Dog Grooming and Pet Smart - Our Experience
Our Experience with Dog Grooming at Pet Smart
Our dog Molly is part of our family, and we love her very much. Grooming wasn't always an issue for us until a few years ago. She had a couple of traumatic experiences, one was a nearly fatal accidental poisoning she got into while we lived in Texas. One of her traumatic experiences was an ear infection that we had no idea had gotten so bad. Suffice it to say, we need to have someone else care for her ears in regards to ear cleaning. I don't want to touch her ears ever since she has been through that trauma, and I would rather pay someone else to clean her cute but long ears.
I used to be able to easily give her a bath as well. For whatever the reason, over time as she has aged, I also would just rather pay someone a fair price to give her a bath and trim her nails. Its not that I don't want to do these things for her, but I almost literally cannot. Groomers are trained to deal with any and all of these issues.
Going to Pet Smart for our needs seems like a fair way to go, when all else failed. This article is just to share our experience which began years ago with grooming a dog. They charge me about 19.00 or so, and that includes a bath, shampoo, ear cleaning, and nail trim. If you knew how hard it was to do these things for her in my own home, you may also find it a bargain! Luckily she never had another ear infection like that, since that time. Once she got a yeast type of infection that we had to deal with, but that was because some moisture got into her ear after another time she was groomed at the kennel where she sometimes stays.
Pet Smart has that open area where you can see dogs getting groomed. You can rest assured the staff feels at least fully confident enough to do a good job since customers are watching. That was one of the things that gave me some peace of mind early on. My experience is that I can call even last minute pretty much, and get an appointment rather quickly when I need that. She isn't there much longer than the time it takes to get her groomed, which is another thing I like.
What to expect when you drop your dog off
When you take your dog in at the time of the appointment, you will be met by a friendly staff, that takes your name and makes sure your dog is all set to go. Usually at this time or before, they will ask if their vaccinations are all up to date. If they are not, you will have to get your dogs vaccines updated. Then they take your dog back to a waiting area for his or her turn to get groomed or bathed.
If you could see my dog and how she behaves at this point, you would know why I get many sad glances followed by reassurances for Molly, who at this point is acting like it is the end of the world to be in a setting like this. She is just a very uptight little dog, and I believe she had some kind of anxiety issues. The funny thing is, when I am out of site, she turns off some of the drama, and seems to do ok. When I return, you can't imagine a happier dog.
Back to the grooming, I know they give her a bath, clean her ears with a solution, and brush her and cut her nails. They always offer me extra services as well, which is very nice. I tend to go for the basics most of the time however. There is a time where she is "drying", but they call me and let me know she is ready to be picked up. They used to put cute little bandanas around her neck, or put a little bow of some kind somewhere on her. She looks so cute and actually smells good when I take her home, and I mean like some little fruit doggy cologne. We always get a kick out of that.
Its very very important to me that she gets hear ears cleaned well, as they are longer beagle ears, hard to get enough air, light and can trap dirt if you don't keep on top of things.
What you can expect when you pick up your dog
Pet Smart is great in that they give a little report for your dog and their visit there. It has your dogs name on it, the Pet Stylist that took care of her and the date. It is a progress report, and inside gives an assessment of their skin, coat, ears, nails and teeth. After each item, it gives options of the condition of when they came in, and what was done to help your dog. They also give general notes at the end. This last visit they said that Molly was a real sweetheart, good for everything, but a little scared. I know she is always scared, so that was no surprise and I told them up front about her general anxiety in out of home situations or vet situations. They give a time when your dog should come back as well. They had a couple of coupons attached to the outer part of the report as well.
I don't know about you, but I love this level of service and it makes me feel good that my dog is cared for to the degree she is. I have tried other places as well, but for some reason I don't have the same level of satisfaction as I do at Pet Smart. So for now, I am staying with them and would recommend it be tried at least once if you are shopping around for a groomer. I also am open to hearing other opinions of other places as well.
One last thing, after hearing about the yeast ear infection, maybe due to too much moisture after a prior bath, they suggested and asked me if I wanted her to have cotton put in her ears, to keep them dry during her bath. I thought this was very nice and I said sure, that would be great. I am thankful for help like this, as it takes a lot off of my mind and she needs to have these basic things done at least.