Hire a Pro or DIY?

There are a few considerations in deciding whether to take your dog to a professional groomer or trying it yourself at home. You can save some money by doing it yourself, but you have to be comfortable with tasks such as clipping nails, cleaning ears, and cleaning and clipping under the dog's tail. This isn't a job for the squeamish. Hiring a professional groomer offers the advantages of not cleaning up the mess, not taxing you physically, and not taking up your time. It can be a time-consuming job depending on the dog and the coat type.

Grooming, while rewarding, is a physically demanding job. If you are only grooming your own pets, grooming should be fun for everyone, provided you have the right tools and knowledge for the job.

Grooming should be one of many factors you consider when you buy or adopt a dog. Evaluate whether you can afford to have the dog groomed or whether you can groom the dog yourself. Do you have the time and patience to take care of your dog's coat, especially if it is a high-maintenance coat?

Leaving It to the Pros

There are many groomers in the pet industry, and many pet owners use them regularly to keep their dogs groomed and beautiful. Groomers offer a valuable service to pet owners and are usually the first ones to find health problems. They pay careful attention to each part of a dog's body as they groom her, and they may spot abnormalities that owners simply don't notice. Groomers are experts at handling dogs and can groom them without the usual struggles you may experience doing it yourself at home.

If you choose to have your dog groomed, ask your friends and neighbors who they use to groom their pet or ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. Just like shopping for a beautician to cut your hair, you'll find some you like, some with hours that mesh better with your lifestyle, and some that give you a better first impression overall. Use your instincts and find a groomer with whom you are comfortable. If you want to change a style, speak up and tell your groomer what you want. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Most groomers are more than happy to accommodate your preferences.

DIY

Grooming your dog yourself can be rewarding as well. It allows you to bond with him and practice your animal-handling skills. You and your pet will benefit from the increased confidence grooming lends your relationship. Make sure you have the correct tools to do the job and the time to devote to grooming. Most of all, have fun with it, and make it a special time to bond with your pet. If you find yourself frustrated and exhausted your pet will notice those feelings and will react accordingly.

Look at your situation. You don't have to own professional tools to get the job done, but you do have to use tools that work well. Cutting corners on proper equipment will only aggravate you and your pet and can be dangerous as well. Knowing how to use the equipment correctly will help get you both off to a better start.

No Matter Who Grooms

You notice many things when you're grooming a dog. Some older dogs have warts, bumps, age spots, and tumors on their skin. It's wise to have any lumps, warts, or tumors looked at by a veterinarian to confirm whether they are a potential problem. Observant groomers catch many serious diseases in dogs in the early stages. Don't be afraid to have your vet examine your findings even if you think it's nothing to worry about. A fatty tumor taken for granted could be something more serious; it's better to be safe than sorry. Look closely all over your dog and make note of anything about which you have questions.

You can discover cancerous tumors in the early stages when grooming your dog. Keeping your pet on a regular grooming schedule will allow you to make note of any issues and keep track of any changes and possibly save your dog's life.

While grooming a dog, you may notice cuts, punctures, parasites, hot spots, and even debris picked up by matted hair. Some groomers find the most bizarre items in matted hair, such as fishhooks, barbed wire, toys, pieces of plastic, metal or wood, chewing gum, and anything you can think of that a dog can get into. This is why grooming your dog is so important.

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