Saturday, 28 June 2014

Why I Like Home Visits

When I decided to go free lance I wasn't sure how I would get on with home grooming. There seemed to be a lot of negatives: humping all my kit around, having to improvise with the facilities, feeling self conscious with the owners present etc etc.

Actually I can honestly say I have discovered there are at least as many pros as cons:

  • Home visits allow me an insight into the lifestyle of pet & owner which I would not otherwise have. This really helps work out what is most practical in terms of coat maintenance for a new client. For example if a busy, harassed young Mum or an elderly owner with arthritic hands asks me to shave their dog, generally I'm not gonna argue!! I can immediately see the logic behind the request.

  • Often the owners express a lot of interest in the grooming process and whilst I am working, without meaning to be patronising, it can be a great opportunity to educate. There are an awful lot of myths floating around out there, and whilst I would never promote myself as an expert on animal care, it's great to be able to put people straight on a couple of issues if I can. Did you know dogs cannot distinguish colour the way we do? So however unappetising certain brands of kibble may appear to us humans, the fact that they are every shade of brown makes absolutely no difference to your best friend! Except they are likely to have fewer additives than those full of artificial colouring.

  • Best of all, and by far most important for me, the dogs seem much more at ease in familiar surroundings. It's a shame but rather than enjoying being pampered with a wash, cut & blow dry as we do, most dogs dislike being professionally groomed. Whether this is the result of negative early experiences or simply because the unfamiliarity of it all becomes overwhelming & confusing, for the vast majority of dogs I would say a visit to the groomer is akin to a visit to the dentist for us: something to be tolerated because cost v benefit it is worthwhile but not a happy experience! Meanwhile, in their own home and with their trusted owner close at hand (often a willing helper) Fido will generally be much calmer, happier and accepting of the ritual, which of course means I can get the job done quick. Win - win!

  • If, as sometimes happens, the dog is still difficult to handle and even having the owner on hand will not help the situation, at least it will be apparent why the job is taking longer/ has an imperfect finish. MOST important of all, even if a firm hand is required, it is obvious Fido has been treated with compassion & respect throughout.
  • Relaxed Customers - Happy Days!!


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