More regulations are needed in the pet grooming sector
Too many pets suffer mistreatment at the hands of pet groomers

It doesn’t take much to call yourself a pet groomer and start charging clients for grooming services. Anyone can do that.

You don’t even have to have taken a course. What’s more, you can study online and not get any practical, real life experience at all before being actually coming into physical contact with a dog or a cat.

I find this absolutely mind blowing and I’m dismayed that there are little or no regulations in place to protect pet parents and their pets from potentially harmful situations. And, I’m talking about scenarios where a pet can actually lose its life because of negligence.

It’s hard to believe that an individual can actually get a pet grooming license without being certified and without having acquired any formal pet grooming skills whatsoever.

While most states in the US require pet groomers to be licensed, others do not. Most licensing requirements apply to operating practices at grooming facilities and that may also include employees working at that location. Some groomers are required to have a domestic animal pest management license if they provide flea baths.

Not All Pets Enjoy Going To The Beauty Salon
Some pets will refuse to cooperate with grooming staff and actually put up physical resistance which is unacceptable and should never be allowed to happen. Even the gentlest and most experienced groomer can make a mistake when their fur client makes an unexpected movement, probably just a tiny nick. However, when a pet is belligerent, something far worse can easily happen.

PET PEEVE: While a mix breed dog, with a double coat, short stubby tail, and a nervous disposition, was in my care, I noticed that he had a cut on the tip of his tail. I immediately reported this to my client who told me that his dog had gone to a new pet salon and that it had taken three members of staff to control him. To this day I am shocked that the groomers had provided the clipping service in the first place knowing how distressed the dog was, and, second, that they hadn’t notified their human client of the nicking incident. In my book, this attitude is fraudulent and unethical.

The Human Element, The Risks
This is not an attempt to scare you. It is just a wake up call and a reminder of a devastating act of negligence that happens far too often at brick and mortar groomers all over the country. Dogs have died and continue to die because of this. Hyperthermia.

Hyperthermia occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. It affects brain function, damages internal organs and can rapidly cause unconsciousness, coma and death.

Incidents where this medical emergency has occurred are when drying cages are inappropriately regulated and left unattended as well as when a pet is left to dry outdoors in sunny and humid conditions.

Unfortunately, this is not as infrequent as you may think and, sadly, has happened to several clients of mine.

So please be cautious and check out as thoroughly as possible the reputation of any grooming facility you contemplate using. Better safe than sorry.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!

NOTE: Rather than post a disturbing video showing pet groomers mistreating dogs and cats, I decided to publish this photo. Animal abuse of any kind must not be tolerated and those who commit such acts need to be held accountable.


Pet groomers can obtain certification through one of three organizations
An experienced pet groomer beautifying a Yorkshire Terrier

There are great groomers. There are terrible groomers. And there are those that are sort of in the middle.

The bad and really bad ones are what enrage pet parents everywhere and their stories are what make the news.

So, let’s take a look at some basics which I’ll be presenting today and next week.

Training To Become A Groomer
By acquiring an education to become a proficient pet groomer, an individual can gain respect in the community they serve either as an employee or by working independently.

Training programs are often available at a local community college, a career school, online and/or blended course, or one can serve an informal apprenticeship with a licensed groomer. The duration of a course varies, the longest being 480 hours (16 weeks).

Besides learning how to handle cats and dogs of varying sizes and temperaments, as well as bathe them, style their hair and trim their nails, they should be able to recognize the signs of certain health issues or diseases and take the necessary precautions. To this list we must also add knowing how to sterilize equipment and maintain a hygienic work environment.

The ultimate achievement is to become a Master Groomer.

How Groomers Get Certified
Like all professions, becoming certified is proof you have learned the basic skills to begin a successful career in your chosen field.
Pet groomers are no exception and they can obtain certification through one of three organizations. These are…

National Dog Groomers Association of America
International Professional Groomers, Inc
International Society of Canine Cosmetologists.

Watch out for next week’s blog that highlights how the pet grooming profession is regulated.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!