Important Questions to Ask a Dog Groomer Before Hiring Them
If you’re feeling a little anxious about finding a groomer for your puppy or dog, don’t. A lot of pet owners often feel the same way. It can usually be a difficult thing to leave your beloved doggy in the hands of a stranger, especially when they’re looking up at you with those big old puppy dog eyes of theirs.
The more confident you are about the particular dog groomer you are dealing with, the better it will be for both you and your pet. Whether you’re new to town or have newly become a dog-owner, there are a few things you can do before branching out on your own to find a dog groomer.
Always start by asking your friends and family for references. Talk to your veterinarian. You can even ask at your local pet stores, such as Pet Smart for recommendations. Some pet store chains even have groomers of their own. This is how you get started looking a groomer for your dog.
Once you’ve gotten your list of groomers in hand, you now want to not only interview the groomer, but you also want to try to see where the grooming will be done because you’ll want to check out the cleanliness of the place. Of course, you can expect hair on the floor, but it shouldn’t be more than a little untidy or cluttered.
Ask to see where your dog will be held so you can determine two things: One, how big the crate is they’ll keep your baby in while waiting to be groomed, and two, you want to see how the actual grooming area is. According to one dog groomer, this could be a concern if you can’t see this grooming area.
She says that where she grooms pets, they have a half-door to promote customer conversation and two-way mirrors so pet owners can watch the grooming process. I’m not sure if all groomers have this type of set up. She also says there shouldn’t be any kind of heated cage dryers at all. You’ll know if you get a bad feeling about a groomer. If you do, just leave. If it’s a reputable groomer, they will make you feel confident in their skills and answer all your questions.
If the place looks good, there are some questions you should ask the dog groomer before hiring them. You want to make sure that your puppy is in good hands. For one thing, you don’t want your baby to be unduly terrorized nor do you want them hurt in anyway due to ineptness on the groomer’s part. Besides how much they charge, here’s some important questions you can ask to be sure you are choosing the right groomer for your dog. Don’t be afraid to ask the groomer these questions or any others you may have. If they seem reluctant to answer, move on to the next one. The first five are more universal questions about credentials and the facility; after that, they get a bit more personal.
- How long have you been providing grooming services/when did you start grooming/what is your experience level?
This is one of the most important questions you should ask. You certainly don’t want someone with no experience handling your beloved dog. If the groomer works for a chain or franchise, the store has more than likely already checked the groomer’s credentials to ensure they’ve been properly trained.
- Where did you learn to be a dog groomer?
If the groomer is in private practice, you are not in the wrong for asking where they learned the trade. If you have any doubts, you should contact the school or program to verify that the groomer attended their institution.
- What are your credentials? (Or special training or certificates?)
In addition to there being dog grooming training courses, there’s also certificate programs that a pet groomer can take, organizations they can be a part of, and awards they may have won. Any of these would go a long way in boosting your confidence in a groomer’s abilities.
- When applicable: do you have a city license and/or insurance?
Some cities and counties require professional dog groomers to be licensed and/or bonded. Check with the local authorities to find out what the ordinances are. Two organizations you might want to groomer to be associated with, it either the National Dog Groomers Association of America. Or the International Professional Groomers, Inc. After all, you don’t want your doggy going to an unlicensed groomer when you wouldn’t want to go to an unlicensed hair stylist yourself. Right?
- Is your facility regularly inspected?
If not, time to go. If so, find out how they scored. You don’t want a C- groomer taking care of your puppy, do you? My suggestion is not to accept anything lower than a B, but that is a personal decision.
- Do you allow potential customer walk-throughs?
If they balk on this, something is wrong. Most dog groomers shouldn’t have a problem with you looking around, seeing where the dogs are held, and seeing where they are groomed.
- Will my puppy be kept in a crate? Can I see the space?
For your own peace of mind, ask to see where your baby will be kept while waiting to be groomed.
- Do you have any experience grooming my breed of dog?
Of course you want to know if they have groomed your type of doggy before. You want someone with experience with your breed, especially if they tend to get nervous or aggressive.
- What will you do if my dog gets scared?
Just in case, you want to make sure the groomer can handle your pup if he becomes scared and acts out in fear. Some breeds can be more difficult to groom than others. Additionally, fear, and the resulting aggression, can happen in any dog. You need to know the groomer is capable.
- Is someone always watching the dogs?
If not, ask how often they are checked on. You’d prefer having your dog watched at all times, just to be safe, but a reasonable amount of time could be acceptable.
- Are the pets groomed in view of the customer/Can I watch the grooming process?
Some groomers may have it set up to where you can watch without our doggy knowing. Some may not allow you to watch. Don’t be alarmed if they won’t. Pet owners can be distracting to the dogs.
- How long does it take? What does the grooming package include?
You also may want to ask how they intend to dry your dog if you’re worried about that. Ask what type of shampoo they use. If you have an allergic puppy, you may be able to bring your own.
You may have other questions you want to ask. Don’t be afraid; go ahead and ask! It’s your dog that is being groomed. You have a right to know who’s going to be doing it and whether or not they are qualified. You wouldn’t just walk in to any hair salon off the street without asking some questions first. Don’t trust your baby to just any groomer. You’ll be glad you didn’t!