Dear Readers: We love to pamper our pooches, get their ears cleaned and nails clipped (and polished?), possibly a gland expression and a sudsy scrub, rinse, blow-dry and hair bow. But when it comes to dog grooming, how much do you know about your dog groomer?

Formal training and licensure may not be required in your state; many dog groomers learn on the job only.

Read online reviews, and ask for recommendations from your friends and people you trust. Research thoroughly before you hire a dog groomer.

Drop in and observe the groomers in action and ask questions.

Only allow your dog to be groomed if you feel comfortable.

The majority of dog groomers are responsible and skilled professionals. Just be aware that dog groomers may have limited training and experience.

 — Heloise