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Which Salon Is Best For Your Pet?

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

There is often an air of mystery for our guests when it comes to common practices within grooming salons. Some guest’s jaws hit the floor when we quote 3-4 hours; others are overjoyed at the prospect of a dog free afternoon. Certain pets do wonderful and are highly adaptable to many different social situations and some would rather have a solo afternoon grooming session in a mobile van. There is a Miniature Poodle that I groom named Malia that was a drama queen in my regular salon setting – biting, screaming, peeing, the whole nine yards. Now that she is a guest of mine at Furology there is no more biting or peeing. There is still the occasional scream if she decides I breathe too loudly in her direction but it often fades quickly as I stare at her and ask “Are you for real right now, Malia?” She usually answers by giving me a few kisses before we proceed.

Malia, Miniature Poodle
Malia, resident Drama Queen of Furology and wonderful girl.

Hopefully this post can shed some light on different salon operations. The terms I’ve chosen to use aren’t technical terms in the grooming industry but I use them to divide salons into categories.

1. Central Drop Off

Some salons offer a drop off and pick up window for their guests. For example, they may instruct you to drop your pet off between 7 and 9 AM and ask that you pick up between 4 and 6 PM. With this method bathers generally arrive earlier than stylists to provide bath services and prepare pets to have their hair cut. This setup streamlines the day for stylists by limiting interruptions but can be a long day for your pet. If you prefer that your pet not be in a salon for 6-8 hours then this type of salon may not be for you.

2. Mobile Services

Mobile grooming services offer convenience and luxury that standard salons don’t provide. Stylists may have a van equipped with everything needed to provide grooming services and your pets will be completed straight though with no interruptions. Others may request a space in your home or garage to groom your pets. Mobile options tend to be more costly than standard salons because of the major convenience factor. If your pet is anxious in other salon settings or you prefer to get your furry friend back as quickly as possible mobile services are a great option for grooming.

3. Appointment Based

This is probably the most common grooming salon operation. You are able to select a time that works best for your schedule and you can expect your pet to be ready in 2-4 hours; sometimes longer if you have an extra large breed like a Newfoundland or Collie. Pets are often prepped (nails trimmed, ears cleaned, brushed out), bathed, dried, and placed in a kennel to await their haircut services while a stylist preps, bathes, and dries their other appointments. Many pets do well in this environment but it could be stressful for a shy or under-socialized furry friend.

4. Express Services

Some salons, like Furology; exclusively offer express services which guarantees a shorter groom time with no interruptions. This type of salon is ideal for owners that don’t want their pets kenneled or for them to be out of the house very long. Pets that don’t do well around a lot of hustle and bustle can learn to tolerate or enjoy the grooming process in a quiet environment.

Which salon type is best?

There is no “best salon type”. Each owner and pet has individual needs and expectations. Some pets may not do well in a busy salon setting and could have a better experience with a mobile service or express groomer. Other pets may dislike being hand dried so a salon setting with kennel dryers could be a better option. If you prefer to drop your pets off before work and pick them up after, salons with a central drop off time could be a great fit. Wherever you choose to go be sure you’re comfortable leaving your pet there. Don’t be discouraged if your groomer recommends a different salon for your pets needs – not every salon is an ideal situation for your pet’s individual personality!

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