You’re dropping off your dog at the groomer. Great!
There’s no mistaking it: Your pooch will be bathed and pampered and will look beautiful by the end of the grooming session.
But did you ever wonder how you might help make the day go a little bit smoother for both your pet and the groomer?
I’ve been a groomer for a while now, and over the years I’ve seen the good and the bad. So I’ve put together this quick list of things your groomer wishes you knew. These 10 tips are not only important for your dog’s physical and emotional well-being, but following them will make your groomer’s job a bit easier.
1. Prepare Your Dog Early
A groomer’s worst nightmare is having to cut a dog’s nails if the dog can’t stand being touched on the paws. That’s why it’s crucial to start getting your pet used to having those paws touched as early as possible.
The best time to start is when your dog is just a puppy and you don’t have to touch the paws for very long. The key is to make sure your pet is comfortable with the touch.
2. Start Grooming Early
Sometimes the grooming experience can be somewhat traumatic at first. Fortunately, puppies are much more adaptable. Bonus for starting grooming early: The fur is less likely to get matted.
Don’t fall prey to the thought that your puppy doesn’t need a haircut. Just take him for an “introductory” appointment, and everyone will be happier for it.
3. Brush Regularly
When thinking about your dog’s fur, you should compare it to your own hair. You brush your hair every day, and if you don’t it becomes knotty. The same is true of your dog’s fur. Although you don’t have to brush it daily, you should do so at least every few days to prevent knots and make the grooming experience easier.
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4. Check Feet and Ears
Keep an eye on the feet (including nails) and ears. Remember that debris can sometimes stick to these places and can be uncomfortable for pets.
5. Groom Regularly
Regular brushing is not enough to keep fur in check. If you want the coat (as well as the nails) to be truly healthy, bring your pet to the groomer regularly.
6. Keep Calm and Carry On
Your groomer would really like it if you could try to stay calm when you drop your pooch off. Remember that the dog will pick up on any of your anxiety, and that will make him scared and more likely to squirm.
Also, don’t drop in to see if your pet is finished. This will get him excited and make the job much more difficult.
7. Be Specific
Groomers work with a lot of dogs all day long, and each client wants a slightly different thing. So be as specific as possible with your groomer. If you just want the nails trimmed and the fur trimmed a little, then say so. If you want something more specific, try bringing in a picture to show the groomer.
To see a variety of different cuts, you can find examples on the internet or attend a dog show. The video below, from Petful, shows groomers hard at work at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show:
8. Listen to Your Groomer
Some people tend to forget that their groomer has gone through training. This means the groomer has a very good idea of what types of cuts will look best on which dogs. If you say you want your pup’s fur cut a certain way and your groomer suggests something else, at least consider the suggestion even if you don’t end up agreeing to it.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Wash
Some people are worried that if they wash their dog’s fur too often, it will start to dry out the skin. In reality, this is not a problem as long as you select the right shampoo. If you aren’t sure which one to go with, ask your groomer for advice. S/he will be glad to help, because frequent washing will make her job easier.
If your dog has a thick coat, it’s a good idea to ask about bathing at home so you don’t contribute to any skin trouble or matting issues.
10. Avoid Matting
Your groomer wants you to know just how serious a problem matting can be. Matted fur is uncomfortable for dogs because it pulls on their skin and can be difficult for the groomer to remove. In most cases it will need to be shaved off in small pieces.
One last note: De-matting a dog may be more dangerous than helpful, so listen to a professional groomer’s advice in this instance.
If you prefer to do the grooming yourself, these articles can help you get started: