Tips to Find a Dog Groomer

Dog GroomerAlmost every dog owner needs to use the services of a dog groomer at some point. Choosing a dog groomer can be easy, but it’s important for a dog owner to do some research before leaving their dog in the care of a dog grooming service they aren’t familiar with or used previously.

Make sure your dog groomer is qualified to groom your dog, and you can use the tips below to find a professional dog groomer that will be able to give your dog a great experience:

1) Training and Certification – Similar to your hair dresser, a dog groomer must have some training and/or certification to be a professional dog groomer. Find out where your dog groomer was trained and make sure the certification is up to date and valid. If your dog is having it’s fur/hair cut, you’ll want to be sure your groomer knows the appropriate type of haircut to give.┬áIf you want your dog’s haircut to be up to AKC Standards, make sure your groomer knows what he or she is doing!

It’s not unheard of to contact the school or training facility to ensure that the dog groomer did graduate as stated.

2) References – After speaking with potential dog groomers, ask them to provide the names and phone numbers of other former and current clients. You may also wish to ask for a “look book” or other photo book that has pictures of haircuts that have been given to clients by the groomer. You will want to call the references and get specific answers about a groomers’ service. Don’t think that because you were given names of people that it’s good enough!

3) Insurance/License – Most professional dog groomers should have an insurance policy in case something happens to your dog while under their care. Find out if the dog groomer has insurance and is bonded. Some cities and towns have ordinances that require dog groomers and dog grooming companies to be licensed with the city or municipality. If applicable, make sure your groomer is up to date.

4) Special Circumstances – If your dog has any special circumstances, aggression issues, or anxiety, ask if the dog groomer has ever worked with another dog with similar issues. If not, make sure the groomer is qualified to handle your dog.

5) Rates – Depending on where you live and the services that will be performed by your dog groomer, the rates my vary. In addition, if your groomer is coming to your home rather than you going to the grooming shop, the cost might be more for the convenience.

Call around to make sure you are paying a fair price for the services that are being given. Some dog groomers charge for various services, while others have a rate for all services. For instance, some groomers will include a haircut in the grooming special, and if your dog doesn’t need a haircut, you might be over paying.

6) Personal Interaction – Once you believe you have a good match for your needs and the needs of your dog, it’s a good idea to meet with a potential dog groomer to get to know him or her more personality. Be sure to bring your dog along for the meeting so you can make sure it’s a good match for your dog and your groomer.

7) Better Business Bureau / Yelp / CitySearch – Use websites like the BBB, CitySearch, and Yelp to see ratings given by other dog owners. Make sure there aren’t any issues that seem to stand out to you and could be bad signs. This isn’t an exact science since many people don’t leave ratings, but it can give you an idea of the quality of work provided by a grooming service or dog spa.

Photo: Flickr