It seems that especially around the holiday season finding time to get around to those regular appointments just becomes increasingly challenging to deal with. This can include taking Fido to the groomers for a routine Christmas clip and bath. Since having your dog look wonderful this season will not only bring a smile to everyone's face but it will help you cut down on housecleaning, it is a must do activity. One way to overcome having to take time out of a busy schedule is to consider using a traveling groomer and service, a perfect match for holiday planning.
Mobile or traveling pet groomers are often ideal for other situations besides just busy holiday seasons. If you have an elderly dog or a dog that is recovering from an illness, grooming at home reduces stress and problems with possible exposure to other animals and dogs. In addition there is no need to take the dog in and out of the home, a real consideration with some elderly dogs that may have difficult with walking or moving about outside in very cold weather.
In most larger areas many of the major dog salons and groomers offer mobile options, meaning you may be able to continue to use your same groomer, just have them come to you instead of you and your pooch going to them. Services for many mobile dog groomers are identical to what you would expect right in the office or the salon, just without all the additional time needed to transport the dog, wait for your appointment and then bring the dog home again.
Generally most mobile grooming services are operated out of vans or specially designed trucks. Typically most mobile groomers will have hydrotherapy bath units right in the van or truck, with their own generators and water supplies carried on board. In some cases the groomer may also use your own facilities to bath the dog, but this is not common as the groomers insurance will typically not cover this type of care.
In addition to bathing, mobile groomers offer all the other features of taking your dog into the groomers. These can include packages that cover a bath, conditioning of the coat, hand drying, clipping or shaving as well as basic dental care. Most packages will also include emptying of anal glands, clipping of the nails and a routine check of the ears and eyes. Some packages may also offer dental services that range from a brushing to an actual whitening of the dog's teeth. The more advanced the treatment or procedure the more likely it is to be priced separately from the basic package price.
While the groomer does take the dog into the van for the grooming process in most cases, the dog is still on your own property. In cases where the dog becomes very anxious when out of the owner's sight the groomer may be able to do some of the work in the owner's home or with the owner present. Most mobile groomer are very experienced in working with dogs of all sizes and types and it is particularly helpful if the dog and groomer have interacted before. Generally most owners and groomers prefer for the owner to stay present with the dog until he or she is comfortable with the groomer.
It is important when selecting a mobile groomer to talk to other dog owners and consider interviewing, at least by phone, several different groomers before making a selection. Of course if you have a close friend or family member that recommends a particular groomer you may be able to drop in on their grooming session, allowing you to see the groomer in action and check out their van and equipment. If this isn't possible, ask for referrals and be sure to call up and check on the groomer's professionalism, ability to work with dogs and reliability with regards to appointments.
Mobile groomers should be insured and licensed as required in your area. In most cases and in most states all that is required is a standard business license, however if the groomer is providing any type of treatment, such as flea baths, he or she may also require another type of permit. It is also important to ask the groomer what happens to the waste water that they will have from bathing the dog. In most urban areas it cannot be simply discharged into the home owner's waste water system as this could potentially result in the homeowner being fined. The waste water should be removed off the property with the van and then discharged at their facility or an approved waste water management site.
You may also want to ask the groomer about the training and experience he or she has as a groomer. This information is often provided on the groomer's website or in their brochure. Keep in mind that many very professional dog groomers are self-taught and there is no specific requirement for training to make a groomer a great match for you and your dog.
Know that having a mobile service come to your house is often going to mean a slightly higher cost to the grooming service. In most cases there is no charge for mileage as long as you are within the areas that the groomer provides service too. Going outside these geographic boundaries may result in a flat rate mileage fee or a fee per mile that can really add up. Checking this in advance is important when you book the appointment.
Most mobile groomers do charge a convenience fee or a standard flat rate fee for a mobile service over a salon scheduled dog grooming package. Depending on the groomer this can range from twenty dollars a dog to up to fifty, but it may be well worth the saving in your time, effort and money in getting the dog into the grooming salon yourself. If you are using a mobile service you also may be able to request specific groomers, ensuring you and your dog will both know who to expect when the van pulls up.