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How 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.
This information 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.
It 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:
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS, HERE ARE SOME KEY ITEMS THAT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY INQUIRE ABOUT WHILE TALKING TO YOUR GROOMER.
Hopefully this information has given the discerning pet owner the tools to find that perfect groomer for their pet. The right groomer, 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!
HERE ARE MORE HELPFUL TIPS TO GIVE YOU A START ON CHOOSING A SAFE PET GROOMER. ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING AND THOSE OF YOUR PETS.
1. Are they a member of major grooming association and certified as a professional groomer with a code of ethics visible? Professional Membership and Code of Ethics is a sign that the groomer is working toward being a professional; it’s shows they are trying to be a “Best Practices” groomer.
2. Do they inquire about your pet’s health, vaccinations and behavior concerns, who your Veterinarian is in case of accident? Keeping your pet healthy begins with screening for sick pets and helps prevent exposure to contagious illness or parasites. Knowing emergency contacts and Veterinarian choices in the rare case of illness or injury gives your pet the best possible care.
3. Salon Safety: Does it smell clean, are the pets behind a barrier to prevent “escape,” fire extinguisher, emergency plan, first aid kit, floor mats, safe pet restraints in use. If the shop is messy, dirty or unsafe for the groomers, your pet’s safety may not be a primary concern.
4. Do they offer a Salon tour, or allow you to watch the groom? You should expect transparency in the way they handle your pet. It is true some pets behave “worse” when the owner is present, but the option to watch and/or see the facility is a “best practice.”
5. If crate dryers are used, are the under constant observation by a staff member? Crate/kennel/cage dryers can easily cause overheating or be very cold—depending on the type. Pets can quickly go from being uncomfortable to dangerously too hot or too cold. Constant supervision is absolutely necessary for your pet’s safety.
6. Ask what clipper blade size they use (the #7 blade can be dangerous) especially on the pet’s legs as the #7 blade has sharp, widely spaced and long teeth; it is very easy to catch loose skin and cause nicks and cuts. It is a fast blade to clip with—but it is NOT “pet friendly.”
7. How long do they keep your pet? The stress of being in a crate all day may be difficult on your pet, especially senior pets) Sometimes it is necessary to leave your pet at the groomer all day, because of your schedule, etc. However, it is not comfortable for senior dogs, pets with separation anxiety or young puppies. They would rather be with you! Less stress means a better experience all around.
8. Finally: Is your pet happy when you pick it up? Trust your pet’s reactions. Are they perky, alert and tail waggin’? Or are they tired, stressed and irritable? Your pet may not be a ‘good fit’ with that groomer—even a safe groomer. Pets just get along better with some people than others.
We are working on finding a locator so that pet owners can search for a local groomer based on certain criteria and certifications. But in the meantime we will list some organizations that give out information we shared with you!
DISCLAIMER: Due to the lack of regulations and the nature of the animal industry, as well as the changing practices of pet professionals - Midwest Animal Welfare Society, Inc. cannot be responsible for the actions of other pet professional companies and organizations. This includes pet professionals that have trained under the Life Changing Dog Training™ and Communicative LeashWork Process®. We will do our very best to connect you with pet resources and services and educate you on best practices, tools and information to help pet owners. However it is up to you the individual to do your own research and make a decision to hire a pet professional or work with an organization that will best meet you and your animal's needs.
Copyright © 2023 Midwest Animal Welfare Society, Inc - All Rights Reserved.
THE HEARTLAND'S ANIMAL WELFARE SPECIALISTS