Sometimes it is tough to know where to turn when your four-legged kid has a bad hair day. Here are some tips to help you find the best groomer for you and your pet.
#1 Do the Research
Ask for Referrals
Don’t be shy to ask for recommendations. Friends, relatives, neighbors, your referral source is everywhere. If you find anyone’s pet always looks clean and pretty, ask where she take her pet for grooming. If you see a mobile grooming van comes to your neighborhood frequently, don’t hesitate to ask your neighbors how and why they like that groomer and the services they provide.
Google is another source to help you find the right match. Search “pet grooming + your city + your state” to find groomers near you, and there are many to choose from in the cat grooming in Columbus, Ohio area. You can browse as many reviews and websites without obligation. Although website does not mean everything, it can definitely convey the philosophy, attitude and professionalism of the business. A groomer that shows pictures of their facilities, staff, and a portfolio of their work on their website are more preferable since they are confident on they did and are proud to share it.
#2 Check the Credentials
Ohio does not require any specific licensing for pet groomers. Neither do most of the other states in the United States. This means anyone who has a clipper can call herself a “groomer”. Make sure to check his or her credential on it.
Professional pet groomers should have certifications and diplomas specific to their field, like any other business or trade, and devote themselves to continuing education. Certification from associations like National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) or National Cat Groomers Institute of America (NCGIA) is a good sign. Both of these two organizations are considered authorities on pet grooming, and they require rigorous knowledge and practical testing before they certify a member.
#3 Tour the Facilities
Now that you have several professional groomers in mind. Stop by their salons and take a tour of the facilities. If the salon do not allow you into any area that your pet will stay, it may not be your best choice.
Things to check out during your tour:
- Sanitation: Due to the nature of the business, there will be the occasional mess: the pet who is puppy/kitten, senior, or not house-trained may have accident; hair may be on the floor and the table during the grooming process. However, other than that, a good salon should smell fresh and be free of dirt and debris most of the time.
- Safety Policy: You should be alert if you see any pet left alone on the table since unattended pet may get injured by jumping or falling off. In addition, all of the grooming tools should be well organized and placed out of reach of the pets. Groomers should also disinfect their tools after every furry client to prevent diseases from spreading. Last but not least, be aware of any sign of abuse.
- Separate Cat Room: If you plan to take your cat to a groomer, make sure that there is a dedicated room for cats only. Cats are easily stressed if they are forced to stay in an unfamiliar and busy environment with dogs. A professional takes animal psychology into consideration.
- Customer Service: I know you always put your pet first, but your own comfort is important as well. Are you warmly welcomed by the receptionist and the groomer? Are they attentive to your questions? You may end up coming to this salon every month for the next ten years, trust your intuition and follow your heart.
#4 Do Your Part
Here are some tips for you to help your pets enjoy their spa day:
- Make sure your pet is current on his/her vaccinations (Rabies, DH2PP and Bordetella).
- Do not feed your pet before their grooming appointment.
- Take your dog to “potty” before coming to the salon.
Make sure to tell the groomer your special concern or requirement before you leave. If you have any specific hairstyle in mind, you’d better bring a picture to the groomer to help her better understand your taste. When describing your preference, avoid words such as “short”, “fluffy”, “puppy cut”, etc, because everyone has different understanding of these general words. Instead, be more specific by saying “leave a quarter inch all over”, “keep the coat as long as possible”, “round face with half inch on the body and legs”. It might take several appointments to achieve the perfect style. Remember, communication is the key to success.
#5 Schedule Next Appointment Before You Leave
Pets are creatures of habit, so it is important to make a routine of having your pet seeing a groomer. They will become more confident and comfortable with the process, and show a new level of confidence in themselves. The recommended frequency for long hair pets is every two to four weeks depending on the breed and your life style. For pets that shed, grooming at least every eight weeks is suggested.
Following these five steps, you will be able to find a great pet groomer from the crowd, and have your beloved pet looking and feeling amazing, and you with your peace of mind. Good luck!