I decided it was time I groomed my own dogs.
I had really great groomers. They were kind, efficient, and seemed to genuinely enjoy grooming my dogs.
But besides the costs starting to add up, there were logistics to consider. They only had certain hours and you were required to pick them up when the grooming was complete – after all they weren’t in the boarding business. It became increasingly difficult to find an appointment time that I could fit into my work schedule.
So I decided I would try and learn to do it myself. I took the plunge and bought a clipper set.
I was nervous as hell.
Could I do this? What if they looked terrible? & even more terrible, what if I CUT THEM?? But I jumped in, determined I could do this. I learned quite a bit in a short amount of time.
Here are my top tips if you decide you want to groom your own dog:
- Watch the DVD that is usually enclosed with the clipper set – and get online and find videos; – these tools were a lifesaver in familiarizing me on handling clippers.
- Patience is key.
- If you are stuck on something, ask your vet. Mine was kind enough to show me how to clip between their foot pads (not covered on the enclosed DVD). He also recommended clipping over scissors because of the high incidence of accidently cutting their skin. (that made me more nervous!) Although there a few areas that scissors seem to work best.
- Have I mentioned Patience?
- Tell yourself they don’t have to be perfect. My dogs are not show dogs, but if yours are, then I perfectly understand this may or may not be something you want to tackle yourself. But for me, I was not only looking to cut costs, but I thought (& I was right about this) I would genuinely enjoy the time I would spend one on one time with them during grooming.
- I keep plenty of treats on hand to give them through the process and we take LOTS of breaks.
So now almost 4 years later, I still groom each of them myself. I make sure I have a pocketful of treats and we still take plenty of breaks.
Are they perfect? No. But it’s not like they walk by the mirror and think “Damn, my beard is crooked again!”
Do I enjoy the one on one time? You bet! Do they? I like to think so.
Have I ever cut them? Yes. Mia got nicked on the edge of her ear and I nicked Maxie near her rear leg. Nothing major but it made me (& probably them) a little skittish the rest of that session.
Do you groom your dog? What do you think are the pros and cons?