Grooming is an essential part of owning a dog. It contributes to how they look and feel and plays a large part in their overall health. Keeping your dog groomed will not only assist in maintaining a healthy coat but can also alert you to anything wrong with your dog that you may not notice. It’s recommended to have your dog groomed once every four to six weeks or more frequently for the higher maintenance breeds. Age isn’t usually a factor as long as they’ve had their shots, the younger you start grooming your dog, the more comfortable they’ll be with it.
How to pick a groomer
There is currently no mandatory certification to be a dog groomer, which is good and bad. It’s nice if you’re passionate about grooming dogs and want to start, but may present some challenges when searching for the right groomer. Ask your friends and family if they know of one, Yelp! Is good if you’re in a larger city too. The Better Business Bureau is always a good measure of quality.
Once you have a place in mind, run through this checklist in addition to any questions you may have.
- How do they handle the pets, are they rough with them?
- Do they sound knowledgeable
- Is there enough room, check the sizes and amount of cages
- Do they keep records
The National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) is an organization that runs workshops and certification programs for dog groomers, they also endorse quality groomers. If you find a dog groomer and are considering them, membership is a good sign. It is by no means mandatory for a dog groomer, however it does show they maintain healthy standards.
What’s in a full service groom?
- A bath/wash with shampoo specifically for dogs
- Breed specific haircut
- External Ear cleaning
- Oral check
- Nail trimming
- An anal gland check (and expression if necessary)
How to prepare your dog
Before bringing your dog to the groomer where it will meet strangers that will be handling them, it’s a good idea to get your dog used to meeting new people and being handled by them. Many groomers will require a record of vaccinations for your dog as well. Finally, make sure your dog is comfortable there, how would you like being soaked, shampooed, and scrubbed by a stranger with no mention of what’s going on.
Did your dog like it there, did they feel comfortable or seem out of place. Gauging your dog’s body language is usually the most honest feedback. Good or bad, write a review and make it easier for the next dog owner, in the end we all want happy and healthy dogs.