What Questions Should I Ask a Dog Groomer? Choosing the Right Dog Groomer

As a dog owner, you are used to taking time to research and find the right dog food, treats and toys for your furiend.  And if you are also using dog walkers, daycare or home borders, you’ll have spent time and effort finding and choosing the right individuals to trust. So when it comes to choosing the right dog groomer, you might find yourself wondering what questions should I ask a dog groomer?

I’ve personally used three different dog groomers due to house moves and each time, my question list has grown and changed as I’ve increased my understanding of the dog grooming profession and Millie herself too.   Now, with the experience of running our own dog groomers, I thought it would be worth sharing the questions that I’d be asking, as a dog owner, to ensure that I found the right dog groomer for my own best friend.

Related Post:

From my own experience, many dog owners don’t take the time to ask questions.  While part of that may be down to the perceived shortage of groomers and long lead times for appointments, there is in some cases a lack of understanding that the dog grooming profession is unregulated. But as with any service, a few quick questions will not only help you make sure you have picked the right dog groomer for you, but it will increase the chances that you’ll be happy with your dog groom.

 

What Questions Should I ask a dog groomer? Choosing the right dog groomer

 

What Questions Should I Ask a Dog Groomer?

While most dog groomers don’t share all of this information online, I’d recommend starting with their online social media channels and website to try to tick off some of the answers up front.  You may then need to reach out by telephone or email, etc. to ask any further questions.  Think about selecting a few questions from the below to prioritise and ask via phone or email.

A professional dog groomer shouldn’t be surprised by your questions and in fact, it should help tick off a number of questions they should have for you as part of an initial consultation.

There are five key themes that you’ll want your questions to cover:

 

#1 How much will your dog groom cost? How will your book and pay?

While safety comes first, we can’t deny that price will be high up on your question list. So, these are therefore some quick first questions that you should ask every dog groomer.

Not only do you want to know how much you will pay but do find out how and when you will pay.  You don’t want to show up to collect your dog and find out the price is higher and that they only accept cash.  Particularly if their premises are a million miles away from a bank machine!

It’s also the time to ascertain how much notice you need to give not only if you need to cancel but if you need to change your booking.  I think we can all understand that sometimes life gets in the way but make sure you understand any terms and conditions in place.

 

#2 Where, When and Who?

Now’s the time you need to get even more detailed with your questions.

What hours and days does the dog groomer work and are there any times of year that they close?  If you have a dog who requires regular grooming on a 4-6 weeks basis, a groomer who closes down for school holidays or or for the whole of January may impact your overall decision to use them.  Also if they only work Monday to Friday between 10 am and 2 pm and you work full time, maybe in another town, this may not be ideal for you ongoing.

When discussing the length of time that it will take to groom your dog, find out if your dog will be taken in at one time and worked with on a 1:1 basis or will there be a group of dogs who they work through during a longer time slot.

You’ll also want to take the opportunity to ask whether there is more than one member of the team or one groomer that will be working on them.  Any initial consultation and drop off should really be with the individual who will be grooming your dog to ensure you can share information about your dog directly.   All dog groomers should ask about likes, dislikes, health and general history and you’d want this to be with the groomer themselves.  And of course, you’ll want to talk styling!

 

#3 Professionalism

When you first book in with a dog groomer, they should offer you the option to book in for a quick consultation.  In practice, this tends to be at the start of your first groom but don’t be afraid to ask if you can pop in for a chat along with your dog too.  This may ease any fears you have about your dog having a groom but also give you the chance to look at premises/area and meet the dog groomer face to face.

Now, this is the part where professional dog groomers, like us, get upset! Yep, there are dog groomers out there without insurance, no qualifications, no canine first aid certificates, no CRB checks or terms and conditions.

Didn’t you know that these things existed for dog groomers? Yes, they do and if you are trusting them with your furiend and scissors, razors …. well you get my point!  To protect your dog, do check if policies are in place regarding vaccinations including kennel cough too.

If you find that any of these professional basics aren’t in place, it’s likely to be reflected in the price being charged.

 

#4 Background, Experience and Grooming Methods

This is your chance to ask everything you need to re the dog groomers background and experience with dogs.

If your dog is anxious or has trouble socialising, then you may wish to ask particular questions re how they’ll help. How will they deal with your furiend if there are signs of aggression or stress?  What happens if they find matting that will change the style/cut that you’ve agreed?

If they have undertaken training, they should be able to share with you what it was and while you will hopefully be able to read reviews online via their social media profiles, you could ask for references at this stage too.

 

#5 Understanding What Happens During a Groom

It may not surprise you but there is no definition of dog groom and so you’ll want to check exactly what’s included.

Some groomers will wash twice, some three times.  Some will use organic shampoo, others work with particular brands.  Sme will include nails, ears and eye checks.  Others may charge extra or don’t offer.

Asking what exactly happens during a dog groom will help you compare pricing but also give you the change to adjust to your dog’s needs (for e.g do they have allergies that need a particular type of shampoo?).

There are also some hotly debated subjects that you may wish to ask and express your views on upfront pre-booking:

  • plucking dog ear hair or not
  • hand-stripping vs clipping of particular breeds/coats
  • use of cage drying
  • use of muzzles
  • creative grooming (use of colours and nail painting)

This is also your chance to check what happens if a problem occurs. What if the worst case scenario happens and your dog is injured/scratched/cut during a groom? Will they contact your vet and/or you?

A competent dog groomer should be able to answer all of these and have protocols in place to talk you through.

 

So. Are They The Right Dog Groomer For You?

Having read the above, you are now in a great place to ask the right questions and make sure you find the right dog groomer.  Just by reading this blog, means you are more prepared and informed to make the right decision.

Do remember that any good dog groomer should be fully prepared to take the time to answer these questions and have their own questions for you too.   They should make you feel comfortable and offer you a consultation in person with your dog where required.

Remeber that you are paying for a service and likely to develop a lifelong relationship with your dog groomer.  Listen to that gut instinct… it will be right!!

 

Related Post:

 

Related Post

Leave a Reply