All dogs need at least a little grooming over the course of their lives, even if it’s just regular nail trimming and an occasional bath. Whether you groom your dog yourself or take it to a groomer, it should be a positive experience for your dog. Unfortunately, things can go wrong and accidents can happen. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure your dog stays safe during a grooming session.
Tips for caring for your dog yourself
#1 – Give your dog plenty of treats during and after grooming
Your dog should look forward to your grooming sessions rather than dread them. A happy dog is more likely to remain still. Most accidents happen because a dog wobbles or tries to get away.
#2 – Never use scissors to cut mats
This is one of the leading causes of owners accidentally injuring their dogs. Use a No. 10 blade on a pair of clippers to gently shave off mats. The skin can be pulled into tight mats, making it easy to cut the skin if you try to use scissors to cut out mats.
#3 – Go slow
Rushing is another common way accidents happen. If necessary, divide the grooming into several smaller sessions to keep yourself and your dog calm. There is no worse feeling than injuring your dog because you rushed the grooming routine.
#4 – Do your research
Whether you watch a bunch of YouTube videos or talk to a professional groomer, learn as much as you can before grooming your dog to avoid the most preventable accidents.
Tips for finding a grooming salon
#1 – Ask about their experiences
Currently, no state in the United States requires groomers to be licensed. The facilities may be licensed, but the groomers themselves are not. That means anyone can buy a pair of hair clippers, watch a few videos and declare themselves a groomer. There is a huge learning curve in grooming. Find someone who has been nursing for at least 5 years.
Although there is no mandatory licensing for groomers, there are ways to become certified. Groomers with certifications have taken the time, expense and often travel to undergo intensive written and practical tests to prove their skills. They may charge more than other groomers, but their certification shows their dedication to their craft.
Bonus points go to groomers who are familiar with performing CPR on dogs.
#2 – Ask about the equipment used
Be sure to ask what type of dryer(s) the trimmer uses. Kennel dryers can cause problems in brachycephalic dog breeds (flat nose). Heated dryers can cause dogs to overheat. And high-speed dryers can be frightening to sensitive dogs. Good groomers know how to best dry the different breeds and personalities of dogs safely.
You also want to make sure the facility looks and smells clean. For liability reasons, you should not enter the grooming area, but unless there is active clean-up, the grooming salon should smell clean and there should not be excessive amounts of hair on the floor.
#3 – Communicate clearly with the groomer
Is your dog afraid of the dryer? Does he panic when placed in a kennel? Do they tend to bite when they get their nails trimmed? The more information you can give the groomer, the easier it is for the groomer to keep your fur child safe during the grooming appointment. Don’t be ashamed of admitting that your dog has problems with certain parts of the grooming process. A good groomer can avoid these things, especially if he is aware of them in advance.
Having detailed conversations with the groomer at the start of the appointment also means the groomer will know exactly what type of haircut you are looking for, reducing the chance of any surprises if your dog doesn’t quite suit you. looks. expected.
#4 – Watch how the groomer interacts with other dogs…but not your own
It’s great to see how the groomer interacts with dogs during the grooming process, but if your dog can see or smell you, he will likely act during the grooming session because he will try to get to you instead of being calm against the trimmer. Watching your dog being groomed can sometimes even cause accidents. Unless there is a way to watch the process without your dog seeing you, it is safer not to watch. Do ask if a groomer uses cameras in the salon. If you suspect your dog has been abused during an appointment, a camera can show exactly what happened.
#5 – Look for reviews
These days, there are plenty of opportunities for people to leave reviews about grooming salons, whether it’s on Google, Yelp, or the company’s Facebook page. Keep in mind that accidents can happen and there may be the occasional bad review, but a grooming salon or grooming salon should generally have positive reviews.
#6 – Stick with one groomer and visit him regularly
Irregular grooming with a different person each time can cause dogs a LOT of stress, which increases the chance of an accident. If your dog can develop a relationship with one groomer who he sees regularly (usually at least every 8 weeks depending on the breed), your dog will know what to expect from the grooming and will be more relaxed, reducing the chance of accidents to happen.
This also allows the groomer to get to know your dog and recognize any changes in him. Groomers are often able to notice health changes (such as bumps, skin changes, coat changes, or personality changes) before owners see their dogs every day.