Choosing a dog groomer
Let’s brush up on dog groomers
We know that you like to keep your pooch in tip-top condition. However, grooming your dog at home is no mean feat, so you might need the help of a seasoned professional.
Bathing, brushing and overall care of your dog’s appearance can become quite a chore – for both of you. However, regular grooming is a must, not only for your dog’s appearance, but their health too.
Even if you’re happy with your current home routine, you might want to consider visiting a professional dog groomer. Think of it as a special treat for you and your pet – it’s also a great way to get advice on your current routine.
The grooming process is also an ideal time to check on your dog’s health. It gives you a chance to check for any lumps and bumps on the skin or other abnormalities. A professional dog groomer can act as a fresh pair of eyes on your pet and they can offer a second opinion.
Most of us love our dogs like a child – albeit a rather hairy one. This means that leaving them with a stranger can be quite daunting, so you need to trust the groomer you choose. We’re here with some advice on how to pick the right dog groomer for you and your pet.
Decide if you need to visit a dog groomer
Many pet owners feel comfortable brushing and bathing their dog themselves. It helps to create a bond, particularly if it’s carried out regularly from their puppy years.
However, your pet should probably also see an experienced professional from time to time.
- Do you have time to groom your pet regularly?
- Have you got the space and correct tools for the job?
- Do you know what to look for to check your dog’s health?
- Does your dog’s fur become heavily or easily matted?
- Do you need a specific shampoo?
- Does your dog need their nails clipping? Check out our handy video below on nail clipping to see if you can do it yourself, or need a dog groomer to help
What to consider when choosing a dog groomer
If you do decide to go to a professional dog groomer, make sure you think about all your options. Just like any product or service, explore a variety of groomers and shop around for value.
Always consider reputation. Look online at customer reviews and speak to other pet owners about their experience of local dog groomers. Trusted groomers will be shouting from the rooftops with satisfied customer reviews.
Visit the salon in person to meet the dog groomer. This will give your pet the chance to become familiar with the new surroundings if you opt for them.
What questions should you ask the dog groomer?
Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions about the groomer, their experience and how they work. Here are our top six questions to ask before your pooch takes the plunge:
- Who will do the grooming – are there other staff?
- Does the groomer keep thorough records?
- Is the salon clean and tidy?
- Are pets kept safely separated while they wait?
- How long will the grooming take?
- If your dog can be a handful, are they comfortable working with difficult-to-handle dogs?
One of the most important things to do is to get a fixed price from the dog groomer. Different groomers will charge different amounts depending on the work that needs doing. By visiting a range of groomers and asking for a fixed rate, you should be able to establish a fair price.
A good groomer will certainly have plenty of questions about you and your pet. They will want to know as much as possible about your dog so that they can do the best job possible.
Prepare for your first visit to the dog groomer
Once you’ve decided on the right dog groomer, you can get your pooch ready for the big day. For the health and safety of both dog and groomer, you’ll need to make sure all vaccinations are up to date.
Your dog is likely to be nervous on their first few visits, as it’s a new experience. This is perfectly normal, but you can do a few things to ease the process.
You can brush your dog at home more frequently in the days leading up to their salon visit. You should also consider walking your dog near the salon before you first visit, you could even pass it on your daily walk if it is close enough. This will help them to become more familiar with the area and smells.
Make sure the dog groomer knows everything they need to know about your pet and their needs. Talk about their temperament, likes and dislikes and any health issues they have.
When in doubt, call the vet
If you have concerns about your dog’s health, check with your vet to make sure that it’s safe to visit the groomer – if you’ve found a lump on the skin, for instance, get this checked by your vet and also make your dog groomer aware of it.
Decide whether you’ll stay with your pet or leave them in the hands of the dog groomer. If you plan to leave, keep your goodbyes short. Visiting the same dog groomer regularly will as a result see your pooch become more trusting and comfortable. This makes the whole process less stressful for everyone.
This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.