The Value of An Exceptional Groomer
...is worth their weight in GOLD!
What’s your screening process? Whenever I’ve moved cities it’s taken ample time to re-establish my team of professionals. For example, sourcing my new facialist, hair stylist, sushi joint, local handmade neighbourhood Italian, go to cafe etc. and to no lesser extent a reputable dog groomer. The process is not as simple as one would think. Are Yelp reviews that on point? Word of mouth is often the way to go, though living in a bit of a metropolis where time is of the essence you learn to source effectively (and usually start doing so online until you've been around a while).
In the case of sourcing a reputable groomer don't be blinded by a price tag. It's usually not just a wash and cut your dog is receiving. Their nails get trimmed, anal glands and ears get cleaned, teeth brushed, and so forth. This "extras" aren't always listed (unless you're booked in at an a la carte grooming spa), they're often included as part of the service. I.e. that "haircut" isn't $65-90. In reality, it's more of a full service treatment.
Think about it: there's a stark contrast between your furry baby not wanting to leave the groomer because he/she is having such a ball vs. gripping your neck when you drop he or she off. I know both sides of this card. Near always I've been fortunate to have amazing groomers. The odd time when someone new to the grooming salon cares for her or we've move and I'm finding our footing, does Sadie (my Morkie) loathe her spa day and grip my neck in temporary fear. It's like dropping your crying child off at daycare if I could imagine! I don't have children. I'm also lucky to say that in 6.5 years she's only once had a truly not great grooming experience. Prior to this, I was unsure what could possibly go wrong but alas I found out.
Here are a handful of things to consider when you're sourcing a groomer, aka what could go wrong:
- Chemical product in eyes ("blueberry facial" too strong gone wrong)
- Razor burn (clippers too close)
- Anxiety w/grooming
- Cut dog’s nails too short; proper nail cutting
I share the above few facts with you to remind you that you're not just booking a cut for your dog, you're booking a service and many of the details matter. Animals are highly sensitive, and until you've experienced one feeling unwell, this may not entirely hit home for you. Even the slightest of chemical or "strong" product can affect them. I say "hit home" until you've experienced this as I was semi oblivious that anything could possibly go wrong due to my incredible sourcing skills until my girl came home from her spa day with a squinting eye - to which I freaked out. Upon investigation it was the "blueberry facial" that did it. Even a non-toxic product yet strong too strong in some ingredient had her in pain. The short story, she was fine within a day and properly cared for immediately.
Back to the value of sourcing a reputable groomer. I can't say enough good about 'Sage Mobile Grooming' in LA. Sage is the real deal and the best you'll find - if you can get her to come to you! She also booked incredibly far in advance. Think: the Chris McMillan of dog spa hair care! Case in point to outstanding research though. I somehow sourced a groomer who could styled my pup the way I wish (cut, wash, blowout), and the groomer also used an eco-friendly shampoo that brought out my dogs highlights. Who knew! That was partially luck, I was focused on care.
Back to you: ask around, do your research, ask questions on what product is being used and the spa's process. The details count, hence why I'm in love with and committed to Groomer & George's organic, vegan, ethically sourced products that won't hurt our pets or the planet, and our mission as a voice for sustainable living as a whole.
x, Sloan. Co-founder of Groomer & George