In search of a groomer in the Boca Raton/South Florida area? For starters, your Boca Raton pet care specialist would be happy to recommend one, if you’d like. You can also go out online and do a bit of research. Look around; the choices in the Boca area are just about limitless. Be warned, however: Finding the right groomer for your fur-ever friend can be as hard as finding the right physician or hairdresser. Sure, we want our dogs to look fluffed and fabulous. But we also want to be sure that they’re in good hands; that they are both safe and comfortable during the entire process.

Things to Consider
Mobile Services
If the very idea of putting Bowzer in the car and driving to the local grooming shop makes you break out in a cold sweat, maybe you don’t have to… drive, that is. Limit your search to mobile groomers; there are lots of them in the Boca area, and not only are they convenient in saving drive time, but they can also be a Godsend when your pup either 1) doesn’t like being in the car and/or 2) doesn’t like visiting places that he or she has not been before.

Now, this is not to say that formal training is an absolute necessity, but it is one way to help you in your search. There are grooming schools. Not every groomer attends one. There are no regulations when it comes to training, so it is totally up to the individual how much training he or she wants before starting to work on dogs. Internships aren’t required, but many people who are really interested in getting into the business try to get some “on-the-job” training first. In this instance, they’ll often start with the basics, ie baths. They’ll also learn, before they pick up a pair of scissors, how to perform the other basic, grooming services, such as ear cleaning, nail clipping, proper bathing, and proper brushing.

What should You look For?
Not all groomers belong to an organization, but there are some out there; the National Dog Groomer’s Association of America, for instance. Membership in an industry organization can show professional interest. Associating with other professionals, receiving information on new trends on a regular basis… these show a real commitment to the profession. Additionally, the NDGA does offer a certification program, which further demonstrates a groomer’s expertise and commitment. A Master Groomer, for instance, has been evaluated against a national standard and must take (and pass?!) written and practical tests. A master groomer, additionally, has been well schooled in areas such as safety procedures, health and hygiene practices in the shop, how to handle pesticides, the anatomy of the dog, proper dog handling techniques, and first aid.

Most Importantly, How does Your dog Like her Groomer?
Let’s face it. Some dogs love seeing other dogs, being brushed and pampered, meeting new people. Other dogs would rather have their canines pulled than leave the house, and much prefer being left alone over being petted or brushed. Knowing your pet’s personality will help you gauge what kind of experience he or she will have with a groomer. Once you’ve gone to a groomer, you’ll know right away. If you must drag your pet up the ramp to the groomer’s door, perhaps you should rethink things. If HE drags YOU, then you’ve found the right place!