How to choose the right dog groomer

dog groomer

If attempting to get your pup into the bathtub for an occasional wash generally ends up with you wetter than them and neither of you talking to the other, it might be time for a professional groomer. Finding the right groomer for your pet can involve a little work, though.

Here, we share some tips to help you find the right groomer for your dog, what to watch out for, and what you can expect for your money.

Do you need a dog groomer?

A professional groomer can give a dog’s coat a whole new lease on life, making it shiny and clean, as well as give it the right cut for the dog’s breed and season. However, some dogs – particularly those that grow hair rather than fur require grooming more than others.

If your dog is low-maintenance, short-haired and/or amenable to the occasional bathtime, there’s no reason you can’t keep your pup groomed at home.

If, however, you’re finding it difficult to keep your dog’s coat clean, tangle-free and the right length – or your pup is just feeling a little bit fancy – a professional groomer could be just what you need!

What does grooming involve?

Grooming a dog goes way beyond the odd bath – a groomer will brush, wash, remove matted fur, clip and dry your dog. They may also trim their nails, brush their teeth, clean their ears, and undertake other less than savoury tasks, like expressing anal glands.

Your groomer can also keep an eye out for any abnormalities whilst they’re caring for your dog, whether it’s bald patches of skin or unexpected lumps, and keep you aware of them.

Should I use a mobile or salon groomer?

Both options are good, but there are a few things to consider. For convenience, a mobile groomer wins hands down. They’re also ideal for dogs who aren’t great around other dogs, and dogs that get nervous if they’re in noisy environments.

On the other hand, a salon groomer will be cheaper, they may have better equipment, and since there will be multiple groomers on-site, they’ll have an extra set of hands to help with larger dogs or ones that require a little extra convincing.

What should I look out for in a groomer?

The best way to find a new groomer is to talk to other dog owners. If you see a pup that looks well-groomed, ask their owner where they take them. Your vet may also have some recommendations, and online reviews could prove useful.

Once you’ve got a shortlist, you can narrow it down by asking the right questions and observing. Here’s what to ask and look out for.

  • Ask what products the salon or mobile groomer uses on dogs. Make sure they’re high-quality, made for dogs and, if possible, all natural.
  • Check to ensure they have experience with your dog’s breed or coat-type.
  • Take a look around the salon to ensure it’s clean and comfortable, and that there’s appropriate crates or kennels in a well-ventilated spot for your dog to wait in.
  • Talk to staff and watch them in action: you want a calm dog-lover who will know how to put your dog at ease and treat them with gentle care.
  • Ask what level of grooming they’ll undertake (some might brush teeth, others may not) – it helps if you’re both on the same page
  • Professional dog groomers in Australia don’t need to hold any formal qualifications, but if they’re really serious there a several courses available. Check to see if they’ve undertaken any of them.
  • Ask the groomer about First Aid qualifications and liability insurance.
  • Ask any questions you want – if they’re professionals they’ll be happy to answer and glad to know what your expectations are.

Our tried and tested recommended groomers

Various locations around Australia

Paw Republic
Crows Nest, NSW

Bridgeport, Qld

Dolcey Grooming
Melbourne, VIC

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