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Woman grooming a small dog

How to find a pet groomer

We all want our pets to live long, happy, healthy lives. And for many, the pet wellness routine includes regular visits to a pet groomer. But if you’re new to an area or have recently adopted a pet, choosing the right groomer can seem daunting. Here are a few tips to help transform confusion into clarity.

Tips for Finding a Groomer

Research groomers online. You may want to begin your search by doing a little online investigation. Check out the groomers in your area and what current and previous clients are saying about them.

Here are a few search terms to try:

  • best groomers near me
  • groomers in [your city]
  • groomers for [your dog/cat/breed] near me
  • top rated groomers

Also, if a potential groomer has an Instagram account, check out their feed. It can help you decide if you like the groomer’s style. Customer reviews can help you sort potential groomers into those that are worth a follow-up and those that are not.

Visit the salon. There’s no substitute for personal experience, so arrange to visit the salon before booking an appointment for your pet. Take this opportunity to observe how the salon is run. Check that the facility appearance, and pay particular attention to the way in which the staff treats the animals in their care.

Keep these questions in mind when touring and evaluating the salon:

  • Does the facility appear (and smell) clean?
  • Are restraints used humanely?
  • Do the animals seem comfortable?
  • Does the salon have a safe method for wrangling potential escapes?

Check their certifications. There are several organizations that certify pet groomers, including the National Dog Groomers Association of America, the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists, and International Professional Groomers Inc. Ask if your prospective groomer is certified by these or any other groups. You may also want to delve a little deeper into the groomer’s experience, like asking what grooming industry trade shows or conventions they attend regularly.

Talk with the groomers personally. You want the person who’ll be grooming your pet to be trained, skilled, and kind. But you also want to know how they deal with more challenging pets, such as those with anxiety. Ask about the groomer’s personal approach and depth of experience. For example, you may want to ask how a groomer handles special needs pets. Even if your pet doesn’t have special needs, the response will give you an idea of how the groomer approaches challenges.

Review the details. As you hone in on the perfect groomer, don’t be hesitant to discuss the details, including what services you want for your pet and the expected cost and duration of the appointment. By discussing how you want the finished groom to look, you can build a solid foundation with your groomer and avoid miscommunication.

Ask about the groomer’s tools and equipment. An experienced groomer should have no problem giving you a brief tour of the grooming environment, including any tools that may be used in the process. This is also a great time to talk with your groomer about any potential sensitivities or anxiety your pet may have.

Observe your pet’s reactions. While a professional grooming session may not be you pet’s most pleasurable activity, it shouldn’t cause undue discomfort or emotional stress either. If your pet exhibits extreme anxiety prior to a session or leaves each session seeming miserable, you may want to consider a change of venue. Not all groomers are the same, and pets can have both positive and negative reactions to individual people. Ideally, the groomer should be someone both you and your pet like.

Editor’s Note: Pets bring immeasurable human health benefits, but a concern for many pet parents is controlling pet fur. Here are a few tips for keeping pet hair under control in your home.


Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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