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How to Choose a Great Dog Groomer

Tips for picking a dog groomer.

Some dogs need routine grooming every six to eight weeks to keep their skin and ears healthy and their coats trimmed and un-matted. Other dogs need an occasional bath and nail trim that you don't want to do at home. Either way, when it's time for your dog to see a professional groomer, you will want to feel comfortable that he is safe and will get a good grooming.

Ask People You Know Which Groomer They Use

When you first start to compile a list of possible dog groomers, it can really help to ask people for referrals. Find out who your friends, neighbors, and family use. Ask the staff at your veterinary clinic which groomers they've seen and heard good things about.

Once you have a short list, call around and ask about prices and hours of operation to further narrow down what will work within your budget and time constraints. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the groomers that remain on your list after your initial phone call. Then, you can schedule a tour and interview with two or three facilities.

Visit the Grooming Facility with Your Dog to Meet, Tour, and Interview

Ask whether you can take your dog in to meet the groomer briefly and tour the facility. This serves the triple purposes of introducing your dog to the new person and place, seeing how the groomer interacts with your dog, and getting a feel for whether the facility appears professional.

Some specific things to look for and ask include:

  • Is there good lighting in the grooming area?
  • Does everything look clean and organized?
  • Is there a calm or chaotic atmosphere?
  • Do any dogs that are present appear calm or anxious?
  • Are the cages big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down stretched out?
  • Is there proper monitoring of dogs being blow dried to ensure they don't overheat?
  • Does the grooming facility require that dogs are up-to-date on vaccinations, including kennel cough?

You should also ask about any certifications the groomer has and find out his or her experience level. If your dog has any specific behavior traits or medical conditions that may require special consideration by the groomer, bring them up and ask how they would handle them.

Regardless of which groomer you ultimately choose for your dog, you can help make the procedure go more smoothly by preparing for it a little. Learn more here: "How to Help Your Dog Get a Better Grooming."

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