Choosing a Grooming Table That’s Perfect for You

Don’t cut corners when it comes to a pet grooming table. It’s the most important piece of equipment a groomer (even a do-it-yourselfer) will own.

Choose a grooming table based on your needs. By: Akaporn Bhothisuwan

Pet groomers tend to have a lot of equipment.

They may have many types of brushes, shedding blades, combs and nail trimmers, just for starters. Often they have several sets of clippers and dozens of blades and scissors.

These items are really just the beginning of what a groomer needs to produce a happy, handsome pet with a fantastic hairstyle.

One of the most basic needs — and certainly the most important — is the table where all this grooming is performed. Whether the groomer is working on the family dog, is a handler with a string of canines, or owns a salon full of barking or meowing clients, the table is central to getting the job done.

This is why it is important that time and thought go into buying the best grooming table to get the job done (unless you’ll be making your own!).

What Will the Table Generally Be Used For?

If you’re grooming many cats (some of these long-haired guys need a lot of attention), that will mean a certain type of table.

If your main clients are from the Saint Bernard family or the Irish wolfhound, well, that’s an entirely different sort of table.

  1. Consider Size: If you’re in a salon, chances are you’ll get dogs of all shapes and sizes, and perhaps a cat or two as well. Several tables can be very useful. You’ll need one in the bathing and blow-drying area, and one for the grooming area. With a variety of pooches coming through, it’s good to have larger, sturdy tables. Accommodate the big boys and your little guys will be happy too.
  2. Take into Account the Amount of Grooming: If you’re taking care of your own dog at home, you won’t need the same kind of table you might in a salon. If your pet is large, it is smart to invest in a table that will easily work for both you and your pet, such as a hydraulic or electric grooming table. If you have a Cocker Spaniel, you may do better with a table that collapses down. Some of the collapsible (folding) tables aren’t great for large dogs because those tables can be too wobbly. But for in-home grooming with small to medium breeds, folding tables can be ideal. It’s a real advantage to be able to collapse a table back down when you’re done with it and get use out of the space again.
  3. Will You Be Traveling With the Table? If you’re showing your Pomeranian or poodle, you’ll be giving last-minute grooming before you enter the ring. You’ll need a table that goes with you. You may also be a groomer who travels to locations doing demonstrations or classes. In both of these instances, a table that can fold up for easy travel is ideal.
  4. Is It for Personal Use or a Salon? Grooming at home with just one or two pets can mean an entirely different situation from a salon with a wide variety of canines coming through. Remember that you’ll want to accommodate even the largest dogs in your salon, unless you want to limit your clientele. For this reason you should consider at least one quality hydraulic or electric table. You won’t want to move tables around a lot, so you won’t need collapsible tables. On the home-grooming front, you likely won’t have as much space devoted to grooming. In this situation, a table that is lightweight and can be collapsed and tucked away when you’re done is an excellent choice.

Consider Your Budget

You don’t want to cut corners when it comes to your table. This is the most important piece of equipment you’ll have in a salon, in your home or at a kennel. It is also integral to a safe job. For these reasons alone you want to buy the best table that you can afford.

Once you’ve decided what kind of table you want, it’s time to look at what’s out there for sale. Do everything you can to have as much in your budget as possible for your table. The more you can invest in your grooming table, the better chance you’ll have of getting the best out there and not dealing with it breaking down — or worse, being dangerous.

  1. Your fold-up tables can be purchased for anywhere from under $100 to a few hundred dollars. They are by far the cheapest on the market. This doesn’t mean they will be the best for the environment you’ll be grooming in. If it is the table you’ve chosen, then by all means start shopping for the sturdiest collapsible table you can find.
  2. Perhaps your decision has led you to the hydraulic table. These are sturdy and dependable and can be purchased for less than $200 on up to a thousand dollars. If this is what you’re looking for, you’ll have plenty of options to select from.
  3. Maybe you’re more interested in getting an electric table. You’ve decided they seem to fit what you need the best and are set on buying a professional grooming table of this caliber. There are plenty of these on the market as well, and they range from a few hundred dollars to as high as a couple of thousand.

This quick video shows an example of a hydraulic (foot pump) model:

Dog Grooming Table Recommendations

Now that you have your finances squared away and an idea of the perfect table, it’s time for the fun part: shopping. You can go to grooming expos, head out to dog shows or go online. All have their advantages and disadvantages.

Grooming Expos

Advantages: Disadvantages:
You can see the table and get a feel for its quality Salespeople can be pushy
You can talk to other groomers to find out what they like Limited selection
There are occasions where you can get big sales Lots of travel time

Dog Shows

You can see what top breeders use Very limited selection
Take advantage of sales Travel expenses
See the table May not deal with tables for salons

Online Shopping

Unlimited selection Don’t get to see the table first
Comparison shopping Difficult to seek advice
Client reviews
No travel time
Tons of pictures and descriptions

With all the tools to find the perfect grooming table for you, it’s time to get out there and start shopping! In my next article on grooming tables, I’ll give you some pointers on ways to save money.

Jet Perreault

View posts by Jet Perreault
Jet Perreault, a professional dog groomer of 18 years, graduated from Michigan State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She has spent time on the dog show circuit, working groomer trade shows, and managing grooming salons and pet shops.

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