Dog grooming is an essential part of pet care. However, there are many groomers out there, and it can be hard to make the right choice. Since the professional that you pick will be interacting with your dog a lot, it’s essential to make a good choice for you and your dog’s satisfaction.
How Do You Start Your Search?
When you’re searching for a dog groomer, excellent research skills will benefit you. Ask family members and friends about who they use for their dogs. Your loved ones can not only make recommendations but can also warn you about who to avoid, as well.
Online reviews can also help give you an effective picture of what to expect, based on others’ experiences with this professional. Safety and health threats should always be taken seriously. Many review sites also allow reviewers to share pictures or videos backing up anything that they say about the dog groomers they have reviewed.
What Types of Grooming Facilities Are Available?
There are several types of dog grooming facilities that pet owners can choose from, with independent groomers being just one option. Some grooming facilities are part of a veterinary hospital or a kennel used for boarding. Others might be inside a retail pet supply facility.
The location of your dog groomer can make a difference, depending on your dog’s personality and comfort with being in a public place. Some dogs, for example, might be overly reactive in busy locations like a veterinary hospital setting or a retail location. Your chosen grooming facility should be a place that offers a calming experience.
Visit the Facility
A dog groomer who runs a professional grooming business should have no problem with a potential client visiting the facility. In fact, they should even encourage you to do so beforehand. Take note of the cleanliness and overall condition of the salon.
Finding out if the groomer will let you observe your pet’s grooming session is an excellent way to see the staff’s interaction with the animals. Think about whether you would feel comfortable leaving the dog there, as well as whether your dog will behave in this setting.
Find Out About the Services and Costs
You’ll want to know about what services, besides essential shampoos, cuts, and clips, the dog grooming professional offers. Ear cleaning, nail clipping, and mat removal should also be available. The health of a dog’s ears, nails, and coat help contribute to their overall health.
Inquiring about all the costs upfront will help spare you from unexpected fees. The type of coat the dog has, as well as their size, will largely influence the total cost. Reliable dog grooming professionals will provide quotes based on your pet’s individual needs.
Learn About the Professional’s Experience Level
If you have a dog that’s a breed with special grooming needs, you should find out if the dog groomer has experience with that particular breed. Although people in the dog grooming business learn in different ways ranging from grooming school to apprenticeships, they should have hands-on experience handling a variety of breeds.
Many pet owners choose a dog groomer with AKC or other professional certifications. Professionals with these certifications have a dedication to high safety standards. They are also likely to take part in continuing education opportunities to keep improving their skills.
Find Out About Products Used and Confinement Methods
The best dog grooming professionals will be less likely to use products with a lot of harsh chemicals. These products should be natural and gentle. You should be able to get accurate information on which products the salon uses.
Make sure you know where your dog will be when he or she is not on the grooming table. The ideal situation is a crate with comfortable padding, plenty of air circulation, and the ability to see what’s going on. A dog should never be put in a group play area, especially unsupervised.
Learn About the Safety Measures the Groomer Uses
A dog groomer should always inquire about any particular health issues that your pet has. Examples of conditions where dog grooming professionals might have to take special precautions include arthritis, allergies, and skin conditions. The groomer should be able to tell you what type of products they will use and what precautions they will take during handling.
Another thing to ask about is whether anyone at the salon knows how to administer first aid. There should also be a first aid kit stocked with items that are likely to be used for dogs.
Ask About Emergency Plans
Even though people always hope that a disaster will never arise, having a plan in place before one occurs is better for everyone. Examples of emergencies that might require planning include tornadoes, hurricanes, or winter storms. Another example of an emergency situation that a dog groomer might need to prepare for is a lockdown due to an active shooter or police situation that might restrict traffic in and out of the location.
You should find out how your dog grooming facility handles such situations, including how they go about notifying the owners during an emergency like this. Excellent communication during such a time makes a difference.
Find Out About Liability Insurance
A dog groomer is a professional who should always have liability insurance. One of the significant reasons that groomers should carry a liability policy is to compensate for any injuries that your dog sustains.
The presence of a policy is something that the dog grooming salon should always confirm. If you encounter a dog groomer who is unwilling to verify this information, you will do best to look for a different groomer.
Why All of This Matters
Selecting any professional to provide care for your dog is always a decision that requires some consideration. The groomer that you trust with your dog’s needs will be an important person that he or she must feel comfortable around. If dog grooming sessions for your dog are a positive experience, the times that you have your pet scheduled for grooming will be easier on the both of you.