2001-Thu Jun 21 10:27:48 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
While your veterinarian will always be your BFF when it comes to caring for your dog, your groomer should be next on the best friends list. A great groomer does more than keep your dog clean and presentable — he or she can also help you keep parasites at bay, inform you of potential ear infections, and alert you to the presence of lumps and bumps that should be checked.
As with any good relationship, communication is key to keeping your pet at her prettiest. We talked to long-time groomer Barbara Cole Miller of San Juan Capistrano, California, for her tips on some common grooming situations, including what to do if you’re unhappy with your pet’s do and whether and how much to tip. We also rounded up some common grooming lingo to help you better describe what you want and understand what the groomer is suggesting.
When you meet with a groomer for the first time, start with basic details, like how old your dog is — puppies and senior dogs can have different grooming needs. Explain exactly why you’re there and what you need. Was your dog skunked? Has he been rolling in mud? Or does he just need a bath and a haircut?
In addition, if your dog has health issues that could affect grooming, be as upfront about those as possible. Is your dog a senior who might not be able to stand while nails are being clipped? Does your dog have epilepsy? Is your dog on a drug that causes frequent urination? Let the groomer know so she can be prepared for any problems. If she knows your dog has special needs, she can make allowances for the condition, such as providing support for him while his nails are being done or taking him out to potty on a schedule so he doesn’t have an accident after he has just been bathed and trimmed.
In addition to sharing background information and special concerns, be specific about how you want your dog to look after grooming. Don’t just say “a short clip,” Miller says. “Either clearly demonstrate using your thumb and forefinger or use terms like ‘half off,’ ‘only trim up the edges’ or ‘very short like a Lab.’ You and the groomer should be on the same page before you leave.” The best way to convey what you're asking for may be to show a picture. The groomer can then advise you whether that particular style is appropriate for your dog’s coat.
And don't hesitate to say what you don’t want. Owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels often go into shock when they pick up their dogs and find that groomers have given their pups a Cocker trim. If the fur on your dog’s paws is supposed to resemble a dust mop, be sure the groomer knows that you don’t want it trimmed short — or, conversely, that you’re OK with having your dog’s coat trimmed short for easier care.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.