What to Expect From a Dog Grooming Appointment

Your newly adopted Shetland sheepdog Sally is looking a little ratty, so you’ve scheduled a grooming appointment at a shop recommended by several dog-owning friends. As this is your first experience with dog grooming, you’ve done some research on what you should expect. Since Sally has a new patient appointment with your Grandview veterinarian later this week, he can also provide you with some insider grooming knowledge.


Checking In and Out

While each grooming shop adopts its own procedures, you’ll generally drop Sally off in the morning and pick her up in late afternoon or early evening. When Sally arrives, the receptionist will handle the appointment logistics, and will also ask about any special instructions. If Sally must have a medicated or specialty shampoo, it’s perfectly acceptable to bring that along. Finally, the receptionist will take Sally to a kennel to await her turn; or perhaps Sally’s assigned groomer will begin her pre-bath preparation work.


Pre-bath Preparation

Before Sally’s bath, her groomer will give Sally a good brushout to clear out minor tangles and mats. If Sally’s coat had been in terrible shape, the groomer might decide to give her a one-length shave-down rather than cause Sally discomfort from mat removals. The groomer will also clip Sally’s nails, and will likely clean her ears. If your vet doesn’t want Sally to get water in her ears, and the groomer’s aware of that, she’ll gently place a cotton ball in Sally’s outer ears.


Anal Gland Expression

Sally’s groomer will settle your pooch in the small/medium dog bathtub; note that many shops also have a floor-based washing station for very large dogs. Before Sally’s bath begins, the groomer will express your dog’s anal glands, two small fluid-containing glands that normally empty when she poops. While it’s a smelly, unappetizing process, Sally’s regularly emptied anal glands help prevent future abscesses or infections.


It’s Bath Time

Next, Sally will receive a nice warm bath and rinse, and the groomer will dry Sally’s coat with a carefully positioned cage dryer or a hand-held portable dryer.


Finally, Sally’s groomer will give your sweet pooch a thorough brushout, and will clip and trim her coat according to the general breed standard. Finally, Sally might get a bow or bandanna and a spritz of cologne. Now that Sally’s the belle of the ball, you know your Grandview vet will be especially delighted to meet your beautiful girl.