Has your pup has become a bit shaggy? Nails have started scratching your floor? That means its time to think about grooming. You investigate DIY, but frankly having your fingers nipped by your pup has got you a little scared. That means it’s time for your dog’s first trip to the groomer. Whether it is a puppy or a new adult dog in the family, you should do some research before taking your dog in for their first “buff and puff”.
It’s natural that you might have some fear and anxiety on where to take your fur baby
The first order of business should be to decide which grooming salon you will use. There are lots of resources available, but trust is a big issue. Word of mouth is probably the best way to get feedback on salons in your area. But what if you don’t have a lot of contacts in your neighbourhood that are getting their pup groomed?
Other options might be your vet, dog walker, or local pet store. All these options do take time and typically would require you go out of your way to ask, or get the referral on their time schedule.
If you like to get up-to-date information, with reviews, then there are new apps and websites like Bark ‘n Yapp. It’s a free resource for dog owners and all the reviews are from verified dog owners…well actually from their dogs.
What to ask? What to ask?
Do not hesitate to call the groomer and ask some questions. If cage free is important to you, ask about that. If you have a shy or aggressive dog, ask how they handle that. Do they keep notes, so they’ll know what you liked or didn’t like about the groom? Make sure you ask how they deal with a first-time grooming. Some salons will call you if they think your pup is too stressed out and will suggest trying again at another time. They may also suggest just starting with a bath or nail trim and do the full groom in the future. And of course, ask for their pricing.
Once you have picked your groomer, you will want to have an idea of what type of haircut you’d like for your dog. You may already know what you want, but if you are not sure, there are lots of breed specific social media websites where you can ask people and see pictures. If you see a couple of pictures you like, print them and take them with you for that first groom.
Since some dogs come in with lots of mats, your ideal haircut is not always possible, and the groomer may not realize that until they are actually working on your dog. Ask them to please call you first if they find they are going to have to do something different than requested. And remember not to make a big deal about leaving your dog at this strange place. If you dote upon your dog before leaving, you’re telling them that leaving them is a big deal, and it may stress them out. Groomers really appreciate those pet parents who just hand over the leash and leave with no fuss.
All dolled up and places to go
When the time comes to pick up your dog, let the groomer know if you are not happy, and they should ask what they can do to make it right. Hopefully you will be thrilled with “Fido’s” new look and just like human salons, tips are always appreciated, but of course it’s a personal choice. Many grooming salons give report cards to first time customers, so here’s hoping your pup gets an A+.