Put some thought into just "who" and "where" you will take your dog to be groomed. You'll be relieved when you have to leave him behind for the day.

Most dogs are less than thrilled at spending a day at the beauty parlor: find somewhere welcoming and clean, with handlers who care for your dog as much as you do. Here's a quick check list.

• Is the floor clean? Ask to see the room where you're dog will be clipped as well as where he'll wait his turn and/or dry after bathing.

• Speak to the front staff and the groomers with your dog at your side. Do they make you feel welcome? How do they respond to him?

• Ask to see photo options for a particular cut: buzz, puppy cut, or show style. Your dog can come out looking very different.

• What are their policies for pick up, drop off and payment?

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