Sometimes, it is just easier to get a professional person to do the job for you. Not only can it actually save you money in the long run, but it can also save you – and your dog – from embarrassment if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Finding a good groomer can be challenging, as not all groomers are properly qualified to bring out the best in your dog’s coat.
When to use a pro
If you know and understand your dog’s coat well and know how to groom it yourself, that’s great. But if you don’t, then it is good idea to rather use a professional groomer, especially if your dog has a long or dense coat. Some coats shouldn’t be shaved, and others should only be hand trimmed.
Another reason to use a professional groomer is if you don’t have the time or patience to properly groom your dog. You don’t want to rush through the grooming session, or get upset if it doesn’t go well. Your dog will sense if you’re not calm and collected, and may then behave differently.
If nail cutting isn’t your forte, or if you struggle with the thought of a wet dog or any of the grooming procedures, then rather take your dog to a professional grooming salon.
Tips for choosing a pro
Not all groomers are as great as they want us to believe they are. Unfortunately, there are supposedly professional groomers who have ruined dogs’ coats simply because they didn’t know any better. So, therefore, it is essential that you research groomers properly before you book your dog in. Remember, you will be trusting these people with your dog – you want to know that he will be safe and happy with them. Here are a few tips on how to find a professional groomer:
- Visit the facility
Once you’ve asked around and received good references, take some time out of your busy schedule to visit the salon without your dog. You should get a good feeling about the salon as you enter. It should be clean and organised, and the dogs should seem content to be there. Expect the dogs to happily ‘chat’ away and not be too afraid to make a sound.
- Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask the manager a few questions. If it’s a reputable and professional salon, they will be happy to answer your questions. Keep in mind that they might be busy – rather return at a quieter time, if need be.
- What to ask
You want to know who will be grooming your dog. Also ask the following questions:
- What the person’s experience is with your dog’s type of coat.
- Number of years’ experience in the industry.
- What kind of training the groomer has had.
- What kind of preventative tick and flea treatment experience the person has.
- Waiting area
Make sure that you can get to the waiting area where the other dogs will be and specifically look at how safe the area is. What happens if one of the crates opens accidently? Will your dog be safe, or could he escape out of the holding area? Does the holding area have crates, and are they clean?
- First aid
Ask them if they have a first aid kit in case of an incident, and also ask them if there is a person on site who would be able to give your dog basic first aid treatment. It doesn’t need to be a veterinarian, but should at least be a person who would know what to do, as accidents happen sometimes.
- Emergency situation
You also want to know what would happen in the case of an emergency, like a natural disaster or a fire. Ask them what their plans of action are, and what would happen to the dogs in the holding area if a fire broke out.
- Hidden fees
Make sure that, when you get a quote, it contains all the elements of their service. Normally, they will charge a set amount, but you can’t assume anything. Ask them if there are any hidden costs that are not included in the fee, like nail trimming or tick and flea treatments.
- Registered salon
Ask if the grooming salon is registered with the National Pet Groomers Association of South Africa. This will give you more peace of mind, as a registered member will likely be more professional.
It is your right as a dog owner to choose a salon that is professional, that will treat both you and your dog with respect, and that will cater to your dog’s personal needs.