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How to Find the Best Groomer for Your Furry Companion

If you can’t fit your growing dog into your tub anymore or you just lack the expertise to give them a proper grooming treatment, it’s time to start searching for a groomer for your pup. However, soon you’ll find out that finding the right groomer can be quite complicated.

I once had a mobile groomer come to the house to groom my Mini- Schnauzer dog Einstein.  They ripped the hair out of his ears leaving bloody wounds in the tender inner ear flaps!  He was severely traumatized as was I.  He refused to let me touch his head or ears for months afterward, and it took a dedicated desensitizing training approach to help him release the trauma. It also took a long time to heal his ears.

There have been many incidents in the news where dogs have been seriously injured and have even died at the groomers!  Don’t let that happen to your dog by doing your due diligence beforehand.

You want your pet to be safe, stress-free and receive a good pampering session like a spa day for doggies!  Finding a groomer that can provide you with all that isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. Here’s a little guide that will help you make the right choice.

Ask your family and friends

One of the best ways to find a good groomer is to ask your family and friends with pets. If all of their pets came back clean and happy, chances are yours will too. You can also surf the internet and go through blogs, forums and websites on dog grooming. There you can find many reviews and experiences from different dog owners. Your vet also probably knows a good and reliable groomer. If your vet trusts them, you should too.

Check out the facility

Once you choose a potential groomer, make sure to take your pet for a tour of their facility before you make any appointments. This way, you’ll be able to see how the groomer interacts with pets, whether they leave pets unattained while on the grooming table or in the tub, and chat with other pet owners there.

Also, your pet will get to sniff out the place and get familiar with smells and noises. Don’t forget to introduce your pet and yourself to the staff. This will help your dog during your actual appointment.

Additionally, check out the hygiene conditions in the facility and see if they sanitize their equipment.

Ask for their credentials

Some countries don’t require that groomers go through formal schooling and receive certification. It’s enough to go through the apprenticeship and get enough training.

However, since a certificate program teaches groomers safety, bathing procedures, different tactics for handling the animals, as well as noticing skin disorders and various other health issues, finding a groomer with formal education is your best choice. So, don’t forget to ask your groomer about their credentials and certification. If they have any formal documents, this means your pup will probably be in safe hands.

Go over the costs

If the price of the grooming session is important to you, then you must go over the costs beforehand. The costs usually depend on the breed and size of your dog, as well as your special requests. The grooming of a small dog with short hair will be the cheapest, while grooming costs for a show poodle or a Newfoundland will be several times higher.  Any good facility that provides excellent dog grooming services has a list of rates and reliable staff to explain everything to you.

Just be sure to ask and agree to what services you would like provided for your pet beforehand so there aren’t any misunderstandings later.

Ask questions

Make sure to check their policy in the case of an accident. Ensure your groomer will be honest with you and let you know about any occurrences while you were away. It is relatively normal for some minor accidents like cuts, scrapes or burns to occur and can happen anywhere, even with the biggest grooming professionals. This may not mean the groomer is not experienced or isn’t careful.  What you want to know is their policies in case of accidents and how often such things tend to occur.

Trust your instincts

Trust your instincts. If there’s anything that tells you to find another groomer, make sure to listen to your gut and continue your search. Usually, you and your dog will recognize any problematic situations even subconsciously and not make a mistake.

Talk to your dog

Take the time to talk to your dog about their impressions of the place and the people.  If your dog doesn’t feel safe or comfortable there, then keep looking for another groomer.  If your dog feels okay giving them a try, and they’ve answered your questions properly, then go for it.  Tell your dog what will happen, why it’s important and what you hope they’ll experience from the grooming.

Afterward when you pick up your dog, ask them how it went.  If they are not happy with their experience, then trust them and keep looking for another groomer.  Ultimately, your dog knows things you can’t possibly know.  Listen to them and honor their viewpoint.

If you’ve done your research, went to inspect the place and asked plenty of questions, talked to your dog about it, your dog will get the best bath and haircut in town and come back to you clean and happy all ready to find something stinky to roll in later.

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