I am very excited about my Top 5 for this week. I guess that is because I feel, as a groomer, that this information is vital. By encouraging productive (and effective) communication between the pet owner and groomer it is easier to ensure a happy and complication-free groom. Groomers will appreciate being provided with any of the information below. After all, we want our clients to be satisfied and to come back again and again.
1) Your Expectations
Communication between you and your pet stylist is critical for a successful groom. You must be able to understand each other regarding the expectations of the outcome. What type of expectations should you communicate to your groomer?
- Breed cut, if desired
- Amount of hair to take off of pet
- Ear trim preference
- Tail trim preference
- Face trim preference
- Shedding concerns to discuss deshedding options
- Anal gland expression requests
- Nail trim or file requests
- Teeth brushing
- Perfume preference
- Bow or bandana preference
I know what you’re thinking — shouldn’t the groomer know what to do already?
Every individual has a different idea of how a finished pet should look, including groomers, which is why it’s very important for you to tell your groomer how YOU would like your pet to look. By communicating your expectations to your groomer you are eliminating any misunderstandings that can leave you unhappy at the end of your pet’s groom.
- Health Conditions
It is also helpful if your groomer is aware of any of your pet’s health conditions. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Warts or moles
- Tumors or growths
- Eye infections
- Ear infections
- Heart conditions
- Skin infections
- Liver issues
- If your dog is in heat
- Pregnant or nursing
- Recent surgeries
- Prior injuries
- Bad hips, knees, back, etc.
Notifying your groomer of any health conditions can help avoid any complications to your pet’s well-being during the grooming process. It doesn’t necessarily mean your groomer will not perform the groom, it just gives them the additional information they need to help them ensure a safer visit for your pet.
- Dogs Temperament
Letting your groomer know about your pet’s temperament, especially if it’s their first time grooming her, is vital to a safe grooming experience. If your pet is aggressive towards other animals, has a tendency to bite, will run away given the chance, is sensitive to certain areas being touched, is very timid or scared, or has any other behavioral characteristic of concern, make sure to let your groomer know. Your groomer needs to approach the grooming process accordingly with your pet’s quirks in mind, to make the experience as smooth and as safe as possible for everyone.
- Shampoo Requirements
Most groomers will offer a variety of shampoos for you to choose from, but if you don’t ask, they may just go with their default option. If your pet needs a hypoallergenic, oatmeal, flea, or medicated shampoo you need to let your groomer know so they can accommodate your request. If your pet has a prescribed shampoo from your veterinarian make sure to bring it. Your groomer will have no problem using it on your pet.
- Your Post-Groom Opinion
Once your pet is finished and the groomer brings her out to you, take a thorough look at her. If you notice anything that you want modified/adjusted/fixed, mention it to your groomer! Do you want the ears shorter? Maybe a little more off the tail? Does his face look a little uneven and you want it straightened out? Don’t go home unhappy with the appearance of your pet without saying anything. Your groomer should be very happy to fix anything. (If you feel like they aren’t, then consider finding another groomer.) A good groomer would rather take care of any issues while you are already there instead of sending you home dissatisfied. We all want happy clients and dogs so don’t be afraid to tell us what you think of the groom. By telling us what we may be doing wrong allows us to make it right the next time; if you don’t say anything we will assume we did a fantastic job!
Hopefully you can put this week’s Top 5 list to use at your next grooming appointment. In my opinion, it will strengthen the relationship between you and your groomer and lead to a more satisfying service as time goes on. What do you think? Please tell me in the comments below.