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Choosing a Professional Dog Groomer - A discussion with one of Windsor's top Dog Grooming Salons

Dog owners want the best for their dogs, particularly when it comes to their health. Whilst healthy foods, exercise and regular vet examinations are obviously key, grooming is just as important to your dog's overall well being.

Finding the right professional dog groomer is critical as it requires you to choose someone that not only you and your dog trust, but that they are also capable of taking care of any special needs that your dog has.

We have been in contact with one of the local top grooming salons to help everyone better understand some key things to consider when choosing a dog groomer. Chris asked Vicky Hindmarsh the owner of Madisons Dog Grooming the following questions:

What prompted you to do dog grooming?

I got into Dog Grooming because I had a very nervous Coton de Tulear (named Madison😊). It’s a breed that requires a lot of grooming, however she got too anxious at the larger grooming salons with all the activity and noise etc.

I have an absolute passion for dogs, have done since I was a young child, so this inspired me think about becoming a dog groomer. I did a one week taster course at The Groom Room in Windsor (now 2 left Paws). I loved it and was only further convinced that this was right for me.

I then did my city and guilds level three in Dog Grooming at Dogs Delight in Chiswick, that was 2013.

What areas do you cover?

After qualifying I converted an outbuilding as a purpose built dog grooming salon 10 mins walk from central Windsor. I have been offering one-to-one grooming in a calm caring environment with the best quality natural products ever since and absolutely loving it!

Do you have experience or specialise in any specific dog breeds?

In recent years I have concentrated on small breeds as trying to lift/handle the larger breeds was starting to take its toll, so I especially see lots of Shih tzus, Westies, Malteses, Bichons & Yorkshire Terriers.

How long do you keep the dog?

Most grooming sessions last up to 2 hrs. First there is a friendly greeting, two shampoos using finest natural shampoo, Conditioning treatment if needed, brush and blowdry, ears cleaned, nails clipped, styling (Scisssoring, clipping or handstripping) to the owners preference, and finished with a treat and spritz of cologne.

Are you able to handle fearful or anxious dogs?

I have had numerous anxious & nervous dogs or those fearful of other dogs due to the sessions being very calm & one-to-one, again crating is not necessary as I only have one dog in at a time (or multiples from the same family) .

Some dogs may feel apprehensive about coming in, they may not fancy getting in the bath & having their nails clipped!, and if the owner isn’t keeping up with the crucial brushing & combing at home on the longer coated breeds it can be uncomfortable for them to be brushed out, if it’s too matted I will always recommend clipping the coat off under the matting as that is much kinder to the dog. Tangles pull on the skin and prevent the skin from being able to breathe and it can get sore underneath.

In your opinion, do dogs feel better after grooming?

100%. The dogs will feel better with short nails, a clean tangle free coat! Also it is often during a dog grooming session that things like ticks, new lumps/growths/ear infections etc are picked up.

Is there anything else you’d like to highlight?

As a dog owner of a woolly, silky, wirehaired, double coated or any long coated breed it’s important for your dog to get used to grooming as early as possible, so they accept it as a positive thing and normal accepted routine. Make sure from the puppy they are used to being touched all over their body especially stroking their feet. As soon as they have had their injections they are ready for their introduction puppy ‘groom’ where they get pampered with lots of attention and introduced to the sound and equipment in the salon, whilst having a wash and fluff dry eyes pause and hygiene tidy. Good groomers get booked up in advance so it is important to have your dog booked in on a schedule, your groomer can advise how often they should be. It’s important that the dog is brushed in between at home this keeps the experience a positive one😊

In Closing

Thanks again to Vicky Hindmarsh of Madisons Dog Grooming. You can contact Vicky at https://madisonsdoggrooming.co.uk, https://www.facebook.com/madisonsdoggroomingwindsor

We hope that these questions and answers will help you in finding the perfect dog groomer to suit your dog's unique needs, and of course, give you the reassurance that you need too that you have made a great choice for your loyal companion. We highly recommend an in-person conversation with your potential dog groomer, as the answers they give you and the way they discuss your concerns will help you be certain that they are the right choice for you and your dog.

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