Finding the right groomer to meet your pooch's needs can take your regular grooming appointments from a chore to a pleasant, enjoyable experience for all involved. The more effort you put into finding a groomer, the better your chances are of finding the best groomer for your dog.
Assess Your Dog's Needs
Your dog is an individual and you need to take all of his distinctive characteristics into account before you start the process of choosing a new groomer for him. Dogs who have special grooming needs, such as long hair or breeds that require specific styles, will need groomers who are accustomed to working with that type of fur and have the tools to style the fur appropriately. Dogs with medical concerns or who are nervous to the point where they need to be sedated before grooming need a grooming salon with connections to a veterinary clinic, so that a veterinarian can oversee any necessary medical treatment. If your dog has aggression problems, your groomer must be prepared to safely handle the potential problems that could arise. Make a list of all the things that may affect a groomer's ability to successfully groom your pooch and keep that list on hand while you are evaluating potential groomers.
Ask For Recommendations
Talk to your veterinarian, your dog-loving coworkers, your pet-owning neighbors and any other dog lovers in your life. Ask for recommendations. If the same grooming salon keeps getting recommended, or you are warned about some facilities, it will help you narrow down your options. Dog groomers do not have to be state licensed but you want to find businesses where the groomers have received some type of verifiable training or are associated with a reputable organization such as the National Dog Groomers Association of America.
Check Out Potential Groomers
Make a list of possible groomers you might want to use. Check them out online and with your local Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no major, obvious problems with them. Call each groomer and schedule an appointment to come see the facility and talk with the groomer who will be working on your dog. Evaluate each facility to make sure it is clean and that the animals are being cared for in a way that you feel is appropriate for your dog. If your dog has special needs, thoroughly discuss the issues with every potential groomer. Do not send your dog to a groomer who you do not feel 100 percent comfortable with.
Try Your Groomer
Once you've narrowed down your options, take your dog to the groomer and see how it goes. If you're having a hard time choosing between a couple of different grooming businesses, try each one of them out before you make a final decision. If you are not happy with a groomer's work, try a different groomer until you find someone who works for both you and your dog.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.