How to choose the right pet grooming service

Finding the right pet grooming service is like finding the right hairdresser. You may need to visit a few before settling on a professional you feel comfortable with. Here are a few pointers to help you narrow down your search for the perfect pet groomer.

Look for dog grooming or cat grooming recommendations

Ask friends, family and neighbours for recommendations and look up online reviews of nearby pet grooming businesses. While five-star praises and one-star rants may seem extreme, they still give a good idea of the overall customer experience. Pay attention to comments that provide accurate details, as well as the publication date. If negative reviews are from one or two years ago and recent ones are all positive, maybe the business has improved its service.

Your veterinarian may also be able to recommend a local groomer that fits your pet’s needs and personality.

Top qualities for a professional pet groomer

A good pet groomer will show genuine interest in your dog or cat and not try immediately to sell you a service package. They may ask questions about what your pet likes and doesn’t, its personality and how it reacts to grooming. Look for someone who appears calm and relaxed: should your pet become nervous or difficult during a grooming session, you want a professional who can handle the situation appropriately.

While there’s no official regulation to pet grooming, ask people about their training and experience. This will help you make sure they’re truly committed to this line of work. Be aware that large facilities keeping 15 or more dogs and cats are required to have a government license to do so.

Tour the facilities and ask questions

A reliable dog grooming or cat grooming company will allow you to tour its facilities. During your visit, pay attention to cleanliness and to other pets’ behaviour. While some animals may act nervously, they shouldn’t all look miserable or aggressive. Ask what kind of soap, shampoo, lotions and products the groomers use, as well as how they handle uncooperative pets.

Be specific about pet grooming needs

Don’t simply drop off your pet and give the groomer carte blanche: agree beforehand on the services you want (like ear cleaning, bathing and nail trimming) and the associated costs. Be upfront if your dog or cat doesn’t like to be touched or has behaviour issues, so you can be notified of possible extra charges.

Consider a mobile pet grooming service

Some animals—including most cats—may find transport to a different location to be a stressful experience. In this situation, consider calling on a mobile cat grooming or dog grooming service. These companies either have a commercial vehicle set up as a grooming station or equipment they can bring inside your home or office. However, such services may end up being more expensive than a brick and mortar salon, as many ask for a basic fee on top of regular charges.