While some basic grooming procedures can be performed at home, eventually most pet parents will take their dog or cat to a professional groomer. Choosing the right groomer is essential to make sure your pet is comfortable and gets the best care possible.
Acclimate Your Pet to Grooming
To make your pet more comfortable at the groomer’s, begin grooming your pet from an early age at home. Introduce her gradually to the use of brushes, combs, and other grooming tools. Start small and build up to longer, more thorough grooming. Handle her paws gently but frequently so she gets used to it. If grooming is a normal part of life for your pet, she’ll be more cooperative when a stranger grooms her. If your pet isn’t receptive to professional grooming, let a trainer or animal behavior specialist work with her before attempting another grooming appointment.
Ask for Recommendations
Perhaps the best way to choose a groomer is to get recommendations from reliable sources. Ask friends and family in your area where they take their pets and whether they’re happy with the services. Your veterinarian, dog trainer or the staff at your local boarding facility can also be good sources for recommendations.
Research Recommended Pet Spas and Groomers
Once you have a few possible locations in mind, do some preliminary research. Check reviews online. Call the businesses and inquire about services, prices (which vary depending on your pet’s breed, size, coat matting, etc.), hours of operation, and anything else you need to know. Make sure the groomer requires proof of vaccinations and keeps medical records of the animals they work with. Once you’ve narrowed your search, plan a visit to those locations.
Visit the Grooming Facilities you’re Considering
The final determination about where to have your cat or dog groomed should follow an inspection of the facility. Any reputable location will be happy to show you around. During your tour, make sure the place looks and smells clean. Is it well lit and obviously well maintained? Are the grooming tables sturdy?
Watch how groomers and their assistants handle and interact with the animals. Are they patient and gentle? Do the people and animals seem calm, or does the environment seem stressed? Look to see if cats and dogs are kept apart, and make sure they are held in large enough cages. Confirm that the animals are closely observed during blow-drying, as burns can occur during this procedure when staff is inattentive.