When it comes to grooming our dogs, it’s easy to dismiss all the red flags and just pick the easiest and most convenient groomer you know. “Oh, this one’s got availability we’ll go with that!”, “This one’s only 5 minutes away, easy!”, and “This one’s a bit cheaper ill choose them”. These are just 3 of many familiar phrases that are uttered when grooming time approaches, and only go to show how easy it is to choose a groomer for the wrong reasons. Convenience is one of the aspects when choosing grooming options, but settling can lead to disappointment. This is why we’ve drafted this guide to help you pick the best dog groomer for your puppy.
1. Experience and Training Background
Arguably the most important, but easily the most overlooked. Both the training and experience background of a groomer can vary but whether it be training or experience individually, both can determine the quality and outcome of your pets’ groom.
Some groomers gain their qualification through an apprenticeship, whereas others do it through grooming courses that will leave them a certified/professional dog groomer with a recognised qualification. These qualifications typically go from Level 1 to Level 3, with Level 3 being the highest grooming qualification you can achieve. This is really what you want to be looking for when picking your groomer. Once groomers gain their qualification, many take part in programmes and further courses to improve their skills and knowledge particularly when it comes to the latest grooming trends, because yes, that’s very much a thing!
Experience is not to be underestimated either, many groomers have a lower qualification (Level 1) with 10 years experience to go with it. Even though the most experienced is not always the best dog groomer, experience is arguably the most powerful qualification of a groomer: experience means practice and expertise, so don’t be convinced solely by qualifications.
2. Grooming Services
Much like a Hairdresser or a Barber, every grooming salon is different and the services they offer can differ depending on experience, qualifications, or simply based on what they are equipped to do. Wash, cut and blow-dry is what you can typically expect the uniform procedure to be with groomers, but there is so much more in between, so depending on you and your pet, you may be interested to know what else your dog groomer offers.
Every dog is different and therefore, no two grooms are the same. The best dog groomer will be equipped and prepared to deal with whatever your pet may need. This is important, as if these little grooming issues aren’t properly dealt with, they could become health issues in the future.
Anal Cleaning, Paw cleaning and drying, or even paw treatments are all examples of treatments that can help your pet stay in top health or prevent them from getting injured in the future, so paying attention to what your dog needs and your groomer offers is another important factor when choosing your groomer.
3. Dog Breed Experience
Although the wash, cut and blow-dry procedure seems pretty standard, the way it’s done can differ depending on the breed of your dog. There are many different dog sizes and coat-types that can affect how your groomer approaches cut and style. Some dogs are more prone to matting, others have long curly hair that needs brushed and styled a certain way, and some dog breeds require specialised grooming techniques. The best dog groomer for you must have experience with your dog breed. This is particularly important if they fall into the more complicated grooming category, especially if you want them to come out looking like the cute picture you saw on Instagram…
Don’t be scared to ask the groomer if they know the standard look for your breed, or if they are familiar with styling the coat on your dog; this will avoid any disappointment when you see your pet after grooming and will make sure the groom is carried out properly.
4. Making sure the housing is on point
This next point is relevant specifically to grooming salons, where multiple dogs may be in the salon waiting their turn. In a busy grooming salon, where dogs are housed in between pick-ups, or even before their appointment, you may be interested in how and where they are being housed. Are they being kept in a crate? Is the crate clean and sanitised? Will they be next to other pets? If so, should you be worried about your pet picking anything up? These are all things to consider when it comes to in-salon housing.
If your pet is nervous or prone to anxiety, this may be of a bigger concern to you, as putting your dog in an unknown space where they are in small crates around other pets can cause them severe stress, and nobody likes an upset pooch.
Grooming a dog is no easy task, and this is typically reflected in the price… grooming time is never cheap! Comparing pricing across different Groomers can not only ensure you are getting a fair price, but also let you know you are choosing a quality groomer. The best dog groomer won’t come cheap, but settling might be the wrong choice.
A thorough, quality and professional groom will be a time-consuming process and require your groomer to get in all of your pets’ business. Choosing your groomer based on the lowest price will often reflect in the outcome. Looking at different groomers and finding an average price will give you a good idea of what grooming your dog should cost. This is not to say that choosing the most expensive groomer or going to a groomer based entirely on cost will guarantee a good outcome but combining this with the other points in this guide, will hopefully leave you with a well-groomed pet.
In the same way, finding out this average cost will give you an idea if a groomer is overcharging. However, when doing your research, remember that a standard cost often only includes the standard groom, and if a groomer is offering add on services, or if your pet has special requirements (e.g., extreme matting or flea shampoo), this will again be reflected in the cost.
With cheap products comes a range of skin irritations that are simply not worth it, and can cause your furry friend a lot of discomfort. Asking your pet groomer what products they are using, or if they offer natural, hypoallergenic products will ensure your pet doesn’t have any issues post-groom, keeping you and your pet happy customers. The best dog groomers won’t work with products that harm a pet’s health.
With grooming time being one of the most important parts of your pets’ well-being, it is not something that should be disregarded. Inexperienced, dirty, and careless groomers can harm your pet, so choosing your groomer based on not only the factors discussed in this guide but based on the needs and requirements of your furry friend, will ensure and safe and happy groom. Using this guide will help you be sure you have picked the best groomer for your pet and can leave you with some peace of mind while your pet is off getting pampered.