Complaints on abusive pet groomers are not new. Story after story, review after review, on how a pet was just “different” when they came back from the salon. Stories that make all of us wonder just how can it be that these businesses stay open for many years with such reputation.
It is important that all pet parents research the facility where they take their dog or cat for a bath or a trim before taking the first step (big, mind you) of making an appointment.
Here are 6 basic steps you can take to evaluate and select a safe grooming facility for your furry friend.
A safe grooming is all about paying attention to the details.
- Do an online review search.
Don’t consider a negative review as a deciding factor. Instead, read as many of the reviews as you can from one site to the other to get a general picture of how others feel about the way the facility does business. Look for negative redundancy: repeating negative reviews on a specific factor —be it customer service, animal treatment, etc. over and over again, you can safely move on as you may not be dealing with isolated incidents here.
- Ask how long it will take for the grooming to be completed.
Don’t take “We will call you” for an answer. Request a specific time since this type of answer may mean that your friend will spend long times inside a cage.
- Most abuse cases happen during the restraining process.
Inform grooming staff if your pet’s personality may cause an issue during restraint. A responsible grooming facility will always ask about your pal’s temperment and behavior before you leave to be sure they will be ready to handle him/her correctly.
- Pay attention to how organized the staff is.
During your check-in try to see how focused they are when receiving your instructions. If you see employees looking hurried or stressed this is a red flag and you should not complete the check-in. If you do you run the risk of leaving your dog or cat with someone who may not even remember their name.
- Check the grooming area and how clean the area is.
Professional groomers will always keep their areas neat and clean for not only looks but for safety to reduce any risks of cross-contamination.
- See safety guidelines in action.
Look around and notice if there are any animals on top of grooming tables or inside tubs under no supervision. This kind of carelessness is just an accident waiting to happen.
Unscrupolous and careless grooming salons are everywhere to be found. It is then up to responsible parents to “weed-out” the bad apples through careful review, both internally (during check-in) and externally (through service reviews online and offline). When enough customers move on to better providers businesses are forced to either correct their operations or close their doors.
It is the least we can do to protect our best friends from abuse and neglect.