Getting your dog groomed in Viet Nam

Despite the fact that dogs are still eaten in Vietnam ( don’t worry – they are a very expensive delicacy so there is no chance that you will get served some by mistake!) there are lots of dogs kept as pets. 

For foreigners who would like to have a dog but don’t want the long term commitment, there are even dog fostering organisations so you can have the delight of having a dog without the worry of what will happen to your beloved pet when it is time to move on. 

This means that there is a large choice of dog groomers and it is important to know where to go and what to expect.

Where to find a dog groomer 

You may be surprised to find that there are a lot more dog grooming services than you would initially think. There are two main types:

1/ The dog grooming service targeted for the foreigners with a lot of equipment and very visible premises 

2/ The dog grooming service targeted for the local population which consists of a washing area and a table area with a set of grooming tools 

The first type for the foreigners is usually very easy to find as it is generally advertised as a dog grooming service and is very visible. These are usually affiliated with a pet shop in general – where you can buy pet food and basic pet supplies. There will be a separate washing area and then a special table area which has a special harness so the dog is put in the harness so they don’t  wiggle around too much

Dogs are typically washed and shampooed before being trimmed

Dogs are typically washed and shampooed before being trimmed

The second type is similar to the first but is much more on a basic level. Although there will be a washing area it will probably be part of the one small room. There will be a table for the dog to stand/sit on whilst being groomed however, there will only be a stand for the normal lead to latch onto at most ( with there often being nothing – simply a table ) 

These are usually found at the back of a pet shop and not very visible – instead, you need to typically ask if they have a grooming service. 

The choice of which service you want to use is very much dependent on your own preferences.  

How to get your dog to the groomers  

You may be one of the lucky people who have trained your dog to simply sit on your motorbike patiently whilst you zoom along – however if you are like many foreigners who are worried that your dog will decide to suddenly leap off the bike as they have seen something interesting at the side of the road, then you may be wondering how to get your dog to the groomers! 

If your dog is small then you can buy a dog carrier – this can be in the form of a bag (with your dog’s head sticking out of the hole ) or as a kind of rucksack, with your dog fitting in the clear bag and being put on your back. Alternatively, there is a kind of apparatus rather like a baby carrier – but for dogs – with your dog’s legs and arms going into the holes as a baby would be held. 

If you don’t want to carry your dog alone, then you will be pleased to know that you can carry your dog on a Grab motorbike. You simply order a Grab motorbike as usual and then simply put the dog on your lap ( holding the leash tightly) – the motorbike driver will not be at all surprised or perturbed – it is seen as perfectly normal! 

Be aware however that Grab cars are more dubious about dogs – cars are very expensive in Vietnam and as a result, the drivers are more fussy – and thus are not really that keen on having a potentially smelly dog in the car. 

If you have no choice and need to take your dog in a car, then do not let them sit on the car seat – instead put them on your lap so that the driver does not become agitated about the car seat! 

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If your dog is not an expert rider then simply take a Grab motorbike!

If your dog is not an expert rider then simply take a Grab motorbike!

How much does it cost? 

Dog grooming prices vary tremendously depending on where you go and the type of service you are looking for. 

The places designed for the foreigners costs at least twice as much as the local price – which is still very reasonable when you compare it to the prices of grooming in the West! Prices are typically given for the type of service – e.g. do you also need the dog’s nails to be clipped? are you looking for a standard buzz cut or are you looking for a fancy style ( many dogs in Vietnam have some parts e.g. tail/ears dyed !!! ) 

Size also plays a role in the price – with the larger the dog the higher the cost, typically classified as a small dog / medium and large. 

It is normal for dogs to have a dyed section for extra style!

It is normal for dogs to have a dyed section for extra style!

In the more local dog grooming places, price is dependent on the dog’s weight – they will have a set of scales in the shop and you can put your dog on there to see which of the weight categories your dog falls into to determine the price. 

As with the foreigner salons, there are two different price choices – a basic buzz cut or a more thorough grooming which includes nails etc. 

What do I need to do? 

Typically there is no need to make an appointment with the dog groomer – instead, you simply take your dog along. 

Your dog is weighed ( if a local place ) and the service required is agreed upon. If you are taking your dog to a local place there may be a need to use Google Translate to make sure that you are asking for the right thing! 

You then simply leave your dog there ( no need to sit and wait ) Typically the dog grooming place will take your phone number so that they can phone you when your dog is ready ( they will be able to give you an estimation then and there but this is an estimation only ) as well as their card so that you can phone them and check on your dog. 

There are usually two services for the collection – you can either go and collect your dog or if they are a small breed then they will deliver your dog to you ( they will simply put them in a small dog carrying cage which fits in the front section of their motorbike and drive them to you ) 

Do make sure that the grooming place has given you your lead back – as this is something that is easy for them to forget about! 

Payment is typically upon collection/delivery of your dog and for a local place costs about 350,000 VND  for a full-service treatment of a wash and shampoo, design cutting and nail cutting for a medium-sized dog ( about 8 kilos ) 

Overall, it is a relatively simple process to get your dog groomed – it is a straightforward relatively cheap process and not only a style factor but something that is essential in the heat of Vietnam!

Author

Stephanie C. Mills is an innovative writer with a keen eye for detail. Having studied languages – through a degree in English as well as a year's focus on English as an additional language as part of an educational Master’s degree, she has an in-depth understanding of the need for flow. Her writings cover a wide range of perspectives from Christian writing to academic focus. Her speciality is academic writing and she has worked as both a textbook writer as well as an examination writer. In addition to writing, she has worked with proofreading the work of others, ensuring that the grammar is correct and that the language flows naturally.

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Author Details
Stephanie C. Mills is an innovative writer with a keen eye for detail. Having studied languages – through a degree in English as well as a year's focus on English as an additional language as part of an educational Master’s degree, she has an in-depth understanding of the need for flow. Her writings cover a wide range of perspectives from Christian writing to academic focus. Her speciality is academic writing and she has worked as both a textbook writer as well as an examination writer. In addition to writing, she has worked with proofreading the work of others, ensuring that the grammar is correct and that the language flows naturally.