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How to Pick a Dog Groomer

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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You have recently adopted an adorable dog, but now his hair is growing out of control. Brushing and shampooing at home is not working. You need the help of a professional groomer. But how do you go about finding one?

The first thing to do is contact is your veterinarian. Often, veterinarians are familiar with area groomers and have some they recommend. Some veterinarians provide grooming services at their facility.

If your veterinarian can't recommend a groomer, consider asking friends or neighbors. If you spot a beautifully coiffed dog, stop his owner and ask who groomed the dog. If the same grooming salon is mentioned by several people, that may be the one you want to try.

If all else fails, get out the yellow pages and look under dog grooming or pet grooming. There should be several to choose from. You may need a groomer with flexible hours or one who has advanced training in show type hairstyles, and these qualifications should be listed there.

Your first visit

Make an appointment to talk to the groomer first. Ask questions about his/her experience and training. Find out whether he/she attended grooming school or learned on-the job; if he/she is certified (some states require certification, others don't); and how he/she would handle a frightened, scared or aggressive pet. If you feel uncomfortable at all, consider finding another groomer.

Look around the shop. Take note of what kinds of supplies they have and what type of restraint. Is ointment placed in the dogs eyes to prevent shampoo from getting in the eyes during baths? Is there someone there to monitor the pets while they are drying? Does the groomer work alone or with assistants?

Be prepared to answer some questions yourself. A good groomer will ask what type of dog you have, any previous grooming experiences, any quirks or fears your dog may have.

Good groomers are very particular about how you want your pet groomed. They will ask you what style of trim you want. You should realize that grooming is not just cutting the hair. Certain breeds have particular styles of grooming. Think about the show poodle. That dog is not born with that hairstyle; a trained groomer created that masterpiece.

Groomers are professionals that take great pride in their work, but occasionally you and the groomer might not click. In those situations, find a different groomer. Most cities have several to choose from.

Once you find a groomer you feel comfortable with, it is time to hand over your precious companion. Most groomers ask that you do not wait for your pet. The pet will pick up on your anxiety and make the experience traumatic. It is best to drop him off dirty and pick him up clipped, shampooed and ready to hit the town.

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