Dog being washed by groomer

Find out what happens when you bring your dog to see a dog groomer

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Dog Groomer: What can you expect when taking your dog to a groomer

By Zoë Monk Content Writer

Updated on the

Dog groomers are experts at keeping your dog looking pawfect. If you've never taken your pup to the groomers before, we'll tell you everything you need to know.

Grooming your dog at home can take a lot of time, care, and patience, especially if they are a very fluffy pup or have any behavioural issues. You also need plenty of space, particularly if you have a large dog.

That's why many dog owners choose to take their pups to a dog groomer. If you've never taken your dog to a dog groomer before, you may be wondering what to expect. But don't worry, we are here to help.

What happens if you don't groom your dog?

Brushing your dog not only helps to keep their coat healthy and glossy, but you also help to remove this dirt, dead skin, dead fur and dandruff. In extreme cases, not grooming your dog can cause their fur to become severely matted, which in turn can become so tight it could restrict or even cut off the dog's blood circulation. Professional dog groomers provide an essential animal welfare service.

Do dog groomers wash or cut first?

Dog groomers will usually wash dogs first. They will then ensure the dog's coat is completely dry before clipping. Washing the dog first ensures that the clippers don't get clogged up with dirt from the dog's coat, resulting in a poor cut.

Do dogs feel better after grooming?

While they may not want to admit it, it's fair to assume that dogs feel better after grooming. After all, it's just like the feeling you have after you've had a nice bath and put on clean clothes. When their coat is free of tangles and matted fur, and their skin is free of ticks and fleas, they will feel much more comfortable.

Does your dog have fleas? Check out our tips on getting rid of fleas.

How much should dog grooming cost?

Dog grooming costs £39 on average. However, the price can range from £18 up to £80 or more. The cost of dog grooming largely depends on where you live, the size and breed of dog, type of coat and the condition of the dog's fur.

How do I choose a good dog groomer?

The best way to find a good dog groomer for your beloved canine companion is through recommendations. Ask your local friends, relatives and neighbours with dogs which groomer they take their dog to. Once you've got their details, arrange to meet with the dog groomer before booking in your pup. Don't be afraid to ask them about their services and how they will approach grooming your dog.

Questions to ask a dog groomer:

  • Can I see your facility?
  • What kind of training do you have?
  • Are you insured?
  • How do you handle certain situations? For example, what would you do if my dog was scared?
  • Besides brushing, shampooing and haircut, what other services do you provide?
  • What products do you use?
  • Can I stay and watch while you groom my dog?
  • Do you have experience with my dog's breed?
  • How long does grooming take?
Are you worried about your dog's skin? Check out our guide on recognising dog skin problems.

What happens during dog grooming?

Some dog groomers work from home, a mobile dog grooming van or a salon. While some dog groomers will let owners stay and watch, it's common for owners to leave while their dog is groomed. Seeing you during grooming could easily distract the dog and groomer. Your dog could get anxious or excited and want to get back to you. Your dog needs to understand that the dog groomer is their handler during the grooming session, not you. 

Eyes and nails

Many dog groomers will start by putting your dog onto the table, cleaning their eyes, and clipping their nails first. 

Anal glands

Some groomers will also check the dog's anal glands if a vet has shown them how to express the anal glands. The groomer will usually do this in the bath before shampooing.

Pre-bath clip

Sometimes, a dog groomer will clip a dog's coat before bathing if the dog has a particularly long, woolly or curly coat. This means the dog groomer won't have to spend time shampooing and rinsing part of the coat that they will be cutting later.

Shampoo, rinse and dry

Groomers will usually do an initial shampoo and rinse before a second shampoo and a more thorough rinse. This ensures that your dog's coat is squeaky clean and free of any dirt.  

Drying and brushing

After the bath, the dog groomer will use a special dryer to dry your dog's skin and coat thoroughly. As they dry your dog's coat, they will also give it a good brush through to help fluff up or straighten the coat before clipping and styling.

Clipping and styling

Once your dog has had a wash, blow-dry and thorough brushing, they are ready for their haircut and styling. Depending on the type of coat your dog has, the groomer will either use scissors or clippers to trim your dog's coat and complete the styling.

Your dog doesn't need to be on show at Crufts to visit a dog groomer. Grooming is an integral part of caring for your dog and ensuring they are happy and healthy. A visit to the dog groomers will ensure your canine companion is always looking good and feeling great.

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