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What Your Dog Groomer Wants You to Know


Clovis has worked with canines for over 15 years both personally and professionally.

Getting a haircut for your dog doesn‘t have to be frustrating if you know what to expect. Policies may vary based upon the company and location, but all pet stylists have one goal: keep your animal safe.

Here’s what your groomer wants you to know before scheduling an appointment!

Puppies, First-Timers, and Seniors Require Special Care

Even if you bathe your pet at home, the environment at a professional groomer’s facility is quite different. Throughout the service there will be 15 to 20+ dogs barking, howling, and whining at all times. Dryers are constantly running throughout the day, and they‘re loud.

Loud enough to give your dog a sound seizure, which can range from mild to severe depending on the age and general health of the animal.

If your puppy has never been groomed, strangers touching and handling them can be rather stressful and frightening. To balance this, the stylist will provide first-timers with frequent breaks between bathing, drying, brushing, and nail trims. If your pet does well, they should be done within an hour to an hour in a half.

So, try not to worry if the appointment appears to be taking longer than it should. Groomers are typically trained on managing a dog's stress levels and are likely just giving your dog a little time to relax before resuming the bath or haircut.

Newly adopted dogs should not visit a groomer for at least 3 to 4 weeks after being brought home.

The holding areas in these facilities often resemble the pound they were adopted from. To help them adjust, start by scheduling nail appointments. They usually take 10 to 15 minutes with your pet‘s cooperation, and after a few trips, your dog will begin to understand that the visit is temporary. After a few successful appointments, you can move on to baths and haircuts.

Forcing your pup to advance too quickly can cause unnecessary trauma and turn grooming into a negative experience, which is the last thing we want for your pet!

We NEED to know about Health and Behavioral Problems!

Sometimes owners will attempt to conceal their dog's bad hip, heart murmur, or underlying aggression toward other animals because they're afraid to be turned away.

These things do not disqualify your pet from being groomed automatically, but it's information that we need to know!

If your dog's knee can only bend so far, the last thing your groomer wants is to overextend the leg while clipping nails and injure your pet. We care about your pet too, and we want to make sure that they are comfortable while they're in our possession. It's not just about liability, people working in animal professions usually do so because they truly adore our furry friends.

Much like a nurse or doctor, we feel a great amount of guilt when we cannot help our "patients," especially if we end up causing them harm unintentionally.

The same goes for behavioral problems. If your dog shows aggression toward other animals, we can certainly prepare for that...but only if you tell us.

If Your Dog Has Extremely Long Nails, We Can’t Just Hack Them Off

The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for pet owners to schedule their usual appointments. As a result, groomers are seeing more dogs in their lobbies with overgrown, tightly curled nails. Unfortunately, there is only so much that your groomer can do in this situation.

First of all, the "quick," a vein that sits a few centimeters behind the tip of your dog's nail, has become too long. If accidentally clipped, the quick will bleed, sometimes severely enough to need cauterization.

So, if you know that it's been awhile since your last appointment, keep in mind that your groomer may not be able to take a significant amount of length off. You also have the option of purchasing a nail grinding service, which typically costs extra but is safer and more accurate. By grinding the nail, we're able to see where the vein starts without causing any trauma. If we do manage to hit the quick, there is far less damage and a much fast healing time.

Whether or not your groomer can clip or grind your dog's nails depends entirely upon the behavior of your pet. If the service cannot be safely performed, they will recommend having your dog's nails trimmed at the vet where they can be sedated if needed. The good news is that the quick elongates and shortens based on the length of the nail.

As long as you have them trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks, the vein will eventually shorten.

Prep Your Dog Before The Appointment

While it isn't required, groomers appreciate owners who let their dogs get some exercise and use the restroom prior to the appointment. Canines that are anxious or harboring excessive energy are more likely to injure themselves and become significantly more stressed. As your groomer rotates through several different dogs for nail clipping, bathing, and drying, your pet will inevitably have to spend a few hours in a kennel.

Should they urinate, or defecate on themselves during that period, the service has to be performed again...which means a few more hours in a loud, scary, unfamiliar environment.

Dogs that are overly stressed, in poor health, or become kennel aggressive may not receive a full service and can be sent home early at the discretion of the groomer. If this sounds like your pet, you can also inquire about an express service, which means your dog will be prioritized above all other appointments and cannot be placed in a kennel at any time. If you choose this service, it may cost a small extra fee, and you must pick up your pet within 5 minutes of being contacted.

Remember, your groomer has anywhere from 2 to 4 other animals waiting on them, it's essential that you are on time for your pick up! Grab a coffee and hang out in your car if you'd like or shop around the store if there's one nearby, just stay within the area.

Keep in mind, if you're late for pickup too many times your groomer may refuse to service your pet.

We Need to Be Able to Contact You!

We understand that things happen, phones die, reception can be bad, and things get lost.

But if there's one thing you should absolutely do before leaving your pet with any groomer, make sure to provide good contact information! This isn't just for pickup, it's so that we can contact you if there is an emergency or something about your service changes.

Be sure to check that your phone number is correct, and leave an emergency number along with an email if possible. This way we have more than one option if we need to reach you.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2021 Clovis

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