What is your opinion of grooming at Petco?
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What is your opinion of grooming at Petco?

Poorly trained people.
Here's something I wrote regarding choosing a groomer-

Ok.. you're the proud owner of a fluffy new Poodle, Shih Tzu, Schnauzer, or other "groomed" breed.
How do you choose a groomer?
First, lets discuss what a groomer does and does not do. A groomer will bathe your dog and give him a haircut. Most breeds have "standard" haircuts, but many owners prefer to adapt certain aspects of a trim to their own needs and wants. This is fine, but don't expect a groomer to do anything silly like mohawks, dyeing, etc. Some will, some won't.. it is up to them.
They will trim the dogs toenails. If the dog is well behaved many groomers will grind or file the nails so they are less sharp, but if your dog jumps on you and scratches up your skin it is a behavior issue, not a nail issue. They will remove the hair from inside the ears (applicable breeds) and clean the gunk out, but they will not treat ear infections. Some groomers routinely express anal sacs, some will not.
Some groomers offer toothbrushing (bring your own toothbrush) but by law are not allowed to do any teeth cleaning.
Flea control is also variable. Some groomers still use old fashioned chemical dips to kill fleas, but most are switching to safer, more natural methods. With the availability of products like Frontline or Advantage a dog should never be flea infested, anyway.
Most shops offer a wide variety of shampoos from specific color formulas to hypoallergenics, as well as medicated shampoos indicated for skin problems. If you have a preference say so, but be aware that some of the medicated types might cost more.
A great first step in choosing a groomer is to ask your vet for a recommendation. Vets know area groomers and have an opportunity to see and hear many things about grooming shops. It is a good place to start. Even better, if you see a nice looking dog on the street, ask the owner who the groomer is. No one will mind talking about how gorgeous their pet is, and owner referrals are the best indication of a groomers competence that you have.
They know how they like the place,
how their dog likes the place, and how their dog looks when he comes home. These folks are invaluable.
You could look in the phone book..
Groomers are not currently required to have any sort of formal licensing, so anyone with a pair of clippers can call themselves a groomer. Sounds like a recipe for disaster? It is.
You will see words in ads like "hand finishing" or "no tranquilizers". Well, all groomers hand finish and no ethical groomers tranquilize dogs, so this is no help.
"Member NDGAA" means that they paid their dues this year to belong to National Dog Groomers Association of America. This is a sign of interest in staying professionally connected but hardly speaks to their competence. "Certified", "Certified Master Groomer", "CMG", or "NCMG" is better. This means that a groomer has voluntarily submitted to actual testing using live dogs. Once they pass they are "Certified", and once they pass all breeds they are "Certified Master Groomers".
This at least shows you that they are serious about their profession and make every effort to stay current and competent in all areas of style, health, and equipment. If you have a
rare breed, a certified groomer will know how to trim it. But this testing is costly and not offered in every city, so a groomer can be fabulously talented yet not certified.
Generally, grooming shops are a better bet than grooming as a "side service", like groomers in pet shops or vet clinics. This is of course variable, but specialty grooming shops pay better and serve a better clientele (defined as keeping their dogs well maintained) so attract better groomers.
How long has the person been grooming?
You simply cannot become a good groomer in a short time. An eye for balance and style is inborn, but nothing beats practice, practice, practice. All dogs and all coats are different, and the more experience a person has the more likely they are to make the proper choice in how to deal with any specific situation or coat. I would judge about 10 years to be a good requirement for "experience". Grooming schools are good at teaching basics, but a recent
graduate just doesn't have the skills to produce top notch work.

