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Choosing a Groomer

Choosing a Groomer

Groomers are a necessity for many pet owners who depend on them to bathe and beautify their beloved dogs and cats. They are also the first line of defense in discovering nasty surprises like fleas and ticks, or lumps and bumps indicative of cancer.

Longtime dog and cat groomers offer the following advice when choosing a groomer: Do make sure the grooming shop smells pleasant and is well lit. “It has to be clean, too,” says Tracy Zanoni of Lil’Piddlers. “We let people come in and check out our business.”

Take notice of how you and your pet are treated when you enter the facility, advices Victoria Moya of Judy’s Bath & Boutique in Pembroke Pines.

Find a groomer who seems like an animal lover, Zanoni recommends. Some in the profession are just in it for the money. Ask the staff about the groomer’s experience to see how long they have been grooming, if they specialize in certain breeds, and if they have had formal training, Moya said. Ask for details on the services included in a grooming. Be glad your groomer asks for proof of up-to-date vaccinations, which is important to prevent diseases, like rabies. That way no one gets sick. Do your part as a respectful pet owner, between visits to the groomer, with consistent oral care and regular hair brushing to prevent matted fur.

Don’t wait a year between visits for cats, says Josie of A Country Cat House. The cat is more stressed by the process and it’s more costly to groom. Don’t cut your dog’s nails at home, advises Meneses of Wilton’s Manner. It’s an inexpensive process by a professional and an amateur can inadvertently do damage. Don’t go to the first groomer you see in the nearby shopping center. Do your homework on the reputation of a business, Allen recommends asking your veterinarian for a referral, or talking to someone with a nicely groomed dog you see at the dog park.

Deb Speelman, from Alva, Fla., has been lobbying for changes in the grooming industry after her dog, Rocky, suffered spinal cord damage during a visit to a groomer last year. You can review her online petition at: www.change.org/p/stop-groomers-from-killing- our-dogs.

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