegotiable in a grooming salon. Bacteria, bugs and disease are easily transferable between dogs and should be taken seriously. Knowing your dogs are in a safe environment is peace of mind for both them and you.
2. Are they properly insured?
Don’t be afraid to ask! Insurance, insurance, insurance- we can’t stress this enough. Is this salon properly insured and do they have protocol in case of emergency?
3. Do they have any certifications or formal training?
Grooming is an unregulated industry which basically means anybody can pick up scissors or clippers and call themselves a groomer. This is scary! Make sure that your groomer has formal training or certification from a recognized institution.
4. What brand and types of products will they be using on my dog?
Know your products! Ask to see labels and brands used for products that will be entering your dogs’ bodies through their skin. Human products and dish soaps are NOT the proper blends to be using on your dogs and will interfere with the natural PH levels of their skin!
*We also recommend staying away from harsh chemicals and pesticides.
5. Will I meet my dog’s pet groomer personally for a consultation?
Having an initial consult with the person who will be physically with your dog is key. Having this time to go over style requests, aches and pains or behaviors your dog has will help ensure their visit is as comfortable as possible. This consult will also give you some time to get a sense of yours and your dogs’ comfort level with this person.
6. Do they work alone?
This one is controversial! We believe that working alone is both dangerous for your dog and the groomer. This goes back to question number one- safety! Does this groomer have more than one dog in their care at a time? If so what is the emergency plan for both your dog and others in their care? What if the groomer is injured? How will they get help if required?
7. Is there a double door system in the facility to ensure my dog doesn’t escape?
A double door system leaves little or no chance for a quick escape. We love these systems!
8. Are they familiar with my dogs breed characteristics and typical behaviors?
Having a dog groomer with this knowledge is key. Do they know your dog? If your groomer is familiar with huskies say, they will know that it is common for them to howl throughout their visit.
A beautiful budding relationship begins!
We also highly suggest you ask to review any client agreements and policies they may have available. These agreements will typically outline matting, cancellation, late policy and vaccination protocols.
Being familiar with these agreements in advance leaves no chance for hidden fees or charges, along with any other unexpected surprises during your visit.
Some dogs require many more regular visits to the groomers than others. Having a strong relationship with your dog groomer is just one of the many steps it takes to having happy healthy pets.
Keep in mind that they are in close contact with your dogs from head to tail to toes. They see the skin we often don’t as they bath and dry our dogs. This is a great opportunity for a detailed examination of your dog’s skin.
They should be sharing any lumps and bumps or anything abnormal they may find so you can monitor or follow up with your veterinarian.
The most important thing to take away is not be afraid to ask questions!
Our dogs have become intricate members of our families and we always want what’s best for them.
Doing a little pre-work before making the decision can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between you, your dog and their groomer!
We’d love to hear some of the great experiences your pets have had with their groomers. Please share in the comment section below!
Photo credit: iStock.com