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Say you’re new to an area. You’ve moved to a new home, a new city or state and now you have to start all over. New everything: What doctor do you choose? Who is going to be a trustworthy mechanic? Child care options? Good hairdresser? Don’t forget about your dog. New veterinarian and new groomer are among the choices you now get the privilege of making. Last time we talked about why it’s important to get your dog groomed and why professional grooming is our vote for safety of your dog, you and the quality of the groom. We continued our conversation with the owner of Dirty Dogs Grooming, Kayla Romano, for some more insight. Come along for the ride!
In talking with Kayla, we found that one of the most important things to consider is your relationship with the potential groomer is comfort level. You should feel comfortable with them, their personality, their openness and willingness to talk with you about your dog, his temperament, any issues he has with other dogs or humans and what your expectations are for the groom. Really, trust your gut. Communication is the key; so if you’re uncomfortable or the potential groomer isn’t forthcoming, move on.
If you like the groomer, head into the salon for an inspection. Here are some things to look for when inspecting the grooming salon:
Cleanliness: This should be a no-brainer.
The Department of Agriculture does regulate this industry, so ensure they are following the guidelines by asking questions and taking a tour.
Dog’s behavior: This is another “trust your instincts” deal. Watch your dog’s behavior. Is he shivering, panting, nervous and pacing when you try to take him in to the groomer? That may be a bad sign. Then again, grooming for your dog is not like heading to the salon for a spa treatment like we view it. It is stressful. There’s the bath, the dryers, the other dogs, the teeth brushing and let’s not forget the anal gland expression. No walk in the park to be certain! Kayla and her crew schedule dogs for appointments just like the hair salon does for humans. If the dog is well-socialized, they get to run around free, interacting with the groomers and other dogs until their groom time and then mom or dad picks them up shortly after so they aren’t crated up all day. They try to make it a positive and happy experience.
How often should you get Fido to the groomer? Well, that depends on the dog because their coats and needs are so diverse. Consult your groomer or veterinarian for advice. Next time we’ll discuss in more detail some of the specifics that go down in the grooming session. In the meantime, tell us what you looked for in your groomer – especially if we missed something!