Many German shepherd owners think of professional groomers as someone to go to when their shepherds need fancy haircuts and not for everyday grooming needs. Although it is okay to groom your dog on your own, it is advisable to hire a professional groomer to do the work for you every now and then. You will appreciate the time and work that goes into making your shepherd’s coat shiny and healthy.
Now the question is, “How often should I take m German shepherd to the groomer?” Most owners of German shepherds with longer fur may opt to take their dogs to the groomer once every 4-6 weeks, while short-haired shepherds may only visit every 8-12 weeks. At least, you should take your GSD to the groomer twice a year, during the heavy shedding seasons of spring and fall.
If you’re still not sure if the benefits will outweigh the groomer’s price tag, here are some benefits of hiring a professional dog groomer.
Top Benefits of Hiring a Professional Groomer
1. They help to reduce shedding greatly
German shepherds shed a lot! They shed all year round, and twice a year, they blow their undercoat ferociously, enough to clothe an entire house. The only way to make this blizzard of fur more manageable is to groom your shepherd regularly.
Some dog owners may insist on grooming their dogs themselves. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but if you have a back pain problem like me, having a professional groomer do the hard work for you can make everything easier.
2. They know what they’re doing
Owners who are not well-versed in dog grooming often make a lot of mistakes. For instance, it can be easy to overlook ticks, ringworms, and other parasites that are attached to your dog. It can be easy to forget to remove loose hair before bathing the dogs and end up leaving the coat matted.
You can be sure that professional groomers will not forget to pay attention to these small but important details. Furthermore, they will also take care of all the yucky stuff that dog owners tend to put off, like cleaning anal glands.
3. They know how to handle dogs
For some reasons, whether it’s an age or mood, dogs can turn aggressive when you try to groom them. Some dogs may even need to be sedated to keep them still enough during the grooming process. This is not something ordinary dog owners who neither have qualifications nor experience can do at home.
4. They fit your schedule
If you work full-time, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to set enough time to brush and bathe your German shepherd, let alone doing full grooms that includes ear plucking and cleansing, nail clipping, teeth cleaning, and so on.
Thanks to the explosion of mobile grooming services and dog grooming shops throughout the US, you will never run out of groomer options to fit your schedule.
5. They have the right tools
Professional groomers have a wide range of grooming tools to address various skin issues and get your dog looking their best, from different kinds of clippers and grooming tables to different kinds of shampoos and medications.
6. They give you valuable tips
There is a lot you can learn from watching a professional groomer in action. They will give you valuable tips for day-to-day grooming and hygiene. Moreover, they will be able to notice anything strange with your dog’s coat like an injury, a visible lump, dry skin, etc., and give you the best advice to handle the conditions properly.
How Much Does a Dog Groomer Cost?
You can expect to pay around $60-$75 if you choose to groom your German shepherd at a local shop. Mobile dog groomers can come to your home for an average cost between $75 to $80. Also, if there is a self-service dog grooming facility nearby, you can bring your shepherd there for between $11-$23.
Here are some examples:
|Donna’s Soggy Doggy Pet Salon||Dallas, TX||Local grooming||$45 to $65 (for medium to large dogs)|
|Pampering Poochie Grooming Boutique||Bedford, TX||Mobile grooming||$75 (for large dogs)|
|Bark and Bathe||Minneapolis, MN||Self-service||$22.99 (for large dogs)|
The price that I mention is the price of a full service grooming that will likely cover the following:
- Bath (with anti-flea and anti-tick shampoos)
- Teeth brushing
- Eye and ear cleaning
- Nail trimming
- Anal gland expression
How much do you tip a dog groomer?
Pet grooming is a physically and mentally demanding job. They will have to work on moving targets that can bite or release their bladders while sitting on a grooming table. Not forget to mention that each dog can have different cutting and styling requirements. So considering how difficult their job is, you should tip them.
There are no hard and fast rules as to how much you should reasonably tip your dog groomer, but generally, most people tend to tip around 15 to 20 percent of the service cost. However, if you get horrible service, do not tip.
How to Find a Dog Groomer to Hire?
As with other professionals, friends, and family will become my first source of referrals. You also can ask your neighbors or veterinarians who they recommend. Websites such as the AKC GroomerFinder are also a great place to research and compare grooming services in your area.
Once you have narrowed your choices, the next step is to find out if this is the right person to groom your dog. Here are a few questions that you may want to ask potential groomers.
1. May I see your facility?
How does the facility look and smell? Is this a place you’re comfortable leaving your dog?
2. Do you have any credentials?
Although a license isn’t a requirement in all states, he/she should have proper certification by a recognized grooming school such as AKC S.A.F.E Grooming or other grooming continuing education programs and have at least two years of professional working experience.
3. What is your policy if an accident or emergency occurs?
An accident can happen unexpectedly during grooming, even to the most professional groomers. That’s why it’s essential to ask the groomer about their safety policy and their past accident reports or client complaints whenever possible.
The first aid kit should be readily available in the event of an emergency, and liability insurance is a plus. It will give you peace of mind knowing that any medical expenses that arise will be covered in the unfortunate event of your dog getting injured.
Another thing to find out is if the groomer has a disaster plan in place. What will they do in case of emergencies like fire and tornado?
4. Are you comfortable with German shepherds?
Just as with a veterinarian, you should ask early on if the groomer is comfortable with big dogs like German shepherds. Aside from being comfortable, they should also know the grooming needs of German shepherd breeds, what the breed standard is, and how to perform the correct haircut to your dog; the last is particularly important if you plan to present your dog in the show ring.
5. Can I watch while my dog is groomed?
You should watch while the groomer grooms your dog, at least for the first time, so you’ll know what kind of results can be expected from them.
6. How will my dog be housed?
How your dog will be housed when not being groomed is another important concern. You should make sure that your shepherd is secured in a comfortable crate in a secure area complete with clean and soft bedding inside, plenty of water, and toys.
7. How much will my dog’s grooming cost?
As the cost of dog grooming can vary between groomers, you will want to know upfront how much the groomer you are considering is charging for their services and if there are any hidden costs.