I was a professional groomer from 1987 to 2015, with a few blips in between to work in pet retail stores (The Big Box ones). There were some things I'd always wished I could tell clients. Here are the biggest ones:
1. Please, if you get your dog or cat as a pup or kitten, start grooming right away! Buy a little soft brush and get them used to it. Give them a bath. This is especially true for kittens. I've seen grown cats who got their first bath at 5 years totally freak out! You can't imagine the terror your pet goes through. By washing early and regularly, you accustom your pet to water and the bath process. It's also better for their skin to be clean. For cats, it removes excess shedded hair and decreases hairballs. And for dogs, it keeps the skin clean and reduces shedding and doggy odor. And you can catch flea and tick problems before they become established.
2. I've had people tell me they can get their own hair cut for way less. Just remember, you don't get a full body styling with a mani/pedi. You also don't bite and fight with your stylist.
3. If you have a purebred dog, go on Google and look up haircuts for your dog so you have some idea of what you want other than, "I want him to look cute". Bring pictures.You can simply save them to your phone. We always appreciate pictures because it's the best way to figure out what our customers have in mind. Please be clear about what you want and how long you want the hair to be. Length of hair is very subjective. If you have a mixed breed, check out the breed that closest approximates your dog.
Sometimes it's not possible to do the cut you want for your dog because they don't have the proper coat for the cut. I've seen this most in Pomeranians....some have very thick coats and some have thinner coats, so it's hard to do the "Boo cut" and have it look like the photo above. If you still have an issue with your dog's haircut, consult with another groomer.
4. Don't worry that your groomer is beating your dog just because it's afraid to come in the door. Your dog probably reacts the same way at the vet's. Dog fear the unknown, don't especially like loud noises and bath and blow dries. Groom shops can be noisy and filled with the sound of agitated animals. Truthfully, this was the one thing I always hated about grooming. I really felt sorry for them. They had no idea why we were doing this to them...and there wasn't any way to explain it.
5. Don't forget to tip your groomer as you would tip your hair stylist.
Groomers aren't perfect, I sure know that! But they work very hard for not a whole lot of money. Most groomers work on commission, so they are usually only getting 50-60% of what you are paying. Most groomers love animals dearly, and your pet is no exception. Some of the kindest hearted people I have met have been groomers.
If you have any questions about dog grooming, please comment below and perhaps I'll do another blog about it!
Love and Light, Georgia
Here is a soft little brush for young puppies and kittens. As they get older, use a slicker or pin brush according to the coat type.