Vanessa De Prophetis has been a pet groomer for nine years and owns Perfect Pooches Dog Grooming in Ontario.
Let's just say, she's provided us with enough reasons — watch this video at your own risk — as to why you should always, always tip your groomer!!!
Not only do her videos give information about what happens during a grooming session, but she also provides dog owners with helpful tips when it comes to caring for their pets:
However, Vanessa's video below was made for pet owners who choose to get an "end of life" groom for their dog:
The video has generated over 2.5 million views, and other professional groomers are chiming in to bring awareness to the issue.
BuzzFeed spoke to Vanessa, who said she made the video to show that an "end of life" groom is not a relaxing day at the spa. Her video is a message to owners of all dogs who are too old and weak to be groomed — not just those getting their very last groom. "Over this last month, I’ve had to inform three clients that their pet can no longer handle grooming. I had a very hard time coming up with the words and courage to tell the owners that. When a groomer tells a client they can longer groom their pet, it is essentially us telling them that their pet is at the end of their life. It’s not an easy thing to tell someone that it’s time to end their pet's suffering, and as a groomer, I don’t always feel it’s my right to do that," explained Vanessa.
Vanessa said that there are several other things your groomer may not feel comfortable telling you, such as if your dog is difficult to groom.
"People take it personally when we tell them their dog is hard to groom. They immediately jump to conclusions that we must have done something to them to make them upset. Instead of getting offended, clients should absorb the information we are telling them and find ways to help train their pet for grooming," she explained, adding that when she has told this to clients, they almost always end up going somewhere else.
Another difficulty Vanessa faces is trying to stress to owners the importance of a pet's health care needs.
She said, "Most times, people will not seek the proper care I advise and will continue to bring their pets in for grooming. After we have informed someone of the issue once, we generally don’t do it again because it is obvious they do not have the intention of seeking vet care. If you cannot afford the vet, please don’t get the pet. It is mentally exhausting for us to see your pet time and time again with the same health problems that are just getting worse."
Vanessa has personally taken her clients' dogs to the vet and paid out of pocket for their medical treatment because she can't sleep knowing how much pain the pet is in.
"I can't handle it. Clients have no idea how devastating it is for us to see them neglect their animal's basic needs," she added.
Vanessa also has strong opinions about crate training. "Crate training your dog is very important. A lot of pet owners specifically say, 'Please don’t put my dog in a crate; Fluffy doesn’t like crates.' What owners need to understand is, pet professionals place your pet in a crate for their safety, just as a human places their baby in a crib," she explained.
She added, "Owners also need to be mindful of the fact that if their pet is receiving surgery or medical treatment, they will be placed in a crate afterwards for recovery. An animal that is crate trained will be relaxed, and an animal that is not will be stressed and may injure themselves or prolong the healing process."
Lastly, Vanessa suggests not hopping between groomers, because it's actually more beneficial to the dog and owner to stay with the same one. "Animals are creatures of habit, and they do best when following routine. When you bring them somewhere new, with new people, they can become stressed. Not only that, but we — as groomers — learn everything about your pet when we see them frequently. We know what they tolerate, what they don’t like about grooming, and we learn the best way to complete their groom with minimal stress. We will notice changes in your pet, such as a new growth or unusual behavior. These findings can be the difference between life and death," Vanessa said.
She added, "An owner may think to themselves, Well, I go for yearly checkups at my veterinarian. But us groomers see your dog up to six times or more per year. We shave their fur off and see every part of their skin. We spend hours at a time with your dog, so it is more likely we will notice a change versus your vet. In addition, we grow to love your dog just as much as you do! So when you’ve left us for someone new, it’s not about the money; we genuinely miss your dog."