5 Secrets Dog Groomers Won't Tell You
They have their reasons for keeping this information to themselves while pampering your pooch.
Keeping your dog groomed is just as important as making sure their health is in check. That's why so many people opt to have their pups pampered by a professional. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), it's worth the trip and the cost to take your dog to a groomer, as they have the proper tools and generally check everything off of the cleaning list, like teeth brushing, nail clipping, and even the "yucky stuff" you don't want to do yourself. We place our trust in our groomer to take care of our furry friends, but there are some things that these professionals might not readily address. Read on to find out the five secrets dog groomers won't tell you.
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You should leave during the appointment.
Your dog is probably used to having you around, and as you take care of them and feed them, they feel more secure when you're in sight. But according to Jacquelyn Kennedy, canine behavior specialist, dog trainer, and founder and CEO of PetDT, you should make yourself scarce while they're being groomed.
"The biggest secret dog groomers won't tell you is that your dog will be a lot calmer once you leave," she explains. "Dogs can get nervous and scared when they first arrive, but the owner fretting over them makes it worse."
If your dog already struggles with separation anxiety, you might be hesitant to leave them be, but Kennedy says your absence will actually have the opposite effect. "Once the owner leaves, the dog can settle into the situation and the groomer can get on with what they do best," she adds.
You're making their job more difficult.
Groomers work hard to help your pet look their best, and if you do some minimal grooming on your own, like brushing your dog's coat and cleaning their teeth, it's more helpful than you think. If you don't tend to their fur, it can become matted quite easily. This can be frustrating for a professional groomer, but they might not willingly admit it.
"Since a successful pet groomer also relies on customer service skills and maintaining good relationships with clients, they might not tell you how your poor grooming habits at home make their job more difficult," Josh Snead, CEO of Rainwalk Pet Insurance, tells Best Life.
"Even when you regularly take your dog to the groomer, brushing at home should be an important part of your routine," he adds. "For breeds with a dense or curly coat, it's especially important to brush to the skin to avoid uncomfortable coat impaction or matting."
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They know if you've researched your dog's breed.
All dogs are different, and while some are purebreds, others are mixed breeds. Understanding a bit more about your dog's genes can actually be helpful, as you'll have a better understanding of their grooming requirements. If you keep up with this and tend to your pup on a regular basis, your groomer will probably notice.
"A lot of dog groomers know if you've researched you dog's breed and their grooming requirements beforehand," Danny Jackson, co-founder, CEO, and chief editor of Pet Lover Guy, explains, adding that some dogs need to be brushed more often than others, and every pup will need a regular nail trim.
"Dog groomers often get the brunt of it when they have to shave off a heavily matted area because the owner didn't know they needed to brush their dog at home," Jackson notes.
They don't enjoy doing "end of life" grooms.
Saying goodbye to a dog is heartbreaking, as they truly become part of the family. Some owners want their dogs to look their best before they cross the rainbow bridge, but according to Dwight Alleyne, DVM, veterinarian advisor at betterpet, many groomers don't particularly like their role in the process.
"Dog groomers may not tell clients that they don't enjoy doing end of life grooms because they feel it is more stressful for dogs," he explains.
A dog groomer, who uses the handle @girlwithadog on TikTok, actually posted a video to warn clients about this, saying it's "not a 'spa day'" for your pet. While groomers often want to say no, they always say yes, but these sessions can be "physically exhausting" for dogs who are nearing the end.
"We love you and your pet, and we know this is hard," the text script in the video reads. "As much as we want to make you happy, an end of life groom is not whats best for them."
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They might shave your dog.
You might want your dog to be styled, not shaved, but your groomer might do so without warning, Whitney Woolstenhulme, founder of dog grooming website Doodle Doods, tells Best Life.
"This is actually a very common thing that owners of long or curly-coated dogs (particularly poodles and doodles) complain about—they will go to pick up their dog only to find that they've been shaven rather than styled as requested," she says.
This is mostly done due to "excessive matting," Woolstenhulme adds in the groomer's defense. They're always going to take a course of action that is most beneficial for your dog. Reputable groomers will let you know if this is a necessary step, but that's not always the case.
"Other [groomers] may not because perhaps they view it as a way to do what's best for the dog, rather than risking the chance that the owner might not act in the dog's best interest," she explains. Woolstenhulme recommends talking to your groomer directly and ask them to inform you if they have plans to shave your dog.
However, she does say that shaving is the "most humane" way to tackle any sort of excessive matting or pelting. "Moreover, by shaving (instead of painfully pulling at their matted coat for hours), we also prevent trauma and future grooming anxiety in the dog," Woolstenhulme says.