Choosing the right groomer for your pet is important it can mean the difference between a lifetime of happy , safe and comfortable grooming visits and ones that are scary and unsafe.
The grooming industry is unregulated, which means that anyone can be a Groomer. That is not to say that most do not have the skills or the education to do the job and do it well. As pet parents, we want to know our pet’s groomer and keep our pets safe, and comfortable for grooming. Choosing the right groomer and salon model will help us do that.
With so many choices, how do we know if Groomer is a good fit for my pet? It starts with knowing your pet and its limitations and personality.
Groomers are not all the same, just like dogs we have different comfort zones, personalities, and talents. We usually model our salons based on our talents, personalities, and areas of education.
Groomers that focus on the trim, compete, show, and sometimes breed dogs. This groomer is a good fit for a confident, well-adjusted pet. A dog that is calm, comfortable, and cooperative with the grooming process.
There are grooming salons with multiple groomers and bathers. These salons tend to be busy and may be noisy. The groomers and bathers usually focused on the “task” of grooming. This type of salon would be for a pet that is non-reactive to noise, people, and other dogs. A pet that is comfortable in a kennel (crate), cooperative with handling by strangers, and stays calm during grooming.
Groomers that have small salons working one on one with the dogs. They may have a helper or a receptionist. They are calmer and usually have fewer dogs and in general calmer. These salons are a good fit for shy dogs, dogs that are reactive to other dogs or people. Fearful or anxious dogs.
Mobile groomers would be a good fit for larger dogs and dogs that have car phobias, and pet parents that can not get their dog to a salon.
Mobile groomers come to your home and groom your dog. This is a great fit for larger dogs, dogs that have car ride phobias, and pet parents that can not get dogs to the salon. Mobile groomers usually work alone or with one other person. Your pet has their full attention during the groom.
In-home groomers are similar in that they come to your home to groom your pet, the difference is they groom in your home. The groomer brings equipment and grooms your dog in a location in your home. Baths in your tub, shower, and sink. This may be a good fit for dogs that again are homebodies, have car ride phobias or pet parents that can get to a salon.
Specialty groomers focus on a certain aspect of the dog, such as skin and coat, behavior, or certain breeds or trim styles. Such as Fear Free Groomers, Aestheticians, Groomers with training education, or groomers that have a passion for a certain breed or trim.
You know your pet better than anyone, their fears, likes, dislikes, and limitations keep this in mind when choosing the right groomer.
Make sure you and your pet feel comfortable with the groomer and ask questions before choosing the perfect groomer.
Five Questions to ask your new groomer
What Certifications and/or Credentials do you have? How long have you been grooming pets?
What safety protocols do you have in place in case of an emergency? (Injury, medical, fire, etc)
Will my pet be in a crate or kennel, or pen? Secure, and away from other dogs?
Do you require vaccines? ( If no, this is a health and safety concern)
How long will my dog be at the salon? Do you offer express grooming if my pet is not comfortable staying that long?
Visit the salon before your appointment to get a feel for the salon, or better yet visit with your dog so they are familiar with the salon before grooming day.