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All dogs can benefit from being groomed. However, for many long coated breeds, keeping their coats in good condition is an essential part of their health care. Grooming can involve a straight forward bath and nail trim to preparing a dog by clipping and scissoring for the show ring. Whatever the needs of your particular dog, you’ll want to be confident of the skills and experience of your dog groomer. Like hairdressers, groomers will each have their own style and techniques. Levels of competence and experience will also vary from groomer to groomer too.
So how do you find a good dog groomer? Here’s some tips on finding your dog the perfect groomer:
Once you have found a groomer, you’ll want to ask a few questions. It’s important to go into a salon and meet your new groomer in person. A good groomer should take the time to talk to you about the needs of your dog. The salon should be clean and organised.
Your dog will be in the care of the groomer, so it’s important that insurance is in place in case of any accident or injury. Ask your groomer how long they have been grooming and whether they have any formal qualifications. Please note that the industry remains unregulated, meaning anybody can set up a grooming business. Many groomers may have worked for 20 years, but not have any formal qualifications. A good groomer will have studied through city & guilds and will have knowledge of canine first aid.
A good dog groomer will be in big demand, especially in the summer months, so it’s not uncommon to wait several weeks for an appointment.
Unlike your hairdresser, your groomer may work on more than one dog at a time. This is fairly standard, and a well organised salon will have suitable cages for dogs to rest during their session. A salon with many barking dogs in cages can be a stressful experience for a nervous dog. Avoid salons if dogs are tied to tables or unrestrained.
You’ll want to know whether your groomer has experience with your breed of dog. There’s over 200 different breeds of dog, so it’s unrealistic to expect a groomer to have experience on all breeds. A Bichon Frise for example, requires expert scissoring by hand, and results can look pretty dreadful from an inexperienced groomer. A good groomer will often have a portfolio with photos of their work. This also helps show what type of results you can expect on your pet.
Ask what emergency procedures are in place in the event of accident or injury to your pet. Your groomer should take your full details and also want confirmation of your dog’s boosters being up to date. Always remember to inform your groomer of any health problems your dog may have and medications he/she is on.
On your next visit to the groomers, be sure to see if your dog is happy to go to the salon. A reluctance to enter the salon could well be a sign your dog is not happy. Most dogs enjoy the pampering of grooming, but there will always be a certain number of dogs who detest the experience.
And finally once you’ve found your perfect groomer, you’ll want to ensure you maintain a harmonious and good relationship. Grooming is a physically demanding job that can be stressful. Here’s a few tips to keep your dog groomer happy.
Are you interested in a career as a dog groomer? Read our article on Working as a Dog Groomer.