Choosing a groomer

Freedom of choice

Leaving your fur baby in the care of other people is a huge deal, and there are many things to take into consideration. The grooming industry has evolved so much in the last 5 years alone, and with the introduction of poodle crosses there is now a booming trade. With this brings an influx of people wanting to become dog groomers and hence many candidates for you to choose from.

Grab your pen and paper and prioritise the key points that you think you and your dog want from a groomer. Here’s some points to take into consideration, hope they help….

Groomer’s niche

Every groomer has their own niche in the industry, and target audience. We like to compare it to food shopping… Someone that shops at Aldi wouldn’t shop at Marks and Spencer!

Decide if you’re after the ultimate spa pamper for your pooch, with mud masks and aromatherapy oils, or maybe you’re after a breed specific haircut so you’ll want to look out for a groomer that specialises in that breed.

All groomers style dogs differently too, as much as we are able to groom to your preferences, some will angle the hair differently when scissoring, or prefer a longer/shorter finish, giving a completely different look.

So check out groomers social media pictures and that you like the way they groom your breed of dog

Qualifications and experience

There are many experienced groomers who are the best out there, but that are not qualified. They’ve been grooming dogs since before grooming qualifications existed! You’ll still find that these groomers are up to date with all the latest techniques and trends, and in fact they are often the mentors giving seminars to all new budding groomers!

But we live in a new society where gone are the days when you could get a job in a grooming parlour without obtaining a qualification. So much is invested into new staff that Qualifications prove to employers that they are serious about grooming. But just because someone is qualified doesn’t mean they have much hand on experience. During their course they will often only actually groom a handful of dogs, and although they may have had a work placement, they may have only been bathing the dogs.

So, check what qualifications a groomer has, but also find out how much experience they have.

Look for approved logos on their advertising.

Great news is that The Pet Industry Federation is in the process of trying to regulate dog grooming, so the grooming industry is becoming safe guarded against unprofessionalism.


Word of mouth / reviews / research

Recommendations from friends and people you trust are probably the best of all. You can always get a good gauge of service based on reviews, but Social media reviews can often be fake. Some reviews are also only left when businesses ASK clients to leave a review. The best reviews are given freely but overall the accreditation of reviews are not as authentic as they used to be since algorithms and automated technology marketing


Independent parlour, co dependant parlour with shop/vets, shed in private home garden, groomers home, your home, grooming van… just a few of the main options. There are many practical advantages to having several services under one roof, especially if you’re a busy owner. Or maybe you like the convenience of a van coming to your home.

A groomers home environment in their outhouse can often be a calmer experience but don’t discount parlours which can still offer calmer days and times.

Bear in mind that it can get pretty hairy if you have a groomer come in to your own home. It can also be distracting for your dog if your in ear shot but a home groomer is still a great option particularly for dogs that don’t travel well.


Think about the practicality of where the groomers are located. If it’s close to home then great, or maybe it’s conveniently on your work commute. Also bear in mind traffic, is it in the middle of a town where school and work traffic will clash with your appointment.


What’s the parking like? It can be a dangerous trying to get excited dogs in and out of a car on a busy road so worth looking for a groomer with good parking. Far safer in case they escape of the lead.


Do the groomers have a waiting area facility? Most groomers don’t encourage owners to wait as it can be distracting to the dogs, but we know some owners hate to leave their dogs so make sure you check first if you really want to stay.

Is there a café or supermarket near by where you can fill your time while you wait for your dog to be ready? Dogs often take 2-3 hours at the groomers so an ideal time to go and get the food shopping.


and additional services

How accommodating are they? Some groomers are happy for you to leave your dog’s there all day if you need to work, whilst some need you to pick up dogs straight away as they want their home back or short on space.

Do they offer other useful services? Collection delivery, handy in an emergency if your cars broke down, hydrotherapy, veterinary services,

What about their general services?

Groomer personality

Ring or message the groomer and ask questions, what kind of vibe do you get? Are they friendly, helpful and engaging? How they interact with you could be how they interact with your pooch.

Dogs pick up on their owner’s body language and if they sense you not warming to someone then they might not warm to them either.

Don’t under estimate the importance of a confident groomer if your dog is nervous or cheeky, the right groomer will help your dog flourish into enjoying being on the grooming table, where as a nervous groomer can nurture bad behavior.

You could be seeing the groomer as regular as every 4 weeks so it’s nice to get on with them.

Some groomers are very strict on grooming breed specifically but some will accommodate the unusual requests.

Dog’s personality

Like us, our dogs can react positively or negatively to their surroundings based on their nature. Do you think your dog would prefer to be groomed at home or enjoy an afternoon out the house making friends!


Most groomers have similar pricing platforms. This includes a starting ‘from price’ with extra charges for de-matting and other add ons. But look out for what’s included in the price. Just how much is extra, some groomers will charge a flat rate for extra costs, but some will charge by the minute.

You’ll find that groomers that specialise in a niche, such as scissor cutting or show grooms, will be costlier.

Check for the groomers policies, some have rules in place where you must follow their recommendations for frequency of grooms, so make sure your prepared to fork out every 2-3 weeks with some groomers.

If you’re on a budget, home groomers can often be slightly cheaper as they don’t have the overheads of a parlour.

Last words

Trust your gut instinct and weigh up the pros and cons to your top choices. What works for one customer won’t work for another. It’s mostly just personal needs and opinion .

There’s lots of choice out there and the majority are all great groomers, just all suited to different dogs and their owners.

No question is a silly question so don’t be afraid to ask the groomer anything to help you choose.

Why we would choose us

Meet our groomers, hear our ethos and check out our amenities…
All the information you need to decide whether we are the groomers for you.