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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed there was not a sticky with tips for choosing a groomer, and since I've never had a dog that needed grooming before. I would appreciate some tips on what to look for when choosing a groomer for my dog.

I did find the posts about taking photos of what you want the dog to look like to the groomer, that won't be a problem.

What I don't know how to do is choose a groomer to begin with. I asked my vet and they recommended Petsmart's grooming service but also informed me that the price was based on the age of the dog. I have yet to call Petsmart to see if this is true. There is a local, closer place to me than Petsmart I'd like to try.
 

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Called Petsmart about their grooming services. Petsmart says its $45 for a bath, ear cleaning, and over all 'shave.' Yes he said shave. I informed him that I only wanted a bath, dry, brush, ear clean, hair trimmed around her eyes and bottom, nail trim, and trim between her foot pads. I told him she gets combed everyday so there isn't any mats in her coat and I want the coat length untouched. He still informed me its $45 regardless if I get her 'shaved' or not. I called a 2nd Petsmart and was told its $15.99 until she's 6 months then $45 after that.

I'm not looking for a cheap groomer, but one that will be great with my dog and give me the services I want.

I went to a local privately owned place and spoke with the owner about my puppy. She's offering to do everything I ask for $25 and not to mention backflips because she wants my repeat business. I felt more warm and welcome at her shop versus Petsmart but I also went to the shop and just called Petsmart.
 

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I am lucky enough that in our vets office there is also a grooming area and thats where my dog goes. It is only 25$ for a shave,bath, and a nail trimming. When our regular groomers were gone for pregnancy(how they were both pregnant at the same times beats me,lol) we looked for someone who took care with the dogs and was not ruff. With the one we choose she even let us check out the area where our dog would be groomed and kept until we could pick her up. We even got to see her groom a dog. She was very gentle and caring and now instead of using the vets groomer we use her. She only charges 30$ for everything and has a nice clean facility. We also had to keep Mae there all day and she did not charge us for that. the reason we kept her is because her facility is right across the street from where my mom works and on her break my mom can pick her up and bring her home.
 

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There are MANY questions you should be asking the specific groomer that will be doing your pet. Many salons have numerous groomers, and who you get on the phone may not be the one doing your dog when you come in. Price should be the LAST question, never the first.

How many years have you been grooming?
Where did you go to school? ( Some apprentice, some are self taught, some do online courses, some go to legit hands on schools and some are "schooled" quickly in Petsmart/Petco.)

Do you have photos of your work I can see?

Do you attend continuing education seminars, competitions or classes yearly? ( This is important as it shows if the groomer is up to date on the produts and equipment as well as safety.)

Do you hand scissor? ( If they say no, its likely all they know how to do is clip down using blades and attachments. If they say yes, you are more likely to get a groomer than can and will do just a bath and tidy type groom and leave the length. )

Go in to the salon. Ask for a tour. Is it clean? Hair on the floor is going to happen of course, but does it stink? Dusty? Old dirty looking crates? Floor? Walls? Etc.

How long will my dog have to stay? ( keep in mind that some groomers, just like hair stylists, are faster than others. But a small dog that takes over 3 hours is likely because it is waiting its turn during the day)

Do you cage dry? (As a groomer, IMO there is NO place for heated cage dryers in grooming salons in this day and age. With high velocity dryers, and floor fans, heat is unnecessary and dangerous. Timers fail, humans forget the time, etc. A hand dried dog will also be fluffier and straighter, and stay smelling clean for longer.

Are the dogs crated? (Some salons are cage free, which means your dog may be exposed to other dogs, of various sizes. Supervision is limited, as groomers are grooming, and not constantly watching the dogs. Also more risk of a dog getting out the door. But may be an option for a well socialized dog who is cage shy.)

Ask neigbors, friends, relatives, etc who they use and why. Even stopping someone on the street walking a dog that looks cute and ask them where they are groomed and how they like the place.

Price, location and hours should be the last questions, if all else fits your needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Awesome! Thank you so much! I'm very happy to print this out and take it in with me so I can find the right groomer for my peke.
 
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