well do you think you know your groomer? Have you ever really taken
a moment to think about the person who you are paying to clean,
clip, and fluff your "little angel"? Much like you should take time
to research day care centers for your children, you should also
take the time to find out what kind of training, skills, and knowledge
your groomer has acquired. For instance, does your groomer know
pet first aid? How to handle problem, scared, or nervous animals?
Does this person treat animals with respect or are they rough and
impatient? Some people may think these questions, or even considering
them, might be ridiculous, but if your pet is like most, they are
an important part of the family and quite irreplaceable.
article is not intended to scare anyone away from using a groomer,
but rather to help people realize that just because someone says
they are a groomer doesn't necessarily mean that they are properly
trained or possess all the right skills to be one. Many people begin
grooming by simply picking up a pair of shears (scissors) and starting
with only a rough idea of the proper way to groom. Most of these
people quickly realize that they need some training and get some
either through educational organizations or grooming schools in
their area. Once trained, many groomers display their certificates
or diplomas that they have earned. This is one way to quickly find
out if the groomer you would like to use has had the right kind
of training or not. The concept of "educated" groomers may sound
unusual, but these people have worked very hard to earn their certificates
and diplomas, having undergone rigorous training that includes both
written and practical testing.
is worth your time to check out the local groomers in your area,
whether they operate or are employed by a private shop, are affiliated
with a pet supply chain or with a veterinarian. Simply going by
the shop and observing the way the groomer handles the animals and
noting the condition of the shop, can give you a reasonably good
idea of whether or not this might be the right groomer for you and
your pet. When you are visiting a prospective groomer, you should
keep these questions in mind:
- Do the animals
look relaxed, or tense and nervous? Animals should be relaxed
and comfortable with the groomer and the shop environment.
- How are pets
infested with fleas, ticks, or other dermatological problems handled?
Are they kept separate from other pets to avoid infestation? Cages
need to be cleaned in between animals to ensure that healthy pets
and pets free from infestations do not become exposed.
- Are clipper
and scissor blades changed out and/or cleaned between animals?
Mange and other dermatological diseases can be passed from animal
to animal if the blades are not properly sanitized.
- Is the shop
well organized and clean? Shop owners should take the time to
make sure the grooming, bathing, and kennel areas are kept as
organized and as clean as possible. A well-organized and clean
shop means that the staff is concerned with a safe and healthy
workplace, which is a good benefit for your pet.
- Have there
been any complaints or problems reported? Check with your local
Better Business Bureau or local animal rights groups to find out
if the shop you are considering has had any problems or complaints
registered against it.
reputable groomer will always be happy to spend the time answering
any questions you might have, plus be willing to show you the areas
where the animals are kept, bathed, dried, and groomed. It is worth
it to a groomer to spend time with prospective clients because not
only do they want your business, but more importantly, they want
to ensure that you and your pet will be comfortable utilizing their
to the above questions, here are some key items that you should
definitely inquire about while talking to your groomer:
- an important, but often overlooked, item that can cause harm
or even death to your pet if used improperly. The most dangerous
type of dryer to your pet is the cage dryer because it blows heat
directly into the cage and doesn't allow for proper circulation
of air. A pet can become overheated or suffocate if the dryer
temperature is set too high. It should only be used on an animal
if constant supervision is given to ensure the safety of the animal.
Many groomers have started using other types of dryers, such as
forced-air, that are much safer and gentler on the skin and coat
of the animal.
- used both in the tub and attached to the grooming table to reduce
movement, the animal should be able to move its head comfortably
and be able to relax. If the animal is straining on "tip-toe",
the groomer has the noose too short. This is a potentially dangerous
situation if the groomer is not paying attention as the animal
might try to jump or may lose it's balance and may hang itself.
Conversely, if the noose is too long the animal might trip over
it and become entangled. Also, the noose should not be too tight
around the throat so as to avoid choking or suffocation.
& Scissor blades - blades can carry many bacteria including
tetanus, e-coli, staph, and many others. Cleaning the blades with
a sterilizing solution between dogs can reduce the risk of spreading
these diseases to healthy pets.
& Knowledge - are the groomers encouraged and/or required
by their employers to obtain or continue their education and certification?
A good groomer should be well educated and take pride in his or
her work. They should be knowledgeable about skin diseases, animal
behavior, first aid, and proper bathing and drying techniques.
We are not suggesting that every groomer should be as knowledgeable
as a veterinarian, but they should be able to recognize certain
diseases or problems that could be harmful to your pet. A groomer
is your pet's first line of defense by noticing and bringing to
your attention, as well as a veterinarian's, any problems they
might see while grooming.
this article has given the discerning pet owner the tools to find
that perfect groomer for their pet. The right groomer, as well as
yearly vaccinations and lots of love, is an important part of any
pet's health and well-being. Understandably, in our busy lives,
it may seem like a time consuming or insignificant thing to find
a good groomer, but if you take the time and effort, you will be
rewarded with confidence in your groomer and peace of mind that
they will respect and care for your pet as much as you do!