Choosing the Right Groomer

Changing groomers to me is like changing hair stylists. The anxiety, uncertainty, and stress that come along with it is something I could do without. I have recently moved and am sad to no longer be able to visit my dog's groomer of 5+ years. She was absolutely wonderful with my girls, was reasonably priced, and always made them look like superstar diva's leaving the hair salon. Think big bows and fluffed out paws!

I've recently been on the hunt for a good reputable groomer. I've decided that after I read enough reviews on Yelp and ask enough pet lovers in the area I will be able to find a fit for my pooches.
So far I've received three recommendations on groomers in my area. I will be visiting each one and posting an honest review of my experience, cost, customer service, and temperament of my dog before and after.

Here is the first grooming experience we had after our move!

The BEFORE photos:
The AFTER photos:

July 2013
Experience with the groomer #1:
My first new groomer try was with Punk Rock Puppies in Little Falls, NJ. I had communicated with the groomer online and via e-mail after my coworker had recommended her. They met while in line at some store and her pink paw jacket caught her attention. This caused me to go on Yelp to read some reviews, all of which were positive. On the surface and via e-mail the groomer seemed excellent and I was excited to try her out.

She offered a first time customer discount and combined it with a multiple dog discount bringing my grooming for both my dogs to just under $75. I was really pleased with the price.

There are a few spots in front of the shop and it is bright fuchsia pink, you can't miss it, well actually you can if you're a complete bimbo when it comes to driving like I am. Picture me singing my heart out to Britney Spears and bobbing my head so forcefully that after getting a headache I miss the bright pink paws, and so moving on...

Meeting the Groomer - First Impression

I was taken aback by the initial meet and greet. The groomer wasn't excited, or happy, or cheerful. She was just calm and expressionless and it was a shock to me because in the e-mails she seemed to be the opposite. The energy at the salon wasn't great, the workers didn't seem to be happy. I was hesitant leaving the dogs there for a groom but decided to drive away upon leaving them and giving the place a chance. When I picked up the dogs, I headed towards the back and was firmly told that "we usually don't let customer's back here so as to not upset the other dogs". She wasn't sweet about it, and I thought maybe a sign would work in this situation.

Quality of Cut

The cut on the dogs was good, nothing great. My little one had a bow in her hair and no bandana, while the bigger one had no bow and a bandana. Personally, I like bows on dogs that are females and bandanas on boy dogs. The area on their eyes wasn't cut properly, you're supposed to take a small cuticle scissor and cut around the eye. In addition their were eye boogers, I call them gookies, and that could have easily been removed with a Q-Tip. All in all, I wasn't pleased with the grooming, and I will not be returning.

August 2013
Experience with the groomer #2:

The BEFORE photos
The AFTER photos
My friend, who is also a Yorkie mommy, fitness junkie and blogger like myself recommended Pupcake Grooming in Caldwell, NJ. You can check out her blog which is awesome and has some really cool posts ranging from make-up, cooking recipes, dog tips, and fitness tips at JerseyGirlTalk This place is really small and doesn't have any reviews on Yelp, but my friend is obsessed with her dog just as much as I am so I took her advice and recommendation.

The groomer didn't offer a first time customer discount or a multiple dog discount unlike the first groomer. The price of each groom was $50, which I thought to be a little high. However, my friend did receive a 10% discount for recommending me so I thought that was nice. My total for two grooms came out to $107. There's also a sign right in the front encouraging tipping. I left $20.

This is a tiny location with a bone on the sign. You can park on the street, metered parking so make sure you have some quarters. The place is actually a barkery and grooming salon and it is very clean inside. I thought the white walls and super clean floor were important to mention, after all you don't want your dog getting washed in a place that needs a wash itself do you?

Meeting the Groomer - First Impression
There are two groomers, both young adult females - sweet and soft spoken. They were nice to me and the dogs. This place is a dog bakery and I was sad that they didn't gift two treats with my first groom.
I was hoping that they would!

Quality of Cut
The cut on the dogs was immaculate. The coat was so soft it felt like a newborn babies blanket. I could not stop petting my two dogs, and I'll tell you I'm sure they did not mind. I asked for a very SPECIFIC cut. Teddy bear paws on my bigger dog and a lion like face on my smaller dog. I requested Bebe's paws to be fluffed out and Jolie's eye's to be cut around as well as to cut her ears and have them tapered looking. ALL WAS DONE TO PERFECTION. My only complaint was that the bows were kind of flimsy and started to run later on in the day, but I will just bring in my own bows next time. I was really satisfied with the groom. I was very pleased with this grooming experience, just wish it was a little cheaper, but I intend on returning.

Check out a handy guide from our friends over at PawPawLover for more tips!


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