Dog grooming is a growing business; with a constant need for more groomers in the industry, there is quite a bit of incentive for anyone with a passion for animals and style to pick up a pair of scissors and make a career out of their passion. But with new faces in the dog grooming industry every day, how do you find a groomer you can trust? There are many factors at play when choosing the right groomer for your dog; if you’ve never had a professional dog groomer before, or perhaps need to choose a new one for the first time in a long time, it can be a struggle to figure out what’s important and what’s not. Here are some steps you can take when trying to decide which groomer is right for you and your dog.
Firstly, check out other work that groomer has already done. It’s ideal if you know someone who’s dog has been groomed by that groomer before, but even if you don’t, most groomers will proudly show off previous cuts somewhere, either on their own website or various social media profiles. Take a look at their previous cuts, and especially note the appearance of any dogs that happen to be the same breed as yours; not all breeds are groomed the same, so additional information specific to your dog is very welcome.
Next, you may wish to check their credentials. In the US, dog grooming is regulated at the state level, if it’s regulated in your area at all, and most states do not require any sort of grooming-specific license to operate. However, there are a number of nationally recognized dog grooming certifications that prove groomers are qualified in the basics of handling and grooming dogs. While not having such a certification shouldn’t immediately disqualify a prospective candidate, it may help your piece of mind to know the person handling your pet has been independently verified as being qualified in the essentials of their craft. Beyond certifications, it may be wise to check with the Better Business Bureau if any complaints have been lodged against the groomer you are considering; it pays to be diligent now rather than later.
Finally, you will want to speak with the groomer before your first appointment. Many groomers can be on a tight schedule, so you may need to be patient for this. A face to face meeting is preferred; not only is it a lot easier to get a sense of someone who is in front of you, this can double as an opportunity to scout your potential groomer’s work environment. If they are a mobile groomer, you may be able to get a look inside their van. Ask them questions specific to your dog; if they have any medical conditions or special needs, make sure the groomer can accommodate them. If you still feel the groomer is a good fit after this, it’s time to take on a first appointment.
After your dog has been groomed by your new groomer, take stock of their work. You should be able to tell fairly quickly if the cut is to your tastes, but also check to make sure anything else included in your grooming package, such as nail trimmings, have been performed as well. Also pay attention to how your dog behaves afterwards. You know your dog better than anyone else and how they behave around other people; some dogs will always be skittish around new people, while others love everyone they meet. If you notice large changes in your dog’s behavior after every grooming, that may be an indication that the groomer isn’t the right fit for you and your dog. If it seems like the foreign environment of a grooming salon is the problem, then consider trying mobile grooming for an experience closer to your dog’s home.
Dog grooming isn’t a one size fits all profession; there are a wide range of skills and styles across the industry, and the intangible connection between your dog and groomer is important as well. It pays to consider your options when selecting a new groomer for your dog; after all, this person will be handling your furry friend on at least a semi-regular basis from now on. If you put in some effort to make sure the groomer you choose is the right fit for your dog, the results will speak for themselves whenever you see your dog looking well groomed and healthy.