With more than half the American households owning either a dog or cat, the demand for qualified pet groomers and grooming products is soaring. Pet grooming is big business, with the American Pet Products Association expecting owners to spend some $6.11 billion on services this year.
Do your research in advance
Googling a pet groomer near you and opting for the first or nearest option is not the right way to choose a groomer. But it’s a fact and most people won’t go any further than they need to. It’s advisable for owners to do their due diligence and research extensively in advance before choosing a groomer who will be handling your beloved pet.
Decide on your priorities – willing to spend more, or travel further? Whether looking for a good bath or some toe clipping, it’s always good to find someone with adequate experience, relevant pictures on their website and most importantly, other satisfied pet parents as regular clients.
Talk to others in the waiting area or walking out the door. Satisfied customers translate into good word of mouth. Most groomers don’t advertise substantially, so an inordinate amount of ads or promotions should act as a warning.
With some diligence, Yelp and Facebook reviews can be brutally honest, giving pet owners a real picture of other customers’ experiences.
It can be also important to find a groomer who is certified, and passionate enough to further their learning. Qualified groomers have to pass written and practical tests, develop expertise on safety procedures and hygiene and more than anything, know how to groom a dog properly. Educated and certified groomers should be pretty much aware of everything, handling several breeds and easily control a pet.
It’s essential that all grooming equipment should be clean. Though not each and every item needs to be sterilized, the cleaning equipment should be definitely disinfected after use every time. The cages or pens for the pets should be cleaned before a new animal is introduced. In order to avoid infections and pet diseases, floors and crates have to be thoroughly cleaned with bleach at the end of the day. Remember that despite vaccines for pets, illnesses like the kennel cough are airborne. A lack of cleanliness and any musty scent are indication enough to not leave your pet there.
A shop or pet salon that smells musty, moldy or yeasty may not be the ideal establishment for you. If the place smells like a wet, dirty dog – it’s clearly a warning sign especially early in the day when there’s no dog in the premises. Lingering smells indicate that the shop is not clean, which is very crucial to a good grooming salon.
One common reason for pet fatalities in grooming salons is the owner not sharing relevant information with the groomer. Any history or traits of aggressiveness, or gender bias should be disclosed — some groomers won’t knowingly work with aggressive pets, and some may even have specially trained personnel to handle such pets. The groomer should be informed if a pet is geriatric, has a chronic health condition, need to be handled with special care and so on.
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