How to Find a Good Dog Groomer

Finding a good groomer involves several different steps. Groomers can be expensive. Choosing the right one for your dog is important.


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    Do an internet search for pet groomers in your area. Read any reviews you find.
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    Ask your veterinarian if they know of anyone they can recommend.
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    Ask your dog owner friends if they have anyone they recommend.
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    Ask a stranger with a well groomed dog. Most people are very happy to discuss their dogs.
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    Visit the closest store that sells pet supplies. Often they will have a board with business cards or advertising on it. Ask one of the store employees.
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    Call each of your prospects. Ask them questions. Ask the questions that are important to you. A groomer that grooms a lot of dogs in a day is either very good and speedy, or is skipping steps to make more money. Some groomers are better at grooming certain breeds. Some groomers will not groom large dogs or those with a reputation as being difficult breeds to groom. Prices vary and cheaper is not always better.
    • Do you specialize in any breeds?
    • How many dogs do you groom in a day?
    • What are your prices?
    • What is included in price? Nail trimming? Anal gland expression? Ear cleaning?
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    Ask if you can visit the grooming shop with your dog prior to making an appointment. The shop should be clean and orderly. If the groomer is in the middle of a grooming, expect to see some hair on the floor. But if you see many different kinds of hair on the floor, the groomer may not be as clean as you want. Observe how the groomer interacts with your dog. To be a good groomer, one should love dogs.
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    Clearly explain to the groomer what you want. There are different clips for some breeds, such as the poodle. Do you want the dog clipped short? Want his beard left? Want the pom-pom on the end of his tail? Discuss these things with the groomer. Take their advice if they offer it.
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    Make an appointment once you find a groomer that you like. Bring the dog in 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment.


  • Many groomers prefer the dog to be left and the owner not present. Dogs are usually easier to groom if the owner is not present. Good groomers are not trying to hide anything. Dogs are almost always better behaved without the owner in attendance.
  • Many groomers will work on a couple of dogs simultaneously. When one is being dried with a cage dryer, he/she will bathe another. Switching between dogs is an efficient way to work.
  • Understand that although you may want a longer, fancy cut on your dog, if your dog is matted, it may not be possible. A matted dog would experience considerable pain while being combed out. The humane and sensible thing to do is to allow the groomer to shave the dog and start over. If you want a fancy clip, you must either maintain it at home with daily combing or bring the dog to the groomer more often. Be reasonable about your expectations.
  • If you do not trim toenails weekly, the quick also grows out. The quick is the living part of the nail that bleeds if you cut it. Do not expect your groomer to make your dog's toenails super short and cause him to bleed. A good groomer will trim right up to the quick and no more. Accidents do happen sometimes but if your groomer always gives you a dog back with bleeding nails, consider another groomer.
  • Grooming is a difficult job. Groomers are on their feet all day, lifting dogs, bending to clip or comb and in some cases, dodging nips from difficult dogs. It is hard on the back, the knees, the feet and hands. Expect to pay a good groomer a premium price. Price depends on the size of the dog; if the dog is difficult to groom, what cut you want. You will pay more for a fancy cut requiring a lot of blow drying and scissoring on a difficult dog than you will on having a mellow dog shaved.
  • Be considerate of your groomer's time. Drop the dog off and pick him up in a timely manner. If you cannot make it, call as soon as you can to let the groomer know. They carefully schedule their days and need to earn a living. Grooming shops are not boarding kennels.
  • Many dogs dislike being groomed. They will be anxious about it. This is normal and you should not assume the groomer is not being kind to your dog.
  • Tipping is appreciated. If you love your groomer and they do a great job, tip them.


  • Good dog groomers can usually pick and chose who they take on as clients. If you or your dog are difficult, chances are the groomer will have no appointments open when you call.

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Categories: Dog Grooming