Dog Grooming

Chocolate Brown Labrador

Dog Grooming is important for the health and wellbeing of your dog. A good dog groomer removes excess hair from the dogs coat as well as taking dirt out and, when necessary, clipping your dog. This is a specialist job which needs experience, skill and a love for dogs.

How to choose the best local dog groomer

When you are choosing the best local dog groomer, there are a number of things that you should do:

  • Speak to your vet about the best dog groomers near you. They will have good local knowledge about the reputation of dog groomers in your region. You should also speak to friends and family about recommendations that they can give. Another way of finding good recommendations is to ask on your Facebook feed.
  • Always make sure that you meet the dog groomer before they actually start working on your dog. You will get an impression very quickly about whether you have a positive vibe for them and whether they will care for your dog properly. It will become apparent very quickly whether they get on with your dog and vice versa. It is really important that the dog grooming is positive so it may be worth finding out whether the dog groomer uses any reward-based training method to help make the time more comfortable for your dog.
  • Dog groomers should all know about issues like safety procedures, health and hygiene practices, handling pesticides and cleaning materials, the anatomy of a dog and how to handle a dog. A discussion with the dog groomer beforehand will give you a clearer idea as to their knowledge in these areas.
  • You should also look at the facilities that your dog will be kept in while in the care of the dog groomer. Are they clean? Are they secure? Is this a place that you feel comfortable leaving your dog?
  • A good dog groomer will ask for proof of vaccinations before taking your dog because this is an important way that they can stop the spread of contagious diseases. Were you asked about this?
  • Find out how many staff the dog groomers have per animal? You should make sure that there are enough people to look after the needs of all of the animals that the dog groomer is responsible for. Some dog groomers run an appointment only service and this would indicate that each dog is given the correct amount of time and that the job is done professionally. It might mean that fewer dogs will be groomed at any one time and this also has the advantage of ensuring that your dog is not surrounded by other dogs that he or she doesn’t know. Some dogs would not mind this, but others would not be so comfortable.
  • Check that the dog groomer has insurance cover for any emergencies that may take place.
  • Make sure that you are clear about the price and what it will cover at the start. A cheap quote might sound like a bargain at first, but is it reflective of the quality of the service that is being provided. Does the price include brushing teeth? Does it include emptying anal sacs (if required)?

Choosing a dog groomer -Equipment and Products

Make sure you’re satisfied that any of the grooming equipment being used is well looked after and regularly serviced. When you have a look around the establishment you will get an idea about how well run it is and you can ask about what any equipment is used for and what its purpose is.

Clipper blades can sometimes cause irritation and cuts on your dog, but if they have been cleaned correctly and are used properly, then an experienced dog groomer will not cause any problems.

The RSPCA has raised some concerns about the safety of drying equipment for dogs, particularly drying boxes. If these are set at too high a temperature, they can cause suffering and distress particularly if the dog cannot control it own body temperature. Make sure that your dog groomer does not use drying boxes and gives the dog the opportunity to dry naturally.

Dog Groomer Qualifications

There is no legal requirement for dog groomers to hold any qualifications, but it is recommended that you use those who do. The most recognised qualification route for dog groomers in the UK is the city and Guilds qualification. Reputable dog groomers will show you their certificates if requested.

It is also worthwhile using a dog groomer who belongs to the British Isles Groomers Association because they will be able to keep up with trends on safety, the latest health issues and other dog grooming support.