Helping Pet Owners Understand Why Grooming Appointments Can Be Lengthy

Having a dog groomed by a professional is one of life’s worthwhile luxuries. You don’t have to worry about getting your own bathroom flooded, hair down the drain, endless wet towels, not to mention a damp (still smelly) dog to deal with. People who have attempted to groom their dogs at home make the best grooming clients, as they can relate to all of the processes involved in this task. For those who have not undertaken this feat, it is often difficult to understand what could possibly take more than an hour or two.

It is important to understand the process of a professional grooming session and all that it entails. Of course, it involves a bath, which doesn’t sound difficult. But several factors determine what type of a bathing session: length and condition of hair, amount of shedding and/or matting of the hair, condition of skin, external parasites, etc. These factors also determine the method of coat conditioning, as well as blow-drying that will be used.

The brush out, deshedding, pedicure, ear cleaning and plucking, sanitary and feet trimming, etc…so much to do! Each of these tasks take significant time to perform correctly and safely Then, depending on breed, we still have the haircut. Remember: we are using very sharp objects on moving targets. Factor in the phone ringing for other appointments and owners showing up to drop off and pick up dogs, and you have a very busy salon atmosphere. And, don’t forget the bathroom breaks and watering…treats, too, and the clock keeps on ticking!

Many groomers have turned to “stack grooming” to alleviate salon stress and anxiety, not only for the pets, but also for the groomers and owners alike. It is by far the safest and least stressful situation for the pets being groomed. Basically all pets are dropped off and picked up around the same time of day. Then the groomer can work on different dogs in shifts; while one dog is drying, another is in the tub. While another is being clipped, a different dog has a conditioner on, etc. The greatest benefit is that the dogs are not forced to endure the entire grooming process start to finish without resting.

Two to four hours is a very long time for even healthy dogs to stand perfectly still, not to mention geriatric pets or those with medical conditions, arthritis, etc. Dogs become much more stressed being forced to stand for lengthy periods of time, rather than resting comfortably in a kennel in between tasks.

In our industry extensive studies have shown this method has had a very positive impact on the reaction that dogs have to the grooming process in general. They go home more rested and happy than after “marathon” grooming sessions. Owners’ reactions have been very positive as well; they enjoy the idea of their pets having an entire day of pampering and personal attention.

If you are new at the process and are trying to choose a groomer, inquire what techniques are used. Good communication is a must. Don’t be anxious if your groomer asks you to pick up your dog at the end of the day: if you are comfortable with your choice of groomers, relax and let Fido enjoy his restful day at the salon!