Pick the Best Pet Groomer
A little spring pick-me-up can benefit anyone – including your pet. Plus, a good deep brushing, shampoo and nail clipping for your pet can reduce allergens in your home. You can do these things at home, but not all procedures are good for DIYers; for special breeds like Cocker Spaniels or French Poodles that require a special cut, you’ll need to find a professional groomer. Here’s how to research and find a good one.
Do your research
Start by searching through the professional associations to which groomers belong. States don’t require groomers to have a license, but groomers who belong to the National Dog Groomers Association of America likely went to a dedicated school or interned in a grooming shop where they may have spent up to a year just learning how to bathe pets. Recommendations from friends are a good first step, and check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints.
Take a tour
You should keep just as keen a lookout for good conditions in a groomer’s shop as you would a kennel. Is it clean and does it have good lighting? Does it have a strong odor? Are the kennels for dogs and cats separated – and do different-sized kennels accommodate different sized animals?
Look for Credentials
If you want to take extra precautions, look for credentials. A master groomer certificate from the NDGA means the groomer has been tested against a national standard and understands correct health and hygiene practices; the anatomy of dogs; differences among breeds; proper dog handling techniques; and some medical care (at least first aid).
Not all grooming establishments require that pets be up-to-date on a variety of shots, but taking your pet to a groomer that doesn’t could expose him to disease. Rabies shots are required by law, and look for groomers that require up-to-date bordetella (kennel cough) vaccinations.
Some dog and cat breeds have sensitive skin and will never enjoy grooming (ask your vet if yours is one of them). The Humane Society of the United States recommends owners alert a groomer to special circumstances, such as arthritis, sensitive areas, or hyperactivity around other animals.
If you have pet allergies, a trip into a groomer’s shop – where cats and dogs of all breeds might be – likely isn’t a good idea. Ask the groomer if they have a pick-up and drop-off service; make transportation the job of a less allergic member of your family; or pay a neighbor teen to do the job.