Choosing a dog groomer is crucial if you're not planning to take on the daunting grooming tasks yourself. This is particularly true for owners of long-haired breeds like the Coton de Tulear.
Professional grooming can significantly improve your dog’s health and well-being. So, it’s not just about looking cute. Grooming the Coton is time-consuming and requires proper training that can take a long time to learn.
A non-scientific poll on this website indicates that almost half of our visitors opt for having their Cotons groomed by a professional.
Choosing a dog groomer should be done with at least as much care as you take for choosing your own hair stylist and it's even more important to choose wisely since you won’t be there to make sure your dog is cared for properly.
I take my own dog to a groomer once a month for bathing, hair clipping, nail trimming, & ear cleaning. I take care of the maintenance at home, such as brushing and bathing in between grooming visits. I’ve been going to the same groomer for many years, and I trust that my dog is getting the best care.
But that wasn’t always the case.
Over 15 years ago, when I had my first Coton de Tulear, Luc, it wasn’t easy to find a professional who knew how to groom a Coton. There was a lot of trial and error and even a couple of tears in the beginning (mine). Luc was a trooper!
A reputable dog groomer will have all the proper equipment needed to do the job right - all kinds of combs, brushes, scissors, clippers, dryers, bathtubs, and grooming tables. They have the right shampoos, conditioners, and detanglers for your dog’s unique needs.
But when I got Luc, even trained groomers with the right tools didn’t have the knowledge or experience with this rare breed. So, Luc would often come home looking nothing like a Coton. I had to bring photos to let the groomer know what the Coton de Tulear should look like.
Even now, finding a dog groomer familiar with the Coton de Tulear can be challenging, especially if you don't live in a big city.
I've heard countless tales of grooming nightmares from my readers, often resulting in Cotons that are unrecognizable or even mistaken for another breed.
Unfortunately, having at least one bad professional grooming experience is a rite of passage for many pet owners. Having said that, having a good grooming experience is more likely if you have a partnership relationship with your groomer. You agree on some ground rules and you agree to take care of grooming in between salon visits.
When you take a severely matted dog to a professional groomer, there's a strong likelihood that you will be picking up a shaved dog.
10 Common Professional Grooming Pitfalls to Watch for When Choosing a Dog Groomer:
Choosing a dog groomer should be done with at least as much care as you take for choosing your own hair stylist. It's even more important to choose wisely since you won’t be there to ensure the care of your dog is up to par.
After getting recommendations, ask the prospective groomer specific questions about services and costs, pick-up and delivery, and what methods they use to calm the dog. It's also a good idea to inquire about liability insurance in the case of an emergency. A good groomer will be happy to answer any questions you have and welcome a grooming visit to meet and check the salon out.
Visit the grooming facility without the dog first to check out the environment.
Some groomers will give you a specific appointment time, while others may keep your dog in a cage all day while they wait their turn. If that is an important factor for you, be sure to ask about their policy in advance.
If you have an anxious dog or a senior dog with joint issues, being confined to a small cage for hours, you probably want to choose a dog groomer who grooms by appointment or even a mobile groomer who comes to your home.
When choosing a dog groomer, you must communicate your expectations clearly, or you may be surprised when your Coton de Tulear comes home looking like a poodle. (I know I've had that experience at least once).
I know we'd all love to find a dog groomer like the one in the below video, who absolutely loves the Coton dog she's working on. For me, nothing is more important than my dog being treated with love and kindness. Hair can grow back, after all.
The video is long and may be helpful for those who self-groom their dogs, but you only have to watch a few minutes to tell that this dog is in good hands with someone gentle and kind in addition to being knowledgeable.
I hope you find a professional groomer like the woman in this video. Her love for the Coton is evident, and she is precisely the kind of person you want to have since many dogs are anxious at the groomer.
Cotons are sensitive little creatures, and the combination of noises, strangers, other dogs, and being away from home can be a lot to ask of them. Choosing a dog groomer who will make your dog feel safe is essential.
Finding the right pet groomer for an anxious dog can be challenging, depending on where you live. However, most professional groomers are trained to handle anxious dogs and use a variety of techniques to help calm and soothe the dog during their grooming session.
If your dog gets stressed out going to the groomer, there are a few things you can do to help ensure that you find someone who can provide the care of your pet and the attention your dog needs.
Here are some great tips on choosing a groomer for an anxious dog:
You can learn more about how to groom an anxious dog here.
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