While most dog and cat groomers are well-trained, responsible, and caring, there have been more and more horror stories lately about things going wrong. Unfortunately, some pets have even died as a result of a trip to a groomer.
However, grooming is essential to your dog or cat’s health, comfort, and longevity. Some pet owners can do many or even all grooming tasks themselves, but this is not the case for everyone. Also, some animals are resistant to grooming and need restraints and other professional assistance.
There’s no need to panic about the idea of sending Fido or Fluffy to a groomer, but it is important to ask some specific questions before turning your pet over to a stranger.
Get Recommendations When Possible
When possible, get recommendations from someone you already know, like, and trust. Your veterinarian is an excellent source as well as family members and friends. If you’re a member of any dog-related organizations, ask around as well.
Visit The Site In Advance
A key question to ask is, “May I see your facility?” If the answer is no and it’s not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, run.
Make sure the site is clean, uncluttered, and well-lit. Do the tables look sturdy? Are there a variety of pet-friendly products?
If something feels off, it probably is. In that case, you should politely thank the person and move on.
Get Clear On What Services Are Provided
Different groomers offer different services. Ask questions about what else they offer besides your standard bathing, brushing, nail trimming, and haircutting.
Also, get clarity about the price of each service or whether there is a package offer.
Other Important Questions
Again, your tone and mannerisms will determine whether the groomer feels they are being interrogated or properly checked out. Here’s some other important questions to ask:
- May I watch while you groom my dog or cat?
- What experience do you have with my pet’s breed?
- How do you handle pets who get scared?
- What kind of training and certifications do you have?
- Where is my pet kept when not being groomed?
- Is someone always watching my pet?
- What if my pet needs to use the bathroom?
- What do you do if there is an emergency?
- Do you have liability insurance?
- Do you have a first aid kit?
Again, with careful research your trip to the groomer will likely be uneventful. Try not to choose on price alone — your pet’s health and appearance are too important to skimp on the cost.