Has Your Groomer Been Groomed?

It’s a serious question especially given stories you hear about pets getting injured or worse, dying in the care of a pet care professional such as a groomer. Statistically, more dogs and cats are groomed without incident than any of the animals that have suffered accidents or death. However, many cases of injury could have been prevented and lives saved if proper pet first aid training were not only implemented, but required.

Here in Massachusetts there is no licensure for groomers, anyone can call themselves a pet groomer and open up shop anywhere; this is the same for dog walkers, pet sitters, and trainers. Childcare is a very different story; there is licensure, health and safety requirements, training specifications, in-depth background checks, the list goes on. While I’m not suggesting that the government should have the ability to regulate whether Fluffy’s nails were indeed cut to the legally required length, there really should be some sort of regulation that allows people to practice based on some set of educational requirements; the most important being how to help a pet when something goes wrong. According to Jonathan V. Last in his 2013 book titled What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, he discovered that pets outnumber children 4 to 1 in America and they are occupying more homes and are loved by more and more people. Given that entire professions exist based on grooming, training or pet sitting people’s pets, safety should certainly be a top priority for them.  

Its easy to pick apart the big chain stores that provide pet grooming services. Because of their sheer numbers, they will have more incidents. Last year we brought you the story of Colby, the Golden Retriever that died from overheating in a Petco grooming salon and sadly today we bring you the story of a 1 yr old Dachshund named Henry that died after suffering serious life threatening injuries at the hands of a PetSmart groomer. These companies do have training protocols and they are relatively extensive, HOWEVER, they do not include basic safety such as Pet CPR & First Aid. Emergencies can and will happen, especially when grooming a wiggling animal, so why are our pet care professionals like groomers not required to know how to help when things go wrong? Boggles the mind!

I groomed for several years in my personal salon for dog walking clients of mine. It was a wonderful skill that I learned but there were accidents. I had a Coton de Tulear jolt as I was using a dematting comb around his ears (which is essentially a baby saw) and I cut his ear. It required a trip to the vet and some skin glue. I’ve nicked growths like warts and definitely razor burned a few bellies. I felt awful but the second an incident occurred; I knew how to make it better and fast! Accidents can and will happen, its how we handle them that can make the biggest difference for your pet.

So before you go dropping Fluffy and Fido off for a day at the spa, go ahead and ask if your groomer has been groomed in the art of pet cpr and first aid.

For more information about essential training for you and your pet care professional, click here.