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How To Choose The Right Groomer For Your Dog

For many dog owners, finding the perfect groomer is like finding the right hairdresser. How do you know who qualifies as a good groomer?

Did you know there are NO regulations for grooming in ANY of the 50 states?  This is a shocking fact! How can one be trusted to groom your beloved family members and not have anything to prove they know what they are doing or that they have your pet’s best interests in mind.

How To Choose The Right Groomer For Your Dog

bernese mountain dogIn this day and age where anyone and everyone can call themselves a groomer,  we’ve formulated a guide to help you when researching the right groomer for your canine baby.

Dog Groomer Qualifications

Doesn’t it seem like grooming dogs would be an easy thing to do? A snip here, a snip there.

There is art and skill to be a groomer and if your groomer hasn’t gone to school and learned the necessary skills required for this career, you may end up with a shaved dog or better yet your Golden Retriever could come home with a Poodle cut!

There are currently only three organizations in the United States that certify pet groomers for competency and skill

Groomers may be members of these organizations, or they may be certified members.

If they are certified, this means that they have undergone rigorous voluntary testing, both written and practical, in order to earn their certifications. The highest level of certification available is the Master Groomer certification.

Registered members must adhere to a code of conduct and ethics. The groomer is choosing to “license” themselves even though it is currently not necessary to be licensed in the United States.

These organizations offer accreditation in four of the seven groups of dogs.

  • Sporting
  • Non-sporting
  • Short-legged and long-legged Terriers
  • Master groomer exam.

The certification exam includes performing full grooming on a (pure breed) dog to breed standard and passing a written exam for that particular group.

To become a master certified groomer, all four certifications for the above-mentioned groups need to be completed, along with completing a written exam. 

Exams are only offered a few times a year and space is limited and competitive.

A membership to a national grooming organization assures you the groomer is in contact with a group providing information about and access to continuing education, workshops, and certification opportunities.

What To Ask A Dog Groomer You’re Considering to Hire?

National Dog Groomers Association of America Logo

We encourage you to ask the groomer you are interested in hiring as many questions about their experience as possible. To make things easier for you, here are just a few questions we suggest that you ask no matter what:

  • Where did they go to school?
  • How long have they been grooming?
  • Are they a member of any national grooming organization?
  • Is the groomer certified?
  • Do they specialize in any breeds?
  • What is their experience with grooming your dog’s breed?

What to Look for in a Grooming Facility

White Maltese with tongue out on dog groomer tableIt’s important that a grooming facility be professional, inviting when you enter the premises, bright, calm, not too noisy, and most importantly… CLEAN!

We are not talking about just tidiness, if you walk into the door and you’re blasted with chemical smells, pungent aromas of dirty dogs or worse, urine and feces, it’s probably time to leave.

This is a place you want your pet to feel happy about coming to on a regular basis and as their dog parent, you want to feel comfortable leaving them there alone for a few hours at a time.

 

Things To Look For At A Grooming Facility:

  • Whether or not your dog will be placed in a safe pet condo or cage system during their stay and not shared with other dogs;
  • A place and protocol for bathroom breaks for your pet;
  • How long will your dog need to be in a crate or cage;
  •  What kind of drying system do they use (Traditional, Stand, Cage, or High Velocity) and will your dog be left alone in it for any period of time?

Don’t be afraid to ask your groomer these questions, or any other questions you may have. If they seem reluctant to answer you, keep looking!

Dog groomers are like any other profession out there. You will likely encounter good ones and bad ones. It’s important to make your dog’s groomer visits as stress-free as possible and that starts with the right groomer and facility.

What other services can dog groomers offer?

Most grooming facilities offer similar services and we’ve put together a list of the common options.  Ask your potential groomer what they offer and what they would do for your dog. 

  • Skin-Appropriate Shampoo
  • Coat-Specific Conditioner
  • Ear Cleaning
  • Teeth Brushing
  • Nail Clipping and/or buffing
  • Paw Pad Trim if applicable
  • Sanitary Trim if applicable
  • Face Trim
  • De-Matting
  • Breed Standard Haircut
  • Flea & Tick removal

What’s the difference between a dog spa and a mobile groomer?

A dog spa is normally a higher-end dog groomer and a brick and mortar where you bring your dog. Mobile groomers are self-contained in a customized van or truck that arrives at your door to take care of your pet’s grooming needs. Most of today’s busy pet owners prefer mobile grooming.

The convenience for you and the exclusive attention for your pet make it desirable to use a mobile dog grooming service. Mobile grooming trucks come furnished with electricity for the dryer, table, clippers, A/C, vacuum, lights and more. A hot water heater ensures the perfect bath temperature and a therapeutic bathing system helps clean your pets.

Are you in the market for a place to groom your pup? We suggest always doing your due diligence and thoroughly researching the groomer you’d like to have work on your pets!

Check out our list of best Dog Groomers in Miami!

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