Call for a visit.
Someone will be available to answer any questions but obviously cannot spend an hour talking. Look the place over, but be brief. You are just there to get a feel for the place and the people.
You should expect a clean shop, but there will be dog hair around. There should be no bad odors, nor should there be dogs unattended on tables with no one around. Dogs will be in cages... they are safe, happy, and it keeps them out of trouble...don't
stress over this one. There might be lots of barking, might not be... depends on the day.
Watching the actual grooming area from the reception zone may or may not be possible depending only on the layout of the shop. Most shops will have no problem allowing you a few moments to watch someone else's dog being groomed, but don't want you to watch your own dog. They are not hiding anything- they
are only trying to groom your dog safely, without him wiggling in anticipation of getting back to you! A dog that normally stands quietly for grooming will often turn into an impossible task when "Mom" comes into view. Scissors and clippers are sharp, and can cut skin... the last thing we need is for a
dog to whip his head around looking at Mom while we try to scissor around the eyes. It simply is not safe.
Your puppies first visit should be for a simple procedure.. usually a "feet, face, and tail". This is a brush out, a bath, nails trimmed, ears cleaned, anal sacs expressed, pads and privates clipped, and a tidying of the face, feet, and under the tail.
This is usually shorter procedure than a full haircut, and the day will give you additional 'feel' for the shop, as well as not overtaxing a young puppy. How young?
Groomers prefer to see puppies as early as possible, but of course your vet and vaccination schedule will also come into play. By four months, anyway.
Puppies are not born knowing how to be groomed.. it is a learned process. The earlier a puppy starts learning, the better.
You can help at home a lot by getting the dog accustomed to being brushed. Handle his feet, and look in his ears. You are not necessarily trying to get anything done, other than getting him used to being handled. This is the greatest gift you can give a groomable breed.. they will have to be groomed countless times in their lifetime, so teaching them that it is a happy experience is essential.
Most of what a groomer does this first visit is training. There are new smells, buzzy sounds, and scary scissors. Your groomer wants to work on well behaved dogs, so it is in their best interest as well to be gentle and kind to baby puppies.
Your puppy will be very tired after his grooming shop visit, and probably thirsty as well. Water may be offered in a grooming shop but most dogs will refuse it, so give him a nice drink, and then let him nap. He has been very stimulated while in a grooming shop.. visually, socially, and physically. He needs some rest.
And a few other comments.. if your dog is very old, or objects to some procedure, you simply cannot expect him to look like the dogs in the magazines. Once you find a competent groomer you must leave it up to them to decide how much any given dog can tolerate. Any groomers first concern is the safety of the dog. If they feel that they cannot safely grant a request (like a intricate 'show trim' on an infirm, elderly pet) then listen to them.
If your dog has become badly matted (for whatever reason, usually neglect) he will probably have to be shaved.. again your groomer will counsel you on the feasibility of "dematting". Brushing out severe tangles can hurt.. some dogs have very sensitive skin and cannot be brushed out when they have gotten past a certain point.
And about those "magazine dogs" or even dogs at shows, for that matter. These dogs do not live their lives looking like this.. they are prepped and
groomed right before the photo shoot (or show), are carefully bred and trained, and are clearly the exception.. that's why they are in a magazine or show.
Most pet dogs will never look like the dogs in books, not because their groomers are incompetent but because they just don't look like that. We do the best we can with what's handed to us.
Groomers have no magic wand.. what we have is patience, skill, and great equipment. We can do the best possible job on your pet, but any job looks better on a healthy, well maintained dog.
Grooming is a physically demanding job and one that requires people skills as well as a great way with animals. Once you find your great groomer, be thoughtful.Call well in advance for an appointment, not at the last minute begging. Walk your dog and see that he eliminates before taking him inside the shop. Leave them time to do a good job.. dogs are not done one at a time, so every shop has a method for the amount of time required, and it is best to respect their schedules. Most groomers "prep" all the dogs for that days work, then bathe and dry them all before any "finishing" takes place. A small staffed shop doesn't have the manpower to be checking dogs in and out while trying to groom at the same time...

