A groomer’s job is to look after your dog’s skin and coat and make them look as fabulous as possible, ensuring the trim your dog gets fits in with your lifestyle – just as a hairdresser would do for you!
Qualified groomers are problem solvers and will willingly take on the care of your dog’s coat. They have great pride and patience in keeping your dog well-groomed and comfortable and having as much information about your pet is vital for this to happen with as much ease as possible.
What Does Your Groomer Need To Know?
Remember Dog Groomers are not mind readers.
On the very first visit to your professional groomer, you will be expected to answer a few questions, DON’T HOLD BACK! The information you give will help the groomer meet both yours and your dog’s needs.
Likes And Dislikes
The more the groomer knows about your dog’s likes and dislikes the better they will be able to interact with your dog and keep them calm and contented throughout the groom. They will also understand that your dog may have an aversion against certain areas being touched and groomed, this is common. Is it a Spaniel with ticklish feet or a Terrier that pulls away from having its head touched? Is it prone to nip or prefers to sit or lie down? Having knowledge of these personal likes and dislikes will again ensure the groom goes as smoothly as possible. All dogs are different and will require different handling, exactly what your groomer has been trained for, it’s their super-power!
Your dog groomer will also need to know about any health concerns or conditions your dog has, again DON’T HOLD BACK! Groomers need this information so that any condition can be managed, worked with and not unknowingly escalated or irritated. Things like allergies, arthritis, mobility issues, long term illness like diabetes, deafness, blindness even a bad tooth that may make them grumpy and reluctant to have their face touched – it’s all really important to know. A lot of conditions are invisible and not obvious, so all this information holds great value to the groomer and ensures your dogs discomfort isn’t overlooked.
Although the products and environment in a salon are safe, like with humans if your dog has any type of skin condition or sensitivity then please let your groomer know. Sores, bald patches, flaky skin, hot spots, skin tags, warts all of these are good to know about. In severe cases prescription shampoo is available from your vet and you can take that with you for your groomer to use. The groomer will check the prescription details match your customer details and ask you to sign a permission slip for it to be used whilst grooming. Examples of this type of shampoo are Malesab, Zincoseb and Pyoderm.
If you have attempted to groom and bath your dog at home and have found your dog isn’t comfortable with the equipment you have used tell your groomer. If you have previously been to a different groomer and have decided to change because of a particular experience share that too. Remember a qualified groomer has been specifically trained to read your dog’s body language and make adjustments to ensure your dog has the best possible time. Having an insight into how your dog accepts the grooming process will be invaluable, extra cuddles and treats are always free and readily available if that’s what it takes so DON’T HOLD BACK.
How would you like your dog styled? The classic line “And what are we doing for you today?” is relevant to dogs as well as humans. If you are unsure your groomer will be able to advise you on the best possible style for your dog and your lifestyle. They are experienced in all breeds and ages, from puppies to OAP’S; Pedigrees to Crossbreeds and can give you advice on length, suitability, cuteness and ease of maintenance. A short trim can still have flair and style when created with balance that a qualified groomer can create. If you have a picture, then that can speak a thousand words and your groomer will have a much better idea of the type of groom style you would like. Pinterest.co.uk is a great visual source for ideas, just search by your breed for lots of ideas.
Successful dog grooming requires a team – the groomer, the owner and of course your dog. Working together will bring the best results.
For more great tips on grooming, check out:
Julie Harris Dog Grooming Education was founded to share Julie’s knowledge with groomers and owners alike with the goal of creating harmonious relationships that benefit dogs and the care of their skin and coat.