Professional Pet Grooming vs. At Home Bathing

professional pet grooming bathing

February 1, 2016 | Pet Grooming, Professional Grooming, Pet Bathing

Professional Pet Grooming vs. At Home Bathing


Hygiene requirements for pets vary between cats and dogs, breeds and lifestyles. Overall, different pets have different needs. Some pets, such as Maltese, require frequent grooming and brushing, whereas indoor cats are much less maintenance. So the question presents itself: Does your pet really need professional grooming or can you provide it at home?

The answer is a bit convoluted, as we have already mentioned, it’s different for everyone. There are several considerations when deciding whether or not to schedule an appointment with the groomer. Ultimately, the main factors are resources like time and money, your ability or inability to bathe at home and your pet’s individual needs.

Budgeting Time & Money

Grooming your pet on your own can be time consuming. Not to mention, cleaning up the aftermath in the bathroom is a pain. Professional grooming offers convenience and will save you time in the long run. Rather than spending an hour bathing, drying and trimming nails yourself, you can take your pup for a 30 minute walk then drop them off at the groomers. It will free up your schedule to spend more quality time with your pet, or even give you a break to get other things done

Many pet owners feel the expense of a professional groomer is an extravagance they can’t afford, but the reality is that pet grooming is really quite affordable. Furthermore, trusting a professional is truly worth the money. Generally, prices vary depending on the size of your pet and the type of coat they have. As far as budget goes, this is not a frequently reoccurring expense. Based on your pet’s individual needs, many can go 8+ weeks before they are ready for another appointment.

Capabilities of Professional Groomers

The next questions to ask yourself is, “Do I have the ability to groom my pets at home?” Many dogs and cats tend to dislike this activity, and getting into water in general. Their dislike will cause them to act out of character and misbehave. Some dogs will become resistant to getting into the tub or try to jump out each chance they get. If this is your dog, don’t even think about being able to dry them. If your pet does not enjoy bathing, size and strength play a huge factor in your ability to bathe them.

In addition to the difficulty of bathing them, trimming nails can be traumatizing for pets too. Some pets won’t let their owners even touch their paws, for fear of a painful and stressful trimming. If you choose to clip nails at home, proceed with patience, do some research and practice training techniques to prepare. One poor nail trimming experience will ruin your ability to trim your pet’s nails forever.

In addition to determining your ability to groom at home, consider the limitless capabilities of a professional grooming salon. Professional groomers have the necessary equipment and knowledge that will make the experience for your pet a much more pleasant one. Equipment such as grooming tables with leashes, commercial tubs and professional drying methods allow them to properly groom your pet and keep them calm. A professional groomer will also be able to offer a variety of shampoos that are suitable for your pet including those that are best for more sensitive skin.  Additionally, professional groomers offer services for your pet that are likely too difficult to administer at home such as gland expression, razor cuts, scissor cuts and blow-dry services.

Common Mistakes in DIY Pet Grooming

Here are some of the common mistakes that pet owners make when they’re trying to handle the grooming and bathing at home.

  1. Water Temperature
  2. If the water is too hot or cold, that will forever turn your pet away from wanting a bath. Consider when you go to a salon for a haircut, the stylist tests the water and adjust to the right temperature. If they didn’t, you would be uncomfortably blasted with scolding or freezing water.

  3. Harsh Spray
  4. Digs and cats are sensitive to foreign environments. Introducing the shower head can be a traumatizing experience for your pet. Using a high pressure sprayer can frighten your pet or even cause their skin to become raw or dry.

  5. Shampoo Selection
  6. Choosing a high quality and natural shampoo is critical in the skin and coat health of your pet. Generic brands can cause your pet’s skin to become irritation and will result in discomfort and even allergic breakouts for your cats and dogs.

  7. Soap Application
  8. Applying the soap incorrectly can burn your pets eyes or get into their ears causing an ear infection. Properly rinsing your pet is important as well since residual soap can cause irritation and dandruff.

  9. Brushing Techniques
  10. If there are mats or knots in your pet’s hair, that can be painful for them if they are not handled correctly.

  11. Drying Methods
  12. It’s common for owners to not dry their pets completely because the pet is eager to get away from the bath, but it’s very important to get as much water off your pet as possible and leave the drying tools to the professional groomers.

  13. Frequency
  14. Too many baths can strip your pet of its natural oils and lead to skin irritations and dandruff. Too little baths can result in a pet being dirty and could put them at risk of disease. When your pet is being groomed, their entire body is being observed. This is a great opportunity to check for ticks, fleas, lumps, dry skin or any other irregularities that may occur.

  15. Nail Trimming
  16. Trimming your pet’s nails with little experience is never a good idea. If you accidently cut too short, you will cause bleeding. It will also instill a sense of fear for future trimmings and a fear of their owner touching their paws. If bleeding occurs it will cause severe pain for your pet and put them at risk of infection. In addition to lack of experience, nail trimmers should be sharp and of decent quality to ensure a clean and quick cut.

Your Pet’s Grooming Needs

It is important to become aware and educated on the proper grooming needs of your individual pet. Dogs and cats alike each require grooming, however different the maintenance may be. Below are items to consider when getting your pets on a grooming schedule.

Type of coat: Some fur stays condition from a pet’s natural oils, where as some coats become dull and dry if left ungroomed.
Length of fur: Pets with longer hair will either require frequent cuts or even more frequent brushing.

Outdoor activity level: A pet who spends more time outside will likely require a more intense grooming regiment.

Self grooming: Does your pet do a fairly good job at keeping themselves clean? If not, they may need professional assistance.

To determine the appropriate grooming needs of your pet, it may be a good idea to consult with your vet or a professional groomer.

Dog & Cat Grooming in SeaTac, WA

Here at Hillrose Pet Resort, we provide full-service dog and cat grooming. Our grooming services are available to pets that are not boarding with us as well as pets that are. We do our best to offer prices that achieve a balance between finances and grooming needs. Our salon is Open every day, except for Wednesdays. Learn more about our grooming services or give us a call to book your next grooming appointment!

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