6 Signs You May Need a New Dog Groomer
Let’s face it… our fur babies are part of our family. Many of us would do anything for them. We love them, care for them and protect them as much (and sometimes more!) than our human tribe.
We would never want to put our pups in harms way, but sometimes it could happen inadvertently. We don’t know many pups who just love the entire grooming experience (nails are the worst). But sometimes what you perceive as your pet being anxious or nervous about getting groomed could actually be them trying to tell you that it’s not the right place for them… especially if they’ve been there several times. By the third or fourth visit, your pooch should start feeling more comfortable with the environment and the people they interact with.
I have been grooming dogs for close to 10 years now and Natasha (our head groomer) even more. We want to offer these important tips to help ensure you’ve made the right grooming choice for your loved one:
1 – Attitude is Everything
Coming out of the groomer, your dog should be relaxed and comfortable… even excited to see you. It’s important that they get along with their groomer and feel like they’re in a safe environment. If your pup shows signs of stress (after grooming), it should be a huge warning sign to which you should pay attention. To clarify, not all dogs love being groomed and sometimes they may be anxious no matter what. But, you know your pet and if your instincts are telling you they’re more scared or traumatized AFTER grooming than they were before the appointment, think twice before going back.
2 – Effective Listening
Dog Grooming is a profession and like any professional service, you should expect your groomer to offer advice and expertise and attempt to provide the cut you request. For instance, if you’ve asked that they leave your dog with an inch of fur and he/she comes back shaved, that’s a problem. If for whatever reason a groomer cannot fulfill your request, it’s absolutely reasonable to expect they’ll contact you and discuss an alternative plan with you before taking action. And don’t be afraid to talk to your groomer, they appreciate feedback… if you don’t like the cut, have a discussion to help them get it right the next time (it may take a couple of visits for you and the groomer to vibe). Still not listening to your requests? It may be time to go!
3 – Technique and Knowledge
Although Dog Grooming is not a regulated industry in Texas, you want to look for a groomer who either has been schooled to effectively cut all sorts of size and breeds or one who has years of experience. Let’s face it, we want our pups to be clean and cute when they come home so don’t leave them in the hands of someone who will make your German Sheppard look like a Poodle (although, that could be cute if that’s what you want).
Also, the owner of the establishment should know how to groom dogs. This is so important. If, dog forbid, and issue arises the owner should be able to step in and help address any issues. Also, an owner who knows how to groom knows what it takes and can set expectations of quality for the salon. A non-grooming owner (from our experience) is at the whim of the groomers working for them. Without the core knowledge, they don’t understand how to manage the crew.
4 – Visible Injuries
Don’t panic here, accidents happen. It’s not uncommon to accidentally knick a pup’s delicate skin or see a scratch when they leave the groomer. It’s rare to have a perfect pup on the grooming table and our furry friends can sometimes be quite wiggly! BUT, this should not be happening every time. If your doggy has some form of injury after every visit, you need to question how skilled and attentive your groomer really is. And NEVER should they come home with evident bite marks. We strive for zero injuries in our salon… your groomer should too.
5 – Cleanliness is a Virtue
Can you spot a surface cleaner in the store/salon? You should because groomers need to sanitize the area after every appointment (tables, kennels and equipment). It’s super easy for dogs to pass parasites and viruses between them so make sure they’re in a clean environment that minimizes cross-contamination. If you smell mold or feel dampness in the building, remember your pup is breathing that in for the duration of their stay. See poop or pee on the ground or table and no one is addressing it? Grab your dog and run!
6 – Silence is Golden
Can you imagine being in a room full of crying babies for hours at a time without anyone trying to comfort them? Neither can we! If your salon has dogs out in the open and the pups are all anxious and barking and screaming, it may be time to look somewhere else. Barking CAN be a sign of excitement, but in this instance, it’s a sign of stress. That stress can bleed over to the other dogs in the salon and make everyone’s experience worse. There will always be a talker here and there, but your groomer should be doing everything they can to mitigate too much stress talking. If you have to yell over the sound of barking dogs, don’t leave your pup there… please.
When it comes to grooming and picking the right groomer for your pup, sometimes it just comes down to trusting your instincts. If you’re getting a bad vibe or think your dog is “off” in some way, listen to your inner voice and try out someone new.
Hopefully, this has helped put you at ease and given you the confidence to ensure your furry love is in good hands.
Have a tip we missed? Please leave your comment below!
Pets first, Always.