Grooming your dog is a huge deal. At least, it is for me. Then again, I got “Hello, NSA!” as my result for our “Are You An Overprotective Pup Parent” quiz, so, ya’ know…
Not all groomers are created equal. Researching Yelp reviews, CIA level background checks and talking to fellow dog owners is all well and good, but nothing compares to a personal chat with the groomer.
We’ve put together 11 questions that every pawrent should ask a potential, or current, groomer.
1. What is your experience level and do you have a certifications?
A dog groomer who is new and doesn’t have many certifications may be better at grooming than a more seasoned pro. Still, experience and certifications give an indication of how someone will handle your pup’s spa session.
2. Do you have experience grooming my dog’s breed?
There are a lot of factors that go into grooming pups. Breed is one of them. Some breeds have different types of coats than others. That not only relates to fur, but also to whether or not your pup has a single coat or a double coat.
Then there’s the issue of haircuts. Is the groomer familiar with the standard haircut for your dog’s breed? You want your pup’s beard to be so perfect that it makes hipsters cry, right?
3. What do you do if my dog gets scared?
This relates to point number 2. Some breeds are known to be difficult during a grooming session. Fear and, consequently, aggression can happen to any dog. A groomer should know how to deal with that issue before it gets out of hand.
4. Will my pup be in a crate? If so, can I see the space?
It’s likely that your dog will be in a crate if your groomer does a high volume of business. It helps to keep everyone safe. If this is the case with your groomer, look around and make sure the crates are of adequate size. They should clean not only appear clean, but there also shouldn’t be any lingering odors.
5. What do you do if my dog has to pee?
Groomers have varying policies on potty time. Some groomers don’t take pups out on breaks. These dogs are usually crated and the groomer cleans the crates if necessary. Other groomers regularly take pups outside.
6. What’s the usual amount of time my dog will be waiting for his grooming?
These times may vary. It’s all about knowing how long your pup (and you!) can handle being separated.
7. Is someone always watching the animals? If not, how frequently do you check on them?
No brainer here. Adequate supervision is a must.
8. Can I watch the grooming process?
Don’t be alarmed if a groomer says no to this. Some pups can be distracted by their owners or other humans. This can cause a problem if your groomer is trimming hair or nails. Some places groom animals in glass enclosures so that pawrents can observe spa time, but that setup isn’t possible for every groomer.
9. What types of dryers do you use?
There are two types of cage dryers: heated dryers and dryers that recirculate air. The second is by far the safer of the two. Heated dryers can cause heat stroke, especially in smaller breeds.
10. What type of shampoo do you use? Can I bring in my own?
This question may not be relevant for everyone. If your dog has allergies, though, you’ll want to know these answers.
11. What does the grooming package include?
You need to read the fine print to make sure you’re getting a great price on services. Basic packages vary from groomer to groomer. Some include the whole shebang from nail clipping to butt cleaning. Others only include a wash, a dry and a trim.
You’ll also want to make sure the package doesn’t include services you don’t need. My Shiba doesn’t need haircuts. My groomer lets me swap out that service for a good teeth brushing.
One final point: Trust yourself and your dog. If your dog is all NOPE! And you’re not feeling the vibes either, then you might want to take your business elsewhere.