15 or 20 minutes lost here and there can impact their day in a negative way. Each shop has their own method.. the dogs are quite content to wait their turn, usually resting quietly and watching all the other dogs. For many dogs, this is the only social activity they see, and although they don't get to play with each other they do sense a camaraderie. It's "their" day to be special. If your dog must be done by a certain time, let
them know when you make the appointment.. not one hour before you expect it to be ready.
If your dog has any "issues" that you are aware of, tell the groomer. If he bites, tell them. If he is allergic to anything, tell them. If he has health problems, hates men, is dysplastic, or has back problems, tell them. The more information we have the better equipped we are to do a good, and safe job.
If you have any complaint, tell your groomer. Each dog, coat, and haircut is different, and it may take a time or two to get things exactly right. Think about what you want done before you get there.. make a list if you need help remembering. Phrases like "not too short" or "take a little off but not too much" do not make for clear communications. Take a photo, but realize that your dogs coat may not behave the way you want it to. Most of us will bend over backwards to do whatever you request, but as always.. it depends on the condition and attitude of the dog.
How much will it cost?
Probably more than you imagined. A human haircut that takes 15-20 minutes can cost $30, so don't be surprised if a grooming that takes three people four or five hours (groomer, bather, fluffer) costs double or triple that. Our time
is what we are selling.. dogs that take a long time will be charged more.
Called a plumber lately? Grooming is just as specialized a service, and our time is worth as much as theirs. Good groomers are in high demand, hard to find, and deserve adequate compensation.
And last.. Tipping is not a city in China!
Can't afford a big *** tip? It's not the amount that counts.. it is the thought.
Hey, just bring me a bag of M&M's.. I'm not choosy!

Toni - NCMG
comments welcome via e-mail...address is despammed- pay attention! I intend this to be a periodic repost and will be happy to include anything in future editions that I have overlooked in this first post.
What is your opinion of grooming at Petco?

I have had good luck with Best Friends.
I have had good luck with Best Friends.

Joe Schmo down the street is a damnfine Rottie groomer. Of course, it's kinda hard to mess up the grooming of a Rottie. And, Janet wasn't asking about Joe's grooming skills. But anyway, I'm sure she'll find this information helpful!

Shelly (Warning: see label for details)
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
I have had good luck with Best Friends.

Joe Schmo down the street is a damnfine Rottie groomer. Of course, it's kinda hard to mess up the grooming ... she'll find this information helpful! Shelly (Warning: see label for details) http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship) http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)==

My answer was probably more helpful than yours though.
What is your opinion of grooming at Petco?

I've never used Petco and my dog doesn't need professional grooming very often. (Actually, he doesn't need "professional" grooming at all, but I like having someone else trim the nails and having him groomed is easier on my back.)
In general, though, I like to use service providers where there is some consistency. I would assume Petco has a fairly regular staff turn over and that you would get a different groomer each time. This increases the odds of getting the dog into a bad/unpleasant situation.

I'd suggest you find a groomer you like (asking folks you know locally for a recommendation) and establish a comfortable pattern for your pup. If I remember correctly, you're on the East Coast in a metropolitan area? If so, you'll probably have no problems finding a nice one or two person shop to use.
Just my opinion
Anne
and Baxter (the "Don't Touch My Paws!" beagle)
My answer was probably more helpful than yours though.

How, exactly, is giving her "information" about a business she didn't ask about, for a dog type she does not have, at all helpful?

Shelly (Warning: see label for details)
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
My answer was probably more helpful than yours though.

How, exactly, is giving her "information" about a business she didn't ask about, for a dog type she does not have, at all helpful? Shelly (Warning: see label for details) http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship) http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)

Petco is a chain like Best Friends, so she is more likely to have a Best Friends in her neighborhood. She could then compare the two groomers at those two places. How can someone in MA recommend a particular groomer in another state. Huh?
I didn't mention any dog type; maybe you should comment on where she could take her dog to be groomed. Try to be more helpful to the OP more often, instead of going off on a tirade and debating everyone's else's response, which it seems is what you do best. You need a visit from Cesar Milan. He trains people; not dogs.
Petco is a chain like Best Friends, so she is more likely to have a Best Friends in her neighborhood.

That's an interesting line of thought.
She could then compare the two groomers at those two places. How can someone in MA recommend a particular groomer in another state. Huh?

They can't. A reasonable person would realize that they should therefore not try.
I didn't mention any dog type; maybe you should comment on where she could take her dog to be groomed.

I hear that Groom & Board on Hillside Ave is pretty good. I cannot imagine that Janet would find that to be remotely useful, however.
Try to be more helpful to the OP more often,

Try not to be the boss of me, because if you do not, you are doomed to failure. Just ask Jack.
As for being "helpful," I suspect that word does not mean what you think it means.

Shelly (Warning: see label for details)
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
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