= Featured Provider
Grooming is a key part of keeping your dog’s coat and skin healthy. Brushing and combing stimulate circulation in your dog’s skin and help keep fur clean between baths. Bathing gets rid of the dirt, and depending on the soap used, bathing can moisturize, relieve itching, or kill parasites, like fleas and ticks.
Brushing should be a part of every dog owner’s routine to keep the fur in excellent condition. Ideally, brush your dog’s coat at least twice a week. Choose tools to match your dog’s coat, such as a wide-toothed brush for longer, coarse fur and a narrow-toothed brush for shorter fur.
You should typically brush your dog twice a week and bathe it once a month. Frequent brushing removes loose debris and distributes natural oils from your dog’s skin throughout its coat. Monthly bathing usually prevents fur from getting smelly without overdrying a dog’s skin.
Some basic services to expect from a professional dog groomer include bathing, brushing, and trimming fur. Groomers generally make sure to remove matted fur and clip fur into breed-specific styles. Groomers also clean ears and clip a dog’s nails when needed.
While dog groomers typically trim nails, it isn’t necessarily included with a basic grooming session. Every groomer is different, and while one may include it, another groomer may charge an extra fee. Some other additional services groomers offer include expressing anal glands, brushing teeth, skin therapy regimens, and flea treatments.
Expect a full grooming session to take two or three hours. If your dog has thick fur, it could take even longer. Making sure your dog’s coat is dry is one detail that takes extra time. It’s important that the coat be completely dry to prevent hot spots, known as acute moist dermatitis.
You rarely need to bathe your dog before taking it to a groomer. However, it may depend on the groomer’s personal preferences. For example, if you’re taking your dog in for a detailed style, your groomer may prefer that the basic grooming steps be done ahead, such as bathing and brushing out matted fur.
If you take your dog to the groomer’s facility, a basic dog grooming session typically costs around $40 for a small dog and $75 for a large dog. Expect to pay a higher price if a mobile groomer comes to you. Additionally, expect to pay more for complicated styles and extra services.
While CareCredit doesn’t specifically cover dog grooming costs, it covers some routine care grooming services that veterinarians provide. So, if your pet needs to be sedated by your vet for tasks that include clipping matted fur or trimming nails, that’s typically covered. Dental cleanings are generally covered if performed by your veterinarian.
While tipping a dog groomer is optional, it’s standard practice if you’re satisfied with the work. The standard tip to offer a groomer is 20%, as of 2021. If your dog is difficult to groom, it’s considered polite to offer a larger tip.
Dogs need to be current on vaccinations before getting groomed. The specific vaccinations vary based on the animal’s age and the regulations in your state. Parvovirus, adenovirus, canine distemper, rabies, and para-influenza are among the common vaccines an adult dog should have before visiting the groomer.
You must present your dog’s shot records before a groomer can work on your pet, and you might only have to share records on your dog’s first visit. Some groomers may work on the honor system and might not ask to see your pet’s vaccination records.
A groomer can groom a dog with matted fur by starting with a rough cut to remove mats. If the mats are too close against the dog’s skin, the groomer might use clippers or shave under the mats. The groomer would then bathe and dry the dog before finishing the style.
A dog groomer might handle a mildly aggressive dog by covering its face or muzzling it before grooming. A groomer might also require that a more aggressive dog be sedated before grooming begins.
You have several options for becoming a dog groomer, beginning with on-the-job training. With this option, you get paid while learning how to groom dogs. You could also take online courses or attend dog grooming school. With this option, you gain certification that you can present to an employer to show your qualifications.
No license is required to groom dogs. However, there are certifications available that a groomer can earn to show expertise and advance their professional careers. You can gain certifications for grooming specific breeds, or you can complete all the certifications and then test to become a National Certified Master Groomer.
The National Dog Groomers Association of America, Inc. (NDGAA) offers breed-specific material you can study when you want to earn certification as a dog groomer. After studying the materials, you would then attend an NDGAA workshop and take the certification test that’s offered at the end of the workshop.