Whether bath time has become a nightmare or your puppy is beginning to grow into their breed standard coat, it’s time to start shopping around for a groomer. What does one look for in a groomer? Everyone has their own preferences, but most owners can agree on a few common ideas that need to be in place before Fluffy is left alone in a salon. It isn’t required to bring the dog on the first visit; this is more for the owner to get a general feel for the place.
Most people look for a well lit establishment, well ventilated. Ask for a tour to check out the facilities. On the walk through observe the cleanliness of the grooming area. Are scissors and clippers left out where dogs can get to them? Most groomers require dogs be dropped off, finding it less stressful for the dog if the owner isn’t present for the session. Dogs usually are placed in kennels while they wait. Look for kennels that vary in size accommodating a variety of dogs.
Observe how the staff interacts with the dogs. Do they look like they enjoy what they’re doing? If the shop isn’t too busy, ask about experience, credentials and why they chose to become a groomer. If the shop is chaotic, find out when a better time would be to chat with the owner and staff. They are dedicated to keeping dogs clean and healthy; it is perfectly natural to ask how dedicated they really are.
Anyone can pick up a pair of scissors and a blow dryer and call themselves a groomer. In most areas certification is suggested but not required before a person opens a pet salon. Owners should look for and ask about a grooming certification. Someone who studied and passed their certification boards will be more knowledgeable concerning first aid, skin conditions, proper hair care and how to keep their shop up to industry standard.
Someone serious about their business will want to stay abreast of the latest news in the grooming world. There are many professional dog groomer associations available for certified groomers to join. Chapters are run by state, country and globally. Members of one or more of these associations will be able to stay on top of current trends and advances in the industry. It is better to have someone in the know. The grooming industry has grown so much in the past decade; those who aren’t up to speed with the latest techniques will be left behind.
When shopping around for the perfect groomer, one thing, above all else, will make a difference in an owner’s decision. Gut instinct. If something feels off, move on to another groomer. Grooming Nirvana will be achieved; it may take a little bit of effort to get there.
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