Some dog owners prefer to groom their dogs at home, which is possible with short and smooth coated dogs, but with most other breeds a professional dog groomer can save you time, energy and stress!  The professional groomer has the time, care, skill, experience and patience to groom dogs, especially those with long coats, puppies or behavioral issues.

Professionals Do It All

A dog’s groom by a professional will typically consist of the coat being brushed/de-matted prior to bathing, the dog bathed and conditioned, thoroughly dried then trimmed and styled using sanitised brushes, combs, scissors and clippers.  Groomers brush out mats prior to bathing to prevent them tightening when wet and to make it easier to bathe and condition the coat. The groomer will clean the dog’s ears, remove hair that may be causing an obstruction and check for any signs of infection. After the coat is dried thoroughly the dog can be trimmed, styled and have areas shaved for hygiene.

Most dogs will have hair trimmed from over their eyes, ears trimmed and cleaned, bottom of feet and between pads cleared. Trimming and styling in line with the breed’s standard or the owner’s request.  The dog’s nails trimmed to the correct length to avoid them becoming painful when the dog walks. .

Working From A Fully Equipped Salon

The professional groomer will have all the right equipment to groom your dog and leave them looking their best.  Your dog will be on an adjustable grooming table, and groomed using an array of specialist equipment, different kinds of clippers, straight and curved scissors and specialist blades. They will have specialist, low pH and nontoxic, shampoos and conditioners and can select the correct product for your dog’s coat and skin.

Some specialist professional groomers will also know how to groom specific breeds of dogs for show cuts, which requires detailed knowledge of breed requirements and precise attention to detail. Different coats will require different brushes and equipment and the professional grooming salon will have them. The more dead hair that the groomer removes from your dog the less you will find on your clothes and furnishings!

Knows How to Handle Dogs

Some elderly dogs or those which become anxious or even aggressive when being groomed need to be handled confidently and considerately.  Some may even need to be muzzled through part of their groom – something the groomer can do harmlessly. Owners who have any physical infirmity, such as back pain, arthritis or health condition, will benefit greatly from the professional groomer taking care of the lifting, handling and controlling the dog whilst it is groomed. 

Takes Care of the Messy Issues

Cleaning the hygiene areas, shampooing a muddy coat or removing tics are not the most pleasant of tasks, but they fall under the responsibilities of owning a dog. A professional groomer has the knowledge and the equipment to take care of these necessary, but unpleasant, tasks.

Health Benefits From Professional Grooming 

Using a professional groomer will ensure your dog looks and smells great and offers a huge reduction in the amount of time you’ll need to spend grooming your dog.  In addition, having your dog professionally groomed offers several health benefits:

  • Bathing with the correct shampoo (but not too frequent) to remove dirt and detritus and help prevent skin irritation.
  • Remove knots and mats to prevent pulling against the skin.
  • Using the correct equipment to remove dead or damaged hair, allowing new growth into the dog’s coat.
  • The correct brushes for each coat type to remove dead skin and distribute the natural oils through the coat.
  • Handling, knowledge and experience whilst working over the dog’s body allows early detection of lumps, skin conditions or health indicators.
  • Correct nail trimming to prevent pain, painful posture or disability.

How Often Should A Dog Be Groomed?

The frequency of dog grooms will vary depending on coat type, style, lifestyle and breed. On average, a dog which has a medium/long coat will return to the groomers at six week intervals.  The time between grooms may be affected by the type of cut you request for your dog, how much ‘touch-up’ you are able to do at home and the depth of cut you request for your dog.

Puppies first groom and dogs which haven’t been professionally groomed before should be given extra time in the grooming salon. A professional groomer may suggest an initial visit to let the dog adjust to the salon environment. Grooming can be a bonding experience for both the dog and groomer and a good, trust building, start can pay dividends later.

Choosing Your Professional Groomer

Friends and neighbours who have dogs that are groomed, local breed clubs, training classes or vets can often be a good source of advice when it comes to choosing the right groomer for your dog. The internet can be a good source of information, particularly if there is customer feedback.  Of course, you need to locate a groomer who is competent and trustworthy –  check for dog grooming qualifications, suitable premises and try to view their work on other dogs. Your breeder is also a great resource for advice on the specific grooming needs of your dog.

You may require a groomer with specialist skills, in styling your breed of dog for the show ring, for example. Or one with particular knowledge of puppies, aged dogs, aggressive dogs or shy dogs. These skills are all available from specialist professional groomers, contact them, have a chat about what you require and don’t be afraid to ask about their experience.

Before you make your first appointment with the professional groomer it’s wise to ask some questions. Ask about their training and qualifications, their experience in dog grooming, if they’re canine first aid qualified, etc. You may wish to establish details of their appointments scheduling, fees, types of products used, breaks, etc.  When you arrive for your dog’s appointment be sure to clearly communicate your requirements and any concerns that the groomer should be aware of.  

Dog grooming salons are located in most towns and normally work on an appointment-only system. Some veterinary surgeries, kennels and doggy daycares also have a dog grooming service at the location. Some groomers work from their home (converting a garage, outbuilding or room in their house into a salon) and some work mobile and will come to you. Mobile vans are a fully equipped salon on wheels. With all the supplies and equipment needed – even the dog’s bathtub!

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