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Dog Grooming FAQ: What to Look for in a Dog Groomer

WebMD veterinary expert answers commonly asked questions about finding the right dog groomer.



Q: Most groomers don’t want the owner to stay and watch. Why is that?

A: If momma is here the dog is going to act up. That puts the dog at risk of getting cut because they’re squirming around more, trying to get to their owner.

But it can be done. It just takes more time. It just depends on the groomer’s patience and what kind of shop it is.


Q: Most groomings include a bath and haircut, but what about other services? Is it OK for groomers to pluck ear hair or express anal glands, or is that better left to a veterinarian?

A: In certain states, it’s illegal for groomers to do anal glands. There are ways of doing external anal gland expressions. But you also have to know when they’re impacted and shouldn’t be pressed on. If a groomer doesn’t know how to tell when the anal glands are impacted, then the groomer shouldn’t be touching them at all.


Q: What do you think of spa treatments for dogs, like blueberry facials? Do they really do anything? Do dogs like them?

A: All of that stuff is to make money. I’ve never seen any of it do any good. Dogs don’t usually like stuff on their face. They try to lick or rub it off. It’s more to make people feel better than their dogs.


Q: How can I tell if my dog likes his groomer?

A: It depends on the dog. Some dogs are very tender skinned and are never going to like being brushed or groomed. So they’ll never seem happy with a groomer.

But some dogs don’t mind being groomed. If the dog drags you up the ramp and into the door, he’s happy. For many of these dogs, it’s a social time. Many of them are only pets that never see another dog, so they like coming here and seeing others of their own species.

But if you have any doubts about what’s happening to your dog, then find an open shop that will let you stay and watch. They can be harder to find, but they’re out there.

Reviewed on July 06, 2009
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