Contemplating taking your dog to the groomer instead of wrestling with the task at home? Here’s what you need to know, along with some pretty compelling reasons for establishing a relationship with your local groomer.
Four Reasons to Go to the Groomer (Instead of Doing It Yourself)
With the proper tools and patience, you can groom your pet yourself. But not all dogs like bath time, being brushed, having their ears checked and cleaned out, or having their teeth brushed. Groomers are trained to do these things, and they can take the stress out of grooming (for you and your dog).
Grooming Tools Aren’t Cheap
If you plan to groom your dog in the comfort of your own home, you need scissors, an electric razor, and the right brushes and combs among other tools. You’ll need dog shampoo, the kind depending on your dog’s coat and skin issues. Not only that but you’ll likely need different types of shampoos and conditioners for different situations, whereas a groomer has such necessities on hand.
Not to mention the space you’ll need to wash, trim, and dry your dog. Big dogs take up a lot of space. Long-haired dogs make a big mess when they shake wet fur all over the place, and coat maintenance is tricky.
Groomers have all of these tools, and they have grooming tables and special dryers. They’re also better versed in different cuts, handling different coat styles, and keeping your dog comfortable.
Groomers Know How to Deal with Pet Quirks
Not only do groomers know how to deal with dogs that might be fearful of the sound of electric trimmers, but they also know how to work with older dogs, anxiety, and aggression.
Another benefit of groomers is that they know what to look for when it comes to issues like skin inflammation, lumps, and possible injuries.
They’ll Save You Time
Grooming isn’t a quick task. It takes time to wash your dog, give them a trim, dry them, and comb them out. Your dog’s groomer does this for a living. Groomers can work around your schedule to get your dog in for a wash and a cut.
If driving to a groomer is out of the way for you, do some research to see if there is a mobile grooming unit in your area.
If you have arthritis or any other ailments that keep you from being able to lift your dog, a groomer will save you more than just time.
They’ll Do the Gross Stuff for You
Having a regular groomer for your dog will save you the trouble of dealing with gross things, like when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk or rolls around on top of a carcass they find on a hike.
Dogs sometimes need their anal sacs expressed, which is a gross and stinky job. Your groomer will do that task for you as well.
What Groomers Do
If that wasn’t enough to convince you of the benefits of taking your dog to the groomer, here are some other things they will do for you and your pooch.
- Trim Nails – Trimming your dog’s nails isn’t always easy. Not only do you need a good pair of clippers, but you need to make sure you don’t cut too much nail off and make your dog bleed. Dogs with white toenails pose less of a problem than dogs with darker colored nails.
- Watch Coat and Skin Health – When you take your dog to the same groomer regularly, your groomer will notice when things change with your dog’s fur or skin health.
- Check Eyes and Ears – As a dog owner, you probably spend a lot of time scratching behind your dog’s ears, but do you know what to look for in healthy ears? How about healthy eyes? A good groomer will notice changes or things out of the ordinary and recommend you schedule a visit with your vet.
- Oral Care – One more thing some groomers will do that will save you time is brushing your dog’s teeth. You can do this at home, but it takes patience and the right products.
How Often Does a Dog Need to Be Groomed?
There are a few things that go into determining how often your dog should visit the groomer. Long-hair dogs need grooming more frequently than short-haired dogs. Once a month for full grooming—getting them trimmed, brushed out, bathed, and their teeth brushed—is pretty standard and a good place to start.
You may be able to take them in less often if you regularly bathe and brush your dog at home. Then seasonal visits may be enough, to get your dog ready for warmer weather with a trim or to check on skin health before the dry air of winter. Many dog owners take their dogs into the groomer for specific tasks and not a full workover, so if you’d like to save money (and you’re able and willing to do the brushing and bathing at home) you can just take your dog in for the tricky stuff like getting their nails clipped and smoothed.
How Much Does Grooming Cost?
The cost of grooming varies depending on where you live, as well as on your pet. A larger dog with long hair is going to cost more than a small dog with short hair. You can expect to pay anywhere between $25 and $100 on grooming visits. The higher cost will be for extra services too, like getting a flea dip for your dog.
When you’re ready to find a groomer for your dog, you can do some online research and talk to people you know with dogs. You can also get recommendations from your veterinary clinic. Look for a groomer who has worked with your breed and has a good reputation, and make sure they offer all of the services you’re looking for.