No matter the age, size, or breed, dog grooming is beneficial in many ways. Whether it’s a bath or nail trimming, it’s the regular care that contributes to your dog’s health. While some owners prefer to groom their dogs by themselves, this can be difficult because it requires knowledge, experience, and a particular set of tools. That’s why professional groomers are the best and easiest way to take care of your pet. And you won’t have to worry about doing anything wrong. However, finding and choosing the right dog groomer can be challenging, especially if you have just arrived in a new neighborhood. If you are new, you will have to do some research and explore the place to make an informed decision.
What to do When Choosing the Right Dog Groomer
Every dog requires love, proper training, attention, and care. And, taking your dog to a dog groomer is a great way to improve your pet’s overall hygiene and health. They offer services that can be difficult to complete on your own. A groomer can trim the nails, brush and detangle the dog’s coat, clean sensitive areas, and more. On top of it, experienced groomers will even warn you of any potential health issues that require your attention.
While you can complete simple care by yourself, professionals are the best option for more complex tasks.
However, choosing the right dog groomer is not always easy. So, here are some tips that should help you make the right choice:
- Find a few good dog groomers
- Check out grooming salons
- Ask the right questions
- Discuss any specific concerns
- Ask about liability insurance
- Talk to dog groomer about emergency measures
- Check if the costs are transparent
Finding the Right Dog Groomer
Before you decide who will be the best for your pet, you need to find a few options first.
The best way to find a good dog groomer is to look for recommendations. There are situations when people are unfamiliar with the area, and other people’s opinions can greatly help. For example, if you are moving to New York with your pet, you probably don’t know your neighborhood well. It will be necessary to prepare your pets for relocation and help them adjust to the new situation. One of the inevitable tasks that can help is to ask your new neighbors for advice. Other dog owners will probably have someone to recommend and will not hesitate to share valuable information.
You can go to a local park and ask other dog owners for advice.
Another way is to look for dog groomers online. Besides Googling the groomers in New York, you can check Facebook, BBB, and other social media platforms. This is a particularly useful option because you can easily find reviews and read other dog owners’ opinions and experiences. Also, you can look for dog grooming associations and check the members they recommend for your area. For example, there is a Groomer Locator on the National Dog Groomers Association of America website.
The third option is finding a vet and seeing if they can recommend a reliable dog groomer. However, bear in mind that some vets may not want to give you a direct recommendation out of professional courtesy. On the other side, they will be willing to provide you with at least some helpful information.
Check out Grooming Salons
Once you have a list of options, make sure to visit salons you find interesting. This is a necessary step because you want to take notes of the surroundings. Don’t schedule an appointment right away – just visit the salon. Any professional groomer will be happy to give you a tour. After all, you are a potential regular customer.
You need a safe and clean environment and people who will provide good care for your dog. Maybe the best option here is to also bring your dog with you. By doing this, you will directly see how your pet reacts to the salon personnel and how they interact. Besides that, you want to make sure they have the proper equipment, needed experience, and follow safety regulations.
Each salon has specific grooming equipment to take care of people’s pets.
Ask the Right Questions
Much can be obtained by observation, but you also need to ask questions. To be sure the groomer is the best choice for your dog, don’t hesitate to ask anything you want to know. Feel free to express your concerns and discuss detail. Here are some of the most common questions customers ask:
1. Ask them about their expertise
There is nothing wrong with asking the groomer how they acquired their expertise. Some people go through mentoring programs and apprenticeships before starting to work full-time. While there are pet grooming schools, hands-on experience is probably best. However, even if trainees are working in the salon, they are supervised by someone with more experience.
2. See if they have experience with your dog’s breed
Depending on the breed of your dog, you will want someone who already has experience with it. If you have a long-haired pup that requires additional attention, for example, you need to point it out and see if they are familiar with the correct technique. If they are, there will be no issues with giving your pet a good haircut.
3. Check the list of services and see if they keep records
Ask the groomer what services they provide. Modern professional groomers usually offer a plethora of grooming services. If that is the case, you will quickly notice whether they have all the necessary tools, supplies, and knowledge. In addition, check if they keep records and of what kind. Some salons don’t only have grooming records, but they also hold medical information just in case.
4. Inspect the Dog Housing options
Since your pet will spend a significant amount of time at the groomer, you should ask to see the area designated for pets while waiting for their turn. Those can be boxes, crates, or specially designed rooms under constant supervision.
Discuss any specific concerns
If you have a dog with specific needs, make sure to talk about it with a groomer. For example, if you own an injured pet that requires special attention and care. Or if your pet simply doesn’t like grooming and is exceptionally restless. Or if there is a specific hair length you want them to maintain. Also, ask your potential groomer for advice about general care between visits. While they have a great deal of experience in taking care of animals, you also need to do your share of work at home.
Some breeds have specific grooming demands.
Ask about Liability Insurance
While most people assume this, not all groomers provide liability insurance. That’s why it’s vital to ask your groomer about it. In an ideal situation, you want a salon with liability insurance. Just in case something happens while your dog is under their care. It will give you peace of mind knowing that they are responsible and reliable. And it will also spare you from expensive medical bills in case injuries, or accidents occur.
Talk with your Dog Groomer about Emergency Measures
Another option that will give you peace of mind in case something bad happens are their emergency measures. Ask a groomer what steps they utilize in case of a fire or any other disaster. Generally speaking, you want to be sure your pet is in good hands and safe, even in case of unexpected occurrences. And you want to establish contact information and procedures in case you need to pick up your dog.
Another thing in close connection with this is to ask about their first aid equipment. Check if the groomer has basic medical supplies or at least a first aid kit. Also, ask if there is someone in the salon who has training in providing first aid. Sometimes, groomers work closely with vets to cover emergencies and other specific situations.
Check if the Costs are Transparent
You need to be aware of all the costs included in grooming treatments. You don’t want to be surprised by high bills because of the wrong assumptions about the price. In general, the cost may depend on several factors, including the dog’s size, breed, type of coat, length of hair, and products included in treatments. While visiting the salon with your pet, a professional groomer should be able to provide you with transparent estimates on the spot.
Whether you are in a new city or want to change your salon, choosing the right dog groomer requires some effort. Depending on the breed, size, and type, some dogs require different attention from others. You have to be familiar with all the requirements to find the best care for your pet. While each grooming service provider should be the same in theory, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Nevertheless, with a good groomer, you will ensure quality care for your pet on a regular basis. So, do some research, ask questions, observe, and you will understand what’s best for your dog. After all, placing a bit of effort into finding the right one is very well worth it.