Your dog may see your groomer more often than he sees his vet, so it makes sense that your pet’s groomer may know a lot about him. Groomers not only get to know your dog’s coat and your style preferences, they also get to see the good, bad, and sometimes ugly sides of your pet’s personality, as well as its hygiene and general health – and those things can be a reflection of you as well. Here are eight times groomers may be trying to give you a positive message about your pet while also getting their point across:
1. What your groomer says: “Your dog wins Mr. Personality!”
Translation: Your dog is not the biggest fan of being groomed.
“When I tell the client, ‘Oh, okay, he has a personality on him,’ I’m really saying that it’s like he’s fighting for his life when I’m grooming him,” says Katarina, a veteran groomer with 26 years of experience from Biscuits and Bath, Riverside Blvd., New York, NY.
2. What your groomer says: “She was very talkative.”
Translation: Your dog made sure that her bark was heard loud and clear.
“When I tell the client that their dog was very talkative in the cage and that she told me all the secrets, I actually mean that she barked the whole time,” says Katarina.
3. What your groomer says: “Do you want to have his nails clipped?”
Translation: You should probably get your dog’s nails clipped.
“Regular nail clipping is important, because when the nails get too long, it can cause the pet to walk awkwardly,” says Sharron Hasil, manager of Bark Place NYC. “Long nails can also break off or curl into the pad, which is very painful for the pet.
4. What your groomer says: “It’s going to be on the short side.”
Translation: Your pet’s fur is very matted, so it all has to go.
Katerina explains, “When I say that it’s going to be on the short side, it’s typically because the fur is so matted that we can’t brush it out and we have to shave it down.”
5. What your groomer says: “Come in for a free brush-out and lesson.”
Translation: You’re brushing skills could use some work.
Matted fur is very common and is caused by not brushing properly or often enough. “If a dog is very matted and it would be too uncomfortable for the pet to be brushed out, we shave off the coat,” says Sharron. “As it grows back in, we have the fur-parents come in for free brush-outs and free lessons on how to properly brush their dogs.”
6. What your groomer says: “He is clean and happy, but you might want to make a call to your vet.”
Translation: We may have found a tick or fleas, or it looks like he may have an ear infection or other injury.
It’s not uncommon for your groomer to spot a tick or some fleas while grooming, says Sharron “Another common problem we see is ear infections,” she says. “If any infection or sickness is suspected, we’ll let you know.”
7. What your groomer says: “She’s not a bad dog, but …”
Translation: We may have had to muzzle her.
“When I say that she’s not a bad dog, she just doesn’t like her nails done, or something else along those lines, it’s typically because we had to muzzle for that grooming procedure,” shares Katerina.
8. What your groomer says: “Regular grooming appointments are a good idea.”
Translation: We may notice something that you don’t.
Your groomer can let you know when there are any changes with your dog’s body that might need attention. For example, Sharron says, “Many times I have found a lump or tumor on a dog that the owner wasn’t aware of. And a few times, there has been a pet that seemed uncomfortable with standing or having their leg gently moved, and the pet was later diagnosed with arthritis.”
Your groomer may not be as vague as the above examples. Maybe you are lucky to have a groomer who is blunt and to the point, who will come right out and say “You need to do a better job of brushing your dog’s coat.” Just remember that your groomer surely cares for your pet and wants you to remember that your dog is a living thing that requires maintenance.
“Once we make them our companions we have to do everything for them that nature would have,” says Katarina. So take your groomer’s advice to heart, and if you’re not sure if you are reading the right message in-between the lines, ask them for their help and honest advice—they may be happier to share it than you think.
Caitlin Ultimo is a writer & editor who has been published on PetMD her work specializes in pet, family & beauty writing.