There are numerous places where you can have your pet groomed. There are also mobile groomers who will come to your home and groom your pet in your driveway, as well as in-home groomers who will come to your home and groom your pet inside. Everything is determined by where you live and who is available in your area.
Home-Based Dog Groomer
Some groomers run a grooming business out of their home. They are typically run by one or two people. You drive up to their house, and they usually have a separate entrance for their salons, similar to a beautician who works from her home salon. Home groomers may choose to work from home because it is more convenient, because they have children and need to be at home for them, or simply because it is nice to work from home and not have to commute to a business.
It is not possible for all groomers to run a home business; it is dependent on where they live. Having this type of business in one’s home can sometimes be restricted. Because most home grooming salons have a lower volume, it is less stressful for some pets.
Storefront Dog Groomer
These are typically more visible and can be small or large operations. Independent grooming shops are listed in most yellow pages. Some storefront groomers also sell retail dog supplies.
Many independent salons employ multiple groomers, allowing them to groom a greater number of pets in a single day. This may make scheduling an appointment with them easier. Some even provide walk-in service.
Self-service options are available at some storefront operations, allowing you to pay a small fee to groom your own dog using their tubs, shampoos, and dryers. You get to use their equipment while leaving the mess behind. This is convenient for the do-it-yourselfer who does not have the facilities at home to groom his pet or prefers not to deal with the cleanup.
In-Home Dog Grooming
These groomers will come to your home with their own equipment and groom your dog there. They may bathe the dog in your sink or tub. This type of groomer is ideal for people who are unable to drive or for dogs who do not travel well. It’s also less stressful for the dog because he’s in his own environment.
Mobile Dog Groomers
These groomers come to your home as well, but they bring everything they need in their van or mobile unit. They bring your pet to their mobile unit, which is parked in your driveway, and groom her there. Mobile groomers are convenient and work one-on-one with dogs, which can be less stressful for some.
Corporate Dog Groomers
These groomers work for a larger corporation such as PetSmart® or PetCo®. This allows you to have your dog groomed while you shop. Most have viewing windows so you can keep an eye on your dog while he’s being groomed, but this can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. If your dog is watching you, he will most likely dance around and try to get off the table to look at you. He’ll be distracted, making it more difficult to groom him safely.
Veterinary Dog Groomer
These groomers are either veterinarian employees or rent space from the veterinarian. The benefits are that the dog is already at the veterinarian in case of an emergency and can be safely sedated for grooming by the veterinarian on staff if necessary. Some animals require sedation for grooming due to anxiety or aggression, and only veterinarians are legally permitted to administer anesthesia. Before any sedation is administered, the veterinarian will need the owner’s permission, and that information should be kept in the dog’s medical record.
Kennel Dog Groomer
These groomers work in boarding facilities and are usually available to groom your dog before she returns home. Many kennel groomers have a regular clientele who visits them in between kennel stays. The benefit of having your dog groomed at the kennel is that you will return home from your vacation to a clean and freshly groomed dog.
Show Dog Groomer
Grooming show dogs is the job of a show groomer. A pet groomer and a show dog groomer are not the same thing. Many handlers groom their dogs in preparation for dog shows. While show coats are beautiful, what you don’t see is all the effort that goes into keeping that hair looking that way.
To keep that beautiful show-quality look, wash your hair frequently and wrap, band, comb, and brush it out on a daily basis. Floor-length hair is appropriate for show dogs, but not for the average household pet. Without the daily upkeep required to maintain a show coat, that length of coat will easily tangle or break off. It’s not practical for most busy households, but there are plenty of alternatives for a pet trim that are just as cute and a lot easier to maintain.
Similar to a dishwasher, there is a machine that bathes your pet. You put your pet inside and watch through a window as the machine washes him. This may appear to be a good idea, but there are some serious implications. Your dog may emerge from such a contraption whimpering from the agony of getting soap in his eyes or traumatized from being trapped in a box and sprayed with soapy water jets. You might not be happy when you discover that your dog’s ears are still dirty and his rear end hasn’t been thoroughly scrubbed. More seriously, the machine wash process includes a heated blow dry, which is not appropriate for dogs who cannot tolerate a heated dryer.
Portable Dog Grooming Machines
There are even machines that look like carpet shampooers and inject a waterless shampoo into your pet’s hair before vacuuming it out along with some dirt and hair. Again, these machines cannot replace hands-on grooming. Human touch can never be replaced. You can tell if the hair is clean or greasy, if there are any lumps or if there are any health problems, and your touch is soothing to your pet. That cannot be replaced by a machine.
You may need to visit several groomers before finding one who meets the needs of both you and your dog. When choosing a groomer, keep your schedule and your dog’s temperament in mind.