Skip to main content

How to choose the right dog groomer for your pet

Although any dog can benefit from visiting a groomer throughout life, some need it more than others — like breeds who have hair and don’t shed, such as poodles and shih tzus. Finding a dog groomer for your little ball of sunshine is easier said than done, though. How can you find someone good enough for your fur baby?

After reading this article, you’ll learn how to choose a dog groomer who’s both skilled and friendly with your pup. You’ll have many options to choose from, so take your time! Your dog won’t mind a little waiting if it means having a stress-free trip to the groomer.

Related Videos

Look at reviews and recommendations

The best places to start are with the people you know and love — other pet owners! Especially if you know pet parents who have the same breed you do, they’ll know exactly where to go … and where not to go.

If you don’t have any friends in the know, try a review website like Yelp to find the top groomers near you. Yelp reviews are from real people, so you know you’re getting an honest look into your options. There’s no point in pursuing a locale where other pets have had bad experiences, right?

a groomer trims the hair of a brown poodle mix sitting on a grooming table
Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

Ask the right questions

Whether you’re talking to a friend about their groomer or giving your top choice a call, it’s important to find out some of the essentials before going any further. Here’s what you might want to ask:

  • What training do you have? This is one of the most important questions you can ask because there’s a big difference between DIY doggie haircuts and certified grooming. Don’t be afraid to look up their school or certification if you’re unsure.
  • Do you have experience with my dog’s breed? This is another important question because every breed has its own specific grooming needs. A qualified canine stylist needs to know what to do!
  • What products do you use? Aside from checking for any of your dog’s allergens, this gives you a chance to get to know the quality of the salon as well as the harshness of their products. If they’re opting for gentle, natural, chemical-free products, you’ve made a good choice!

Pay them a visit

Whether you bring along your furry friend or make the trip solo, it’s smart to visit your chosen salon before making an appointment. Pay attention to what you see — is it clean? How many dogs are in the salon? Where are the waiting pups being kept? Do the dogs seem stressed?

Take a moment to meet the groomer if they’re not busy. If you’re at a salon with more than one stylist, this is a great time to make your pick! Someone who meets your dog with friendliness and enthusiasm is a good sign, though it’s even better if you’re allowed to stay and observe. They may not let you watch while they’re working on another dog’s fur, but you can definitely observe if you bring in your dog for a nail trim.

a male groomer brushes a golden retriever on a grooming table
Sam Wordley/Shutterstock

Try out a nail trim

If you’re ready for a trial run, a nail trim is a great way to go. It doesn’t take super long, and you can get the gist of how your pup reacts to the salon, the environment, and her groomer. This will be even easier in salons with open spaces or if they let you stay and watch!

This also gives you a chance to see what other services the groomer provides. Plus, you’ll get to go through the process of booking and experiencing an appointment, letting you gauge the professionalism of the place you selected.

This is also the time for any last-minute questions. A professional groomer won’t mind that you want to know what’s up — only the best for your four-legged friends, after all. If they seem stressed or agitated by your questions, you might want to take that into consideration. Those who work with pets need to be calm, cool, and collected at all times, even when faced with a rambunctious dog (or a curious pet parent).

With these baby steps to keep in mind, you can find your dog’s dream groomer for sure. It might take a minute to weed out the not quite right, but once you do, your pup will be set for life. You can rest assured knowing your pooch pal is in good hands, and your dog can sit back and enjoy her pampering session — it’s a win for everyone.

Editors' Recommendations

50 spring-inspired names for dogs, from Forrest to Petunia
Springtime names for dogs influenced by the season, from Cosmo to April
A black and white Pomeranian sits in front of a tulip field and gives a head tilt

As the snow begins to melt beneath the longer hours of daylight, so many new things are taking form. Flowers are budding, animals are welcoming their young, and everything begins to feel renewed. Springtime is near! It's also an ideal time to welcome a new furry friend into your household. After all, longer days and warmer temperatures will make outdoor activities with your pup much more fun.

If you're planning on adopting a new dog come spring, you'll need to have some good dog names on hand. Of course, you can always opt for one of the classics, but these names for dogs are inspired by one of the most magical times of the year: springtime. These are 50 of our favorites, and we hope you'll love them as much as we do!

Read more
Have your heart set on a breed? Here’s why it’s important to consider different types of dogs
Think you need a small dog? Here's why you should research different types of dogs first
A woman kissing a dog

Perhaps you love your friend’s Yorkie. Maybe you grew up with a beagle and always dreamt of having one of your own. Getting fixated on a specific breed is normal and natural, and there’s no shame in it. Just like gender disappointment is a "thing" in parenting, so is dreaming about welcoming a specific dog with a distinct look and characteristics into your family.

Still, you want to consider different types of dogs while searching for a new furry family member. It may be difficult to wrap your head around, but researching other breeds and considering all of your options is an essential step in the process of choosing a dog breed. That doesn’t mean you must consider all dog breeds — that’s overwhelming — but you want to look into several. Here’s why and how to jumpstart your search for your next four-legged best friend.

Read more
6 affectionate and cute dog breeds for owners who love to cuddle
Different dog breeds that are cute and that any owner would love
Cavalier King Charles spaniel lies on a pillow and looks into the camera with big eyes

Sometimes, a dog simply falls into your life with no notice. Other times, however, you have the opportunity to plan for welcoming your new furry friend. You might even want to research different dog breeds to decide the kind of pet you're looking for. Do you want an athletic canine bestie? Or would you prefer a buddy who wants to hang out on the couch?
Affection is one other quality that many look for in a pet. After all, nothing beats a good cuddle with your pup after a long day. Luckily, all the cute dog breeds on this list are known for their affectionate natures, so they'll be just as happy for a snuggle session as you will. Take a look!

Great Dane
Although a lot of people think of small dogs as the cuddliest, that's not always the case. The American Kennel Club (AKC) explains that this breed "need[s] lots of affection and socialization with people and other animals, making them great family pets." They are called "Gentle Giants" after all.

Read more