Great groomers for top dogs
Unless you have the arms of Hercules and the patience of a saint, dog groomers are a welcome addition to any dog owner’s life. But how do you choose the right groomer, what should you look out for, and what should you expect for your money?
The dog grooming industry is currently one of the fastest-growing areas of pet care, with Britons spending more than £10.5 billion a year on professionally pampering their pooches. There are even high-end pet spas in places such as Chelsea and Essex that offer doggy facials, ‘paw-dicures’ and ‘fur-jazzles’ to fluffed and fabulous dogs. But to keep your dog’s coat bright and shiny, you don’t need to go to such luxurious lengths – or expense.
Why go to a groomer?
Taking your dog to a professional groomer has many benefits. A professional clip will enhance your dog’s coat, and an experienced groomer will also be able to spot skin problems or more serious medical issues that may be missed otherwise.
“People can be blasé when checking their dogs,” says Mark Davies from Allbreed Grooming Academy, a pet salon and training centre. “An experienced groomer may spot something the owner has missed. This could be something as minor as fleas or a lump that’s hard to spot.”
If you or your dog groomer have any concerns about your dog, or suspect he may have a health issue, contact your vet so that your dog can have a professional health check.
Choosing a great groomer
When seeking out a great groomer, the best thing to do is chat to other dog owners. If you see a dog that looks particularly good, talk to the owner and see where they go. Your local vet or kennel owner may also recommend local dog groomers.
Once you have a few names, check out their websites, then give them a call and ask a few questions to find out:
- How long they have been in business
- What qualifications and experience they have
- What professional organisations they are a member of
- How many regular clients they have
- What type of products they use
Are they right for your dog?
Different dogs require different grooming techniques, so you need to make sure that your groomer has experience of your particular breed. If your dog needs a special cut or drying technique, then ask if the groomer is able to do it. If they are experienced professionals, they will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Checking the salon
When you visit your local dog groomer’s salon itself, have a good look around and check:
- How clean the salon is and how it smells
- How up to date the equipment is
- Whether the staff are calm, relaxed and professional
- How they interact with their clients’ dogs
While your dog is being pampered, don’t forget to pamper yourself – even if it’s just a slice of cake in the local café.
For more advice on keeping your dog’s coat healthy, check out our guides to dog fleas and ticks.