As a dog groomer, your days are filled with new pets to groom, and each pet brings its own challenges. Meeting the needs of each dog is difficult enough, but there is also the difficulty of meeting the needs and wants of each pet’s owner. Pet Care Insurance has put together a list of seven things that groomers wish pet owners knew.
1) We’re Not Mean to Your Dog
Just like people, dogs have their own preferences about what they do and don’t like. wouldn't it be nice if clients could understand that a pet’s hesitation and anxiety about going to the groomer isn’t usually a reflection of how the groomer treats them. It might simply be that they don’t enjoy the grooming experience.
Most groomers do everything they can to ensure that each dog they treat is as comfortable as possible. I mean, how many times have you either thought or had to say, “The more a dog visits me, the more he will become familiar with how grooming works, which will lessen his anxiety.”
2) Tell Me about Your Dog
You’ve chosen your career not only because it’s something you enjoy, but also because you love animals. Even with all of your experience dealing with dogs, it would be nice if clients would communicate with you about their pet’s specific needs.
You’re not really expecting too much, right? All you really want to know is the dog’s temperament, as well as its likes and dislikes. Sometimes it’s as though clients think you like the guessing game of how a dog will react during the appointment.
3) Brushing Your Dog Makes Grooming Easier
Don’t you love digging through all that matted and tangled fur or hair? Come on, people, you don’t need to get the dog to “put on the Ritz,” but a nice brush every couple days really wouldn't kill you! You’d think the only brushing some clients give their dog is right before they get ready to go to the appointment.
Of course, acclimating the dog to regular brushing might be a little difficult at first, but if clients would do it regularly, most pups would get used to it. And as you well know, the dog that is regularly brushed and bathed will be much happier and will make your job easier.
4) More Detailed Grooming Requests Are Better
As a groomer, it seems your clients expect you to work magic, and, quite frankly, with some dogs it seems you do. However, this talent doesn’t quite extend to reading your client’s mind—even if they think it should.
Sure, there is a fine line between a client giving you a detailed request and being overbearing, but more often than not, the more detailed the information, the better. You’d think that because we live in a digital age, bringing a picture or two of what they expect really shouldn’t be too much to ask of a client. Even if they don’t bring a picture, it would help if clients would just say, “I want my dog to only have a light, quarter-inch trim,” or, “I only want a nail clipping.”
5) Take My Advice
How many different dogs and dog breeds do you see each day? After your first year or two, you had a pretty good idea about what type of grooming looks good on each type of breed. But clients always seem to disagree or think they know better.
If only people would understand that you are supposed to work with your groomer. All you really want is for each dog to look and feel as good as possible. You’re a groomer after all, and if you say something won’t work or won’t look good on a certain breed of dog, it’s probably true. However, sometimes there’s just no reasoning with some people, and you must follow their directions hoping they realize it’s not your fault their dog looks like a cross between Chewbacca and a baboon after the cut.
6) Comparing Human Grooming to Dog Grooming Isn’t Fair
This might one of the biggest pet peeves that most groomers have. People just don’t seem to understand that comparing the cost of a human haircut or appointment isn’t fair or accurate. Dog groomers have a much different set of challenges to deal with than hair stylists.
If they’d stop and think about it, clients would realize that their hair stylist probably doesn’t need to worry about people biting them, peeing & pooping on the chair, or even trying to run off. Not to mention that usually a dog has more hair to be trimmed, as well as baths to be given, nails to be clipped, ears to be cleaned, and sometimes even a sanitary trim or an anal gland cleaning that must be done.
7) Start Grooming When Your Dog Is Young
As a groomer, if you could give new dog owners one piece of advice it would probably be to start bringing their dog to the groomer while it’s young. The first couple of visits might be basic services just so you can get familiar with their dog, but regular visits will make all the difference in how their dog feels about going to the groomer.
At the end of the day there are so many tips that you could give your clients about how to help their dogs have a better grooming experience and make your life easier. Share with us some of your biggest pet peeves, tips you’d like to give your customers, and your most outrageous grooming experiences in the comments below.