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How to Get the Haircut You Really Want for Your Pet

Have you ever been to the salon for a haircut and come away unhappy with the result because you weren’t quite able to make the stylist understand what you wanted? Consider how much more difficult it can be for the professional groomer to give your best friend the perfect "do." Sparky can’t offer feedback during the process to let his stylist know if the length and style are what his owner had in mind!

Every pet owner has different needs and expectations about dog grooming, so it’s very important to take the time to talk with your groomer . If this is Buddy’s first visit with a new groomer, schedule your drop off for a day and time when the groomer is available to discuss your pet’s needs and your preferences.

Even before your pet’s appointment, there are some steps you can take to ensure better communication with your pet’s groomer:

  • Look at the book. A quality grooming salon will have a book with photos that illustrates a variety of styles and lengths. Take the time to look through the book in advance and find one or two photos that are close to what you have in mind. When you meet with the groomer, you can ask whether the style is possible for your pet.
  • Be realistic about the condition of your pet’s coat . Do you brush your pet regularly at home, or is his coat badly matted or tangled? Even a highly skilled groomer can’t save a tangled coat in one session. Sometimes, there’s no choice but to clip underneath the matts and wait for the hair to grow back before trying that new style. Be sure to brush religiously as the coat grows back so the tangles don’t return!
  • Consider your pet and your lifestyle . The behavior and temperament of your dog and your family’s lifestyle are both important factors in choosing a hairstyle for your pet. That fancy show cut may look appealing in the book, but are you prepared for the at-home grooming routine needed to maintain it? And will your pet cooperate with a long grooming session?

Once you’ve done your homework and you are face to face with the groomer:

  • Be very specific about your expectations. "Short, but not too short" or "leave it long" are not adequate direction. Does short mean two inches of hair, or a half-inch? If you have something specific in mind, it’s important to be specific when you speak to the groomer.
  • Be honest about the results . If you don’t like the results, tell the groomer – in person — when you pick up your pet. Discuss what you’d like done differently next time. A professional groomer keeps notes about each visit for every pet. If you are honest with the groomer about how you like the results, your comments can be added to the file. That way, the next time Sparky comes in, your groomer will have a better idea of what you want.

Over time, with good communication, you and your groomer will be able to find the perfect style for your pet. To find a professional groomer near you, contact your local Best Friends Pet Care center.