Usually the best way to locate a competent professional is to ask family, friends, or other professionals - such as a veterinarian, for a referral. But maybe you're new in town, or don't know anyone else who uses a pet grooming professional, and you're on your own.

We find the first question asked by a new client is, "What do you charge?," and the second question is, "When can you do it?" While these may be important considerations, there are other questions you should consider asking when searching for that perfect someone to groom your beloved pets.

Here are some suggestions:

- How long have you been grooming?

- Where did you learn to groom?

- What are your credentials? Have you earned any certifications or belong to a grooming organization?

- Do you have any special areas of expertise?

- Do you have experience grooming my breed of dog?

- Do you allow inspections of your facility?

- Are the pets groomed in view of the customer?

- How long do you keep the pets for grooming?

- Where do you keep them? Are they always in view of someone?

Don't be afraid to ask your groomer these questions, or any other questions you may have. If they seem reluctant to answer your reasonable questions, keep looking! Look for a groomer in the same way you would look for any other professional...there will be good ones, and some not so good ones!

Lastly, if you have any special concerns about your pet, make those concerns known to your groomer right away! Your pet may be elderly with issues such as arthritis, or your pet may be very young, and this is puppy's very first visit to the groomer, or your pet may have a behavioral issue, and you want to know how the groomer feels about it. Engage them in conversation, and relate your concerns!


A certified groomer has undergone rigorous voluntary testing, both written and practical, in order to earn their certifications. The highest level of certification available is the Master Groomer certification.

Members of the aforementioned organizations adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which includes among other things that they promise to treat your pet with the utmost care. If a groomer is a member of one or more of these organizations, you may contact the organization if you have serious concerns about them.

While a groomer might be a perfectly fine groomer without membership in a grooming organization, membership assures they are at least in contact with a group providing information about and access to continuing education, workshops, and certification opportunities.