By Jackie Matheson
Fetch Grooming, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Grooming is an essential part to your dog’s overall health and well-being. Choosing the right groomer for your fur baby is an important decision and one that takes some time. Your research into a good groomer should include more than browsing through the yellow pages and selecting the first salon with an available appointment. Your dog’s grooming experience will leave a lasting impression on him and it should be a happy one. Here are ten things to look for when choosing a groomer that is right for you and your fur baby.
- Ask questions when doing your initial research. Call the various salons and get a sense of what they have to offer. Don’t be afraid to ask how long they have been in business. What does the salon specialize in, pet grooming or show grooming? Ask for referrals and rely on word of mouth from trusted family and friends.
- Stop in to take a tour of the salon. Transparency is important. There should be no closed doors or restricted areas. If you are not permitted to view the grooming area, this may be a red flag. It is important to be able to have a clear understanding of the grooming process and where your dog will be kept.
- Ensure that the groomer is properly educated. A good groomer is knowledgeable and should be able to answer your questions regarding skin coat condition, shedding concerns, nail health, etc.
- What is the groomers handling procedures? The groomer should be able to relieve any anxiety that the owner may have if their dog requires extra care for special circumstances such as skittish behavior, elderly restrictions, aggressive behavior or injuries.
- Are you allowed to watch during grooming? Yes, should be the answer. If you are not allowed to watch, this may be a red flag. Like children, dogs have a natural tendency to want to go to their “moms and dads” making grooming more difficult. However, if a dog or their owner has had a bad grooming experience in the past their anxiety will be high and may feel more comfortable staying for the grooming. This should always be permitted.
- Does the salon use kennel dryers or do they hand dry? When a dog is being kennel dried, it is essential that the dog is in an adequate size kennel and being closely monitored for signs of stress or overheating. Many dogs are afraid of dryers and do not do well with kennel drying. Hand drying does help reduce a dog’s stress level and allow the dog to be closely monitored for overheating.
- Is the salon clean, organized, warm and welcoming? Are the dogs kept in adequate sized kennels? Is the grooming staff professional, caring and knowledgeable? These are important factors to consider when choosing the right salon.
- What types of products is the salon using? Are they high quality products that are safe and natural without harmful chemicals? The salon you choose should be able to provide a list of ingredients and information regarding their products without hesitation.
- Review the salons pricing structure and make sure you have a clear understanding of what is included for each service. Some salons offer an all-inclusive package while others offer a basic package with al la carte services. This can become quite costly if there is any miscommunication between the salon and the customer with regards to service and price expectations.
- Listen to your initial gut feelings. Your dog may be nervous to enter any new facility however you know your dog best. If you are comfortable and have a good feeling, your dog will sense that. If you feel uneasy, chances are that your dog will too.