Happy cats and dogs at The Dog House
Happy cats and dogs at The Dog House

Important Tips on Grooming & Groomers from Cheryl

Prepare for your first grooming visit
For the health and safety of both your pet and us, make sure your pet is up-to-date on veterinary treatments, including vaccines and sterilization. Spayed and neutered pets are generally calmer, and sterilized dogs are less likely to bite.  A pet who is particularly nervous or difficult to handle makes the grooming process stressful for both your pet and us. If this sounds like your pet, work with an animal behavior specialist or dog trainer.


Tell us about your pet's needs
When making the appointment, share all essential information about your pet's health and temperament. Our groomer must know in advance whether your pet is geriatric or has a chronic health condition, if we are to provide special handling.


Also warn us about any habits that could interfere with safe and successful grooming. Keep in mind that groomers are not licensed to dispense tranquilizers; if your pet needs sedation to be groomed, please find a veterinarian first.


Let us know your specific needs
Remember that groomers are not miracle workers. You need to do your part in keeping your dog brushed between visits. Be sure to explain how much you want cut off of your dog’s coat. Also, if you have allowed your dog’s coat to become matted, they might need to be cut out, which you may be charged for.

Keep goodbyes short and sweet
Finally, when you drop your pet off at the groomer, bid your pet good-bye quickly; emotional departures will increase your pet's stress level. When you pick up your pet, both of you will enjoy that clean, mat-free coat that makes pets—and their owners—more comfortable.


It’s generally best if you do not stay while your pet is being groomed. Your pet will most likely be calmer and remain still on the grooming table without you there. The more excited and jumpy the pet is, the greater the risk for an accidental cut.


The importance of home grooming
It's important for your pet to tolerate being groomed, regardless of how often you take them to a professional. To train your pet, groom them briefly when you're both relaxed. For example, begin by gently massaging their coat each morning as you feed them. Gradually introduce a brush or comb. Each day, increase the grooming time and work on different areas. Reward your pet for cooperating. The more comfortable your pet feels with home grooming the better they will tolerate professional grooming.

What to Avoid in a Grooming Practice

There are harmful and inhumane grooming practices being carried out in some grooming establishments including Vet practices. Inexperience, lack of training, inability to style clip (ie all dogs are shaved), emphasis on speed, use of sedation, force, harnesses and cage drying can lead to very unpleasant experiences and stress for your groomed dog. When looking for a professional groomer, take the following into account:

Never use a grooming establishment if you are unable to see where your dog is being groomed and bathed. Don’t listen to excuses, closed door grooming is not set up for the benefit of your dog.

Avoid haggling and selecting based on price as first criteria. Professional groomers know their cost/price structure and can not reduce prices and still provide quality service. Discount pricing generally relates to discounted quality or stressful practices on your dog – you pay for what you get.

If you have to use a pick up and delivery service for convenience, check out the establishment first. Go and visit it and look around. Do not assume that because your dog is dropped home looking happy that it has had a pleasant experience at grooming. The dog remembers the last occurrence, the return trip would be a pleasure both for the ride and to get away from poor grooming practices. Look for signs such as the dog not happy about being touched, being combed, rough cutting, red areas, rashes or cuts and an increase in misbehaviour.

Avoid dog washes using recycled, used water from previous dogs. Hydrobath operators, and in particular, mobiles, use recycled water tanks both for washing and rinsing your dog. Between dog washes, sometimes the wash tank is drained but rarely is the rinse tank drained or the filter sock cleaned between dogs. Used water can lead to cross infection from previous dogs, skin conditions and transfer of flea infestation. Failure to completely rinse out the shampoo from the dog’s coat with fresh water can lead to serious skin complaints, all of which in the long term means costly visits to the Vet.

If you have an old, overweight, arthritic or injured dog, avoid establishments or mobiles where the dog must be lifted or has to traverse a steep ramp to get into the bath. The strain on the dog could lead to the dog collapsing in the bath and suffering extreme stress.

If your dog is cut or you suspect poor grooming practices, discuss this with the groomer. If you are still unhappy don’t hesitate to seek another groomer.

      Contact Information

The Dog House
An award-winning cat and dog groomer
451 Nathan Ellis Highway
Mashpee, MA  02649
United States


Phone: 508-548-8373



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