Here are some basic tips to choose a professional pet groomer.
- Ask around.Every time a dog leaves the groomer, it is a walking advertisement. Talk to your veterinarian, your kennel manager, your friends, relatives and a neighbor. If you see a dog on the street with a style you like, stop the owner and ask where the dog was groomed. People are usually very willing to talk about their pets, especially their new “do”.
Some veterinary offices have policies not to refer clients to any certain groomer or breeder. Don’t despair; ask more specific questions like “Have you treated any problems from this groomer, such as cuts or clipper abrasions? Have you had any complaints about this groomer?”
- Call the groomer you are interested in using.Ask him/her questions. Did you go to grooming school or apprentice with a professional groomer? How long have you been grooming? Do you have much experience with (insert your breed here)? Do you have a problem putting poodle feet on a cocker? (Or some other non-standard clip?) Are you a member of any professional grooming organizations or associations?
- Ask for proper certification.Everyone wants to know that the groomer has your pets’ safety in mind. Find out if your groomer is licensed. This ensures that a groomer adheres to certain guidelines.
- Be patient.Keep in mind that groomers are usually on an extremely tight schedule. Ask him/her if they would be able to call you back to answer these questions when they have ample time to talk. It’s hard to answer questions while fluff drying a dog. You should be able to develop a rapport with the potential groomer that will give you an overall impression. Hopefully it will be a good impression.
- Personal Visit. Ask your potential new groomer for a tour of the facility. It should be clean and well lit and show pride of ownership – let’s face it, if they care about the appearance of their salon they will care about the appearance and well being of your pet too!
- Records. A good grooming facility will require vaccination papers from your vet. This helps to ensure that your pet will not contract any disease or infections from other animals at the facility. Regardless of a vet-recommended groomer, you should always leave the contact number of your vet in case of an emergency.
- Trust your intuition.Just by asking around you will be able find answers to most of your questions. Using a groomer for the first time can be a disconcerting experience. If you’ve done some research by asking around and then place your trust in your groomer and then see a good result … then you can pamper yourself, too, like “Fluffy” was pampered.