A Golden died recently at Petco in a drying cage after being groomed. I can only imagine how devastating it must have been for Colby’s owner. That and Mr. N’s most recent groom at a new groomer made me think about how to find a good groomer. The grooming industry is unregulated and groomers are not required to be certified. And for Mr. N, it’s the most amount of time he spends away from me so finding a good groomer is key.
Here’s what I do.
- I read Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews (if they have a Facebook presence, they’ll also usually have pictures of grooms). I ask other dog people about their groomer. I google the groomer/business owner’s name.
- Ask if they have experience grooming your breed. Yorkies and Maltese (Mr. N’s breed mix) are both very common at groomers so I don’t particularly worry about the groomer knowing how to groom them but if you have a more uncommon breed, ask or if you want a show groom.
- Ask about their grooming experience. How long have they been doing this, where did they train, and do they have any certifications? The most recent groomer Mr. N has been to is preparing to do competition grooming.
- Visit to see is their facility clean and safe? Are all the dogs cared for and supervised during the entire grooming process?
- Watch how they interact with the dogs. Groomers will never be Mr. N’s favorite people but he likes some better than others.
- Ask how do they dry the dogs? I only take Mr. N to places that will hand dry him.
- See if they ask for your vaccination records? I wouldn’t want to take Mr. N to a place full of un-vaccinated dogs.
- Ask what is their matting policy? Some shops will not demat and will shave the dogs down and some will charge for the extra time de-matting the dogs.
- Ask how do they handle aggressive dogs and shy dogs? Mr. N is very tolerant and stoic about grooming (several groomers have told me so) so I didn’t ask but some groomers will not take aggressive dogs and I’d want to know if they wanted to muzzle my dog so I could get him used to it first. And shy dogs need special handling.