Your dog is looking pretty rough. He's frizzy, matted, dirty, or maybe he just needs a haircut. Time to go have him groomed! But, how to find local dog groomers in your area? What do you look for, and how do you choose which groomer to take your furry friend to? I will answer all these questions and more for you, right here.
Because dog grooming accidents in pet salons are not that uncommon, it's important that you find a local dog grooming with the proper training and credentials, and preferably good reviews (on Yelp or elsewhere).
It's best to look for professional pet groomers before your dog actually needs one. This way you have time to set up appointments and visit the different salons near your home. Learning how to find local dog groomers in your area doesn't need to be stressful if you plan ahead.
Don't be afraid to ask any questions that you may have. You're trusting this person with a member of your family. You need to be 100% confident with their ability to care for your furry companion. Ask for references and talk with them about their experience with your dog's breed.
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If a local dog groomer doesn't seem open to having a conversations with you, then they aren't the groomer for you. Trust me, I've been in those situations – I walked out in some cases, and I wish that I have walked out in other instances as well. With so many accidents happening in pet salons, a reputable groomer will understand your concern and be happy to give you all the information that you need to feel confident in their skills.
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Finding Local Dog Groomers in Your Area
Where to Begin the Search
Finding local dog groomers in your area is much easier when you use technology to your advantage. There are plenty of places to start your search, but online is easiest.
Look at websites like wagntails.com/locator and PetGroomingFinder.com. These websites take certain information from you (like your location, your dog's breed and what type of services you need) and find local groomers for you.
There are also websites like FindAGroomer.com, which is an online directory of groomers. They have a long list of pet grooming salons located all over the world, so you'd be able to search for your area and find groomers near you.
Your local newspaper is also a good place to look for groomers in your area.
Your city hall may have brochures, newsletters, and other information (either in the building or online) about local businesses and independent groomers near you.
Most vet clinics will be able to give you recommendations on groomers as well, so ask your vet if they have any suggestions.
Talk to your friends and family with pets, too, and see if they have any recommendations for how to find local dog groomers in your area.
Don’t forget Yellow Pages (online, or in your phonebook) for contact information on the groomers near where you’re located.
Search engines are another reliable resource for finding information on dog groomers close to home. Google, Yahoo, Yelp, Ask.com, and many others take keywords that you type into the search bar and pull up nearly everything on the internet related to your search.
Use keywords like “dog grooming near me,” “ find a dog groomer,” or type in your city and state, followed by “dog grooming salons.” Your search engine will find all the grooming salons in your area, usually including web address (if they have one), phone and fax numbers, along with directions to the facility.
Finding the Right Local Dog Groomer
There are many websites that provide information on what to look for in a groomer, like PetFinder and Angie's List. Both of these sites have very detailed information on what you should require of your groomer, and what to ask before you choose one. This is great information to research before learning how to find local dog groomers in your area.
You should take your dog in for a tour of the facility before you make an appointment, and ask as many questions as you can before choosing that groomer. Watch how the groomer acts around the animals, and how they handle other pets while grooming and bathing them.
Talk to the other customers to get an idea of how well the groomer interacts with pets and if the care they provide is the quality you're looking for.
Look for a local dog groomer that requires vaccination records. If they don't, run! The answer to this question shows you how much concern the groomer has for the well-being of the animals in their clinic. This is a big risk to take when you have dogs and other pets in the same area.
Vaccinated dog’s can still be carriers of diseases, and they can pass those diseases on to other dogs who aren't vaccinated.
Understand Your Dog Groomer's Process
On top of what has been said above, you should also check up on what type of dog shampoos and other products the pet salon uses. Some clinics actually use dish soap when bathing animals, and this can be harmful to your dog's skin and eyes. Be sure that the salon you choose uses products that are specifically formulated to be used on dogs.
Check that they wash and disinfect towels to prevent the spread of diseases and parasites. Make sure to also check and see how the salon handles external parasites, and that pets infested are isolated and treated immediately. The last thing you need is your dog picking up a case of fleas due to an irresponsible grooming salon.
When trying to find local dog groomers, it's also important to find out if your city or town requires these professional groomers to have a license. If so, be sure to ask the groomer if he/she is licensed, and what type of training they and their staff receive.
If they don't have much training or experience (which is very common in pet grooming salons that are station in malls), you could potentially be putting your dog in danger by leaving them with this salon to be groomed and cared for. It's very common for a groomer to have just very little training and not know what to do if an accident happens.
Ask the groomer about their policies, and what they would do if your dog got injured while in their care. If an accident occurs, you want to know that the groomer is going to be honest with you and that this person knows how to deal with any type of grooming related accidents. Check the groomer's credentials and search for past accident reports and customer complaints. Make sure that the salon's staff never leaves a pet unattended, especially in the sink or on the grooming table.
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Tell the Groomer About Your Dog
Inform your dog groomer of any health issues your dog may have. For instance, if your dog has a skin disorder, your vet may want groomers to use a certain type of shampoo or other product to keep him comfortable and to prevent worsening of his condition.
If your dog has had a surgical procedure done recently, you'll need to make sure you talk to your vet before having him groomed.
This is especially important if he has stitches. Leave your vet's contact information with the groomer as well, in case of an emergency.
You and your dog both should become somewhat familiar with the salon and it’s staff, and you should feel comfortable leaving your dog in their care. Don't hesitate to ask these questions and any more you may have. You need to be able to trust your groomer to care for your dog in the best way they can.
Use your location to find the nearest groomer to you, and then check that groomer's reviews, policies, licensing (not required by all states), and how much it will cost you to get the services your dog needs.
Compare different salons and groomers before choosing one, so that you know you’ve chosen the best suitable one for you and your dog. Don’t hesitate to ask any and all questions you may have. You want to feel comfortable and safe with leaving your dog in the groomer's care.
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