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In my continuing quest to make the right decisions....:D I know the groomer is the most important part, not the location, but I am going to have to find someone, somewhere so I need to try to sort through as much info as I can get to find a place to use.

I can see advantages and disadvantages to both, but I am sure that there are things that I am not thinking of? Can you help point out the pros of each to help me make a better decision? ( Not saying one is better than the other, just different and better according to what you need most.)

To start...

Pro's of fixed location:
1.) If in or close to a vet's office, then better in case of an emergency.
2.) The more people in the office= more "witnesses" and less likely for rage abuse. (It happens.)



Pro's of mobile grooming;
1.) Quicker and possible less stress for the dog.
2.) Easier for dogs that do not travel well in a car.
 

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Both have their advantages and disadvantages and each is not for everyone, thats why their are mobile and storefront groomers.

Mobile:

Pros: Easy for client. No traveling, no dirty dogs in the car going to the groomer. No waiting for dog to get done and be picked up. Dog is done straight thru, few interruptions so takes less time, and is great for older dogs, stressing dogs. Great for the elderly that cannot drive.

Cons: Generally much more expensive than a salon. Generally have only specific days they do specific areas, so your appt. times/days may be limited. Generally are VERY busy, and many require prebooked appts thruout the year. Many cannot accomodate very large dogs. Usually are harder to get ahold of, as they don't have receptionists, etc. and return calls at the end of the day.

Salon:

Pros: Generally cheaper than mobile. Can have more than one groomer and aren't usually as booked up. Are usually easier to get ahold of on the phone, as many have receptionists, etc. Are great if you have errands to run, or are having carpets cleaned etc...because the dog can stay for a few hours. Generally can accomodate very large dogs.

Cons: Some salons schedule all dogs in first thing in the a.m. and your dog may not be worked on, or ready to go home til late in the day. You have to drive your muddy/dirty/stinky dog there in your car. You have to go back and pick up when ready.


I am sure others can add to the lists. I agree with ohmydog. It is WAY more important WHO is grooming your dog, rather than where. I have clients that travel an hour or more to come to me, when they could easily go to a groomer close to them, or have a mobile come to then. Its all about building a relationship with your groomer, trusting in them. In order to do that, you have to ask questions, you have to see their work, their continued education, etc. Get referrals from real pet owners...not just vets. Ask someone walking their dog, ask your neighbors, coworkers, etc. about their groomers.
 

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Some mobile groomers have to hook up to your house to use the water. and it takes quite a bit of water to wash a dog. I know a lot of them that use recirculating bath systems to cut down on water. However the more advanced the mobile vans, the less there are to have to hook up to a clients house. They more commonly now have there own water tanks and water heaters built right in. But hey, they have to refill those somehow... :) Also they groom your dog right in front of your house. However you still can't watch them groom. Like Graco said, con the space is limited so may not be able to do a large dog, or more than one dog because there time is limited. Yes, there prices are higher and if gas prices keep rising, there prices will keep rising. They may be late if another appointment runs later than expected. Or they may have to reschedule you all together. Ex.. the van breaks down, or because of previous appointments in the day. PRO... No cages so if your dog has PTSD or any other type of nervous problem or issue being in crates to long than it's a perfect choice.

Shops... Con Groomers come and go all the time. So you may settle into a groomer you like just to find out that they have moved away or have gone to another salon. Or the just simply moved to another salon to far for you to drive to. pro Larger space and can aquatically move around. You can always ask the groomer if you can have your dog back at a certain time. Most will accommodate. con Dogs are left in kennels when they are not being worked on. pro That can be good though too. Like if a dog is acting up, the groomer can take a break and let the dog take a break to. He/she can go into a kennel to lay down, drink some water or just bark it's head off if it wants too.
 

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It's really just a personal decision for what you feel is best. With your pro about witnesses in a shop location, you can always keep cameras in the grooming van to help avoid this and any litigation.

Pros to mobile: can charge more, better for pets that do not travel well, have anxiety, nervous, or older, also better for clients who can not drive or transport their pet, more of a 1 on 1 experience
Cons: limited client base, gets lonely, can be really humid in the summer time, need for routing, making scheduling appointments a little tougher - you don't want to drive all over town and waste gas/time (although a software such as https://www.pawfinity.com/mobile-grooming-software can help with that), your ability to work that day is dependent on your van, maintenance cost for your van and finding a place to dump your grey water tank

Pros to shop: unlimited client base (if you reach your cap, you can hire more groomers), a storefront can give you more visibility, more room to make the space unique and enjoyable to pet parents, can sell retail items much easier or even add dog daycare for supplemental income, a lot less lonely lol
Cons to a shop: more traffic in the environment which can be a bit difficult for dogs that have anxiety

For me, I personally like mobile better because of the 1 on 1 experience with the pets, but it's really just a personal preference!
 
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