If you are a responsible dog owner, then you know Fido needs to be bathed and have his hair and/or nails trimmed on occasion. Some doggie parents take care of these needs themselves while others prefer to let a professional do it. If you opt to let someone else do the dirty work, use these tips for choosing a dog groomer.
Ask your dog-owning friends about their experiences with local dog grooming facilities. Also ask your veterinarian, breeder, trainer and staff at a local pet store for recommendations. You’ll be dropping your beloved pet off for most of day, under normal circumstances, so you want to ensure your pet is well cared for in your absence, so ask around for opinions and experiences.
Check the BBB
There is not a government agency that regulates pet groomers, which makes the BBB your only official line to checking out groomers. Call the BBB to discover if any complaints have been lodged against a particular groomer or facility. Some groomers are registered or certified by a professional association or school, but many are just dog lovers who have hung out their own shingle to make a living (nothing wrong with that if they treat the dogs well).
Call, Then Visit
After you’ve narrowed down the search, make a call to each groomer on your short list to inquire about services offered, prices and hours of operation. Consider the location also when making calls to narrow down your search even further.
Next comes paying the facilities on the revised short list a visit. Open the door and let your nose dictate if you’ll proceed any further. The facility should smell and look clean. It should also be well lit with adequate size cages and separate holding areas for cats (if they are groomed there). Evaluate the staff, they should be knowledgeable and able to answer your questions, handle pets gently and monitor pets frequently during the blow drying procedure to prevent them from overheating.
A groomer should also keep complete pet records, including your basic information plus emergency contact info, medical, vaccination and grooming visits.
Before Taking Fido
Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all shots and try to keep him calm. Groomers are not licensed to give sedatives, so if your pooch is an extreme nervous Nellie, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian for sedation and grooming.
Inform the staff of all health issues and unusual behaviors that might impede the process, then make your good-bye short and sweet, knowing you’ve done your best to choose a great dog groomer.