What Does An Animal Groomer Do?
Animal groomers are professionals who see to it that people’s pet animals look good. Their clientele is comprised mostly of dogs but there are also pet owners who let groomers take care of the appearance and hygiene of their cats. The most common tasks that groomers do on the job include bathing, brushing and trimming fur.
There are some breeds such as poodles, which need to have their furs cut styled in certain ways and groomers also provide the service. As part of the procedure, animal groomers also clip a dog’s nails and cut matted hair—a problem common to long-haired dogs whose owners don’t have the time to comb them regularly. Groomers also brush a dog’s teeth.
Some groomers can also perform more complicated tasks, such as cleaning the clogged anal glands of a dog. When the dog gets stressed and defecates, the glands which are found inside the sacs in the rectum, release very smelly fluid. To find out if the anal glands are clogged, the groomer palpates the glands from the outside with gloved hands after cleaning the area thoroughly. The groomer then expresses the glands to get the fluid out but only after making sure that there is no infection or fecal impaction. If the groomer finds that there is a more serious issue or the problem is chronic, the groomer will refer the dog to a veterinarian who will treat the dog as appropriate or perform a more invasive anal gland expression procedure which groomers are not trained to perform.
Dog groomers know how to style and care for dogs of different breeds and varying sizes. With tools like brushes, scissors, electric shears, nail clippers, shampoos, groomers are able to give pets the pampering they need. Dog spas are also proliferating across the United States where groomers provide spa massages and milk treatments to their canine guests. The grooming process usually takes no more than an hour but some breeds do take longer to clean due to their size or amount of hair. Owners who want their pets to receive extra-special pampering will also request that sessions be extended.
In a typical day, the work of dog groomers entails more than just the actual grooming process. They greet customers as soon as they come in and ask them what they want done with their dogs. In centers where there are no secretaries, groomers also have to answer the phones and schedule client appointments. After performing the grooming service, they see to it that the procedures done with the dog are recorded in the animal’s file so that the groomer will have a reference the next time the owner brings in his pet. Groomers working in pet supply stores are also tasked with selling pet products and supplies to customers.
Groomers must see to it that the work area is cleaned before working on the next dog. This is to prevent the spread of infection or disease from one animal to the other. They also sanitize their tools and implements before proceeding to work on their next client. Groomers are also trained to spot any illnesses in dogs that may require a veterinarian to have a look-see. They make the appropriate referral in these occasions.
The groomer must see to it that the work station is safe for the pets so they make certain that there are no protruding edges or sharp tools lying around that could injure the animals. They should also take care to protect themselves from accidental bites and injury from bewildered animals by handling them securely and properly. For aggressive dogs, dog groomers may have to use a muzzle to restrain the animal. In some cases, groomers may have to work together in one dog to prevent accidents.
Groomers may be employed in veterinary clinics, pet supply stores, dog spas and kennels. A lot of pet groomers are self-employed and do house calls, bringing their own mobile grooming station with them. Mobile groomers are preferred by some clients because they don’t have to bring their dogs to a grooming salon and can schedule grooming times to their own convenience. Groomers who are self-employed typically have more flexibility in their schedules but may have to work longer hours to accommodate the request of clients.